Today June 25, 2015 the world celebrates ‘World Vitiligo Day’ an initiative aimed at creating global awareness about the Vitiligo skin disease, often characterized by discolouring of the skin which might result in significantly negative social and physiological impact on patients.
Commercial social media entrepreneur Tosin Ajibade, aka Olori Supergal was inspired by 19 year old Winnie Harlow, who despite her skin condition landed a ‘Beauty Idol’ award and Tosin decided to key into the inspiration which led her path to Nigeria’s very own inspiration – Temilola Omoobajesu who has conquered the stigma of living with Vitiligo to become a model and an inspiration to others living with the condition.
In this exclusive interview with Happenings Magazine, Olori Supergal speaks on the inspiration behind her launch of an online campaign to support the cause and encourage individuals living with the skin condition:
What inspired your brand, Olorisupergal, to support the Vitiligo campaign?
I was checking my Instagram page one day and I saw a news story on Winnie Harlow who was awarded a beauty award in America and I reposted the photo because I was inspired by how she has built herself in the modeling industry. I admired her success despite her condition. So a follower on my page copied this handle @temynikan and said I should check her page and I found out that she had vitligo. She’s a young model and graduate with vitiligo, so I followed her and later sent her a message just to say hello. This happened around March 2015, we later got in touch after her graduation from school and I told her I would like to support her by doing an online campaign to support the cause and also encourage other people with the skin condition. We got talking since then and we eventually came up the online campaign to celebrate world vitiligo day.
Do you plan to raise funds to support this campaign beyond Vitiligo Day?
Yes, we plan to raise funds to support the campaign. The first stage I thought of immediately was to create awareness about the campaign and also inform people about the skin condition. We didn’t have much time to plan between March and June because of the New media conference in May, so the best we can do now is to create awareness and take it up to the next stage by next year. There are other people with this skin condition who encourage themselves and these people are on social media. While chatting with Temilola, she explained her struggle with the condition because she was abused and she didn’t have self confidence in herself. She started showing off her skin in 2014. Even as a model, she was always shy to show off her body. We looked at what we could do and we went ahead with the online campaign for now. We aim to come out with a proper strategy to raise funds for people with the condition and also reach a larger number of people who might not want to come out before 2016. It’s a process and with God we will support those we can.