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“No Make-Up, No Job!” The Story of Nigeria’s First Female Modern Railings Engr. Will Amaze You


Monday, August 6, 2018


Opening the diary of an average Nigerian graduate, the common narratives you’d find include; just graduated, seeking a job, awaiting NYSC, totally broke, etc. The story gets more critical if it’s a female graduate.

Naturally, a woman’s femininity gives her an edge over many things, but on the flip side, it could also spell doom for her — she stands at a risk of attracting unfriendly gestures when dealing with male superiors.

The situation gets worse for female job seekers who find themselves at the mercy of male employers trying so hard to take advantage of them. Unfortunately, not many women are able to triumph over fierce and unfavourable gestures from their male counterparts. Many have succumbed to critical situations and pressures, thereby compromising their dignity.

Titilade Adeniran appears to be one of the uncompromising ones. Being a long-term job seeker as a young Nigerian graduate, Titilade’s experience is nothing short of astonishing.

From fighting her way through Nigeria’s unpromising educational system and facing painful rejections from potential employers to successfully establishing an enviable career in a male-dominated construction industry (Railings), this animated lady seems to have defied all odds on her journey to building Titilade Railings — her multi-million naira-worth construction firm.

The Smepeaks team caught up with her on a sunny Wednesday and she laid bare the A-Z of her ongoing awe-inspiring story.

Titilade Railings: How the journey began After graduating from the Polytechnic of Ibadan in August 2013, Titilade Adeniran, an HND holder of Business Administration had the aspiration of becoming a Music Director. Of course, her admiration for Puffy T, Don Jazzy, and Trakgirll, contributed to her musical ambition. However, this didn’t work out as she lacked financial requirements to delve into the music industry.

Since the music dream appeared to be dashed, Titi opted for the next available alternative for livelihood’s sake — job hunting. But, things didn’t turn out in her favour, as well.

Her misery began when her first shot at securing a front desk officer role in a hotel failed. According to Titi, she lost the job opportunity simply because she wasn’t wearing makeup — a very unfortunate incident that left her in great shock!

I still can’t believe I couldn’t secure that job, all because I didn’t wear a makeup! Imagine, it’s very odd and I was so disappointed,” Titi remarks.

Amid this, she had to devise another means to make ends meet.

I had a friend who deals in some aspects of building construction, I’d always take pictures of the work and post on an e-commerce platform. I once posted his works on OLX and placed my number there. Coincidentally we secured a deal!”

This breakthrough opened Titi to a new world that She needed no conviction to intensify her energy in the new path she’s found. As fate will have it, a new opportunity emerged.

In 2015, she met a man in the railings business who admired and appreciated her zeal — especially on how she went about the marketing process that secured the contract for her friend. He then offered Titi a marketing role with a monthly stipend, plus commission of 10% based on every successful deal she secures.

Not a bad deal for the poor lady, who has been struggling to get fixed at a job for a long time, Titi thought. Moreover, this is not an offer she gets thrown at every day. She took the deal and her journey into the railings business officially commenced.

Keeping an eye out… Just in case Despite the “not-so-encouraging” pay, Titilade kept at her job as a Railings Marketer more than ever. With the knowledge that job security in a private establishment is a far-fetched idea, she began extending her interest beyond the marketing aspect of railings to learning the core of the job.

On days I go out to supervise field works based on my boss’ instruction, I’d watch closely as the railings construction are made. So, I learn on site and resort to watching YouTube videos to gain more knowledge about the business. Combining these with my job as a marketer wasn’t easy, but patience and determination kept me going, otherwise, I would have quit long before now”

As she speculated, it was only a matter of time before she began getting signals of eviction from her marketing job. Titi couldn’t fathom an explanation for her boss’ sudden insecurity about her, working for him.

Perhaps, he wasn’t cool with the way customers got so comfortable relating with me, often made a request to deal directly with me in the business rather than directly him”

Sensing that odds could be against her in any moment, Titilade became more deliberate in mapping out her course to the entrepreneurial journey while serving as a marketer. Transitioning from a marketer into a real-time female apprentice would have appeared rather difficult to accomplish for many, but not Titilade, who was more focused than ever at learning the job — at the building site to supervise and on her own via online videos and whatever resources should lay her hands on.

Also, the fact that she would have paid a huge amount — which apparently she couldn’t afford at that time — to learn from the ground up is another motivation point for Titi.

As such, it would take more than her boss, shortchanging her for her to lose focus.

Titilade’s transitioning process and understudy culminated into a 6-months of hard work. But that was the start of a new lucrative path she’s found; a no so female-friendly path she wouldn’t back out of any time soon. Titilade Railings was established.

Titilade Adeniran and her Railings Business work

All entrepreneurs have their reasons for going into businesses. Freedom, the crave to effect change, passion, and many more are often what entrepreneurs claim to be their inspiration. But there’s a common aspect of the business that connects them all — the money, of course. Going by the initial life travails of Titilade, we were curious to know how well the railings business is treating her from the point she signed off as a marketer to jump full force into the field. Discussing how lucrative the work is, she gave team Smepeaks some amazing insight into the railings business. Continue to read full source

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