Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

I learnt to find happiness in myself -Zizi Cardow, fashion icon

Ngozi Cardow, popularly known in the fashion world as Zizi Cardow is an icon in the Nigerian fashion scene. She was the golden gal of fashion in the 90s and early 2000s. She was and is still a delight.
The Creative Director of ZC is a lady of many caps. Apart from being the CEO of her fashion line, she is also a traditional titled woman. She is the High Chief (Ada eji eje mba of Isikwuato) in Abia State, the Chief Obiala ugo of Umuobiala. Zizi is also a Peace Ambassador and has a doctorate degree. She is fondly referred to as Dr. Zizi.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you have been?
If I wasn’t a designer I probably would have been a forensic detective because I love to know how things happen and why they happen. Maybe that’s one thing with introverts. Though a lot of people might not believe that I am an introvert. As an introvert, I question a lot of things. I don’t take everything verbatim. I try to reason and come up with a logical explanation. I want to know what is going on in the mind of a serial killer, or the mind of some twisted human being. Like you see a dead body on the street, I want to know what happened, how it got there. I just want to know stuff, especially to do with the human mind, why we do the things we do. Why we behave the way we behave.
As a successful designer, what is your advice to upcoming ladies who want to be in your profession?
The only advice I have for anyone who wants to do anything not only fashion is just being dedicated and focused. You must be hardworking. This is me at work. I am 54 and I’m still working. I work long hours a day. It is not a case of you having a rich husband or boyfriend who is funding the bill and therefore you can just sit down and relax. You have to work. You have to understand what you are doing. Be very aware of your surroundings, your clients, and what exactly you are aiming at; be very conscious of that and work towards it. It’s all about perseverance. Most importantly, the grace of God, allowing God to be the one to direct you, to rule you. You know sometimes we get into a vocation because everybody else is doing the same and it’s not destined for you. If you are not working in grace or in the line of what you want, you will just be there wasting time.
In the course of fame, do you still mingle with your old friends?
I have my people that I still move with. You don’t see me in celebrity things like Zizi Cardow is with this person. I know a little of people in that circle but my core friends are still those same people that I grew up with, that I knew 30 years ago, 40, 20, years ago. Those are still my core friends. Funny enough, I don’t have many friends, so it’s very easy to maintain that close circle. My very good friend is not here. He is a guy, and he lives in London. My other very good friend who is like a sister is in Ghana, and my other close friend that’s like my brother is the one sitting here (pointed to him). I have very limited friends. Thank God for technology. You could just pick up a phone and have a long chat but I think most importantly, not having many friends keeps you away from trouble. When you have too many people around you, unnecessarily, problems arise, and you start having too many tongues and tribes in your head.
As a celebrity, do you still live a normal regular life?
I still do my usual things. That’s the whole joy of living. I don’t want to exist, I want to live. I don’t want to be confined to the illusions of grandeur that people impose on themselves in the name of being a celebrity, I don’t go here, and I don’t do that. I enjoy walking with my knickers down the road to buy oranges, groundnuts, etc.  It’s fun. It doesn’t take away anything. The whole of my street knows me. I feel comfortable when I’m coming in. It’s like the whole street are my security guards. Even if my security guard walks away I don’t care because all the other house guards are there for me. That’s the joy of living. When you put all those constraints upon yourself you now find yourself under peer pressure. You want to do what others are doing. If you don’t live your life, it’s not just fun.
What lessons have you learnt about life?
To allow yourself to love and most importantly to forgive yourself because sometimes maybe we hold on to stuff that happened and you are thinking maybe if I had done this differently this wouldn’t have happened. My life wouldn’t have been this way. Learn to forgive yourself. We make mistakes, and yes, we move on. You hold on to that past, it won’t allow you to move forward. I have learnt to forgive myself. I have learnt to forgive others. Most importantly, I have learn to find happiness within myself. I have learnt that the minute you entrust your happiness to other people’s hands or circumstances then you are giving away your freedom. My happiness is in myself. I have learnt to make myself happy. I don’t need a man, woman, or material thing to be happy. I just learnt to find happiness within myself and the love of God.