iTEC are celebrating the news of the first iTEC training provider in Nigeria, Beauty Therapy Institute (BTI) Lagos. We spoke with Dr Ifeoma Abajue, dermatologist and owner of BTI, to hear her thoughts on becoming a training provider and learn about the beauty industry in Nigeria.
How does it feel to become iTEC’s first training provider in Nigeria?
It is simply amazing. I think it is a reward for the years of hard work trying to change the beauty landscape in Nigeria. It has been hard work, but gaining iTEC approval feels like we are on the right path. It will boost our reputation in the beauty industry, which is fast growing in Nigeria now.
What made you want to become a training provider?
Nigeria as a country had no standard beauty school. I was actually a dermalogica provider and could never get a suitable therapist to work with me. The ones that came from the local beauty schools always needed to be re-trained. Being a doctor in the industry, I was appalled by the perception of the beauty industry as a sector for school dropouts when it was so different internationally.
Dermalogica South Africa suggested I go into training and offered their support if I did. I had no idea how to go about it so they suggested a franchise and introduced me to Sandy Fuhr, the franchisor of BTI.
What made you choose iTEC?
iTEC is like a seal of approval to the standards we offer at BTI. It is the icing on the cake for any therapist that has worked hard to graduate from BTI. I also chose iTEC for three major reasons:
- It is recognised internationally
- It is great value for money
- The qualifications are specialised. We don’t see many students that want to come in and learn every area of beauty therapy, they like to focus on one area and specialise in it.
Where does your passion for education and training come from?
I like to educate myself. I like to learn new things and also know the how and the why. With my focus being on the beauty industry, I have seen how deep and diverse it is. New treatments are constantly being created.
My passion is to make sure people in the beauty industry are properly educated so clients are safe and achieve their skin care goals safely and enjoyably. With the advent of the skin bleaching crisis in Nigeria, it is important to have a growing sector of educated therapists that will speak out against such a dangerous trend.
In addition, the population of unemployed youth is worrisome; and yet people are ready to travel abroad for beauty treatments as we don’t have professionals to administer in the sector yet.
If we can change the mindset of the population to see the beauty sector as a professional sector for educated people, who earn a good salary, then I have achieved my dream.
Is there anything further you’d like to add?
So far, my partners, educators, Sandy Fuhr (The franchisor of the Beauty Therapy Institute) and Dermalogica South Africa have been an amazing source of resource and support. I remember that in our first year, we had only three students who believed in us enough to pay for courses.
It was quite difficult but the Network and support kept us going. We now have many enthusiastic learners and the Beauty Therapy Institute franchise has grown to 12 BTI Training Providers around Africa, and still growing! We are so happy to be helping therapists gain a proper education in the sector.
With the beauty industry growing at a rapid rate in Nigeria and Africa, We wish BTI Lagos every success. We are proud to be part of closing the skills gap around the world. We look forward to seeing their students achieving iTEC qualifications in the near future.