‘I don’t do my nails because of my cleaning job’
‘Even if your husband is a billionaire, you still need a job’
Julie Pinnick has the kind of elegant beauty that needs no make up. In fact she doesn’t often wear make-up, except, perhaps, when she has to attend certain social events. Looking very well put-together in blue shorts and a cute T-shirt, she welcomed this reporter with a warm smile to her Ikoyi home. Unassuming and down to earth, the wife of the boss of Nigeria Football Federation is an interviewer’s delight. In this interview, she went down memory lane about her life, her cleaning job business, her style, her husband and lots more.
You have four children and you still look so pretty, what is the secret?
I exercise a lot. I do exercise everyday. I watch what I eat. I’m a little bit vain, so maybe that’s why. I like looking good in clothes, I don’t like seeing contours on my body when I’m dressed up. I like perfection. I just like to be the best version of myself physically and inside as well.
Do you go to gym?
I have the gym in my home. I have a well- equipped gym and I also have workout app on my Ipad. I signed up on some You tube channel. They send me videos on workout. I just do one hour in the gym. When I’m busy, I try to wake up early and try to get to the gym and at times I do it in my room, if I can’t dress up and come out. I just put in something and sweat every single day. It makes me start up my day right. I’m not sluggish, I’m active because of the kind of work that I do. I have to be active. If I have time I can do 2-3 hours in the gym. My friends call me gym captain.
Do your friends come to use your gym too?
Yes, they do. We motivate each other to work out and look good.
Any special food for looking this trendy?
No special food. I love food. I love native soup. I love to cook. From Oha to Ofe Olugbu, to Amala and Ewedu, Banga and Owoh soup. I love food ,once it tastes good. That’s why I have to work out, because I eat. I don’t like eating rice because it gives me issues in my stomach. I may not have patience to chew the rice completely, but anything to do with swallowing, Semo, Eba, Amala are my favorites. As far as the soup tastes good, I will go for it. But in parties I eat rice. In my comfort zone, I prefer ‘swallow’.
Growing up, did you act as a beauty queen in school and how popular were you among your peers?
Not at all. People tell my mum that I’m beautiful, but I’m not that kind of person that looks in the mirror and says I’m fine. I see myself as being too hairy. I had too much hairs on my face, I always put myself down, I was so skinny. I don’t even put powder on my face and my friends tell me that my face is too oily, because our pomade in the house was Vaseline. One day, I was strolling with my friends and this certain lady ran towards me and said, “Do you want to be a model? Come to my office.” And I went. They took me to the studio and I did photo shoot. The picture got me my first job which was LG Electronics. It was a billboard advert, and they paid me nicely. I now went to buy powder (then it was called Pancake) I bought lip gloss, I bought nice creams. With the money I got from the job I bought things to make me look good when I go for further audition. I was one of the faces of Vmobile, I did UBA, Maltina and then I got married and that ends it.
Any regret being married to your husband, looking from the point of view of his frequent travels?
Why should I have regret? I’m very lucky to have my husband. I can’t ask for anything better. I believe that together we’ll go from grace to grace. Yes, we have grown, financially, physically and we are getting better. I’m just happy, because everything is just nice and beautiful. I’m lucky, to have married him. He’s taking good care of me and my children. He’s a good father, wonderful husband. I can’t ask for more. We communicate a lot, we talk everyday. We do skype, we do all the video calls and all that. He’s far away and he’s still very close. We see each other everyday, even if not physically, but thank God for technology.
Did you see it coming that your husband would be NFF president someday?
I’m not God, I don’t envisage he’ll be NFF president and I’m sure he didn’t see it coming as well. It happened, and I’m sure it happened for a reason, and I give God the praise, I’m happy for him. I may not know anything about football administration, but I just give him the support because he’s always out on travels all the time.Whenever his career takes him to I’ll support him 100 per cent. Whatever he does, he does with a lot of passion and I know he loves football. Even though he can’t play (she laughs) he loves the game, and he’s very passionate about his job. He puts his passion, energy, time in everything that he does. When he sets out to do something he does it very well. I just give him my support.
What’s style for you?
I love fitted clothes. I love jeans. I wear basically everything. I won’t say I’m a sucker for clothes. Being fashionable is looking good in everything that you wear. It’s not the clothes looking good on you. That’s why I feel everybody should work on their body. Once you have a good skin, you put makeup and it’s nice and beautiful, but if you don’t have a good skin you rely on the make up to look good. A lot of people rely on these fashionable clothes, designers to make them feel confident. I could even wear a cloth of “N2, 000”, and you‘ll think it’s N500,000, because of the way I wear it and the way I carry myself. I don’t splurge a lot on clothes. I love to look good. I take two, three hours to dress up. I want my make up right, I want to look good. when I’m going out with my husband for 6.pm, he would tell me the event is 1pm. I have to look good. Overall, it’s your confidence that matters. Fashion is being confident. It’s not the clothes, it’s not the shoes, fashion for me is being confident in your own body. That’s one of the things that attracted my husband to me. My confidence. I have been like that since I was a little girl. I don’t talk much, a lot of people think I’m a snub, but I’m not. I don’t talk because I don’t want to be misunderstood.
What do you do now?
I re-launch my cleaning company in Lagos. I wanted to be active. It’s a professional cleaning company- state- of- the- art machinery. I might sweep my room more than five times a day. We do post construction cleaning, we do janitor as well, offices, buildings, we also do one off cleaning, (domestic cleaning) we do fumigation as well. Any type of cleaning, as long as I would smile to the bank. We do on referral, someone has told you that she’s very efficient, very professional and very good don’t call me because I’m Mrs. Pinnick, I clean a small place because it’s my job. I clean a shop, a house, a big mansion,even gutter I will clean it. I don’t place myself up there. My cleaning job is based on referrals and that’s how I want to build my clientele. Customer’s satisfaction is more important for me. I don’t leave the job for people to do. At times, I even take the brush and the mop and I clean myself just to encourage my staff. Yesterday I was scrubbing the floor with my staffs.
What has life taught you?
Hmmm, at this my small age what would life have taught me? I’m still learning life (she smiles) Pride goes before a fall. In everything that we do humility is key. Even the bible says it. Be humble, help as much as you can. Touch lives of people, because you never know what will happen tomorrow. Invest in yourself. You might have a wealthy husband but every wise woman should invest in themselves, in their children. I still go to the market, I go to Balogun market and I still go to designers shop. I’m a blend of everything. My husband knows that. I have learnt that prayers work, God answers prayers. For me and my children, we pray every single day. My son cannot go to bed without praying.
With your husband position, one would expect that you sit at home , relax and enjoy life, but you still do cleaning business. Why?
I’m young, I’m strong and healthy. I think it’s the time for me to do the most that I can do. I relax sometimes, but now that I’m young , I want to make an impact. I don’t advise any woman to sit in the house, even if your husband is a billionaire. I believe every man should allow their partner be the best that they can be. Marriage is not slavery it’s not prison. Hilary Clinton contested for the president of America . That tells you as a woman that you can do it. I tell my husband that if I have N20 billion today, that he is going to have N200 billion because you will continue to take care of me and buy me all the nice things that I want. You will continue to take care of me and my children. I will never take the position of a man in my home. Its not my calling. That’s my prayer for him. In other words, I’m praying that he continues to be successful. The bible says that a man that cannot take care of his home is worse than an infidel. Sometimes women can make a man go crazy, not giving the man the atmosphere to thrive and be successful. I think it’s wrong. Encourage one another , be the best you can be. A woman should work. The job I have now is not 9-5. Sometimes I might have to go out early and come back late to meet up targets for clients, but I have my own time. Just get busy it helps the mind and the children see you in a different way, you are setting good examples for them. Even if you are selling from the house, no matter how small as long as its bringing in something for you, it’s ok. Don’t just sit down and say my husband has money, I want to sleep and wake up and eat.