Our guest for today’s episode of #FreshGradTales is Morolari Babatunde Oluwaseyi (popularly known as Tunde TNT), a graduate of Psychology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is a Fashion and Graphics Designer. He is also the CEO of Tunde TNT INC, a brand he started in 2012 and which has gotten him a couple of nominations and recognition. He has won awards including the Ace Awards Entrepreneur of the Year and OYA Awards 2015 Outstanding Fashion Designer of the year.
How would you describe your journey through the university?
My journey through school was a beautiful experience. Most especially, I learnt a great deal on every level academically, socially etc. I met great people while in school and made connections that would surely affect the future positively, I started a number of brands and businesses and helped people in my own capacity to grow and achieve their dreams.
Why OAU of all schools? Why not some other school?
Well, typically, I had my secondary education in Ogun State, and we mostly had desires to go to the great citadel of learning, OAU. lol
Talking about being a fashion designer, at what point in your life did you start? What inspired you to go into fashion designing?
Well I started off as a graphics designer when I was as young as 10, and I practised all through till I got into uni and then getting into university, I designed one of the most popular shirts around, tagged “IREP Oba Awon University”. I decided to print the shirts and sell and that’s how it all started. My mom actually is a fashion designer, so I started to learn sewing and designing from her before I got proper training later on.
On your IG, you mentioned that you spent six years in OAU, is this a story you would like to tell us? What happened? How did it feel?
Hmmmm, it’s a long story which I would still write about in a blog or so. But basically, I got into school to study Bsc Food engineering and along the line, after almost 3 years, I had to cross to psychology, because food engineering didn’t permit me the time to live my fashion x graphics dream. Inclusive of all the time spent on strikes and all of that.
How were you able to merge being an excellent fashion designer with your academics? Was there a point where you felt that school wasn’t important, after all?
Merging for me was quite difficult when I was in Tech, mixing food engineering and being a Fashion x Graphics designer was way difficult. But I usually tell people, if you want to be a successful student entrepreneur, your career choice has to sync with your course of choice, trust me it makes it way easier.
What were the greatest mistakes you made as a student?
My greatest mistake for me would be accepting to study food engineering in the first place, I actually put in for Computer Science with Economics. I really didn’t want to go to a university, always wanted a creative school, but we don’t do that around here and going abroad wasn’t coming through for me at that time.
What particular moment did you have as a student that you will never forget all your life?
Hmmmm, well, I really cherish moments a lot and I have a lot of cherished moments like when I first got a major class shirt to design and produce, my first award moments, moments with close friends and all of that.
Tell us about your relationships, maybe?
In a relationship. Been in it for almost four years, I won’t really say I was heartbroken or broke anyone’s heart.
What challenges did you have as a student who was an entrepreneur?
Major challenges were when my brand started gaining grounds outside Ife so I had to do a lot of travelling. There was this particular day I had to travel to Lagos and come back the same day. Because I had a test the next day, this was kind of challenging. Balancing school work and career work too was another challenge, doing business with students sometimes too can be funny, especially in a community like OAU where they want the best quality for the cheapest amount ever.
What advice do you have for those who are still students in higher institutions and those who are looking at going to school soon?
My advice is, study a course that makes you happy, when you are in school, be focused, have fun, met people, keep the right relationships and live life to the fullest, enjoy every bit of it.
Now that you’re a graduate, what’s next for you?
Well, I would first be getting a job with an ad agency or media firm and freelancing for fashion brands while still running my brand (Tunde TNT INC) after which I would be doing short courses in fashion & graphic designing in a creative institution abroad and when I am back, would run my brand fully.
Any final words?
I believe that creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun, cherish the right relationships, go out, travel if you can, learn new stuff, help everyone you can and love God!
More About Tunde TNT:
In the university, Tunde became a brand ambassador for Nokia. He had previously worked at Neo-2 & Next Generation Image as a Graphic artist where he was involved with high-end graphics and multimedia for brands like MTN, Etisalat, and Banner Gas among others. He has participated in fashion shows like; Mr Ideal Nigeria Style Show, Unveiled Fashion Show, Miss Omolewa, Asabi Style Show, The Lagos Wardrobe and Exhibition, The Royal Fashion Show among others. He was on the graphics team for the 14th edition of Y! Magazine, also designed BlacknBold’s Falz edition magazine.
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DID YOU ENJOY TUNDE’S INTERVIEW? READ INTERVIEWS OF OTHER FRESH GRADUATES HERE >>>> #FreshGradTales
#FreshGradTales is a series of interviews for fresh graduates from ALL universities in Nigeria. This initiative aims at hearing and sharing the stories, struggles, achievements and experiences of fresh Nigerian graduates. We do believe everyone has a unique story that someone somewhere would love to read and benefit from reading as well.
If you are a fresh university graduate and would love to share your #FreshGradTales, Orifunke would be glad to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org