Now in its 5th consecutive year, Leading Ladies Africa, in conjunction with YNaija, presents its #100Women list—chronicling 100 of the most inspiring, influential, powerful and innovative women in Nigeria.
“We’re thrilled to be able to show the world the diversity and multifacetedness of what it truly means to be a Nigerian woman,” says Francesca Uriri, Founder, Leading Ladies Africa. “Nigerian women all over the world—in politics, business, social enterprise, public policy, the corporate space and the creative sector—are present and redefining what leadership and excellence mean. This list reflects that diversity and acts as a catalyst to motivate a new generation of female changemakers, innovators and disruptors.”
“This year at Leading Ladies Africa, we are asking—how do we actively challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, and celebrate and recognize the contributions and impact of Nigerian women? What do we need to do to help create and maintain a gender-equal world? These and many more are what we hope to highlight with #LLA100Women.”
Amanda Obidike – Amanda Obidike is a Certified professional in STEM by the Open University, United Kingdom
and Executive Director of The Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Innovation Makers of Africa (STEMi Makers Africa) where she created sustainable and implementable projects in underserved communities across 17 Sub-Saharan countries by preparing the next generation of Africans with STEM emerging opportunities to become experienced for Africa’s workforce by 2030.
She serves as a Mentor in Cherie Blair Foundation, the 1million Women in Tech Community, Global thinkers for Women where she lends her voice, knowledge, and serves as a role model for girls in West Africa. Recently, she was given the Global humanitarian act for Gender Inclusion and Social protection award for successfully championing diversity for the girl child and emerged finalist for Positive Impact of Athena40: The World Most Innovative Women, 2020. She is currently writing a research publication on “Leaving No One Behind: A Central Focus on STEM Education, Innovation and Talent Development, a Research presented to Africans in STEM Community, Cambridge, England.
Abimbola Bamigboye – Abimbola is the Founder & Managing Partner at AUDEO – a firm that focuses on providing SMEs across Africa with bookkeeping and accounting services, as well as leveraging the accounting information obtained to proffer initiatives to improve efficiency, reduce costs and wastages, create capabilities and optimize capacity. As a social change activist, Abimbola is committed to finding and implementing solutions to some of the most intricate problems that affect youths and their society.
Abimbola is also the founder of The Healthy Salad Company – a wholesome healthy meal company based in Lagos and reputed for its exquisite salads and unique combinations. Thanks to new flavour combinations and its sumptuous healthy meals, HSC has changed the narrative that healthy food is boring.
Abisola Akintunde – Abisola is a beauty professional and a graduate of English Language from the University of Ilorin. In 2012, she landed a job as a Make-up Artist with Africa Magic, the Continent’s largest movie network.
At Africa Magic, where she worked between 2012 and 2015, she played make-up artist on set to a host of Africa’s top celebrities. During her time at Africa Magic, she worked with numerous celebrities.
In 2015, not only did Abisola open her flagship studio on Toyin Street in Ikeja, she took a bold step, extending her professional portfolio to include the title of make-up product manufacturer with the launch of Beelashes, her very own eyelash brand.
Adekemi Adeniyan – Dr Adekemi Adeniyan is a mobile dentist working in rural communities. She is the Founder and the Executive Director of Dentalcare Foundation formerly known as Dentoville Foundation. Dentalcare Foundation is an organization that provides free oral health education and treatments to orphans, children and adults in rural areas to foster health equity in underserved communities. She is also the co-founder of Komplete Woman, an organization that mentors young women to discover their purpose early and empowers teenage mothers who live in the slum.
She previously worked as an assistant country director for Health Equity International, Nigeria. She is a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative RLC, West Africa, an associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, UK, a 2019 Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity at George Washington University, a 2019 Alumni of the African Changemakers Fellowship, and a 2019 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholar at Lancaster University, UK. She is the 2019 winner of the Nigerian Her Network Woman Of The Year Award in Healthcare.
She is passionate about optimizing, improving and developing the oral healthcare system and exploring the issues of community and culture as it relates to oral health. Her vision is to ensure that everyone in Nigeria has equal access to oral healthcare irrespective of their age, status or gender. Dr Adekemi also has a strong passion for mentoring the younger generation which she does by enrolling young women in schools under the Kompletegirls Mentoring Club to be paired with reliable mentors. Dr Adekemi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry from i.Ya Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University, Ukraine and undergoing an MSc in Medical Leadership at Lancaster University
Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes – Founder/Managing Partner, Aruwa Capital Management (A principal investment company that provides growth capital to the untapped SME sector in Nigeria and across West Africa). Aruwa Capital Management is one of the few women-led and owned investment firms in Sub Saharan Africa and is committed to advancing women’s economic empowerment throughout all of its investments through its gender lens investing approach.
Amara Kanu Nwankwo – Amara Kanu Nwankwo – is perhaps famous for her football celebrity husband but over the years, Amara has proven that there is more to her than being a celebrity’s wife. She is a fitness and wellness coach as well as an author.
Amara has a degree in Architecture & Entrepreneurial Management and has spent the past few years coaching women around the globe on achieving healthier lifestyles through exercise, nutrition and lifestyle choices. Recently, she launched her gym and sportswear brand for women “AKhealthy” and it definitely is making waves!
Amba Eyang-Ajakaiye – Amba is an international development consultant with over 7 years of experience applying mobile and digital strategies for improved businesses in local communities and the development of the private sector in Nigeria. She is also the founder of iDare.NotDread Nigeria, a social engineering platform promoting innovation, creativity, and enterprise through storytelling and value sharing. She is also the Team Lead of the Build My Business initiative born out of iDareNotDread’s enterprise – centred on building skills and capacities for young people in the business. Amba has gone from transforming ordinary people who would have never thought of writing their own books, to making them, authors. Presently, over 250 women have become authors ever since she launched her ebook Program last year.
She has also organised free digital marketing skills training for over 4000 people, many of whom are women. She has also supported over 1000 small businesses to achieve scalability and growth especially, by helping them identify and understand the importance of “target markets” and “market validation.”
Apaokagi Adedoyin Maryam aka Taaooma – Taaooma whose real name is Apaokagi Adedoyin Maryam is a popular Nigerian online comedian, content creator and cinematographer from Kwara State.
Taaooma is known for her comedy style of making jest of typical Nigerian mothers. She emphasizes on the unique manner African mothers respond to the actions of their children.
Arit Okpo – Arit Okpo is a Nigerian journalist and television host. Okpo is the host CNN International’s African Voices Changemakers and former presenter/producer at EbonyLife TV.
She is the current voice of CNN’s African Voices and is the host for web talk show Untold Facts, produced by The Initiative for Equal Rights. Arit worked with the CNN team on Richard Quest’s visit to Nigeria for Quest Business Traveller. She has hosted corporate events within and outside Nigeria and is an experienced panel moderator.
Ayodeji Osowobi – Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is passionate about teaching men to respect women’s rights. As the Executive Director of Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER), she is responsible for conducting advocacy and project implementation and ensuring survivors of gender-based violence receive medical, legal, and psycho-social services.
Through her work, she is proud to have been selected as one of 200 Obama Young Leaders: Africa. As an advocate, she is proud to have broken the culture of silence on rape in Nigeria and establishing an NGO to provide support to victims. In 2019, she was one of 53 women on a list of 100 names Time has dubbed “the world’s most ascendant leaders” who are “rising stars in their fields”. In March, she won the title of Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 after helping thousands of sexual and domestic abuse victims in Nigeria.
Barbara Okereke – Barbara Okereke is the Cake Designer, Founder and Managing Director of Oven Secret Limited. A graduate of Electrical Electronics Engineering with an MBA in Oil and Gas Management, Barbara never imagined herself in this field. After years of searching for a job, and finding none, she learnt a skill and started baking cakes. This became her profession and career.
In 2015, she registered for cake-baking and decorating training at Fair Cake, a premier cake school in London. By September that year, she returned to Nigeria and her business officially kicked off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Her business, Oven Secret, grew by 91% in revenue from 2016 to 2018. Barbara was on the 2019 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list.
Beverly Naya – Beverly Naya is a Nigerian actress. She won Most Promising Talent at the 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards. She also won the award for Fast Rising Actress at the 2011 City People Entertainment Awards. In 2019, she shot a documentary called “Skin” that featured several victims and highlighted the issues related to loving one’s skin.
Speaking on colourism, Beverly says, “Colourism affects both women and men in African countries, but it has negatively influenced the beauty standards associated with a woman’s ability to find success. The goal of the documentary was not just for people to watch it and think it’s an anti-bleaching documentary, it was also to teach people about self-confidence, self-love and self-appreciation.
Blessing Okorududu – Blessing is a Nigerian freestyle wrestler. She competed in the freestyle 63 kg event at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was eliminated in the 1/8 finals by Monika Michalik. She won the bronze medal in the women’s middleweight at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Busola Dakolo – Nigerian banker-turned photographer, Busola is the Founder of Integrated Services Ltd, The Skills Kitchen and Me Too Movement Advocate.
In 2019, Busola became a strong advocate for the “Me Too” movement when she bared a no hold back interview on overcoming “rape” this led to several movements on and offline. Busola is a brave survivor whose speaking out, has helped women speak out against the patriarchal traditions continuing to stigmatise rape survivors in West Africa/Africa.
Carolyn Seaman – As a Girl-child expert, Carolyn is passionate about empowering adolescent girls and women to access basic rights education and build requisite skills to enable them champion advocacy for their rights exploring innovative approaches to promote gender equality. She founded Girls Voices Initiative and inspires girls and women to use technology and digital media to amplify their voices on critical social issues affecting them.
As a tech evangelist with an equal fascination for digital media, Carolyn is the founder of Girls Voice Initiative and heads the work at the Initiative- whose focus is to build a Girls’ Rights Movement and empower adolescent girls and young women to explore technology and digital media to champion advocacy for girls’ rights and innovative solutions to critical social issues affecting girls and women.
Cassandra Akinde – Cassandra is currently the Team Lead for The Nigerian Child Initiative, a non-profit which promotes child health awareness and sustainable education to empower them with healthy choices. Her work centres on helping these children understand that sound education and good health are vital determinants in ensuring their success as future leaders. In her years of working with The Nigerian Child Initiative, she and her team have reached out to over three thousand children in schools on SDG education by organising inter-school essay competitions, workshops, research masterclasses, seminars and capacity building programmes.
Chiamaka Ndukwu Theresa – Chiamaka co-founded Agrohive to boost rural smallholder farmers’ productivity by giving them access to advanced Agricultural Extension services, access to improved farm inputs, and agricultural technologies.
AgroHive has created more manpower in rural agriculture through organizing and assisting over 1,800 underserved youths and women in rural communities to participate actively by establishing 123 community demonstration farms and also training rural farmers, women, youths, and children in communities across Ekiti, Abeokuta, Lagos and Oyo state, with sustainable, innovative and climate-smart agricultural practises as a means to reduce rural poverty through increased household income and help to achieve national food security. This initiative has helped 2,300 households to combat hunger, created over 300 employment opportunities and ensured improved livelihoods of 300 people.
Chinenye Ogwumike – Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike is a Nigerian-American professional basketball player for The Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association. She is 6 ft 3 in and plays power forward. She played in three Final Fours with Stanford University.
In February 2020, Chiney via her Ogwumike Sisters Foundation organized a sports development and mentoring programme for female basketball players from secondary schools to a professional level. She holds the record for most rebounds in the history of Stanford Women’s Basketball and the Pac-12 Conference, as of January 3, 2014. In 2014, Chinenye signed an endorsement deal with Nike soon after being drafted first overall in the WNBA. As of 2016, Chinenye was elected Vice-President of the WNBA Players Association and signed an endorsement deal with Adidas.
Chinny Ononuju-McErnest – Chinny Ononuju-McErnest is the Founder of The Women International (TWI), a Self-Improvement and Personal Development platform for women dedicated to helping women from all walks of life build a better future for themselves, their families and businesses by equipping them with the tools and resources to realise their full potential.
Her passion for women empowerment began in the US where she studied public policy and philosophy and took courses in women studies and political science. She is highly experienced in non-profit management and research analysis focused on women affairs, policies and social development.
She has worked in Nigeria and in the US, including the Centre for Women in Politics and Public Policy, Boston Massachusetts, The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights in Boston and The Health Care Federation of Nigeria (HFN).
Chinwe Esimai – Chinwe oversees Citi’s Global Anti-Bribery & Corruption (AB&C) Program and is responsible for global AB&C governance, policy maintenance and communication, risk assessment, advisory-related activities, training, and due diligence on third parties.
She was previously VP & Anti-Bribery Compliance Officer at Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GSCO), and also VP in the Reg Audits & Inquiries Group at GSCO. Prior to her return to GSCO, Chinwe served as Assistant Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN, where she taught Law & Finance in Emerging Markets, Securities Regulation, and Business Associations.
Chioma Ifeanyi-Eze – Founder, Accounting Hub NG – Nigeria’s No. 1 small business accountant who launched in 2015 to offer online and retail shops selling professional accounting services.
With Accounting Hub, Chioma brings together a collection of brilliant accountants and consultants offering quality accounting services to Nigerian SMEs. Born out of the need to grow healthier Nigerian businesses, it offers extremely new, affordable, fast and easy access to accounting and business financial consulting tasks, therefore, effecting positive change in the Nigerian Financial economy.
Clare Omatseye – Clare is the Founder and Managing Director of JNC International, a 12-year old Turnkey Medical Equipment Solutions company, which presently has 16 exclusive Distributorship agreements with major Global Medical Equipment Manufacturers. These include Toshiba Medical -Japan, Olympus- Japan, Elekta-Sweden, Medtronic –USA and the Getinge Group-Sweden to name a few.
In the span of her 27-year career, Clare has developed the required capabilities to effectively monitor and oversee installations/turnkey projects from the budding phase through execution to commissioning and post-commissioning.
Damilola Olokesusi – Damilola is the co-founder and CEO of Shuttlers Logistics Company, a Lagos-based startup that uses web and mobile app tech to enable users to book trips along fixed routes at 60-80 percent less than ride-hailing services. Damilola and her co-founder used their savings to start the company after her sister was robbed on her way to work by armed men disguised as public bus drivers.
Dimma Umeh – Vlogger and Beauty Influencer, popularly tagged as the “Beauty game Changer” has been blogging and sharing beauty tips since 2011. She published her first YouTube makeup tutorial in 2012 and currently has over 323,000 subscribers.
A regular feature on most Nigerian blogs, Dimma’s YouTube makeup tutorials have garnered over 12 million views. She is well known for supporting both Nigerian and international brands. Dimma has been featured in big publications such as Essence magazine. Her blog Dimmaumeh.com won ‘Best Beauty Blog’ by popular votes and Judge’s choice in the 2013 Nigerian Blog Awards.
Dr Amy Jadesimi- Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), a privately owned logistics and engineering facility, and a $500 million Industrial Free Zone in Lagos. A commissioner for business and sustainable development commission, she has an MBA from Stanford University, an MA (OXON) and BMBCh from Oxford University. She was voted the Young CEO of the Year in 2018 by the African Leadership Forum, an Archbishop Tutu Fellow working to reduce maternal mortality.
She is also a Young Global Leader (WEF), Rising Talent (Women’s Forum for Economy and Society), 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa (Forbes), a Top 25 Africans to Watch (Financial Times) and was named as one of 2018’s Most Influential People of African Descent (Under 40) Worldwide, in support of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (UN IDPAD). She is also a member, Advisory Board of Prince’s Trust International and contributor to Forbes.
Dr Anino Emuwa – Dr Anino is the founder and managing director of Avandis Consulting in France which has a subsidiary in Nigeria.
Her firm provides strategy and financial advisory services with expertise in SME finance. A former banker with Citibank, she is an experienced non-executive director and most recently she was a member of the board of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company PLC where she chaired the Audit Committee and was appointed board strategy lead.
Dr Anino is an advocate for women business leadership and her article on women entrepreneurs is published in Forbes and Entrepreneur. As an AACSB certified business school instructor, she runs programmes for women leading businesses and convenes the women CEOs and the women business owners’ networks in Nigeria.
Dr Irene Olumese – Irene Olumese trained as a Nutrition Scientist with a Doctoral degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She worked as a Nutrition Specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for 15 years in three countries.
For twenty years, she lived with chronic respiratory disease (Bronchiectasis) and debilitating neuromuscular disease (Myasthenia Gravis), which resulted in bilateral lung transplantation in April 2013. Following a complication of the surgery, she had bilateral mid-leg amputation in May 2013. She established the Feet of Grace Foundation, a charity organization that raises funds, to provide prosthetic limbs for amputees in poor communities. She manages her bead jewellery-making business, Hands of Grace Creations, which supports the fund-raising efforts of the Foundation.
Dr Nneka Abulokwe (OBE) – Nneka Abulokwe, OBE is a British Nigerian tech and digital governance entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of MicroMax Consulting, and one of the first Afro-Caribbean professionals in the UK to sit on the board of a top European digital transformation organisation.
Abulokwe is one of the first black female professionals to sit on the board of a multinational tech company in the UK. She has received many distinguished awards. Highly regarded in the field of tech enablement and governance, she was recently ranked number 4 of the Financial Times Top 100 Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) Tech Leaders for 2018. She was named as a finalist for the Governance Professional of the Year 2018 Award by the Governance Institute. She was also named in the 2019 Powerlist 100 most influential black business leaders.
Nneka was awarded Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services to Business.
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu – Dr Shola is a New York Attorney and Solicitor of England & Wales with broad expertise in the financial services industry, an author, public speaker and political commentator featured in mainstream and online media.
A political & women’s rights activist, she also teaches intersectional feminism to female refugees and asylum seekers; scrutinizes government policies from a gender and diversity inclusion perspective; and co-organises women’s marches and social campaigns.
Dr Wendy Okolo– Wendy A. Okolo is an aerospace research engineer in the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. She is the first Black woman to obtain a PhD degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and was a winner of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards. She is also the Special Emphasis Programs Manager for Women at Ames.
Dr Yolanda George- David – Yolanda is a Neurosurgeon with her primary residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is also a Clinical & Relational Psychologist with a concentration in child development. She is an Academic, a multiple award-winning International Public Speaker and Radio Show Host.
She is also a Human Rights Activist and humanitarian. Dr Yolanda began her charitable work aged 16 and has since been very passionate about getting people off the streets. Driven by her passion to change the world, one person, at a time, she founded Aunt Landa’s Bethel Foundation where over 25,000 sexually abused teenagers have been counselled and empowered with key vocational and life skills.
She picks up prostitutes in dangerous areas for rehabilitation, rescues sexually abused girls and boys, fights for the oppressed, gives shelter to the abandoned, feeds thousands and covers educational and surgical Fees amongst other life-changing initiatives. Aunt Landa works with a team of passionate volunteers and together they have helped redefine and add purpose to over 1 million registered and non-registered members with different needs in the Foundation’s over 200 centres.
Emem Nwogwugwu – Emem is a project manager & certified coach with expertise in Life Coaching and NLP. She has helped families restructure their lives & homes through personal & business projects as they deploy a work-life integration plan & structure at homes & in their businesses.
Among her remarkable career achievements is her creation of a solution for busy professionals & entrepreneurs to manage & integrate their work-life & business. Using insights from her book “PARENT ORGANIZER”, several people have been able to set goals, deal with emotional issues & live their lives in more organized ways whether as parents, professionals & business owners.
Etimbuk Imuk – 23-year old Etimbuk was nominated for over 6 awards last year and won three for her contribution to agriculture among which are ELOY Foundation Award for Enterprise and SME100 Nigeria (Agriculture Category). She also provides training to people (most of who are women) on how to set up their agricultural businesses.
Within the two years of operation, Agroinnovation Business Hub has trained more than 5000 people directly and indirectly on sustainable farming techniques in snail, vegetables, plantain, and mushroom production among which are members of Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME), Agrobiz without Borders, Oron Women Association, Lagos Branch, churches and other Associations.
Quarterly training is done with at least 20 trainees in attendance, while facilitation on online groups of 800 people is held from time to time, including invitations from Association meetings, churches, etc.
Fabia Ogunmekan – Fabia is a Lawyer and Corporate Executive with 19 years’ experience working in the fields of law and development across Corporate Organizations and Nonprofits in the healthcare, gender and entrepreneurship sectors.
After working as an independent consultant, she joined WISCAR in March 2018 as Executive Secretary. In her role at WISCAR, she is responsible for strategy execution, programme development and oversight, brokering partnerships, fundraising and stakeholder management.
Farida Yahya – Author, SDGs Advocate, Women Empowerment Advocate, Founder (Lumo Naturals) and Founder, Jamuje NG, an NGO empowering women in the Northern part of Nigeria. Founder, Lumo Naturals and The Start-Up Show.
In 2015, Farida was selected as one of 10 youth leaders to meet the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon to discuss development, climate change and the role of the youth in promoting the sustainable development goals and increasing momentum and ownership in Nigeria, produce and communicate key messages to influence national political actions towards the implementation of the SDGs, and increase the knowledge of young people in Nigeria and across Africa on the new development agenda, especially on its opportunity for dealing with youth development issues.
She is a mentor for the SOS (Skills Outside School) foundation, and “I am Nigeria” Initiative; she mentors over 200 young girls on career choices, skills acquisition, and political inclusion using creative writing, workshops, and peer education.
Folake Kuye Huntoon – Folake Kuye Huntoon is a fashion blogger and fashion designer who owns the brand Style Pantry and one of the most famous fashion bloggers of our time. (Chictopia Influential Blogger of the Year 2011).
Folake who runs a website called Style Pantry carries on with a refined feminine look, coupled with class and finesse, that makes her stand out. Whether on her Instagram feed with over 600k following or on the red carpet, her fashion style is elegant, classy and colourful. As the founder of popular fashion blog, Style Pantry, Folake is your fashion and lifestyle plug!
Style Pantry is a network that features interviews on industry folks, street style, lookbooks, campaigns and haute finds. In addition, as an Editor and Owner, Folake Kuye Huntoon regularly updates her daily looks (as a working mother of 3), sharing tips and secrets on where/how to shop for bargains and find vintage treasures.
Funke Adeoye – Funke Adeoye is a Nigerian lawyer, social justice advocate, and international development enthusiast. She founded Hope Behind Bars Africa in 2018 to increase access to justice for indigent inmates across Nigerian prison facilities as well as help correctional facilities in Nigeria to achieve inmate rehabilitation and reintegration.
As a lawyer with over 6 years of experience, she has personally handled over 20 pro bono cases from the lowest courts up to Court of Appeal, most of which she secured an acquittal for inmates who had been wrongly accused. Funke is passionate about volunteering and involving people to be part of the change they seek to see. She believes no box nor boundaries are required for thinking.
Grace Ihejiamazu – Founder of iKapture Networks, a skill acquisition training organization. Grace is the founder of ikpature Network, an after school program that educates, engages and equips students and out-of-school youths in Nigeria with skills to become leaders and entrepreneurs.
ikapture has reached over 3000 young people since inception. One of the services offered by ikpature is the YLEAD, a six-weeks intensive program, aimed at equipping young people in their transitional years with the necessary leadership, personal development and entrepreneurial skills.
She is also the founder of Opportunity Desk, a platform designed for women entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs – providing mentorship, training and a network of information on relevant learning and growth opportunities for youths around the world. Since its inception in 2012, Opportunity Desk has reached several thousands of youths from over 200 countries across the world.
Hajia Lami Tumaka – Former Director of Special Duties NIMASA (awardee of most outstanding public relations practitioners in Africa). Before her retirement, Hajia Lami worked with NIMASA for 22 years. She joined the services of the then National Maritime Authority (NMA) as Chief Research Officer and saw her rise to the rank of Director has been characterised by several awards and accolades from within and without especially in the field of Public Relations which has defined most of her stay in the Agency.
During her leadership, she remedied crises that threatened to erode the confidence of stakeholders in NIMASA, the apex maritime regulatory Agency in the country. Her human-faced Public Relations practice even earned her international recognition when she won an award as one of the most outstanding Public Relations Practitioners in Africa.
Ifeyinwa Ighodalo – Ifeyinwa Ighodalo holds a B.Sc. in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. But, upon realizing her passion for interiors, in 1987, she established Design Options Ltd., a prestigious interior decorating and furniture manufacturing outfit.
Since inception, Design Options has grown to become and is now widely recognized as one of Nigeria’s very best in its area of expertise, in recognition of which it was honoured with the 2004 St. Moritz Style Award for Interior Design. She is a volunteer mentor for the mentorship programme of Fate Foundation.
Ijeoma Igbaji – Ijeoma Igbaji is the Founder and CEO of dynamic gifts and surprises company, White Rabbit Favours, which creates and delivers unique gift packages and beautiful surprises for any celebration to wow the celebrant, make their day extra special and give them unforgettable memories.
White Rabbit Favours was launched in 2013, the company has served over a thousand clients. The company packages and delivers cakes, fresh flowers, balloons, chocolates, jewellery, wine, champagne, cars, Spa vouchers, shopping vouchers, gift certificates etc for every occasion and celebration. WR Saxophone or violin serenade for classic birthday surprises is also included.
Intisar Bashir Kufir – Founder, Ifrique Collections and Designs Ltd. Intisar Bashir Kurfi works to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 which is providing clean water & sanitation and this gave birth to a company, Sustainovation Solutions. The company now produces interlocking tiles and eco-friendly toilets using wastes from pep bottles and used sachet water plastics.
Irene Ochem – Irene is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), a non-profit and pan-African women empowerment organization that works to promote and support women enterprise and innovation in Africa.
She is also the Founder and Managing Director of ICO Conferences & Events, an international conference production and event management company based in South Africa and Nigeria. Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Irene worked for more than 20 years with international organisations in Europe and Africa and gained wide experience in management and international development.
Jade Rawa – Jade is the founder and creative director of the ready- to- wear Afrocentric fashion brand, Melia by Jade. Melia By Jade is a clothing brand that uses Adire, Tie & Dye and Kampala, Batik to design contemporary outfits such as shorts, jackets, playsuits, etc for the modern-day woman.
In a short period of time, Jade has been able to not only carve a niche for herself but also become a household name. Jade has successfully made fashion that cut across all social status and also gives a percentage of her sales to organisations that look after women with breast cancer.
Jadesola also has vast experience in media, television production and public relations spanning almost a decade across different organisations in Nigeria. She started out as the Media Officer at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and currently works as a Policy & Partnership Associate at All On – a Lagos-based impact Investment firm.
Jemima Osunde – Jemima Osunde is a Nigerian actress, model and presenter. She came into limelight after playing Leila in the television series Shuga. Jemima Osunde- is a Nigerian Actress, Model, Presenter and physiotherapist who came into limelight after playing Leila in the Television series “Shuga”.
Additionally, Jemima holds a degree from the University of Lagos in Physiotherapy, which she practices in addition to her career as an actress. Jemima has managed to combine both worlds and in the past year featured in some internationally recognised/grossing movies such as “Lions Heart”, New Money etc
Joana Nnazua Kolo – Humanitarian, an advocate of good governance and youngest serving commissioner in Kwara State, Joana Kolo is a 2018 graduate of Library Science from Kwara State University, and is believed to be the youngest commissioner in the history of Nigeria. A grassroots mobiliser and an ardent advocate of community development, Joana was nominated for appointment two weeks before the end of completing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
As Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development in Nigeria, she was responsible for hosting the 7th Kwara State Sports Festival that was held earlier in the year.
Karo Omu – Karo is the 27-year-old founder of the non-profit organization, Sanitary Aid Initiative – a humanitarian and advocacy body that has aimed to promote sanitary health of the girl-child across Nigeria.
The organisation aims to provide free sanitary pads and other sanitary products including soaps, wipes, toilet bags, disinfectant, clean underwear etc. to girls from low-income families across public schools in Nigeria and girls in Internally Displaced Persons Camps across the country. The Sanitary Aid Initiative has given out nearly 11,000 pads to girls and women across 9 Nigerian states – all in under 24 months.
Kehinde Smith – Kehinde is that melanin go-getter that gets you on your toes! After graduating from Northern Illinois University in 2012 with her degree in International Business, Kehinde went on to run her own My Extensionz natural extensions beauty company as CEO since 2012 in the United States and recently, in Nigeria.
She further expanded My Extensionz Nigeria into a full-blown hair & nail salon as well as laser teeth whitening centre. Under her leadership, My Extensionz has proven to be one of the top-ranking salon & hair shops in Nigeria. Her page has in a short time received recognition & endorsements from international brands such as Revolve, Oh Polly, Simmi and many others. She intends to use her role as a brand ambassador of Revolve Clothing to advocate for more diversity & inclusivity in any way possible by working with both local and international brands.
Kiki Mordi – Kiki Mordi is a Nigerian journalist, media personality, filmmaker and writer. In 2016, she won the award of Outstanding Radio Program Presenter at the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards.
In October 2019, Mordi and her team at the BBC Africa Eye released a 13-minute documentary exposing sexual harassment of students by lecturers in University of Lagos and University of Ghana. Dr Boniface Igbeneghu of University of Lagos, Dr Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor of the University of Ghana were the lecturers in a viral video that came with the exposé. A “Cold Room” caught in the video where lecturers sexually harass students was shut down by the University of Lagos. Her sex for grades documentary led to the proposal of a senate bill against sexual harassment in universities.
As a filmmaker and producer, she produced a documentary film “Life at the Bay” in Lagos, Nigeria in 2019. The film tells the story of the inhabitants of Tarkwa Bay and the survival and struggles of their women.
Laurie Idahosa – Laurie is a pastor, motivational speaker, author, co-founder, “Big Ben Children’s Hospital and a mentor. She also trained as a missionary, an Emergency Medical Technician, First Aid and CPR instructor and a Disaster Relief Responder. She is a gifted Event Manager, Real Estate Investor and has owned several successful businesses. Most recently, she has spearheaded the campaign to raise relief materials and funds for the support of Internally Displaced Children. She also works with other organizations to bring relief to other refugee camps throughout the country.
Lilian O. Ajayi – Lilian O. Ajayi is a Senior Marketing Executive with over 13 years of experience with Digital Marketing, Consumer Insights and Web Analytics. She has developed the Digital Marketing Strategy and Web Analytics Architecture for several Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies including Saks Fifth Ave, Comcast NBC Universal, Panasonic, IBM Smarter Planet, The Home Depot, ASME, Children’s Place, Macy’s and CitiCards.
Lilian is the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W), a not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City. She is a Harvard Graduate and also a Global Contributor at The Huffington Post and Diplomatic Courier.
Linda Nnodiogu – Linda is anti-rape and sexual abuse advocate and author. To further portray her stance about these issues, Linda is a successful author who has published books (fiction) revolving around rape and child abuse, esp. for children. Many children and parents after reading Linda’s books, on rape and sex education have called to talk about molestation or thanked her for opening their eyes to understanding more about the topics.
She is also a speaker and her books are approved by Abia and Enugu States Ministry of Education for primary and secondary schools. She is also the Co-founder of Great Minds Literary Competition which collaborates with ministries of education in various states to help promote the reading culture amongst school children. Linda also organizes interactive sessions with children to educate them on child sexual abuse.
Lolo Cynthia Ihesie – Lolo is a socio-behavioural communication specialist; gender, sexual and reproductive health advocate; UNHCR Media Influencer and the founder of the social enterprise – LoloTalks. Lolo works on social issues bordering on social inequality, quality education, quality healthcare and social mobilisation, including child and youth care while tutoring upwards of 3000 teenagers in secondary schools, local communities and correctional centres on the sensitive issue of sexuality.
As an educationist, she created a comprehensive sexuality education toolkit – My Body Is Mine – a human right based and gender-focused approach to sexuality education. Under this initiative, Lolo partnered with the Ondo State Government and its First Lady to train 250 teenage school girls on how to make their own reusable sanitary pads.
Mercy Chinwo – Mercy is a singer, songwriter and actress. She started her musical career by lending her vocals to musical projects by gospel music artists. Mercy Chinwo rose to fame after emerging winner of the Nigeria Idol season 2 in 2012.
In 2015, Mercy Chinwo released her first “Testimony”, followed by “Igwe” a year later. In 2018, Mercy Chinwo was awarded the Best Gospel Artiste at the CLIMAX Awards 2018. In 2019, at the maiden edition of the Africa Gospel Awards Festival (AGAFEST 2019), Mercy was named the winner in three categories namely; Africa Gospel New Artiste of the Year, Africa Gospel Female Artiste of the Year and Africa Gospel Song of the Year.
Michelle Bello – Michelle is an entrepreneur and award-winning filmmaker. In 2007, Michelle produced and directed her first feature film Small Boy set in Lagos Nigeria. The film became an instant success in the US as out of 400 films, it was nominated for two awards at the American Black Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2008 for the Heineken Red Star Award for Innovation in Film and the Target Filmmaker Award for Most Inspirational Film.
Small Boy went on to win two African Movie Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Young Child Actor in April 2009. She later earned a Masters Degree in Communications specialising in Film Directing at Regent University, USA. After her graduation in December 2011, she moved back to Nigeria to once again be part of the thriving industry known as Nollywood. Her knowledge combined with her experiences in the industry both locally and internationally, she produced and directed her second feature film Flower Girl in September 2012, which became Nigeria’s hit romantic comedy in February 2013.
Modupe Adefeso-Olateju – Mo is an education policy expert with several years of research experience spanning academic and private-sector research. She has led workstreams on a range of education sector support initiatives funded or assisted by international donors and funding agencies such as the UK Department for International Development (DfID), World Bank, Open Society Institute (OSI) and MacArthur Foundation.
She was Vice-Chair of the Technical Committee which designed, organized and reported the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES20) on Education held in March 2014. As a Centenary Scholar (Africa), she received a PhD in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education (IOE), the University of London where her research probed the effectiveness of public and private schools in Nigeria and proposed a framework for public-private partnership (PPP) in the education sector. Mo was a trustee of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, London, and currently serves on the boards of three non-profits.
Mofe Yejide Runsewe – Mofe Runsewe, a young and inspiring Nigerian, who created an online travel company (Naija Nomads) after an eye-opening trip to Morocco in 2011.
Mofe started her travel platform in 2015 due to lack of Nigerian travellers’ stories. There were no online resources that Nigerians could relate to and she wanted to change that. Since then, Naija Nomads has evolved from a blog to a full company that provides all kinds of travel needs from content to experiences.
Mofoluwaso Ilevbare – Mofoluwaso is a consultant, executive coach and women-in-leadership advocate with multi-cultural experience across Australia, Europe, U.S. India, Middle East, and Africa. Working with Procter & Gamble (since 2002) Australia & New Zealand as its Human Resource Director, her corporate career spans over 18 years experience in strategy development, capability building, talent, and culture transformation initiatives to deliver business results, e.g., OD/OE, succession planning, performance management, divestitures & acquisitions, employee engagement, employee relations, career and capability development, workforce planning/analytics.
Fofo, as she’s fondly called, is a Human Resources development specialist who is passionate about building a strong team presence, with consistent achievements in motivating and engaging employees, building top-performing teams, improving employee retention and working relationships in all departments. She’s also an award-winning author, coach, international speaker and mentor. She also runs a not-for-profit organization (Women Connected by Purpose) that empowers women and disadvantaged kids in SouthWest Nigeria.
Nancy Isime – Nancy Isime is a Nigerian actress, model and media personality. In 2009, she won the Miss Valentine International beauty pageant and began a career as an actress in the TV series Echoes in 2011.
She has since appeared in several films and is known for presenting gossip show The Squeeze and technology show What’s Hot. Nancy began a career as an actress in the TV series Echoes in 2011. In 2016, she was voted City People Entertainment Award VJ of the Year. In 2019, she won City People Movie Awards as Best Supporting Actress (English).
Naomi Osemedua – Naomi is a Global Storyteller, changing the world one story at a time and transforming the lives that drive the business. She is also a highly sought-after International Speaker, 2time TEDx Speaker and Lifestyle Coach passionate about Human Capacity Development. She loves to speak with humour, using real-life stories to keep her audience captivated. She is the founder of The Women with stories International, an organization on a mission to empower women to find and own their unique stories, discover their cure and serve others. She is also the creator of the Movement- TRASH THE LABELS based on her Inspirational TEDx talk at TEDx Providence 2019 where she was selected out of over 500 participants as the only Speaker from the entire African Continent in its 8th-year edition.
Naomi who is also a highly skilled Global Media Strategist uses her knowledge and expertise to coach personal and corporate brands on how to scale from being invisible to visible, not just in their local space but particularly in the global community, helping them perform at peak levels, leverage digital media platforms as they SERVE with purpose and enjoy the freedom to be, do and have all that they desire. She is a philanthropist and on a mission to ‘die empty’ and SPARKLE her world like only as she can.
Natasha Akpoti – Natasha Hadiza Akpoti is a Nigerian barrister, social entrepreneur and politician. She ran for the post of Kogi Central Senatorial District seat under the Social Democratic Party in the year 2019. She contested in the Kogi State Governorship election which was held on the 16th of November 2019.
She is the Founder of Builders Hub Impact Investment Program (BHIIP)- a social impact & sustainability firm that provides solutions for the government and corporations to maximise the impact of their social investments.
She came to national prominence after presenting an investigative report to the National Assembly on the 1st of March 2018 on corrupt activities regarding the Ajaokuta Steel Mill. The report detailed the repetitive waste of government funds and embezzlement since the initial construction of the steel mill which has remained moribund despite multiple attempts to get it running.
Ngozi Ejedimu- Ngozi is a breast cancer survivor and the founder of WhatCancerNaija. “Whatcancernaija” – a breast cancer awareness platform that covers everything from prevention and awareness about breast cancer to life after surgery.
“Whatcancernaija” evolved from the “Pink Gratitude Project” – an initiative where pink gift bags are given monthly to patients and survivors to encourage and support them during the journey. This also serves as a practical way of passing hope from a fellow survivor who underwent treatment and is still alive, well and thriving.
Nkasi Obim Nebo – Nkasi is the founder of ‘PeachAid Medical Initiative’, an NGO which reduces maternal mortality rates amongst rural communities and Internally Displaced Person Camps (IDPs) by providing free antenatal care to 20,000 vulnerable women to date.
Nkasi’s organisation distributes disposable birthing kits, has trained over 2,000 local birth attendants and has also started a free family planning service which has reached over 37,000 women and over 4,000 men.
Nkemdilim Begho – Nkemdilim is the CEO of Future Software Resources Ltd. (Futuresoft), one of Nigeria’s leading digital & technology solutions companies, providing a broad range of business solutions for the scaling African enterprise, to consistently attract and retain its target audience. Futuresoft has serviced over 150 clients across 20 industries and has trained over 750 CEOs and executives in Digital Transformation and Digital & Social Media Marketing.
Nkemdilim is recognized as an Obama African Leader, Forbes’s Top Ten Female Tech Founders in Africa. In 2019, she was appointed as a Non-Executive Director for Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc. She’s a recipient of many awards, including the Jim Ovia Prize for Software Excellence and the Etisalat Prize for Innovation. She regularly volunteers for mentoring and empowerment programmes often sharing her experiences with young Nigerians and less privileged children.
Nnenna Kalu Makanjuola – Nnenna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Radiant Health Magazine. Her lifelong commitment to improving health outcomes for Africans began with her work as a pharmacist. Wanting to make a larger impact, she transitioned to the public health sector starting as an intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva where she helped to develop data for the WHO Global Infobase, a country-level database of non-communicable disease risk factor.
Nnenna served as a Global Health Fellow at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she spent a year in Tanzania working to strengthen the laboratory system for HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment monitoring. She continued her public health work at CDC Atlanta and later as a consultant for the D.C. based Advocates for Youth before going on to launch Radiant Health Magazine.
Obis Oragwu – Obis, who has a following of over 82k people, inspires her followers every day with her posts. From DIY makeup and style tips for different body types to life lessons about being a mom, Obis helps women across her community and beyond, gain their confidence and look good while at it.
Obis is also a body positivity advocate who encourages new moms to love and embrace their bodies while also sharing tips on how to maintain a brilliant personal style. What Obis has done, is create a community for women to connect, learn, engage and encourage one another and be inspired. She also hosts regular styling classes, shopping guides and skincare lessons for her community.
Knowing that postpartum depression is real; Obis helps expectant and new moms feel good about themselves and their bodies through her pregnancy and postpartum styling lessons. Obis is also the founder of Wardrobe Merchant, a fashion store which serves as an avenue to connect people who want to declutter their wardrobe with others who want to get stylish outfits.
Ogechukwu Anugo-Obah – Founder, Body Like Milk. Ogechukwu’s foray into business is an inspiring one. Due to financial instability and the inability to afford basic skincare products, Oge decided to make her own with the last money she had with her (N1,000). She packaged it and sold it to her first two clients. Fast forward to a month, she ended up selling 50 cups of the cream.
Today, she has expanded her range from just skincare products to facial, hair, makeup and fragrances. With the rise in demand, she soon started delivering her products outside of West Africa, including Dubai, Germany, the UK, Ireland, France and South Africa. In 2017, she also ran online training classes to teach other women about skincare manufacturing.
Olarinde Olayemi Ayanfeoluwa – CNN-featured Olarinde Olayemi is a Visual artist and photographer. She is a Microbiology student at UNILAG, who is known for using different mediums for her works but is more famous for her style, Scribbling. She is a self-taught artist and illustrator who is inspired by a Peruvian artist based in Italy, Erick Centeno.
According to her artist statement on luluartistry.com, “each stroke bleeds emotions, good or bad, and I love that I can express myself well via merging lines and dots”.
Olatowun Candide-Johnson – Olatowun is a seasoned oil & gas professional, Lawyer and Compliance specialist turned entrepreneur and Founder of GAIA – A member’s only Business & Social club for Women. She is also the Non-Executive Director, Nigerian Norwegian Chamber of Commerce; Chairwoman, African Delivery Technologies.
In 2019, Olatowun was appointed as the appointed Chairwoman of French start-up “Kwik” – an on-demand, last-mile bike delivery service focusing on providing logistic services in West Africa.
Omolola Aneke – Lola Aneke is an award-winning and certified special and inclusive educator with a practicing license from North Carolina in the United States. She holds a Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) Special and Inclusive Education from Meredith College, North Carolina, and a Bachelor Degree in Sociology from University of Lagos.
Lola is versed in the Common Core and Essential United States Standards, and well experienced in hands-on, challenging, and creative learning activities that take into consideration the diverse needs and experiences of students with special needs in both special and inclusive education settings. She has taught children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), speech and communication disorders, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and other related disabilities in the United States and Nigeria.
She is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training Academy, known as the C.A.D.E.T. Academy, and the non-profit, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs, both located in Abuja. Lola is also active on social media and conducts a free weekly live broadcast on Facebook and Instagram aimed at educating the public on issues about special needs. She is also the author of two important bestselling books, namely: “Special Needs Made Easy (Vol. 1)” and “Mastering Autism.”
Omozino Eguh – Founder of Yudimy (a platform designed to help students discover careers that match their potential and make smart decisions in a constantly evolving career landscape).
Yudimy uses psychological profiling to help people gain career clarity by matching their natural abilities to viable job roles and career paths, help recruiters and employers make better hiring decisions by hiring candidates that are truly passionate for the role and, help parents match their children’s natural abilities to suitable career pathways and subject combinations while preparing them for the future of work.
Oyinkan Braithwaite – Oyinkan Braithwaite is a novelist and writer. A graduate of Kingston University in Creative Writing and Law; In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria. Braithwaite became a literary sensation after releasing her debut novel, “My Sister, the Serial Killer” in 2018. In less than a year, the book has been praised by The New York Times, The Washington Post, respected authors and was longlisted for the highly coveted Booker Prize.
Powede Lawrence-Awujo – Powede is a fashion and style influencer, ex-beauty queen and registered nurse and midwife, with a nursing degree from the Niger Delta State University, Bayelsa. The model is also an Aviation pilot with an excellent PR relation with the flight clients. She got certified by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). She is a phenomenal woman who has shattered every glass ceiling she has come across, from being the first Nigerian to win the Miss university Africa Pageant in 2010 to being one of the youngest of the first three Africans to be global partners of French beauty brand, Lancome.
Asides being a pilot and nurse, Awujo is also the CEO of Tods and Kids, a retail children’s quality clothing store that renders the service of making baby shopping fun for grown-ups. She joined French luxury brand, Lancome in April 2019 as a global partner representing Nigeria. Powede also has a foundation called Powede Lawrence Foundation which aims to advocate for people living with disabilities and the less privileged in the society.
Rahama Sadau – Rahama Sadau is a Nigerian actress, filmmaker, and singer. Born and raised in Kaduna, Rahama performed in dancing competitions as a child and during her school years. She rose to fame in late 2013 after joining the Kannywood movie industry with her first movie, “Gani ga Wane.”
Rahama has appeared in many Nigerian movies in both Hausa and English and is one of the few Nigerian actors that speak Hindi fluently. She is the winner of Best Actress (Kannywood) at the City People Entertainment Awards in 2014 and 2015.
She also won Best African Actress at the 19th African Film Awards in 2015 by African Voice. In 2017, she became the first Hausa celebrity to appear in the top ten Hottest Female Nigeria Celebrities.
Sharon Ikeazor – Sharon is the Hon. Minister of State and Environment, Federal Republic of Nigeria. She is also a lawyer, politician and management consultant. She is the former Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate. In August 2019, Sharon was appointed the Minister of State for Environment.
During her tenure as the Executive Secretary of PTAD; less than a month into her tenure, she was able to identify areas in need of critical changes and took appropriate measures. The development of a pension policy document guiding the operations of all pension departments was approved. With this, all four pension departments were better equipped to administer pensions efficiently and effectively in a uniform and standardised manner.
As part of cleaning the system, Sharon inaugurated the Anti- Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) to help clean out the system internally, by ensuring that the activities of staff are internally checked.
Shola Lawal – Shola Lawal is an independent filmmaker and freelance West African correspondent for the Mail & Guardian, a South African-based newspaper. Lawal is currently based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her work focuses on development issues, women and the environment.
Lawal has reported from Ghana, Togo, Finland and from the Nigerian/Cameroonian border. Her reporting calls attention to stories that deeply affect people and the environment: Her stories have taken her to volatile oil fields in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, endangered forests in Ghana and the troubled streets of Lomé, Togo. Apart from Mail and Guardian, Lawal’s work, (video and words) have appeared in Al Jazeera, TRT World and IRIN News.
Simi Nwogugu – Simi Nwogugu is the Executive Director of Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN), a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, which is the world’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit economic education organization that empowers young people to own their economic success. Simi brought Junior Achievement to Nigeria in 1999, after she served as a volunteer in New York and realized that the entrepreneurial training programs were exactly what the large unemployed youth population in Nigeria needed.
Junior Achievement Nigeria has reached over 950,000 in- and out-of-school youth in over 29 cities across Nigeria, and some of its alumni are successful business leaders and social entrepreneurs who volunteer their time and resources to ensure JAN’s sustainability. Simi sits on the Advisory Council of the African Capital Alliance Foundation and is a member of the Global Advisory Committee for Teach For All.
Sola Adesakin – Sola Adesakin is the Lead Coach and CEO of Smart Stewards. She is an experienced and versatile Chartered Accountant with about 17 years of hands-on experience on Personal and SMEs finance. She is a Personal Finance Coach, Trainer and Conference/Seminar Speaker. Through her blog and The Smart Stewards Academy, (www.smartstewards.com), She has helped many men and women bounce back from stress to rest and from debt to wealth.
Sola Babatunde – Sola is the Founder/ Creative Director of OSC Couture & OSC College of Fashion. She is also the Creative Director of One Stop Celebration LTD – a Pan African garment factory and fashion training school.
She began her career at FATE Foundation, working through all the departments, and has. She was a former National Publicity Secretary for Fashion Designers Association (FADAN).
Sunmbo Adeoye – Sunmbo Ajaba Adeoye is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, a Goldman Sachs scholar and an Alumni of Lagos Business School. She is a multiple award winner with impeccable results in the events planning industry. She is the CEO at Esobevents and the founder, Esob Academy, where she trains budding event managers, the events planning and styling business.
She is also the Founder of Inspiring Change Initiative, an NGO established in 2013 as a platform where women can interact, learn, grow and those striving to take the lead in their respective businesses and career can be well informed and empowered. Throughout the year, the NGO offers a variety of free programmes that enhances knowledge; impact lives and ensures the girl child is educated deliberately.
Temi Ajibewa – Popularly called ‘The Electric Temi‘, Temi Ajibewa is a highly sought-after author, speaker, trainer and result-driven coach in the business and personal development niche in Nigeria because of the way she ignites her audience and clients into possibilities. Temi is a two-time Amazon Bestselling Author and has published 3 books in the past 12 months including ‘A Millennial’s Guide to Mentoring‘ and ‘How To Make Millions Doing What You Love’.
Temi’s current focus is in helping savvy and passionate coaches and speakers to create wealth and impact doing what they love. She is the founder of Ignite Her Africa Community, an online community of over 15,000 savvy and passionate women who want to create wealth and impact doing what they love. Temi is also the President of The Millionaire Housewife Academy, a foremost edutech enterprise in Africa with the vision to empower housewives and stay-at-home mums to launch profitable online businesses from the comfort of their homes so that they can make empowered decisions, raise strong families and support causes they believe in.
Temi Olajide – Temi Olajide is a certified Child Sleep / Potty training Consultant and Child Psychologist. She is the co-founder of the Association of Child Sleep Consultants of Nigeria and a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants.
She is also the Founder of Mummyclinic – an online platform that provides strategies & result-driven solutions to the challenges of child-rearing and helps mothers to successfully combine the requirements of life and motherhood while responding correctly to the peculiarities of the digital age. Temi is the author of Wi-Fi Kids and Analog Parents, a comprehensive book that equips parents on how to raise well-rounded kids in the digital age.
Temilade Openiyi aka Tems – Tems (Temilade Openiyi) is a singer, songwriter and upcoming music producer. Temilade Openiyi, better known as Tems, is far from the typical breakout talents in the Nigerian music industry.
Even though her love for music began from age eleven, it didn’t stop her from wanting to harness it, she can be described as the Jane of all trades and master of all when it comes to music, because when she puts the act of singing, writing and producing her music specialities to work, she creates a musical masterpiece, as heard on her debut single, Mr REBEL released in 2019. Her debut single, “Mr Rebel,” was released on July 18, 2018. Tems then went onto drop her follow-up single, “Looku Looku,” on January 22, 2019. On August 7, 2019, she put out her third single, “Try Me.”
Tewa Onasanya – Tewa Onasanya is a Publisher, Author and Mindset Stylist. She holds a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Portsmouth, UK and a Diploma in Fashion Journalism from the College of Media and Publishing, UK and a certificate in Mindfulness from Udemy. She is the Founder of Exquisite Magazine a Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine for the unlimited woman. Exquisite magazine organises the exquisite magazine awareness for cancer events which include the EMAC #Smearit walks and Smearathon, events aimed at increasing the awareness for cervical cancer prevention and free screening for people.
In 2009, Exquisite Magazine started an only female awards ceremony called the Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY) Awards and Conference, aimed at sustaining women empowerment by celebrating and empowering women of excellence in different fields. The ELOY Foundation was created to sustain women empowerment through access to mentors, affordable finance, trainings, grants and more to help build and sustain their businesses. This is done through the ELOY Foundation Sustainable Empowerment Program (SEP) and the ELOY Foundation Network.
Tewa has been featured in numerous international and local media which include the CNN, BBC, New York Times, Wikipedia and more. She has won several awards internationally and in Nigeria. Tewa is passionate about empowering, inspiring and motivating people to be the best version of themselves. She is the author of the books, “Rule Your Mind; How to Live The Life You Desire Intentionally” and “The Live Intentionally Thank You Journal.”
Titilope Adewusi – Titi is a seasoned Management Consultant with over 18 years of working experience. She started working in the banking sector before she joined one of the Big Four Multinational Audit and Consulting firms where she worked for over 10years providing business solutions to clients spanning a number of industries.
She Co-founded 9ijakids with two of her sisters with a vision of developing learning games and resources that make learning fun. 9ija Kids is a platform that develops educational games that makes learning fun for kids. With over 120 educational games on Nigeria, Mathematics, Science, English, Geography, History, Bible, Values and Financial Literacy, 9ija Kids is the one-stop place for children and parents. Titi is currently the Chairperson of Bethesda Child Support Agency, a Lagos based NGO that provides free education to children in poor communities in Nigeria.
Titilayo Medunoye – The desire to help new mums who found it difficult to lactate after delivering their adorable ones made Titilayo Medunoye become a lactation consultant.
Having gone through the same experience which led to depression, Titilayo decided to proffer solutions to new mums who are faced with such challenges; hence, she founded Milky Express. As the CEO of Milky Express, Titilayo provides solutions to lactating mothers by producing suitable lactation enhancing goods and products, advising and counselling mothers going through postpartum depression.
Tobore Mit Ovuorie – Tobore is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on women and child trafficking. Her investigations have led to policies being changed, as well as lives being impacted positively. For instance, her human trafficking story titled: “Rejected, stigmatized, trafficking survivors shun Libyan horrible experiences, ready to travel again” published April 2018, led to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) taking complete responsibility for all medical and surgical expenses of one of the Nigerian ladies she wrote about in the story. She was trafficked to Libya and set ablaze by the Libyan woman she worked for in Tripoli.
Her innovative five-part series on “How Nigeria ‘Kills’ Children Living With HIV” has been instrumental in breaking the silence that surrounds HIV in the education sector and illustrates how Stigma and discrimination still prevail for children living with HIV in Nigeria. Consequently, she was awarded/made a United States President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Hero, June 10th, 2019.
Tola Makinde – A seasoned banker, entrepreneur and child-caregiver of children with additional needs, Tola Makinde is passionate about helping and supporting kids living with challenges having experienced and been faced with the same challenge when her daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome in 2011.
Tola believes, having accepted and intervening early for Moyin, that with the right help, aid and assistance Moyin can live a less challenging life and also believes the same for other challenged children. Tola engages in volunteer work. This entails home/ door to door visitation of families with kids living with Down’s Syndrome, helping and assisting the concerned families to cope with the emotional trauma often experienced after a diagnosis, supporting and providing materials, therapy equipment that will aid developmental milestones.
Tolani Alli – Tolani Alli is an international documentary photographer, an award-winning visual storyteller & personal documentary photographer to Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Before her current role, Tolani was also the official photographer to former Oyo State Governor, Ajibola Ajimobi. She is the first-ever female documentary photographer to Ex-Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the first to occupy such a role in Nigeria. Tolani has taken pictures of important personalities ranging from politicians to kings and emirs and has taken pictures of historical/cultural and political events.
A University of Michigan graduate, Tolani started her photo-journalism journey in 2010. She credits the inspiration for starting photography to Ashton Kutcher. According to her, “she was about to turn 18 when Ashton came on TV during a timeout of Boston vs. Lakers game advertising a Nikon camera.” That spurred her to research about the camera and found the world of pictures intriguing. As a cancer survivor and a visionary, Tolani not only fought for her life and won, but she fought for her dreams and is living it.
Tolu Oniru-Demuren AKA. Toolz – Tolu Oniru (popularly known as Toolz) is a big name in the Nigerian media industry. Toolz is an on-air personality, talk show host and radio presenter. Currently, Toolz hosts The Midday Show on Beats 99.9 Fm and anchors her show called The Juice. Prior to settling in Nigeria in 2008, she worked with MTV Europe and Walt Disney Pictures in the United Kingdom.
As CEO of Sablier Lingerie and Shapewear, Toolz projects a sense of inclusivity for the modern and discerning African woman that we absolutely love! Alongside Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi, Toolz hosts a hit talk show and podcast titled “OffAir.” The show has amassed a loyal following where followers tune in to listen to conversations that not only entertain them but inform and educate them.
Tosin Olaseinde – Tosin Olaseinde- is a chartered accountant with 10 years of experience spanning across accounting, audit, financial management and taxation.
She is the Founder/CEO of Money Africa, a platform that enhances financial literacy teaching people how to cut down on unnecessary expenses, grow their income and build wealth sustainably She has worked as an auditor at Horwath Leveton Boner in Johannesburg, South Africa and got selected as one of the top 8 traders in Africa to feature on a stock market trading show that aired in 2012. She also worked as a financial analyst and Senior Financial analyst at CNBC Africa and Bloomberg TV Africa respectively.
Toyin Lolu-Ogunmade – Toyin Lolu – Ogunmade is the Founder and CEO of Precious Conceptions -Nigeria’s Foremost Holistic Family Building Consultancy. The company provides fertility advisory, counselling, specialist referrals, wellness & nutrition for conception as well as support to those that are trying to conceive. Their family building services include natural conception treatments, ovum donor & surrogacy management.
Toyin’s desire is for everyone she comes in contact with to have at least one baby. Her 13-year struggle with infertility before becoming a mom with the help of a generous Indian gestational surrogate mother caused her career transition from HR Management to working full time with intending parents. She lends her voice strongly in support of demystifying infertility & reducing its attending stigma, promoting assisted conception treatments, and is an advocate for legislation & regulation of the fertility management sector.
To date, over 400 families have benefitted from her free learning sessions and more than 44 Precious Babies have been born through her work at Precious Conceptions; several of these, through successful surrogacy arrangements in Nigeria. She’s the author of the book, “Mom At Last,” and has featured in interviews and documentaries by global media agencies like BBC and AFP, and reputable leading media agencies in Nigeria.
Toyin Umesiri – Toyin is the creative genius and mastermind behind brands such as Nazaru LLC. (www.nazaru.com), the Trade with Africa Business Summit (www.twasummit.com) and Skincare line. Toyin Umesiri spent over a decade in corporate America at both Walmart Corporation’s HQ. in Bentonville, Arkansas and Whirlpool Corporation HQ. in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
She is a global influencer and a leading figure serving as IATF Ambassador by appointment of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and African Union (AU). Toyin is an inspirational speaker featured as a leading woman in technology on the platform the Spark Women (www.thesparkwomen.com) and published in the book: LEADING WOMEN. As the Founder & Convener of the Trade with Africa Business Summit, she convenes global leaders, trade experts, policymakers and innovators transforming the African Continent.
Uduak Akpan – Founder, Udy Foods. Udy Foods is the popular and go-to place for quality NAFDAC- certified unadulterated palm oil, Oron crayfish, Peppersoup spice, Nsala spice, Banga spice, Uziza spice, Cameroon pepper, Chilli pepper, Cocoyam thickener, Barbeque and Grills spices.
What makes her stand out as an entrepreneur is her ability and frequent use of pidgin English to promote her business. Uduak is also a video content creator who creatively produces energetic video contents to keep her audience glued and video jingles for other entrepreneurs with her page @ogbongetowncrier Uduak is an inspiration to upcoming entrepreneurs on what it takes to grow a start-up into a successful business.
Ugoma Adegoke – Ugoma brings a tireless and energetic presence in her work as a creative entrepreneur and foremost cultural curator, community builder, adventurer, creative force and a dynamic taste-maker. While she trained as an economist and corporate finance professional, she directs the workings of the award-winning design brand, Zebra Living, producing experiential events and programs inspired by Nigeria’s rich cultural and multi-arts heritage, previously under the auspices of The Life House which she co-founded.
She is also the founding director and chief curator of BLOOM Art; the festival director of Lights Camera Africa Film Festival and the producer of the annual WOMAN RISING Music Concert & Arts Weekender. The WOMAN RISING Music Concert and Arts Weekender is an annual commemoration of International Women’s Day and a glorious celebration of women in the arts and women that enable the arts.
She has successfully closed several private secondary market transactions, placing invaluable modern and contemporary artworks in the collections of some of the continent’s greatest collectors – works by Ben Enwonwu, Ben Osawe, Obiora Udechukwu, Yusuf Grillo, Gani Odutokun, El Anatsui, Uzo Egonu, and more. In 2014, she originated an important art repatriation transaction which saw significant pieces of 1980s modernist Nigerian art worth over 70 Million ($400,000) returned to Nigeria.
Ukinebo Dare – Ukinebo is the Managing Director of Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) and a winner of the Ford Foundation Prize For Youth Employment. She is also the C.E.O. of Poise Graduate Finishing Academy (PGFA), where she designed the PSENSE Employability Curriculum. The PSENSE employability curriculum has achieved a record 87% employment rate and is endorsed by the National Universities Commission in Nigeria for implementation by higher institutions.
Uki also serves as the Program Director of Ekobits, an academy that provides ICT and digital design training to youth from disadvantaged communities and connects them to opportunities to earn a good living. The impact of her work has earned her various awards including the Ford Foundation Prize for Youth Employment at the Future Awards Africa. Current projects as SSA to the Edo State Governor on Skills Development include EdoJobs, EdoInnovates, Edo Food and Agri Cluster and Edo Production Centre.
Ukonwa Ojo- Ukonwa Ojo is the Global Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of beauty giant, MAC Cosmetics. Prior to this role, Ukonwa served as Global CMO and General Manager for Coty (portfolio including COVERGIRL, Clairol, Sally Hansen, Rimmel, and Lifestyle Scenting/Fragrances), where she played the most significant role in the brand’s 60-year history that led to the Covergirl brand exceptional facelift and also introduced ‘I Am What I Make Up’, a tagline which highlights her idea of a company with strong diversity and inclusion.
She was named as World Federation of Advertisers’ Global Marketer of the Year, and WWD’s Brand Builder of the Year. She has also been named on Business Insider’s list of 25 Most Innovative CMOs, Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 and the Financial Times Top 100 List of Minority Executives for three consecutive years.
Yemisi Odusanya – Food blogger, vlogger and content creator @sisiyemmie Sisi Yemmie, as she is popularly known as, has over 14 million views on YouTube — an impressive number. Her videos cut across food, lifestyle, relationships and parenting. While there are millions of YouTube accounts but what endears her audience to her is her honesty. She has addressed mental health issues such as ‘burning out’ and ‘signs you need a mental health break’.
On Instagram, she has over 40, 000 followers, over31, 000 subscribers On YouTube, about 17, 000 followers on Twitter and an average of 250, 000 views in a month on her blog.
Yewande Akinola – Yewande Akinola MBE is a chartered engineer, innovator and speaker. Her engineering experience includes the design and construction, innovation and manufacture of buildings and systems in the built environment. She has worked on projects in the UK, Africa, the Middle East and East Asia and has been named the UK Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering & Technology.
She started her career at a tender age, designing model-sized houses. She is the founder of the Global Emit Project, which mentors young people who are interested in Engineering. She won the IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award. Engr. Yewande is a prominent voice in the movement to increase diversity within engineering.
She has also been awarded the Exceptional Achiever Award from the Association for BAME Engineers and the Association of Consultancy and Engineering, U.K. (ACE). She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster. She is passionate about STEM communication and has presented Engineering programmes for Television. In the 2020 New Year Honours list, Yewande was awarded an MBE for services to engineering innovation and diversity in STEM.
Yvonne Ofodile – Yvonne is the founder of 360 Woman Africa, a personal and enterprise development non-profit for women in Africa. A public speaker and mentor, Yvonne has been recognized by several platforms for her work as a change agent, inspiring young women leaders and businesswomen, and with a deep interest in human capital development and business growth.
She is also the Founder of a Woman Skill Development Scheme – a platform she set up to challenge women to live their best lives intentionally towards the achievement of their dreams and actively growing the number of women-led/owned businesses and women in leadership positions. Through this platform, she showcases successful people in different walks of life who have against all odds consciously pursued their dreams to set up enterprises and are today celebrated for what they do.