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Hey Guys, we have a new guest, she’s a Henna Artist! Exciting right?

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Fatima Ummie Lawal was born on the 4th of June in Lagos State. She is a Kambari lady from Yauri in Kebbi State. She attended New Capital School, Stella Maris Primary School and Stella Maris Secondary School in Abuja where she held the position of a General Prefect. Ummie studied Computer Science at the American University of Nigeria, Adamawa State from 2009 to 2013 and mastered in Information System Management at the University of Salford, Manchester from 2015 to 2016 where she trained to be a Business Analyst and Developer.


At the end of the year 2014 as Ummie was preparing to go for her Masters program, she came across a beautiful picture of henna, the design was different and it was neat. She went through the person’s page, saw more designs and thought to herself ‘if this is possible I should find where to learn when I go to school’. So she met up with a Moroccan henna artist she found on Instagram in Manchester and had a class with her; then she kept practicing on her own to perfect the craft.


Ummie decided to turn her Henna to a brand in the last months of 2016 and she currently has a Natural Traditional Spa in Kado estate Abuja. Ummie has some standard designs she displays on her social media and in person to her customers to choose from but usually people come with pictures of what they like which she recreates with personal tweaks here and there.


Ummie’s customers are often Ladies between the ages of 19 and 35. She has had a few male customers who have requested for lines and tribal looking designs but she stopped receiving male customers after she got married.

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Not too long ago Ummie had a 9 to 5 job so she only opened her Henna spa on the weekends. However, using the internet as a working tool, Ummie now does her Business analysis and development on the go (online/part-time) leaving her with enough time to attend to her wonderful customers.


  1. Appreciation:

‘A lot of people don’t regard being a henna artist as a job so they don’t want to pay what you charge. Downgrading it constantly to isn’t it just henna. Some will say. Anh anh. This simple henna ya charging this? I think this is a general problem in Nigeria. We don’t appreciate people that do hand work. But, the Customer is always right remember? So, I usually smile, take a deep breath and reply with I understand you. Unfortunately, this is my price.

You can reach Ummie for her services or further inquiries on;

  • Instagram: @houseofhermanaabj
  • Twitter: @Ummie_L
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Hello Everyone, this time Lari’s CAFE will be profiling a Graphic Designer. The ultimate Nigerian creative; the one who every business turns to for branding. His name is *drum rolls* RUFAI KEYEDE!

What makes Rufai special? Well Rufai is not just a graphic designer, you could even call him a super hero because he also saves lives. Rufai Keyede is a graphic designer in the day and Doctor at night and Vice Versa. That’s cool yeah?

Rufai Keyede is a graphic designer born in Lagos in the late 1980’s. Rufai is from Ota Ogun state but lived all his life in Lagos. He schooled at Bright Day Nursery and Primary School, Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos. For secondary school he attended Oke-Afa Comprehensive College also in Lagos. After being in Lagos for so long, in 2005, Rufai left home to attend University of Ibadan to study Botany, but after a year, in 2006, he returned home and got admission at the University of Lagos to study Medicine. After graduating in 2015 Rufai says he enjoyed studying medicine but he also admitted it was tough in his final year. However, he had his internship in Katsina and his NYSC in Kano.


In Secondary school Rufai was the Senior Prefect (Head Boy); he also held other leadership positions in the University. He was the General Secretary of the Association of Medical Students University of Lagos (AMSUL), Creative Editor of Writers’ Club Medilag and General Secretary of MSSN Medilag.

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Graphic Designing

Rufai started graphic design in 2007/2008, in his second year in medical school. It started out as a hobby so he didn’t bother getting any formal training, but he did a lot of reading online. He didn’t do any art work in his childhood asides those done in school art classes but he always had a flair for art because he always hung out with his neighbors who were fine artists and sculptors.

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Rufai is a freelancer; he designs magazines, posters and general brand construction. Rufai hasn’t had the time to build a solid brand for himself because;

Medicine is a Jealous Lover’- Rufai Keyede.

Rufai gets his inspiration from ‘Everything’. He says;

‘The whole world is our stage and every experience is something to draw inspiration from.’

Working at Mad Comics

Rufai was brought into MAD comics by one of the founders, Hafeez, a colleague from Medical school. The idea of MAD comics is to create stories that are original, African and relatable to mature audiences using comics as the art form. He started working at MAD comics in 2017 where he is in charge of Quality Control. MAD comics has a universe of characters and Rufai keeps them true to form by researching on historical and cultural nuances. Rufai also does post production editing and critique, he occasionally designs posters, letters the comics and designs the site’s blogic section (Blog + Comic).


  • Time Management: Rufai is not willing to let go of Medicine or Graphic designing so he is a Doctor in the Day and Creative at Night depending on his call schedule. In dealing with managing his time he said;

I’ve learnt I’m no Superman… I’ve learnt to know how far I can push myself and the limits to which I can go before diminishing returns set in.

  • Infrequent Power Supply: As for bad power supply Rufai said;

I’ve learnt to prioritize the things that are most important and find work-life balance.


When asked, ‘If you could go back in time, what would you change?’ Rufai Keyede said;

You know the problem with time travel?… Either you are cursed to repeat the loop or you set off another cataclysmic series of event, so I guess I’m good.


To reach out to Rufai and check out his work you can visit;