Here is how Saliu, a physiologist turned Fashion designer transformed his passion into purpose (Exclusive Interview)

What is your full name?

Saliu Fathiu Ajibola


What is your state of origin and state of residence?

I’m from Oyo state and I also reside in Ibadan, Oyo state

Tell us your about your family and educational background.

I’m the first child of my mum and the tenth child of my dad. I attended Mayflower School, Ikenne for both my primary and secondary education. I lived in the hostel all-through. Then I studied Physiology at the University of Ibadan.

When and how did you start SFAmadeIT?

Well, it started more like a joke. I’ve always wanted to learn sewing but I was not chanced. Between the break of 300 level – 400 level which was like seven weeks, I learnt it, though just the basis. As at that time I started learning, I was learning just to be able to make my own clothes and that of my family and friends, not for business perse. Along the line, I found out I could make a living out of it and that was how I started SFAmadeIT January, 2016.


What exactly is SFAMadeIT about?

SFAmadeIT is a young fashion institute. We make bespoke wears for males only at the moment, both native and English wears. Bespoke tailoring is clothing made to an individual buyer’s specifications by a tailor.

What prompted you to start SFAMadeIT? 

I found out that most tailors don’t get to do the wish of the customers so I set out to correct that.

You’re doing a wonderful job with SFAMadeIt

Thank you very much, Allah is just using my hands.

What is your inspiration?

The urge to stand out in the midst of many.

What exactly do you (and your team) hope to achieve with SFAmadeIT?

To make our customers stand out by delivering our service within a minimal space of time

What have you learnt that you think every forward-looking young person should know?

Life is not as difficult as people say, what is difficult is taking your own life in your hand. Especially if the purpose is to start your own business, but it can be rewarding and full of fun since you are your own boss and responsible for your own decisions.

What aspect of your background or education has been most helpful to your experience as a young CEO?

My dad has always been his own boss, so I learnt most from him. And back in UI, I was able to relate with a lot of self-made CEOs

What were the defining moments for you when you started?

My friends just believed in me from the word go, maybe I’ll say no defining moment yet.

Have you won any awards, honors or special recognition as an individual or on SFAMadeIT?

None yet.

What would you describe as your secret formula for success as an entrepreneur?

Know what the customers want and find a way to give it to them in an outstanding way.

What living person do you admire the most and why?

My dad, he has survived a lot of downfalls and he is still strong and hopeful

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Can’t pick one for now

What were your major obstacles during the startup of SFAMadeIT?

Having people to believe in me

Could you tell us the part of your job you enjoy the most?

When creating the design for the clothe I’m about to make.


How do you define success?

When you meet your target, you’re successful

What are your plans for the future?

To make everyone have at least one of my works in their closet

What are your plans for the future?

To make everyone have at least one of my works in their closet

What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

The kind of which I’ll be proud to call a legacy

Do you have any advice for young/ aspiring entrepreneurs?

It’s always tough in the beginning, but perseverance prevails always. The darkest part of the night is just before dawn.

To what extent do you think Nigerian youths are creative?

To a very large extent, we are very creative, we just have limited resources

What has been the turnout of clients to SFAMadeIT?

The turnout is still low, but I’m hopeful it will change soon

How has SFAMadeIT improved your life and that of your customers? 

To a very large extent, I’ve been affected positively. I think my customers are in the best position to answer how SFAmadeIT has affected them

How can a Nigerian youth discover his talent or develop his creative side?

One way is to look for what you love doing, then look for how you can make money from doing it.

Which of your products has recorded the largest sale?

I do bespoke wears and not ready to wear so there’s nothing like a sale

How do you hope to reach across to empower Nigerian youths in the future?”

I plan to have a fashion school in the nearest future to train willing youths in my established fashion school.

Thank you for hosting me.”


Interview by: Adejumo Mercy

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

6 thoughts on “Here is how Saliu, a physiologist turned Fashion designer transformed his passion into purpose (Exclusive Interview)

  1. Awwwn, I’m so proud of you our very own physiology SFA. You will soon be very popular and successful, and I’ll be proud to point and say that’s my classmates mate.
    Kudos to you too Mercy Adejumo madame interviewer. I see you too

    Liked by 1 person

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