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#BN2021Epilogues: Ayobami Oyewumi’s 2021 Started With a Bang!



This year has been great for me. I made my first wedding dress and it was a beauty; it showed me the power that I carried in my hands. In February, I started my two-year fellowship with a non-profit organisation; it was a dream come true.

I spent the next couple of months adjusting and learning new things, especially as a teacher in a low-income community. It was a completely new experience. In my current role, I learned about self discovery and how powerful my thoughts are, but most especially how children have beautiful hearts and are really just incredible. I also learned that when you’re helping people, you are also helping yourself. I learned the power of trust – just as people trusted me with their money and donated to my fundraising.

Then the unimaginable happened: I had my worst acne breakout. As a teenager, I didn’t have acne because my skin was great. The questions started coming in: what happened to your face? Why is your face like that? Are you eating butter?

Ah! Sometimes, I wanted to just scream at strangers stopping me on the road and giving unsolicited advice like “use bitter leaf or engine oil”. I wanted to shout “leave me alone! Don’t you see that I am doing everything I can?

I had always seen myself as beautiful, but this time was different; I would wake up feeling pretty but the first compliment I would receive would be “what happened to your face?” And that would send me right back to the ‘you are not beautiful’ corner.

I started fundraising this year, it was what I wanted to do for the longest time but didn’t have the courage to start. The first was for a widow and the other two to procure books for children in a low-income community. I also had two speaking engagements which, for me, was a dream come true.

In September, I woke up crying on my birthday because my acne felt like a burden that I had carried all these months, and that day was the perfect time to let it all out. After the tears, I felt light and relieved, I promised myself that I would feel beautiful with or without compliments.

To fully grow into the kind of person you want, you need people around you cheering the loudest. This year, I have connected and met with really incredible people who have not only supported but also helped me.

To crown it all, I am seeing incredible opportunities around me that I am grateful for. Beyond growing, learning and making an impact, some of these opportunities have come to influence what 2022 would look like for me.

I also found support in all the amazing people that I have – Moyosoluwa, Sunday, the Akindeles, my family and the amazing people who donated to my fundraising campaigns.

With music, prayer, great conversations and God, I pulled through and I also learned a lot about acne.

2021 is ending and I am filled with gratitude to God. I learned that I should find God in every situation and that darkness may last through the night but joy comes in the morning. I have seen my joy and light is shining.

I look forward to an amazing 2022, to more friendship, love and impact.


  1. Yinka

    December 20, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    2022 is going to be great girl. You doing big things.. I’m super proud of you girl and you are beautiful.

  2. Christopher Francis

    December 21, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    You are beautiful and strong. Keep growing in love, selflessness and knowledge.

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