5 Lessons from Tania Omotayo on Embracing Your Identity and Following Your Dreams

Tania Omotayo with Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao

Tania Omotayo joins the Third Culture Africans podcast as an inspiring guest who has accomplished so much by the age of 31. With successes as an author, advertising executive, PR entrepreneur, and now a star of the Real Housewives of Lagos, Tania has a unique story to tell about identity, culture, and achieving your dreams.

In the early years, Tania grew up navigating three different cultures. With an Austrian father and Yoruba mother, she split her childhood between Nigeria, England, and the United States. Being mixed race led to bullying in her German primary school for not having the right snacks, school supplies, and not fitting the mold. It also led to an identity crisis going back and forth between Nigeria and England, with struggles to feel accepted on either side.

When Tania returned to Nigeria after university, she noticed a gap in the fashion retail landscape and scarce options for the style-conscious woman. This sparked the launch of her hugely successful fashion brand, Ziva. However, it was not all glamorous behind the scenes. At first, Tania did everything herself without staff – designing, production, order processing and even using her car trunk for storage and deliveries! A chance meeting with a fellow fashion entrepreneur led her to suppliers so she could grow Ziva into the beloved brand it is today.

As Tania became a mother, she was inspired to have important conversations about identity with her daughter early on. Facing racism and colorism directed at her little girl made her realize she needed a tool to nurture her self-worth. This led Tania to author two children’s books under the series “Tania’s Culture Day.” These books explore themes of diversity, self-love and embracing your unique cultural blend. 

When Tania got an invitation to join the cast of hit reality TV show Real Housewives of Lagos, she saw it as an opportunity but also had some reservations. As a longtime superfan of the franchise, the excitement was tempered by worries of potential public backlash that comes with fame. However, staying true to her bold spirit, Tania took the challenge head-on as a way to promote her brands and spark important discussions on a global platform. She shares valuable lessons on leveraging fame while staying grounded in your truth.

Tania Omotayo’s journey shows that no matter your background, persevering through adversity and following your inner voice can lead to amazing outcomes. What stories of identity struggles or overcoming doubts can you relate to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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