Be Fierce In Pursuit Of Your Dreams – Zadok

Beautiful Adamawa-born Vivian Zadok tells Humsimedia that she was mentored into fashion designing by her beloved parents. A graduate of Civil Engineering, she tells young people to pursue their dreams doggedly, never giving up and being ready to build from the ground up to the sky. Excerpts:

How were your growing up/childhood days like?

My childhood was incredible; I am from a large family with many brothers, sisters and cousins around especially during holidays.

My mom was strict and the disciplinarian of the family while my dad was the best friend of everyone, made excuses for us when we break rules ensuring our punishment was not too harsh.

As for my mom, if you do the crime you will do the time. She was hard working and very industrious; she made sure we learned one skill or the other during the holidays. Idleness was something she detested and this has helped shaped my life.

Who was your role model as a child?

I admired my mother a lot as a child. She was an only child with no biological brother or sister but she was so strong, so stable in everything she did, she was always in control.

She was so hardworking and always learning something new. She was teachable and forgave easily. I didn’t appreciate her strictness then but I’m grateful for the upbringing now.

What is your area of study?

I read civil engineering but during my industrial attachment and internship with the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, [NBRRI] and a few construction companies here in Abuja, I decided that was not a career I wanted.

I had a discussion with my dad and he said “find a job you like and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I found that in fashion and it doesn’t feel like work.

What are your career pursuits?

I have worked as a Research Assistant in a consultancy firm just to make ends meet while I developed my fashion skills which actually started from a tender age.

My mother taught me crocheting and knitting and she doubled as a very professional seamstress who produced school uniforms and beddings for boarding schools back then.

So fashion has been around me for all my life. It took a new dimension when I started making clothes for my kids, small orders started trickling in and it got to a point where I had to resign from my little job to face my passion.

What inspired your choice of career?

Passion. I am most calm and at peace when I’m either toying with a design idea on my sketchbook or trying to bring the idea to life in my artelier.

I can go on for hours forgetting to eat sometimes. It was just pure joy working and when someone pays you for doing something that gives you so much satisfaction, that’s double Payment.

What goals did you set for yourself and their achievement?

I started my business from living room with one sewing machine and I converted my dining table to a cutting table and a few years with a lot of hard work and determination I was able to build my gate house which was meant to house a security guard but it became my work space and I was able to hire a tailor at that time and I got some more machines.

About five years later, I have built an artelier with one industrial embroidery machine, industrial Weaving, three industrial straight sewing machines and four manual sewing machines.

I also have my own office with a storage and a showroom. I may walk at a snail speed with my progress but the most important thing is I’m not stagnant.

What are your life’s most challenging moment(s)?

I have lost my sister, my brother and dad few years ago but nothing prepared me for the death of my mom. We lost her early 2021 and I’m yet to recover from it.

What makes you strong or breaks you?

I have had my share of ups and downs in life and it has taught me some good lessons so I know for a fact that what does not kill me will eventually make me stronger.

When bad stuff happens, I encourage myself knowing it’ll not last forever. I am happiest when I’m able to place a smile on someone’s face, when I can help bring succour or relief to someone in need. It kills me to hear a problem I can’t help solve, that will literally break me.

What has been your driving force, propelling you to succeed?

I want to be an answer to someone’s prayer, an agent of God’s love and kindness and I want to also teach my children that they can become all that they want to be if they work hard at it.

How do you handle stressful situations?

I do what I can and leave the rest to God.

With your very busy schedules, how do you relax?

I read a good book, hangout with my kids or watch a good movie.

How many awards have you received so far? Name them.

I have received just one. It is the African Arts and Fashion Awards.

What plans do you have for the future?

Expansion to include a state of the art fashion design academy, a fashion hub and I’m already working on a book on fashion soon to be sent to the press.

Plus I was nominated last year September to represent Nigeria at the World Fashion Exhibition Paris and Los Angeles this year, looking forward to the events to showcase Nigeria’s eclectic Fashion culture.

What is your advice to the younger ones?

What you focus on will magnify so make sure you focus on what you want to become, build capacity, seek to develop yourself every step of the way.

Don’t be afraid to start small, just start and build up, the sky is your springboard. 

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