CNN International: Nigeria's school of self-belief: Makeup is the key to confidence at House of Tara

CNN African Voices

Posted on 27 January, 2015

By Matthew Ponsford and Marc Hoeferlin, for CNN

(CNN) Class is in session at schools across Nigeria, where students are learning to shape eyebrows, smooth foundation, apply eye-shadow, and -- perhaps -- defy economic gloom to grasp a glamorous future.

Informed by the remarkable rise of their own "head teacher" to the summit of Nigeria's cosmetics industry, the students -- for the most part young women in their 20s and 30s -- are being taught that makeup artistry can be their passport to self-confidence, independence, and a business of their own.

Making a difference to young lives is all part of the mission for 37-year-old cosmetics queen Tara Fela-Durotoye.

"There are certain things telling you that you cannot make it; that you will not make it; that Nigeria is not a place where people make it," says Fela-Durotoye. "I beg to differ."

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