“There’s an assumption that women have to look a certain way to be feminine, but I don’t want to conform to that stereotype. My thing is this: You don’t get to decide how I choose to live my life. I’m being me—respect that.”
In her latest interview with Vogue’s Fashion News director Chioma Nnadi, Teni speaks on living above the limiting stereotype of what a woman should look like. Teniola Apata, AKA Teni the entertainer has been the artiste to watch out for since last year December, she has dropped back to back hits and has given us different unique styles which mirror her personality.
In her interview with Vogue, Teni talks about her family; growing up in a family of strong independent women such as her sister Niniola and her mother. She also talks about her experience in Uni and having to be part of the few black students in her school. “UGA, the university I went to, was mostly PWI—that’s short for a predominantly white institution,” she says. “I remember someone even asked me if I had elephants in my backyard, it was wild. The other students would look at me crazy when I showed up to class in traditional dress, too. But you know that’s who I am. That’s my culture. If you can wear your blue jeans, I can wear this.”
Chioma Nnadi writes “If there is one thing she picked up from her time in the States, it’s an obsession with sneaker culture. Today she is wearing what has become her de facto off-duty uniform—a retro Nike tracksuit in retina-searing neon pink, lime green sunglasses, and sparkling white Air Force 1s, one pair in a collection of more than 150 kicks.” Teni’s personal style is unapologetically colorful and cool. Although Teni doesn’t believe in spending so much money on designer labels just to impress others. “There was a time when I wasn’t able to afford nice things, but even now that I can, being flashy in that way doesn’t sit well with me,” she says. “I don’t want people breaking their backs to impress others with material things because they saw me do that.”
Speaking about the title of her new single “Sugar Mummy”, Teni reveals, “I want to make ‘Sugar Mummy’ a positive term. She is a woman with swag, who looks good, who is proud to be different.” Pushing against the “sexy” narrative and choosing to be herself, Teni has already redefined what it means to be a woman and has refused to follow the stereotypical societal definitions .
By: Dammy Eneli