Everyone simply calls him Taiwo Touch. He is the most sought-after Gele-tying specialist in Lagos right now. He is hot, so are his service, enjoying rising patronage... His creativity is second to none and he always adds a touch of class to his job. Working with the Queen of Nigeria Make-Up, BMPRO, has also boosted his brand. Taiwo Touch is the choice of the Vice President’s wife, Dolapo Osinbajo, Governors wives, Politicians and other rich celeb women. How did he learn the art of headgear styling (Gele)? How much does he charge per unit? What stands his brand out?
City People’s Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE had an exclusive interview with him when he came to Ife to tie Naija Billionaire, Sir Kesington Adebutu’s wife, Chief Mrs. Kofoworola’s Gele. He narrated his life experiment as a male Gele Stylist. Enjoy it.
Taiwo Touch has a very strong and popular brand, but you are so petite, do people ask you if you are the brain behind the brand?
Yes. A lot of people ask me if I am the Taiwo Touch and I always laugh, saying, yes I am. They always ask if I have a boss who is Taiwo Touch and if I’m just an apprehentice and I am like, No, I am Taiwo Touch. They are always like are you really Taiwo Touch?
How do you feel being a Male Gele Stylist?
I feel special. People always think we are different human beings. People think we are Gay or we act like women. Permit me to say it is beyond that. Men who play big in female-dominated businesses are also smart and decent human beings.
How did you learn Gele styling?
I learnt it from Tolu Adedaran fondly called “Oni Gele”. One. He is the CEO of Onigele. I was with him for a year.
How old is Taiwo Touch Brand?
Taiwo Touch as a brand is 2 years old and still counting.
What is your relationship with Mrs. Banke Meshinda-Lawal of BMPRO Make-Up?
I met Aunty Banke in the course of doing the job. I have always been a fan of her job. We met on the job and she surprised me by tagging Taiwo-Touch. I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting it. Aunty said “small but mighty”, which went viral and people wanted to see the small boy behind the brand and that was the breakthrough.
In 2 years, how many Gele styles have you done?
It’s uncountable. We have done a lot.
Where is the first biggest place you’ve gone to style Gele?
It was Aso-Rock. I went to style Gele for Osinbajo’s daughter on her wedding day.
Did you even think people could pay this much for Gele?
No, I never believed people can even pay that much for Gele when I started 2 years ago.
What was your parent’s reaction when you started?
My parents wanted me to work in an office, but I did not see myself doing that. I started first as a hair stylist and that was a big gift from God. I have also travel abroad on many occasions to tie Gele.
Can we go through your educational background?
I went to CMS Secondary School after which I went to Yaba Tech where I did Business Administration.
How many Geles do you style each weekend?
Well, I have done 4 brides in one Saturday and also tied the gele of some party guests.
How do we know this Gele style is from Taiwo Touch?
It is the touch of twist to the Gele. Taiwo Touch is about creativity. You must be creative as a Gele stylist.
Where do you see Taiwo Touch in the next few years?
I see myself having a fashion school where people can learn how to style Gele, make cloth, shoes and all.
How many Geles have you styled this year?
I have done over 1,000 heads this year.
You tied Gele for Hajia Bola Shagaya’s 60th birthday, how do you feel about this?
I felt humble to hold the head of this big celebrity. I am humbled and I say thank you to God and all my customers, I have done Gele for many Governors wives, Senator’s wive’s. I am so humbled. I feel special tying their Gele.
How do you rest?
I go for vacations because I can’t rest here. To crown it all, I enjoy what I am doing.
What is the highest you have received to tie Gele?
It is 500,000 thousand naira. It was a photoshoot Gele of a single head.