Flora Solomon Lange has an alluring beauty with a congenial nature. Through trained as a nurse she is also the brain behind thriving fashion house Folange Code and also has a beauty line. Lets hear more from this mother of one as to how she holds it all together!
Please tell us a bit about you and your growing up years
My name is Flora Solomon Lange , (Nee Flora Smith), born 26th January 1990, to a family of 6, 2 sisters and a brother , a mother and a father. I am from Anambra State, Dunukofia L.G.A. and I am an identical twin . I speak 3 languages fluently, Ibo, Hausa and English .I am Married to the love of my life and we are Blessed with an amazing daughter. I was born in the City of Jos Plateau State, where I had all my educational background. Primary, secondary and tertiary . I graduated as a registered Nurse in 2011 from the Jos University Teaching Hospital. After that I worked briefly with an NGO in Jos called Faith Alive Foundation where we cared for people living with HIV/AIDs , provided free medical care to them and offered expert prenatal care to ensure they pregnant mothers living with HIV/AIDs had children who were born HIV negative. The success rate for mums living for HIV/AIDS having HIV negative children was amazing.
In 2013 I moved from Jos to Abuja were I worked as a Resident Nurse at the Baze University Abuja. From there I moved to Gwagwalada in 2014 where I studied to be a Specialist in Critical Care Nursing at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada. While I studied I worked as a Resident Nurse in a Catholic Secondary School, (Christ the Kings College Gwagwalada) Just to see myself through school. I would always run the night shift, then go for lectures in the morning.
Growing up in Jos was fun because we had the best weather in the country, we had variety of foods and fruits like Strawberry , Apples and many others which only grew in Jos because of the amazing weather. The City was the envy of There were lots of White’s who lived there because of the tourist attractions, weather and highlands. It was a small city with lot’s of missionaries where everybody knew themselves and unity thrived, up until 2001 September when the first Religious Crisis broke out in the city, and till date the city hasn’t recovered from that disaster. Since then it has lost the Peace and tranquility it was known for.
You are an identical twin, you must have had a lot of fun growing up.
Yes growing up as a twin was fun , it was amazing knowing there is another human who looks exactly like you and sometimes thinks like you. Sometimes when I want to see the image of myself I just look at her. As children we enjoyed playing lots of pranks on people and we are so identical that we can use same passport and the difference wont be spotted. Its however interesting to remember that growing up we were not best of friends. I am sure that anyone seeing how close we both are now would find it difficult to believe. It was so bad that envy , jealousy and competition thrived amongst us and we always wanted to outshine each other to win the affection of our parents and it led to a lot of disagreements amongst us. However, as we grew up we outgrew that , became more mature and now we are inseparable. Infact we are best of friends and we always work together as that is where our individual strength lies.
You are a fashion designer, tell us about your fashion label and what made you a registered nurse turn to fashion..
My brand name is FOLANGECODE, We run a fashion Label, A Makeup outfit, and Skincare Consultancy. We produce organic Skincare products that are 100% safe for the skin.
Why fashion? Well growing up I had always wanted to be a fashion designer or a bill board model but my dad kept on ringing it into our ears, that he would not support any non- professional career , because of job and all that. This made me nurse my fashion industry ambitions. One day I sat with him and asked him what exactly he meant by a professional career his eyes immediately lighted up as he started mentioning…” MEDCINE , NURSING , LAW, AND ACCOUNTANCY” and that was it. Since neither fashion and design nor modelling was on his list of professional careers and I wasn’t ready to sponsor myself in school just yet, I had to pick a course from his list of Professional careers. Few years down the line I am happy I studied Nursing , as it earned me a lot of respect and I practiced nursing passionately. I have fulfillment when I walk into a store and someone walks up to me and introduces themselves as an old patient but despite this fulfilment there was still this inner craving and undying passion for fashion and design.
So fast forward to when I got married in 2015, I shared my childhood dreams with my husband and he said he had been waiting for me to mention it as he had noticed my passion for fashion and promised his full support to enable me pursue my dreams. So when my daughter was 4 months old I enrolled in Style Temple Academy Abuja for a diploma course in fashion design and Illustration in 2016. It was not easy as I had to take my daughter to class everyday but my husband was very supportive then and is still supportive till date as he is happy seeing me achieve my child hood dreams.
It’s great that your husband was so supportive how about the rest of your family especially your Dad who wanted you to study a “professional” course.
I have had great family support from my husband who is my number one fan and believes so much in me to my parents and siblings. Everyone has been very supportive. My twin Sister is a fashion designer as well and although we live in separate cities, we always find a way to share lots of mind blowing ideas.
Talking about your husband, as a gifted gospel singer he needs little or no introduction. How did you meet your husband Solomon Lange?
Hmm gifted is quite an understatement, I would say he is amazing and one of a kind. Our Love story is kind of long , but for the purpose of this interview I will try to summarize. We met on Facebook but of course before then I knew his music . I was at a worship Concert in Jos, where he was also invited to minister in 2012, it was my first time seeing him minister live, and his ministration that day was filled with so much anointing , lots of people around me were on the floor in tears. You could practically feel the move of the Holy spirit in the room that night and I was like “ what, who is this guy” , I was so blessed. Anyway, I got home that night and felt I should tell him how much of a blessing he was at the concert but since I had no way to reach him I went to Facebook and found his fan page where I dropped a message. I told him how much of a blessing he was that night . It was important for me to do that as sometimes ministers have no idea of the impact they create in people life’s as no one comes back to testify, but I was privileged to be under his ministration and I didn’t leave that venue the same way I came.
I didn’t get a reply to the message which didn’t really bother me as he had over 83,000 followers on his fan page. A year later I got a reply from Solomon Lange and you can imagine how surprised I was! it was totally unexpected. I could not believe it, I thought his account had been hacked or someone was impersonating him, he pleaded for my phone number and I refused, I told him he wasn’t really Solomon and I was not going to fall prey to scammers. He was patient and asked we just be friends on Facebook till am convinced he is for real.
After a long time of him trying to persuade me to give me his number I asked him to give me his and I would call whenever I made-up my mind, it took me about 6 months after he sent me his no to call as I was still a bit wary. We eventually set up a date a few months later and since I was still a bit sceptical I refused to meet him in a secluded place, so he choose one of his concerts as a good place to meet. He had a concert on the 26th of January 2014 which was also happened to be my birthday and asked if I would like to attend the concert at Sheraton Hotel Abuja. I replied in the affirmative as I felt it would be a perfect place to meet for the first time, so if he happens not to be who he says he is I could just get mixed up in the crowd and run away. That was really my intention but I got to the concert , had a good time of worship, and behold he looked out for me after the concert and walked up to me. It was really him, we got talking and the rest they say is history., today we are here as a couple.
Your marriage is an inter-tribal one… was there any family opposition?
My Husband is from the Southern Part of Kaduna State, and I am from Anambra State so at first when I told my mum about our relationship, she was not supportive at all . She asked why I want to go all the way to the north to get married, and whatever happened to all our Igbo men. I couldn’t even explain why to her and just told her he was a good man and she should just to wait till she meets him. They eventually met on the 22nd of December 2014 and they bonded like they had known themselves for a long while, they practically chatted non stop, and when he left my house, my mum said “ Nne this guy is a good man and a husband material, don’t worry I am with you on this I will talk to your dad, and I will handle any relative who tries to disrespect you both. Its your decision to make and not theirs” after hearing those words from her, I called him to tell him the good news, and the wedding plans started. In about 5 monthswe had done the engagement, traditional marriage and church wedding. He said he had been prepared all the while , just waiting for me to give my word and right now he is like the favourite son in my family.
Based on your experience what would you advice intending couples dealing with family opposition due to tribal difference or other issues?
My advice to people facing such issue is, if you are truly convinced he is who you want to spend the rest of your life with, and he has 90% of the qualities you want in your life partner,( as no body has it all) , then do not relent , do not give up, when it has to do with the decision of choosing your spouse , no one can choose your spouse for you, its 100% your decision to make. Parents can give their advice, guardians can point out some grey areas and all, but its left for you to tell yourself the truth. When they see how happy he or she makes you , and how much your life has been transformed for good just by your association with that person, if genuinely they have your interest at heart and are not bias they will give their consent eventually. Its not something that would happen in a day or two, it might take a while to get everyone to come on same page, so patience is also key .
Now your husband must have a lot of female fans, how do you cope?
Interesting question, of course most guys who are celebrities have 80% of their fan base as females. I however didn’t know the magnitude of what I was getting into before we got married. After we got married some ladies openly showed their disapproval of this Igbo chick that came and stole the heart of their big star. We could be somewhere and some ladies out of excitement and being star struck would request for a photo session with him and end up intentionally pushing me aside, but such things don’t bother me as I am a super confident woman . I always tell myself you can take all the pictures you want but I will take him home!
The amazing thing is how my husband handles this situations, he never hesitates to introduce me as his wife at every opportunity. It’s a husbands place to protect his wife both physically and emotionally, and my husband does that more than adequately. He never gives me any room to feel insecure.
How do you combine work and motherhood?
Motherhood has been one of the best experiences of my life, my daughter is 21 months old now and she is quite a handful as she is a very active and energetic child. She is at this stage when she wants to explore everything and loves her freedom. She loves to turn the house upside down, everything is just fun for her. I don’t have a child minder yet, because she is my first and I decided I want to be completely part of her life at this early stages of development and this can sometimes be demanding but its all part of being a mum and I find it interesting.
Being a mum , wife , and entrepreneur is not an easy task, I just multitask when I can and other times I allocate times to things I need to do. I don’t mix work with family time, when am at work I give it all my attention, and when am at home I give my family all my attention. Sometimes when I have to meet up with clients demands, I work into the night, when my babies (hubby and daughter) are asleep. This means having to loose my sleep often , as I am able to be more creative at night when the house is nice and quiet . Its been an interesting ride so far!
You are very pretty and have lovely skin, please share some beauty tips and tell us how you refresh.
I am quite active, I walk a lot and do some squats, it helps me stay in shape, those are the only forms of exercises I do. I also eat clean with a lot of vegetables and fruits, my carbsintake is occasional and quite low.
I also make sure I rest when I can, I love my sleep as it helps me rejuvenate and is always refreshing . For my skin I exfoliate my skin very often as it helps get rid of dead skin cells and gives room for a brighter skin. I also use a lot of home made natural beauty products on my skin, like the African black soap is my best any day any time. You can follow me on instagram @folarasolomonlange and @folangecode for our range of all natural beauty products. I also I avoid sun exposure when I can especially as I am not a fan of sunscreen. If I must be out in the sun I wear protective clothing. Lastly and most importantly I spend time with my family, we enjoy travelling as a form of leisure and do this quite often. Staying around my family and playing all day is all the refreshment I need!
Thanks a lot Flora it’s been great talking to you! Thanks for sharing and all the best.