This growing Amazon is one who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to giving unflinching commitment to her passion. And same explains why she’s achieved so much and still has her head up towards conquering more grounds.
Dr. May Ikeora, who despite being the 1st Runner-up, Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (2013) has continued to invest in herself and impact the world.
She is the first Nigerian to win Miss West Africa which gave her the opportunity to tour all of West Africa on peace missions as a Goodwill Ambassador to ECOWAS during her reign.
Dr. May did not stop there, she also made education a priority and obtained a PhD in Law from the University of Hull and has added to the body of knowledge in her field of study.
Passionate about empowering women ‘Beyond the Beautiful Face’, she became the Executive Director of the Miss Nigeria Organisation.
In this interview with us, Dr. May tells us why she had to go and pursue a career in International Law, how it was like working with NGOs across Africa and Europe, how she empowers women, her stance on domestic violence, sexual molestation and of course about her skin care line, “L’Avyanna Skin Naturals” among others.
We present to you Dr. May uncensored. Story by Azuka Oguijuba
Obviously, as a skin care specialist you deal with different people every day. Share your experience dealing with difficult clients.
Clients have different skin care needs but it is often difficult to keep them patient and consistent with their treatment. I don’t consider them difficult because I understand skin care psychology. For this reason, I start to work with them first in helping them see their skin differently before administering treatment. The journey to a great skin cannot be accomplished in a day.
Why did you choose to handle only dark-skinned individuals instead of all skin types?
We deal with all skin types. People think we cater for only dark-skinned individuals because we tend to promote black beauty and advocate against bleaching. Our customers cut across all skin colours and all races. We have white customers and black customers who are light-skinned or dark-skinned.
What inspired that line of business (skincare)?
I have a passion for beauty and the need to address the gap in the market for women-of-colour to access quality skincare products at affordable prices. Also, I’m passionate about women’s right, so I thought of a way to combine both passions. L’Avyanna which means “the strong beautiful woman” is set against the backdrop of empowering women through beauty and promoting values that drives the ideology that women are enough in themselves and skin care should advance them…not change them.
Can you tell us the story behind the name L’avyanna?
The name L’Avyanna is a mix of French and Native America. Avyanna means strong beautiful woman or Amazon woman in Native-American Language. The french flare to the name makes it L’Avyanna “The Strong Beautiful Woman”. The name embodies our belief that women can be strong and beautiful.
Please take us down memory lane with insight about your educational background
The foundation of my education started in Nigeria before continuing in the United Kingdom. I studied Psychology for my first degree which I really enjoyed but my career went a different direction to become mostly law and international relations. I have an MA in conflict resolution and peace studies from the University of Bradford and a PhD in Law from the University of Hull.
There are a lot of skin care products out there, what gives L’avyanna an edge over them?
L’Avyanna is special because we carefully formulate our products with international standards, following good Manufacturing Practices. We use High potency/high performance natural and organic ingredients that are Paraben free. We produce preventative anti-ageing skin care dermatologically tested with visible results. L’Avyanna is a global competitive skincare brand.
What’s your take on the role of Oby Ezekwesili in “Bringing Back Our Girls” campaign as well as your general views on child abuse and domestic violence?
It is great to see what she is doing and her perseverance to keeping the fire burning. It is often difficult to stay the cause on such an important issue in a patriarchy society like ours. However, we need to go beyond Bring Back Our Girls to creating a society that is gender-sensitive and gender inclusive. I believe that we as a people need to change how we see women and young girls and empower females to see themselves in a positive light with the liberty to be who they want to be regardless of their sex.
Would you say women stand a chance of becoming Nigeria’s President in the nearest future?
Absolutely, I think women stand a chance of becoming Nigeria’s president when women begin to TRULY empower other women. When women empower women, they empower more than half the population of the country whose absolute vote makes presidents already. So if women decide that a woman should be a president, THEY WILL MAKE ONE.
Which woman would you call your beauty idol and why?
Joke Silva. She embodies a strong beautiful woman who continues to age with such amazing grace.
What’s your daily beautiful routine?
I wash my face morning and night or in-between if required. I exfoliate and deep cleanse with a scrub and mask. I moisturize my face and body. Most importantly, I protect my skin with a sun screen. A good facial treatment and body scrub once a month keep my skin looking supple.
When Dr. May isn’t working how does she relax?
I like to hang out with my friends… share a good whisky or a nice bottle of wine. However, I do enjoy my own company … that way, I am able to relax and catch up on other personal little joys.
Who are your favourite Nigerian music artistes at the moment?
TuFace Idibia and Tiwa Savage
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means looking good whilst being you and being comfortable.
In a few words, describe the beauty of a dark-skinned woman
A dark-skinned woman is beautiful and the symbol of our national greatness.
Check Pictures below: