‘It was better I tried it and failed, than not to do it at all and live in regret’ – Nigerian Fashion Designer Mai Atafo tells #WithChude

On this week’s episode of #WithChude, Nigeria’s leading Fashion Designer, Mai Atafo, opens up to host and founder of Joy, Inc., Chude Jideonwo, about his transition from being one of the top Brand Managers in the country to one of Nigeria’s finest fashion designers after his daring move into the fashion industry.

Speaking on why he decided to quit his job as one of the top brand managers in the country to follow his dream, Mai Atafo reiterated that he would not have taken the emotional decision to quit if he knew what he knows now.

“If it were today, I wouldn’t have made that decision to quit. I would have been more calculated about what I wanted to do. I would have asked questions like, ‘Where is the business plan?’, ‘Can I be a brand manager and be the face of Mai Atafo Inspired?’ and so on. Maybe I would have made my clothing line a ready-to-wear brand and still maintained my position as a brand manager. I had the influence and knowledge from being a brand manager to run my clothing line effectively. Yet, I wouldn’t have been able to be the face of the brand.”

To the many who look up to him, Mai Atafo maintains that he does not think it is a good idea to imitate his emotional decision to quit his job without a proper plan. “It was a very emotional decision to quit my job. I tell people not to quit their jobs as I did because now, I know better. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would not have taken such a huge emotional decision to move on. I say it is emotional because, the day I quit, I did not plan on quitting. I went in to work that day and returned without a job.

There were several things that were happening that largely pointed to me getting a promotion. I knew that once I got that promotion, I would not be able to do that red carpet show and be the face of Mai Atafo Inspired. I decided to try so that it won’t be said of me that I didn’t try. It was better I did it and failed than not do it at all and live in regret. I said to myself, worst-case scenario, if in the next three years this does not work, I could always get another job somewhere else. But ten years down the line, and I am still here,” he concluded.

With dedication and a gift for the craft, Mai Atafo has worked over the past ten years to be the best in the game; creating designs wowed Nigerians and Africans all over the globe.

#WithChude is a special series of targeted multimedia conversations and investigations focused on narratives that enable and strengthen the mind, heart, and spirit. New episodes of #WithChude show every Saturday at 9 pm on TVC Entertainment, with reruns every Sunday on Wazobia TV at 5 pm and every Thursday on EbonyLife TV at 7:30 pm.

An extended play podcast is up on Spotify, iTunes, among other podcast platforms every Wednesday at 10:00 am. Everyone can join the conversations.


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