Dorothy Njamze, Molara Wood, Ink Eze, Lola Omolola, Adaku Ufere, others make the AWP Network Power list
Last year, the African Women Power (AWP) Network recognised 40 African women with powerful, inspiring and influential voices with the aim to inspire and encourage more African women with powerful voices who will continue to create programs, initiatives and policies that support the development and growth of African women and girls. On the list are the following Nigerian women:
Africa’s First Olympic Bobsled Team (Relentless, focused and determined: Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga are the first African, the first Nigerian bobsled team to ever qualify for and compete in the Winter Olympics. The team raised funds to participate in the Olympics using GoFundMe. They did not just meet their fundraising goal, but were also able to sign a sponsorship deal with VISA. The AWP Network is proud of these women for inspiring the next generation of women and girls and for showing the world that “impossible is nothing.”
Funke Opeke is Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable company, a privately-owned company with an open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high-capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria. Opeke is also founder of Main Street Technologies. Prior to founding her company, she served as the Chief Technical Officer for MTN Nigeria.
Aishah Ahmad was recently appointed Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Prior to this, she was Head of Consumer and Privilege Banking at Diamond Bank. Ahmed also recently served as the chairperson of the executive council for WimBiz, an organization focused on addressing issues affecting women professionals in business and corporate bodies, with a particular attention on promoting and increasing women’s roles in corporate governance and leadership.
Eniola Aluko (Nigeria/England) is a footballer who plays forward for Chelsea Ladies FC. She is also the founder of Crescenda Sport, an organisation providing internships and vocational experiences in the global sports industry to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Aluko helped to expose the extent of discrimination and racism in the Football Association as she courageously gave her testimony of bullying, harassment and racism to the select committee on culture, media and sports in England.
Osayi Alile is Chief Executive Officer of ACT Foundation, a subsidiary in partnership with Access Bank. Prior to this, she led the FATE Foundation and worked as the Vice President of Programs at Junior Achievement.
Dorothy Njamze is an actress and activist. Her, Edu Ene-Okoro, Justina Etim and Amarachi Jessyforth won a lawsuit against the Nigerian government in the ECOWAS court for a gross violation of their rights to dignity. They were abducted and assaulted sexually, physically, verbally and unlawfully detained from January 2011 and March 2013 by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board and other government agencies, to include the police and the military. In collaboration with other civil society organisations, they were awarded N18 million against the Nigerian government.
Molara Wood is a writer, author, journalist and critic, who is described as “one of the eminent voices in Nigeria’s Art space.” Wood previously served as a judge for the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She is on the advisory board of the Aké Arts and Book Festival and a participant at many literary events including the Lagos Book & Art Festival.
Adaku Ufere is a feminist, blogger and lawyer who specialises in regulatory compliance, contract negotiation and contract administration with a focus on oil, gas and power. She is the youngest African and first Nigerian to win the African Legal Attorney of the Year award.
Imelme Umana (Nigeria/ United States) was recognized Person of the Year at the African Diaspora Awards. She is the first black woman to be elected President of Harvard Law Review.
Lola Omolola (Nigeria/Chicago) is founder of Female in Nigeria, an empowerment group on Facebook with over one million members. The group highlights the voices of women around the world and was created to be a safe space to discuss the stories and struggles about life, love, sex, family and career.
Toyin Odulate is Country Director of Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition and founder of Olori Cosmetics – a hair, bath, body and beauty product line created with the best natural ingredients available in Africa. Odulate is recognised as one of the pioneers of organic beauty products in Nigeria.
Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is the founder of Pearls Africa Foundation, an organization that facilitates opportunities for vulnerable young girls in Nigeria. She is also the creator of #GirlsCoding Nigeria, an initiative that equips, mentors and trains girls from underserved communities in functional I.T. skills for the purpose of economic independence.
Glory Edozien is a blogger and the convener of ‘9to5Chick’, a platform created to enable young women advance their careers by connecting them to accomplished executives as mentors and to discuss strategies for rising to the top.
Blessing Effiom Egbe is a leading Nollywood producer and content producer. She is also the CEO of B’Concept Network Productions.Oluwaseun Ayodeji Owosobi is Executive Director of the Stand to End Rape Initiative, a youth-led not-for-profit organization raising awareness for, and working to end all forms of rape through education, supporting survivors, and changing community perceptions towards sexual violence and abuse in Nigeria. Owosobi also organizes the HERE Exhibition, which uses photography to share the stories of survivors.
Ink Eze is the founder of AsoEbiBella.com, a platform created to share African traditional styles and fabrics. With the AsoEbiBella platform, BellaNaija Weddings has gained international prominence and has become Africa’s foremost wedding media brand with millions of followers across several platforms.
Uneku Atawodi-Ekun is the General Manager of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Ghana. She is also recognised as ‘Nigeria’s Polo Queen.’
Esther Ijewere is a Vital Voices Leadership Fellow, an activist and founder of Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children, an organization that organizes projects to include, the Walk Against Rape, Women of Rubies, Project Capable, Rubies Ink Media and the College Acquaintance Rape Education Workshops.
Bidemi Zakariyau is an entrepreneur and founder of LSF|PR, a public relations consulting firm with core competencies in corporate communications, consumer and lifestyle brands. Zakariyau also founded The Luxe Digest, a pan-African luxury content platform. She handles the day–to-day management of LSF|PR and leads her team to create the communications strategy for clients. She is winner of the 2017 LaPriga Rising PR Practitioner of the Year Award.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.