Opral Benson Beauty Institute Marks 30, Graduates 100 Entrepreneurs In 2014/15 Session

Opral Benson Beauty Institute Marks 30, Graduates 100 Entrepreneurs In 2014/15 Session
Patrick Aigbokhan
No fewer than 100 entrepreneurs were graduated on Friday by Nigeria’s foremost beauty training institute, Opral Benson Beauty Training Institute (OBBTI), even as the institute clocks 30 years in operation.
The graduates are products of the 2014/15 academic session of the institute’s beauty training in Beauty therapy; Cosmetology; Beauty and spa; Hair dressing and Beauty/spa therapy.
Speaking at the Students Graduation and Award Ceremony, which took place at the institute on Thurbun Avenue, Yaba, Lagos, Chief Dr. Opral Mason Benson, Founder, OBBTI, who described the occasion as an ever increasing joy, stated that she felt good and great about the event.
Dr. Benson expressed delight and appreciation to God that she has been able to carry on with the graduation as she has always done before.
She said, “This is our 30th year, and I thank God we have been able to execute it as we have planed. I am very happy for those who have graduated, as they are going to make contributions to their communities, friends and relatives and to Nigeria as a whole, and I will want to continue to do this to help individuals, especially young people.”
While giving her words of admonition to the graduated students, the OBBTI founder said, “What I will say to them is that they should try to be the best in whatsoever they do. Coming here to take a program is just the first step, and after that, they should be able to go out and prove that they have acquired this knowledge by making impact through the skills they have acquired.
“This initiative is all about empowering the young people, and empowerment of the young ones is very crucial in this part of the world.
“I have met quite a number of people within and outside Nigeria who are doing very well, who said they graduated from this school. And I am very happy about that.
We do hope to see more people come in next year.”
OBBTI building
In his remark, Pastor Kehinde Ogundimu, who is the institute’s Director of Administration, also stated that he felt very happy about the occasion, describing the 30th ceremony as the current best in the history of its kind.
Pastor Ogundimu noted that most of the institute’s graduating students are going into the labour market to automatically become employers of labour, because OBBTI has trained them on entrepreneurship.
“All our trained students, who have graduated from this institution, now, have the skills to employ labour. So, majority of them, even before their graduation, already started planning how to engage others and how to employ labour,” he said.
The Director of Education described OBBTI as the best so far of its kind in Nigeria and in Africa, adding that it is the best place to learn.
“We have among our students those who are lawyers, medical practitioners and other reputable professions, coming for this training because the world is working towards vocational training. And with this, the sky is the limit for anyone.
“We are planning to embark on a ‘train the trainers’ program. So, those who are willing to go into business are welcome here to have their trainings,” Ogundimu stated.
In the light of the occasion, all the graduating students expressed delight over the development as they celebrated their graduation ceremony in grand style.
They thanked the lecturers, administrators and founder of the institute for their painstaking effort at seeing them through the acquisition of knowledge that would earn them a living for the rest of their lives.
Also, some of the students who performed in excellence in the 2014/15 academic session were awarded mouth-watering gifts for a job ‘well done’.
Formally established in 1985, the Opral Benson Beauty Training Institute (OBBTI) is one of the most established hair and beauty institutions in Nigeria, with the infrastructure   of vocational school, specializing in theory and practical. 
OBBTI is one of the pioneers of hair and beauty culture in Lagos, Nigeria’s leading city and once the federal capitol.   
The institute currently occupies its own building on Thorburn Avenue, Yaba, where it trains students on three custom-built floors in techniques of hairdressing and hair care, as well as in beauty and body care and meticulous grooming.
The OBBTI proprietress is Chief (Mrs.) Opral Mason Benson, MON, a veteran in both the teaching and beauty business.  Starting up the Hair and Beauty Training School was a natural effect of Chief Opral Benson’s efforts, because she had already become a fashion and beauty icon in Nigeria.  
In 1973 Oba Adeyinka Oyekan of Lagos bestowed upon Dr. Opral the honorary chieftaincy title of ‘Yeye Oge’ of Lagos, or Mother of Fashion.
In a recent media interview report by The Post Online, the ‘Yeye Oge’ said, “When I left the University of Lagos, I wanted to do something good on my own, and so many young people were coming to me, because by that time, the Oba of Lagos had given me the title of “yeye oge of Lagos, which was conferred on me in 1973. And I thought of doing something to promote that tittle, so I opted to do something good to support the beauty industry.
And so, many young people were interested, so, I started the school.
And so far, the institute has done very well; we have turned out thousands of young people. Some of them are working for themselves, while some are working for other organizations, and the beauty industry has today grown and flourished. I am very glad I was able to contribute to that.”
Chief Dr. Opral Mason Benson is an academic administrator with a Masters Degree in Administration & Education from Pittsburg University in Pennsylvania, USA.
Among her numerous career profile, she served as an Assistant Registrar and later as Principal Registrar at the University of Lagos in charge of housing and Students affairs, for over 10 years.
She is currently the Honorary Consul to the Republic of Liberia.