Oh joyful day! Today is so special to us at FAB and our lovely readers. Yes it is! Two key persons at the magazine, Sinem Bilen–Onabanjo (Editor) and Familusi Akin Babajide – (just call him Mr. FAB!) – Publisher of FAB magazine have their birthdays today!
I would love to share with you precious moments I’ve had with both of them. When I met Mr. FAB – or when I was about to meet him (our meeting would precede my proper integration into FAB), I had these notions about him: stern, unapproachable, not-so-nice and too-busy-to-listen-to-the-crap-you-have-to-say-so-speak-fast! Well, that was because I had seen his pictures before!
But trust me today, I have a completely different opinion having worked with him. I go back -well in my mind – and begin to replace those misconceptions and here’s what I fix in – the way I know it: kind, purpose-driven, enthusiastic and perfectionist. Mr. FAB won’t be involved in anything except it was going to be the best it could and should be. He would think about getting it right first before his profit. Just before I began to wonder, what manner of man is this?, I quickly remind myself that the world hasn’t got too many of his kind. So I sit to appreciate the so much he has to offer and the few persons like him I can find, him being No. 1.
Sinem. Sinem is Editor at FAB and loved by all that I know. The first time I meet her is months after I’m staff at FAB – late last year, it was. Sinem was in Nigeria for the premiere of the Mildred Okwo-directed film, The Meeting. The day after that ‘meeting’ we hung out and Sinem was the sweetest person ever. We talked about a whole lot of interesting and work-related things – including Lola Maja! Lola is one of Nigeria’s biggest makeup artists. We spoke about Lola’s happy-go-lucky demeanor and her addiction to work.
When we got into Shoprite, Lekki, we were headed upstairs because Sinem needed to get some magazines – a need she had created. She had asked me; what do you do in your spare time? When I gave her my answer, she said she would read magazines all day during hers so much so that a friend of hers had insisted she “drop those magazines. The idea of ‘spare time’ or ‘rest’ is to do something you don’t usually do for a living. Take a walk, do something else but not those magazines”. Sinem obviously doesn’t see that as work. She lives, breathes, drinks her job. It’s no surprise every edition of FAB is an outstanding one and the next one exceeds the previous in rich content, style, perfection and quality. “My favorite part of Shoprite is the book section where the magazines are”, she said smiling.
Sinem got me one cake (one of my favorite flavors) and a drink. She chose a different type and drink for herself and back in the car, we discussed almost everything FAB, talked Nigeria, laughed about this and that as we headed to a location we had a hard time finding. We even took a picture in our really tired state while the lady in her car, waiting for us to get the heck out of ‘her’ parking space (she was just coming in), gave us no encouraging smile to take our time with the pose. At the end of the day, I was grateful I hung out with my Editor, I was happy I was “Assistant”.
“You should’ve have come yesterday, you’d have had much more fun”, Sinem said when I was nearing my drop off point. I did, though. I had such great time learning from her. I still do.
“You’re not anything like your pictures…” I had said before she cut me off.
Months later, today, I’m with Sinem again to interview Niyi Towolawi for whom she’s publicist for his new movie, Turning Point. It’s her birthday today and she isn’t taking a break! At the close of the press junket, she informed me about seeing “tomorrow and Sunday for a fashion show”. Seeing Sinem today was a big one for me (I never underestimate the slightest opportunity to be with her and learn). Besides, she’s cut her long hair!!!! She has it in low cut now and looks absolutely beautiful!, to say the least. And guess who advised her to do that? Lola Maja! Spontaneous risk-taker! Great advice, though. Sinem looks great. She always does. Always will.
Happy Birthday, FAB; Happy Birthday, Sinem. Your lives have brought smiles on the faces of so many people. Keep up the good work.
By the way, I’ll let you see the picture of her new cut. Watch this space.