He attended the University Staff School Benin and then moved on to the Federal Government College Ido-Ano, Ondo State. Mai Atafo holds a 2nd Class Upper degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension from Edo State University Ekpoma and then obtained a Post graduate degree in Information Systems and Technology, from City University London, England.
In 2002, Mai Atafo returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom and took up a job in the marketing department of British American Tobacco (BAT). In 2006, Mai left BAT to join the marketing team of Guinness Nigeria as Brand Manager. A position he held till his resignation from the company in 2010.
Before he left Guinness Nigeria, however, Mai started a bespoke clothing label; Mai Atafo Inspired, that gained media acclamation by a pioneering clientele of mostly celebrities like Omowunmi Akinnifesi, Banky W, IK Osakioduwa and a host of others.
Between 2007 and 2010 Mai Atafo established and ran his clothing line Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI) which he ran even as he worked full time. Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI) specialises in suits for men and glamorous red carpet dresses. According to nigerianfashionweek.com, Mai’s designs are versatile, timeless, notably classicist, but notwithstanding contemporary, clean-cut and urban.
In 2010 Mai Atafo Inspired Atelier was opened at Suite B2a Falomo Shopping Centre, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. In July 2011, Mai Atafo launched Weddings by MAI, the wedding line brand of Mai Atafo Inspired.
Currently, Mai sits as Creative Director of Mai Atafo Inspired. He also hasn’t dumped his marketing communications careers as he functions as Strategy Director for Firehouse Group, an Advertising Agency based in Nigeria, South Africa and London. He is also an Event Compere and currently, the Chairman of Future Awards Central working committee.
Atafo has been recognized around Africa for his contributions to fashion design and style as is seen by several awards to his name. Some of which include
• 2009 City People Fashion and Style, Hottest New Male Designer
• 2010 City People Fashion and Style, Special Recognition.
• 2010 Mode Men Fashion Designer of the Year
• 2010 Mode Men, Best Dressed Man of the Year
• 2010 FAB Magazine, Fashion Brand of the Year
• 2010 Covenant University “Redefining Fashion Contribution”
• 2011 Allure, Most Stylish Man of the Year
• 2011 Thisday Style, Best Dressed Man
• 2013 GLITZ, Designer of the year
As is evident, Mai Atafo is a man of many parts, and fashion is just one of them.
Photo Credit: www.konnectafrica.net