‘Life Has Taught Me to be Strong’


Chief Executive Officer, Inscribe Beauty World, Peace Awak, a makeup artist runs a spa and also owns a construction company. In this interview with Mary Ekah, she talks about her passion as makeover and what drives her to do other things

How did your journey to being a makeup artist start?
Making people look beautiful was the first job I did during and after school. I studied Biochemistry at the University of Port Harcourt. But of course I knew I wasn’t going to practice. I actually did it for my parents so they will be happy. But while I was in school, I was travelling to Jos with night bus to buy gold, which I sold in school. Later on, I started collecting Mary Kay from a church member to sell. Before graduating from school, I did a job that made me know that I will never work.

I went to assist a makeup artist at an event at Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt and the person I made up actually won the contest. That really inspired me. After school, I worked in my pastor’s hospital where I did my IT, and after youth service, I decided to start my own business right in front of my house. I just drew the structure I visualised it and then gave to an architect to put it down on paper. That was how I got my building. Though, I plan to extend it upward. I draw building actually, although not professionally.

Apart from being a makeup artist, what other things do you do?
I run a spa and I also have another company, which is into construction but more of interiors. We decorate houses, events centres and also remodel buildings, especially for banks.

What’s your drive?
My drive is to employ as many people that want to leave the streets because someone actually inspired me. A man I met, my dad’s friend actually, changed my mind set. Before then, I thought I had to come out of school and get married. But I still desired more for myself within me. I was creative; I could draw clothes, draw houses and more. So, I knew I wanted more than just marriage for myself. So, that positive energy gave me some level of confidence that has inspired me to also impact people’s lives.

How has been running a spa?
Four years ago, it was difficult putting up a spa in a place like Port Harcourt, unlike in Lagos where everyone is into spa business. I practically had to struggle to sustain the business and since then, I try to create awareness by the need for spa services everywhere I go to in the city. Anyway, things are a lot better now.

How was growing up?
Growing up was nice and easy because my parents used to give me lots of money. I grew up in stress-free environment. My dad used to work in Shell, so, we stayed in Shell. The hardest part of my life was when my mum passed on in 2003. In August 2016 too, my dad passed on and I almost gave up.

What has life taught you?
Life has taught me to be strong and to always have hope. No place is the end of your life; whether your parents pass on, whether your business crashes, or whatever, there is always a better tomorrow if only you learn to be strong.

Who influenced you the most in life between your mum and dad?
I would say my mum. She influenced me annoyingly. I hated her while growing up because she was really firm. We didn’t have house-helps and she made us work like slaves. And you know what, she didn’t really play with us. She was just too strict.

What is your most memorable childhood memory?
Being the seventh of eight children, I think I was one of those children that had the better side of my parents. My mum for example, was stricter before but because they had the last three of their children later in life, which included me, they somehow became a bit lax; at least so I was told.

What do you miss most about them?
I miss teasing my father. I use to call him and tease him. He died at 84 but he was almost forever young. He could still drive himself, he didn’t wear glasses and also, he still used to jog. He had no wrinkle on him at all. I think I took after him because you will definitely scream if I tell you my age.