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7 Wonder Women Awards: Women in art and design nominees

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Anita Kouassigan

It’s been an exciting few weeks with Investing In Women’s first Lagos event done and dusted, and I am pleased to finally announce the nominees for one of the seven sectors we have been working on during the past few months. The public submitted their nominations to us, and we have selected the best 10 for this stage of the competition.

There were some obvious submissions, a few surprises and sadly some women worthy of being on this list were not nominated at all. In the end, however, we have deliberated and are happy that every single woman on this shortlist has Wonder Woman qualities.

During our invitation to nominate campaign for this category, we invited the public to suggest to us women who are experts in one or more areas of the Art & Design field, not limited to, but including areas such as Fashion, Contemporary Art, Industrial Design or Architecture. We received quite a number of good suggestions, but the 10 who made it onto this shortlist demonstrated capacity, success and a real passion for leveraging the creative arts to promote Nigeria and her cultural identity abroad: EITHER by her own creations; OR by promoting the creations of others (the works of women or men).

We understood from the outset that this category has a large talent pool as Art & Design is a wide area. Therefore, to really capture that winning power, we narrowed it down to require that the best contenders must also be recognised as Cultural Ambassadors For Nigerian Art & Design. Some of the best candidates tended to carry out work that required a lot of time and investment in overseas travel, so although we preferred nominees to currently live and work in Nigeria, as an exception, we were willing to consider women living at least partly between Nigeria, and elsewhere.

Without much further ado, a huge congratulations to our first set of nominees, Women In Art & Design. We’ve kept their descriptions (in brackets) deliberately brief, as many are multi-talented and their skills transcend a few sectors (their qualifications compared to their ventures into The Arts). These women with award-winning power are listed in alphabetical order, not according to how many nominations they received.
. Olushola Christine Adeyanju (Milliner)
. Polly Alakija (Artist)
. Bolanle Austen-Peters (Terra Kulture Founder)
. Kavita Chellaram (Arthouse Contemporary & Arthouse Foundation Founder)
. Folake Coker (Tiffany Amber Founder)
. Banke Kuku (Textile Designer)
. Tosin Osinowo (Architect)
. Tokini Peterside (Art X Founder)
. Adenrele Sonariwo (Rele Art Gallery & Rele Art Foundation Founder)
. Ada Umeofia (Architect)

Disclaimer: Please note that for this competition, recognition is not being given for women in film, due to the scale of the Nigerian film industry, which would require a separate competition altogether. The scope of work of one of the women on this shortlist extends to this industry, however, this was just an additional talent she has and did not count towards her making the cut.


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Anita Kouassigan
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