Oluwatomi Reuben and the mud house
I come from a family of five, living together in a single room in a mudhouse apartment.
Growing up for me was fun but poor. I also rolled tyres on the street then and that was part of what made my growing up fun.
I never liked the school I attended as a child; Also, i never liked my house and the environment because as at then; I thought it wasn’t a good place for a child to grow up. There was never enough of so many important things and that really made my growing up extra stressful and challenging.
Christmas for me then was usually a bad period; Because i never had the luxury of wearing what my mates wore and that usually made me sad.
One good thing that kept me going was the grit ability which I possessed then; And I thank God for that. My parents taught me to believe in God which has brought me this far.
Taking up this fashion career path while growing up was as a result of my passion for fashion and style. So, when I got the opportunity to learn sewing at the age of 14,I took it up without thinking twice. I wouldn’t say that it has been fun but I am glad that so far, I am growing in it.
‘My going into fashion has birthed (Mudhouse). Mudhouse is a clothing line that deals in street fashion. We infuse African into our designs by using African prints such as, free hand batik/tie dye, we also infuse the works of some Nigerian based art works. Our designs include bomber jackets (batik), jumpsuits(tie dye/batik), hoodies with styles, shirts and pants, also custom orders. Our plan is to take Mudhouse into the Global market.’
The truth is I don’t know if my parents supported my journey into fashion. All i needed then was my personal conviction. And because of the situation surrounding my growing up then; My poor upbringing and the environment I grew up; I knew I had to help myself by becoming a better person.
So going into fashion was like an escape for me. Now, I am able to sew for myself; And wear whatever I want to wear. This has helped me overcome inferiority complex and gain confidence which I lacked growing up.
I faced some challenges just to reach where I am today and some of the challenges were my inability to go to a proper fashion school due to lack of money. Then, i Couldn’t even afford a machine talk less of paying workers. In fact, my first machine, i got from a friend. There were also times that I was worried about not having a physical location of Mudhouse. Truly, I was worried about so many things but I decided to start from where I was which I am still doing presently.
During my days in unilag, I worked extra time as a tailor just to survive. I never enjoyed the course I was studying then. I guess that was just part of the journey to my growth.
The most positive significant day of my life was when I decided to go back University; After I gave up on school because of extra years. Going back to clean up my mess made me become more responsible in life.
I don’t think i, Oluwatomi Reuben, have a particular negative significant day because getting a “No”can also be termed as negative. And there are so many supposed negatives that most times turn good.
I tell people: Make sure you do what makes you happy. Pursue your dreams; But also get an education.
~ Oluwatomi Reuben