If only people can realize and accept that they cannot please everyone, life could get so much easier and the stress they go through to impress people who don’t care will be reduced to the barest. The best person you can learn this from is someone who is in the business of satisfying people’s delicate taste- a Vitner!
Her name is Tamunodiepiriye Salome but for the purpose of this chat, we’ll use the shortened version- Piriye. Keep scrolling to see her responses to IBIENE’s questions on her philosophy of life, what it takes for her to run a wine business, how she connects to her roots and still able to live her best life!
IBIENE: What is your perception of life?
PIRIYE: The truth is that my perception of life changes with time. As I write this, I think life or the living of life could mean different things to different people, so don’t bother yourself with someone else’s life or their perception of life; focus instead on your own. You must make the most out of every situation and always remember that the only person you have control over is yourself. You must be circumspect and open-minded, open to new experiences, learning, loving, forgiving, accepting, growing and evolving.
Every day will come with its own trials and successes, but there is a chance to do better with every new day, to approach problems differently, and definitely to add more triumphs to the list of successes! I think of life as an ongoing process where we are all striving to fulfil our potential consciously and subconsciously, so we might have the same experiences repeatedly until the lesson is understood. My life is what I make of it.
IBIENE: If you would write a letter to your younger self, what would be in it?
PIRIYE: I think the fears, excitements and seemingly right and wrong decisions I have made in the past are part and parcel of what has moulded me into the person I am today, so I won’t give away too many secrets about the future to my younger self. More recently, I find that I am learning and truly understanding the value of knowing who you are. To young Piriye, I would write, “stay inquisitive, and reflective, but take it a step further and understand the meaning behind feeling positive about one situation or feeling doubtful about another. This is how you will come to terms with what your values are, what needs your time, dedication and effort; and what needs to be let go of.”
Knowing this earlier would have given me courage in my conviction in many circumstances, but I recognize that it is never too late to learn about yourself. Young Piriye should also remember that everything will be ok and she should learn to let go and let God.
IBIENE: Having been back and running Vino, tell us about your thoughts on the wine business.
PIRIYE: In many ways, running a wine business is all about a constant attempt to satisfy peoples tastes but also accepting that you cannot please everyone. I say experiencing wine, from tasting to purchasing, to enjoying the product, is very subjective. At Vino Imperium, we shift our focus to introducing people to something new and different. Vino has opened my eyes to the opportunities in the wine business, especially in the Nigerian market. One thing that concerns me is that very few people demand more; whether it be better quality wines, better customer service, or even a better shopping experience, the list of demands should go on and on.
We are accustomed to taking what we see as it is, but this does us a disservice because demand should bring about supply. When most of your clients or customers appeal for better customer service, you should have no other option as a service provider but to listen and improve. For many reasons, the benchmark seems to have been set low in this Country, but Vino is here to work hard in a bid to raise this standard. With all the opportunities and potential of the Nigerian market, the people deserve better, and we must not wait for them to ask this of us; we should give them what they deserve. It is not an easy feat, but it is what drives us at Vino.
Certain constraints brought on by the economy, for example, can limit the variety of products on offer in the industry, but at Vino, we do not see this as an excuse to offer subpar services. There is still more room for improvement, and the wine industry can offer more, and I believe this can be achieved with time.
IBIENE: In this day and age of a very busy work-life, what is the essence of family and why should family be taken seriously?
PIRIYE: Family is where you should go to refuel. These are the people that can lift you when you are feeling down, put a smile on your face, and make the smile on your face wider when you are already happy, and they are the people that keep you grounded and help you put life in perspective. I should also say that the term ‘Family’ does not only address biological relatives. I genuinely believe that even strangers can become family in a heartbeat. Typically, you have a shared experience with this person or group of people, and so you can allow yourself to feel vulnerable around family. You go to your family knowing that they are most likely to be understanding of you. These difficult times we have found ourselves in have been a big lesson to most of us on the importance of family. No matter the level of noise from the hustle and bustle, they are all we have left when everything is taken away.
IBIENE: Do you mind sharing your three parental tips with IBENE’s readers?
PIRIYE: I am yet to experience the joy of having children, so I’m afraid I don’t have much to share in terms of tips. However, one aspect of parenting that I am quick to notice and would like to one day live out, is the act of creating a space where your child can express themselves freely. A space for the child to be nurtured so that the essence, personality and light the child brings into the world is preserved and can grow. I don’t imagine that this is easy, but parents must try. While I’m at it, I also think, love your children, and let them know. As someone’s child myself, I see the power that knowing and being told you are loved holds. I believe children should be told often and should also be shown in every way they are loved. When I have children, I hope they never feel far from or doubt my love for them.
IBIENE: As a Nigerian, who has been raised fairly in the Diaspora, what is the importance of staying connected to your roots and how can one do that?
PIRIYE: Every time I go to Okrika, where I am from, I feel a deep sense of belonging. Learning about one’s history, for me, ignites a sense of appreciation. In most cases, history is laced with struggles, and you can’t look back and not acknowledge the strength and sacrifices made by those who came before us. In many ways, my existence is a result of their fights and triumphs. I hear stories of my grand, great-grand and great-great-grandfathers and mothers, and I am grateful. I am told about their fearlessness, mistakes, achievements, and I find myself standing on their legacies and allowing that to propel me forward. I come from a line of beautiful, strong, and intelligent women and just knowing this gives me the confidence to go out and live boldly.
To know your roots is a blessing, and staying connected should not be taken for granted. An easy way to stay connected is to ask questions, read, and keep an open mind. We might disagree with some culture trends and how things were done, but we must understand that actions and decisions were taken based on what was available and known at the time.
Do you have any comments or questions for Piriye? Do share in the comment section.