In 2004 she came to Poland from Nigeria and dared to stay. Rebellious and with great dreams, Yimi Audu is a bit like today’s Wonder Woman. She found herself in our country and she is realizing her biggest dreams. It is very possible that she is now at a turning point in her life, as evidenced by numerous cooperation, including photographer, the author of the pictures for the interview, Robert Krawczyk or designer Michał Wojewodzic. Talking with such a positive person was a great experience for me.
You are a bit like Wonder Woman. Designing, sewing, acting, modeling, creating jewelry … How do you find time for everything?
Yimi Audu: Of course, I do not do all these things at once. However, modeling has always been intertwined with this. When I was studying architecture, I tried other things and acting was one of them. After the architecture phase, which is no longer a part of my life, an opportunity to act came my way. I appeared in one episode of “Na Dobre I na złe” and the producers decided to record three more episodes because they thought I was pretty good.
You are also a co-founder of the Kinda Soft Porn brand. It’s a controversial idea. What would you like to achieve with this brand?
YA: When Michał invited me to work on the brand, the immediate thought was title “Kinda Soft Porn”? No way!” The subject was not clear enough to tell everyone about it immediately. However, at that moment I felt that it was a good time for a change, to make a courageous decision and in the end, I liked the idea of the brand due to the controversy behind it. People should feel at ease with sexuality as it is. I would also like to show women that they can be lawyers, doctors or anyone else in the professional world, but at the same time they can be “kinda soft porn”.
You have recently added a funny post on Facebook with the inscription “People, I’m not doing porn!”. Aren’t you afraid of the negative reception related to the brand?
YA: I was afraid to enter it, so I understand that there will be good and bad opinions, it’s obvious. But I think people should get used to my face that stands behind the brand. Many people know me and they know very well that I do not do pornography. But I do not worry about it that much, I even think that the brand has great potential and I am ready to be part of it.
Do you like risk?
YA: I am beginning to understand that yes, I like the risk. It started with Kinda Soft Porn, it bombarded me from all sides. Then, I realized that the initial fear that was behind all this disappeared. I was expecting more criticism, but it’s really fine. First of all, this is a business, people have to understand it. This is not a market for everyone, but we hope to create it for everyone to feel comfortable.
What is your biggest disadvantage and advantage?
YA: My best side is that I like to support the people I work with and more. I feel motivated when I see people around me motivated. However, my shortcoming is too little self-confidence. People around me believe in me more than I do in myself sometimes, but on the other hand, there are days when My confidence is exaggerated and sometimes I struggle between being humble and too self-confident, so I count the ups and downs in this aspect. There are times when my self-confidence can break down the buildings, then I say “Okay, slow it down”. That’s why I try to keep the balance between not being scared and trying new things. And that’s why I like the idea of Kinda Soft Porn.
Who do you think is an artist in the 21st century?
YA: Artists of the 21st century are original. They are people who learn to create things in a different way. We build a system where everything is defined. A sort of template on what should be done and how. Like Steve Jobs and apple ideology, Artists are outsiders who once saw the same things as others, but at one point they became curious about the aspect that “did not fit the picture”. More and more people are looking for a different identity, and real artists are those who have small brands and fill the niche in the market. The world would die without artists, each of them should be treated with honor.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in your life?
YA: You ask about the moments when I was drinking or I was sober? Seriously, I think the craziest thing I ever did was the decision to stay in Poland. In 2004, I moved here with my family and I did not have an influence on the decision to come here. At first, I did not like it, but later I decided to stay here. Most of my family and friends thought this to be crazy and they were right because it was a crazy decision to want to follow my dreams. I believe that if I succeed in Poland, I can succeed everywhere. You can say that I grew up here. My life as an adult I mean. Before coming to Poland, I did not know anything about life, I was a naive teenager. I am now very sentimental about Poland because I learned everything here. About life, my ambitions, the things I want to do, the people I have met. It wasn’t an easy process. As I mentioned, if I achieve success here, I hope to be the queen when I move to New York!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
YA: : I will probably be a businesswoman in the fashion world, where I hope to be a creative director. However, I have many ambitions and I also want to do things that will help my country. I would like to connect these two worlds: Poland and Nigeria. Of course, I like it here, but nevertheless, I miss my home, family, culture… In these ten years, I want to continue my business and I would like to find a link that will connect these two countries. I know that there are many Polish businessmen today who are trying to break into the African market and I want to find a way to do it. I would also like to be part of a happy family, for sure. After all, I’m not so young anymore!
What is the most difficult word for you in Polish?
YA: Now I’m thinking over a list of a thousand such words. There is one Polish name that I can never remember. In general, the Polish language is really difficult and a great challenge for me. But my most difficult word? Nah … I do not have it yet. But Polish language breaks are just hardcore!
Author: Karolina Kamińska
Photo: Robert Krawczyk