StacyOmoYoruba Talks Overcoming Homelessness & Walking in Her Purpose
We had the pleasure of speaking with Ruth, or Staceyomoyoruba as others call her. She boldly made herself transparent as she shared her truths in hopes to inspire readers. She shared her stories of hard times and lets us in on how difficult it was growing up poor in Nigeria and how moving to America significantly impacted her in life. She has also expressed how the passing of her father naturally pushed her into a darker space; ultimately leading her to the light of Christ.
Her story will certainly touch and inspire you.
Tell me what it was like growing up in a Nigerian household? What influences (negative and positive) shaped the person you are today? What shaped your passion for Christ?
When I was younger, I remember everything clearly. You know how most times, thinking back, your memory is greyed? Well, mine isn’t. I remember we were homeless for a certain period of time. We went to our family and no one helped us, but God made it happen. The next thing you know we were able to go to America, and able to start over from literally nothing. There was a church that helped us to find an apartment, clothes to wear and everything. I just remember everything my parents went through, especially the struggle. I remember my mom, my little brother, and I walking down the street (while my dad was in America), just trying to make ends meet. Before we became homeless, we lived in a house. Actually it was a room (a very small room). There was a twin size bed. That is where my mom and dad slept. My brother and I slept on the ground. There was no closet, no bathroom, and we had to use the restroom outside no matter how late. I remember being scared you know…it was literally a room made of concrete. I think that made me. That pushed me to be who I am now. Always working hard for everything that I have. Working hard for my future. It was shaped the way I want my kids to be, always working hard and not having to go through what I went through. So that they will never be in that space…it wasn’t a good past, but I definitely do appreciate going through what I went through. If I could redo my life story, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So what was it like adjusting to America? Do you think coming to America was a positive thing?
It was hard to adjust, but coming to America was similar to the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” You come from literally nothing. Then you come to America and you get to eat McDonalds! We ate poor people food. We ate yams with palm oil. People in Nigeria who eat well, eat their yams with stew. We didn’t have enough money to afford stew. So when we came here, we all gained so much weight because we just discovered McDonalds and Pizza! We knew we could eat a lot for a really low price. However, it was hard to adjust because of school. I had an accent and I didn’t speak English well. I didn’t speak English period, so I was placed in ESL, English is Second Language. I had to step out of class every once in a while because of it. I was made fun of because of my accent, I didn’t have any friends. I mean a had a few friends, but you know.
So when did you know you had a passion for hair and makeup?
I was in Nigeria. My mom did hair and that’s how she made things work. She cooked too, but hair was her main thing. I would help her with her clients. So when I came to America I used to get in trouble all the time, referrals and everything, for simply braiding other people’s hair in class. The kids didn’t want me to braid their hair. They already didn’t like me, because of my accent, but I was addicted to hair. I was willing to get in trouble for braiding hair without their permission. From then on, I’ve been doing hair professionally since middle school. The makeup started in high school, with eye liner. By my senior year, I saw what you could do with eyebrows, and I was amazed. I wanted to learn more by watching YouTube videos. It was something I wanted to do for myself. Next thing you know, I’m taking classes, learning from other makeup artists and everyone was liking my makeup! As I’m doing hair, people started asking for my service. So, people pushed me to start doing it for them, I never planned on doing make up for others.
When did your walk with Christ start?
I’ve loved Christ since I was a child, even in Nigeria. My mom and dad’s spirituality influenced me a lot. Growing up, of course I was sinning. I was still in the world. I loved Christ because my family loved Christ. It was a family tradition. You don’t really appreciate it until you’re on your own and you realize how much this tradition means to you. Now, my spirituality is not a tradition, it’s a relationship. I gave my life to Christ about three to four years ago after my dad passed. His passing made me realize a lot of things. So I guess that’s the answer. My dad’s passing drew me closer to Christ. It made me realize all the things he was doing here on earth for God. It made me realize I wasn’t doing enough. God showed me all the things he has done for me, even while I was in the world. I could talk about this all day. There are many reasons why I gave my life to Christ but I would say that’s the most significant. That was the turning point.
You seem really optimistic, have you always had a positive outlook on things?
I wouldn’t sit and act like I’m perfect. One thing I can say and I want people to know is that I am not perfect. After my dad passed I went through the seven stages of grief. I was really mad at God. I had my own apartment so I found myself drinking wine all the time. I couldn’t sleep, so I found my comfort in red wine. The excessive drinking continued until I found a church one day, Ground Zero Ministry, and God spoke to me. He told me “I know what you’re doing, you don’t have to do that, I am your father, I am father to the fatherless. I am here.” That was the last time I touched alcohol. I made a vow that I would never drink again until he says its time. I am not perfect, I make mistakes. I do stupid things too.
You own your own hair salon, when did you know you wanted to make beauty your career/your calling?
I knew it was my calling when God forced me to stop denying it. I kept trying to walk away from the hair and makeup life. I kept comparing myself to other people. Many of my friends are in medical school, well educated, very smart, and I kept telling myself that’s what I am supposed to be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I am still in school (business marketing), but I compared myself to everyone around me. God had to tell me, you’re not them, the path I have for you is different. Even though you are surrounded by amazing people, you are amazing in different ways. That’s when I finally realized, this is who I am. This is what I am great at. And this is what God has given me. so I’m going to make the best out of it. This is my gift; I don’t want to lose it because I won’t enjoy being behind a desk.
What are your future goals in life?
I will be a successful, God fearing, business woman. I don’t want to be too rich, because I don’t want to be cocky. I want to be able to say I’ve own franchises that I’ve owned more than ten businesses. Different types. I want to be there for my kids, instead of working so hard, which means, I have to work hard now to be able to reach to that point.
How does your relationship with your significant other encourage the woman you hope to be? What advice do you have for women who want to have a healthy relationship?
Well, I’ll say this, just let that person push you to be the best you can be. The same way Lawrence, my boyfriend, pushes me to be the best I can be. I used to say yes to everything. He has taught me to not always say yes. He basically pushes me to not be a push over. He pushes me towards Christ as well. If you’re looking for advice, I would say someone who will lead you closer to Christ, not the world. That’s the best thing you could ever have.
Do you think you’re in a good place in life?
I appreciate the place I am in life. I could be in a better place, because I’m not comfortable yet. However, I’m thankful for where I am. I’m not where I used to be even yesterday. God is always elevating me someway somehow.
What advice can you give to our readers who have been through similar situations/insecurities?
Pray. Find your confidence in Christ. Social media has a view of what’s successful, what’s beautiful, what’s right, but it’s all wrong. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. On social media, it may seem like I wear makeup often, I do not. I have gone weeks and even months without make up. The reason I do that is so people can get used to Ruth. And every once in a while they’ll meet Stacy, my alter ego. So love yourself. Regardless of what people say, you are beautiful. People called me ugly most of my life and throughout school. “The African girl” I am still that same person! I can just do a little bit more make up. Now those same people call me beautiful with or without make up. It doesn’t matter what people say. You’re the same person.
Check out Ruth’s work on Instagram @STACYOMOYORUBA.