Demure, kind and sweet are some of the virtues that stand a lady out, and Oyinkansade Fabikun is no exception. Oyinkan’s ‘je ne sais quoi’ had been very apparent to me since our university days, but in actual fact I had not fully apprehended the length, the depth, the height and the width of her awesomeness. With her ‘Phylicia Rashad’ vibe and super witty etiquette blog, hersocialhighness.wordpress.com, only a tip of the iceberg, I have no doubt that she deserves to be celebrated!
#Hellurrrladies! Our first guest on the #CelebratingWomenCampaign series of interviews is etiquette connoiseur and author of the book, ‘Back to Basics’ Oyinkansade Fabikun.
1. I feel like you are different from any other woman I know; a good different of course. How did you develop yourself to have that distinction?
Oyinkan: Thank you for the compliment. I just try to be myself in a good way. I try to hone my virtues.
2. How did you develop your love for etiquette?
Oyinkan: Etiquette is something that kind of came naturally; I like to be orderly, considerate of others and do things as they should be done. Sometimes I do things a certain way before I find out it’s actually a rule in etiquette.
3. Tell me one type of etiquette that is absolutely indispensable?
Oyinkan: Consideration for others.
4. How do you celebrate yourself as a woman on a daily basis?
Oyinkan: I dress up, try on a new hairstyle, experiment with different nail polish colours- it depends on my mood; I could come up with new ways to have fun or relax.
5. How does a lady’s relationship with God help her become all that she truly desires to be as a woman?
Oyinkan: A woman’s relationship with God is important because when this relationship is active and healthy, it helps her fulfill her vision through at least, 3 major ways- divine inspiration, divine guidance and divine instruction.
6. When I look at you, I see a very confident and demure lady. How did you in the past perhaps conquer any insecurity, however negligible it might have been?
Oyinkan: Thank you. Confidence has not always been easy for me. Most times, we have confidence when we have something we desire or eliminate something undesired (case in point: weight). The true test of confidence is having a certain, necessary measure of faith in yourself whether or not you have what you desire.
7. What is your opinion on placing value on education before a lady ventures into totally pursing her passion?
Oyinkan: Education, in the true sense of the word, plays a crucial role in preparing one for their calling. Sometimes your education is different from your passion in more than one sense but I say educate yourself still. You never know the unusual ways you could apply what you’ll learn. You may end up being the ‘mathematical’ event planner or the baker that bakes and designs with ‘surgical precision’. Our learnings mould us in peculiar forms. No knowledge is ever really lost.
8. Tell me about your blog, hersocialhighness.wordpress.com
Oyinkan: Her social Highness is a blog I created in a ‘light bulb’ moment. I have always liked to write because I think I communicate better that way. It’s a blog that started out addressing etiquette issues primarily but it has since diversified its theme to include poems and other informal reflections.
9. How do you constantly sharpen your creativity in terms of writing for your blog, including wit and other figures of speech
Oyinkan: Creativity is a function of inspiration and inspiration is a strange thing- sometimes it’s elusive when your will is strong and omnipresent when your will is awol. Whenever it comes, I capture it in my ‘junk book’ so I can use or recreate it when I want.
10. What in your opinion are the most important qualities of a lady?
Hygiene, modesty in dress sense, poise, hospitality, integrity, sociableness and progressiveness.
11. How do you define beauty?
Oyinkan: Beauty to me is abstract goodness- the content of a person’s character, the goodness of a soul and not necessarily of the body. To apply Steve Jobs words on design, “It’s not how it looks like and feels like, it’s how it works.”
12. What are your top 5 etiquette tips?
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Gentlemen should be gentlemen. Look good, smell great.
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Let me add a sixth- please don’t tap your tongue before counting money or flipping a book! Use finger tip moisteners instead. Thank you.