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Leading ladies Africa’s 100 most inspiring women list – 2017

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Adenike Oyetunde
It is not every day you see someone who lost her limbs at age 20 and yet her zeal for life remains all-consuming. After losing her limbs to cancer, Adenike looked beyond the setback and forged ahead. Today, she is a lawyer, OAP on Info FM and activist that passionately fights for the rights of people living with disabilities.

Adepeju Jaiyeoba
Although she had zero experience in the field of medicine Adepeju’s unwavering desire to help sanitize the health sector and reduce the number of maternal and child mortality led her to start Mother’s Delivery Kit. The enterprise has been a resounding success since it was launched. It is currently in 30 out of the 36 states in Nigeria and more than 50,000 women and babies have been reached with necessary maternal supplies. In 2015 Adepeju was honored by Barack Obama as a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders (YALI).

Akwaeke Emezi
Whether she is making films, writing stories or non-fiction pieces, Akwaeke exudes sheer brilliance. Her dedication to the craft is evident in not just her results but also the recognition she has received so far. She was a writer-in-residence at Hub City’s Writers Project, and has received multiple awards, both for writing and for filmmaking. Her debut novel, FRESHWATER will be published by prominent Independent American publisher, Atlantic Grove.

Ayodeji Megbope
The CEO of No Leftovers, a full scale catering outfit started her business selling moin moin with just N1, 000. Today, No Leftovers records sales worth millions of naira every year, and empowers hundreds, by creating employment. From her humble beginnings to addressing the Annual General Meeting of Goldman Sachs and meeting Michelle Obama, Ayodeji is definitely a woman we are all proud of.

Captain Abimbola Jaiyeola
SHE made history when she became the first female helicopter captain in Nigeria flying the Sikorsky S76 for Bristow helicopters Nigeria. About a year after she was in the news again for saving 13 lives from a helicopter crash after deciding to have an emergency landing on water.

Chinenye Jeanne Nnoli
Lawyer, Poet, and Entrepreneur, Chinenye is the CEO/Founder of Metro Woman – a media production company that produces content that inspires, educate and entertains women. Nenye as she is fondly called is also the host of the Metro Woman Talk Show – a platform that highlights the achievements of female entrepreneurs and explores the solutions to the challenges modern women face daily. According to her: “Our mission is to help women live their best lives.” Chinenye recently launched the Metro Woman Market Place – a product and ideas showcase for female entrepreneurs.

Chinwe Ohajuruka
Chinwe is currently changing the face of architecture in Nigeria. She discovered the enormous housing, energy and water challenges facing Nigeria and swung into action with the construction of sustainable houses that run on solar energy and are self-cooling. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, the CEO of Comprehensive Design Services (CDS) and award winning architect is also passionate about making more women home owners and she is making this happen.

Chioma Ude
Chioma Ude is the brain behind the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) which has been described as the hub for film makers in Africa. The festival has been held successfully six times, with each edition bigger than the last. Apart from celebrating great African films, free training, talent development for participants, film screenings, training, parties and an award ceremony are part of the activities featured during the program. It is not surprising that Chioma is referred to as one of the most influential women in entertainment in Nigeria.

Fati Abubakar
Fati is not your regular photographer. Despite the obvious danger, she has chosen to rebuild the reputation of Borno State, widely known as the birthplace of the brutal Boko Haram insurgency through photography. With her vivid images and words she tells the story of the city, its people, their culture and their resilience to live despite everything.

Fatima Jidayi
Fatima is the CEO of Mamza Beauty, an innovative makeup and beauty firm currently based in Abuja. Her motto is, “There is beauty in simplicity” and this is obvious with every face that she beats. She has carved a niche for being the go-to Make Up artist for women in the Northern part of the country, and her clientele base boasts of celebrities like Zara Buhari Indimi, and others.

Foye Ikyaator
Dr. Foye made history when she, alongside her husband, opened Life Savers Emergency room in Houston, one of the first in America. She is combining her love for medicine, her passion for entrepreneurship and her desire to help people in a single pursuit. Although running an emergency room comes with its challenges, Dr Foye’s vision is to improve on the services and level of care patients are given in hospitals.

Funke Awobokun
Funke has carved a niche for herself in the events industry. As the CEO of Cocktails In and Out and Grill In and Out, the stunning mother of three caters for top notch events. Her cocktail company is at the forefront of introducing new ideas and trends with their variety of exciting drinks and creative delivery. We love how she’s constantly innovating and staying ahead of the pack. Funke is also one of the visible and highly successful female entrepreneurs based in Abuja, Nigeria.
Gloria Oloruntobi
If you don’t know Maraji on Instagram then we wonder what’s happening. Her hilarious skits are one of the hottest things on social media right now. What started as a way to get out of boredom has grown into something great and has made her one of the biggest Instagram comedians in the country. Her skits have also earned her corporate nods from brands like Indomie and Coca-Cola. You go girl!

Huda Fadoul Abacha
Her eye for detail and ability to create bespoke wedding dresses and exquisite luxury pieces is what sets Huda apart from the crowd. As the founder of Huddaya Bridal Emporium, a leading Bridal Couture company, Huda has created dresses for several high profile clients that have left fashion lovers speechless and breathless. She’s also one of the prominent female entrepreneurs in the Northern part of the country creating value.

Ifeyinwa Afe
As the MD of HP Nigeria, Ifeyinwa has introduced amazing products like the HP Spectre, one of the worlds thinnest laptops, into the Nigerian market and she is ensuring that the company stays ahead of its competition. With the call to have more women represented in STEM careers, having women like Ifeyinwa actively leading that charge is inspiring!

Isioma Osaje
The story of Isioma Osaje is one of courage, determination laser-sharp focus, and shiploads of hard work. At a relatively young age, Isioma has racked up nearly a decade of experience across various sectors which include Talent Management, Acting, Film Marketing, and Public Relations. Through her company, Agency 106, Isioma is building one of the most formidable talent management companies in Nigeria, with an enviable rack of talents which include: Blosssom Chukwujekwu, Adesua Etomi, Iretiola Doyle, Deyemi Okanlawon and Linda Ejiofor.

Joke Bakare
Quiet and steadfastly building a chain of reputable pharmacies, Joke Bakarae is the brain behind Medplus Pharmacy Nigeria; a successful brand that has become one of the biggest retail pharmaceutical chains in Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and a reminder that we can achieve what we set our mind to achieve.

Joycee Awoojodu
From her skin care brand that has its raw materials sourced from Africa to her luxury spa, Joycee and the Oriki brand are a standard of class and excellence. As an organic skin expert, she is empowering farmers and maximizing the use of natural ingredients Africa is blessed with. It’s refreshing to see Nigerians creating brands that can compete on a global landscape.

Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor
IN the tech industry, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor stands out. As Google’s Country Manger Nigeria she has proved her worth and the results speak for her. A consummate professional and highly qualified expert, Juliet is a brilliant example of why more women should be encouraged to pursue careers in STEM. Under her leadership, Google Nigeria has launched innovative products and services aimed at building the online ecosystem in Nigeria.

Kemi Onabanjo
WE love Kemi because she lives the life most people dream about. We’re inspired by her because she takes it even a step further by actively pursuing her dreams. Kemi is the Engagement Manager at McKinsey Nigeria, serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sector. A valedictorian of her MBA Class at INSEAD – we can’t forget how utterly inspiring her graduation speech was. Kemi is passionate traveler, and visited 30 countries before she turned 30. Whoop!!

Kene Rapu
Kene is the Founder and Creative Director behind eponymous and indigenous shoe brand, Kene Rapu. Her slippers have become a favourite staple of the Nigerian millennial class, and is growing rapidly. A serial entrepreneur, Kene recently launched Zola and Makena, a boutique event management company specialising in the planning and management of small and medium sized events. We love that she is steadily building a global brand.

Kofo Akinkugbe
Kofo Akinkugbe is recognized internationally for her inspiring entrepreneurship journey, and enviable business record. She’s a visionary and the CEO of Secure ID – a market leader in smart card technology and digital security. Fusing technology and cutting edge service delivery, Secure ID serves 16 countries across Africa and is fully certified by VISA, Verve and MasterCard. Kofo is one of the few women in Africa, pushing the card for innovation and I.T.

Latasha Ngwube
Latasha Ngwube is not one to conform to standards. She sets her own. In a world where beauty is stereotyped to size zeros and bikinis, Latasha is promoting the big, bold and beautiful message. The fashion and lifestyle journalist launched “About That Curvy Life”, a platform to empower plus sized women. She also played a major role in birthing the first curvaceous women fashion show at The Lagos Fashion and Design Week in October 2016. We love that she’s showing women how to love their curves.

Lola Maja-Okojevoh
WE love Lola, first because she’s got such a BIG heart and lovely personality. Being in the industry for over 25 years, Lola easily stands out among the crowd as a phenomenal make-up artist, massage therapist, beauty tutor, spa and cosmetics brand consultant, and so much more. Despite her very impressive résumé, her clients describe her as one of the coolest and most down to earth persons they’ve ever met. When it comes to celebrities, big brands and events, the Founder of The Beauty Insider always adds a touch of excellence.

Lola Masha
Lola is currently the Country Manager, OLX Nigeria, a national online classifieds market place She oversees the overall business success across all functions, including technology, and has significant international experience, having worked with global brands like McKinsey and Google. Under her leadership, OLX Nigeria now dominates as one of Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading online trading platforms, and boasts of an over 70% female workforce. With her Engineering background, Lola is a powerful example of why more women should be in STEM careers.

Luvvie Ajayi
Luvvie is a Nigerian-American Award winning writer, blogger, political commentator and socio-cultural activist/critic, based in Chicago. In 2016, she authored the New York Times Bestseller ‘I’m Judging You.’ Luvvie is authentic, renowned for her razor-sharp wit and epic clapbacks on social media, and is one of the pillars of the African-American community in the United States. She is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of ‘The Red Pump Project’, a national non-profit organization that connects women from around the world and raises their awareness on the impacts of HIV/AIDS in societies. Earlier this year, Shonda Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland acquired the rights to adapt Luvvie’s book into a cable comedy series.

Mercy Aigbe
Mercy Aigbe Gentry is one of Nigeria’s leading ladies in the movie industry. Her movies roles coupled with her phenomenal interpretation have endeared her to millions of fans. Mercy is also one lady to look out for whenever she steps on the red carpet, as she displays a keen sense of fashion. Apart from her acting career, Mercy is also an entrepreneur and owns Mag Divas Boutique which earned her “Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Links and Glitz awards.

Mofolusade Sonaike
After dealing with not being able to spend time with her kids while she had a high-flying career, Mofolusade founded Mumpreneur, a website dedicated to inspiring and building ‘a league kick-ass mums!’ She also serves as the CEO of Trezorlandia limited. A strong advocate of change and self-development in women, Mofolusade’s goal is to help women successfully to manage entrepreneurship and motherhood.

Mosun Bello-Olusoga
Mosun Bello-Olusoga is the Chairperson of Access Bank PLC, the first woman in the history of that institution to achieve that position. She serves as the Principal Consultant and Programme Director of KRC Limited and she is a dignified fellow at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She remains a great inspiration to women and girls all over the world, as she continues to break boundaries in a male dominated industry.

Ndidi Olatunji Bello
Ndidi is the owner and Managing Director of B’Natural spa; Nigeria’s foremost Med Spa. Her passion for beautifying women led her to create a business that provides women with quality body care and skin treatment. In 2016, B’Natural Spa won the award of Africa’s Best Quality Cosmetics and Skin Care Treatment Center by The African Quality Institute. Ndidi is also the first person to provide full spectrum Spa services in West Africa.

Nibi Lawson
Nibi is one woman who is tirelessly advocating for the Natural hair trend in Nigeria. She established the Kinky Apothecary in order to promote hair education among particularly Nigerian women seeking to grow and care for their natural hair. As the Founder of the first official natural hair shop in the country, her steady growth and success has been an inspiration to other natural hair stores / naturalistas in the country and abroad.

Njideka Akunyili-Crosby
Njideka is a visual artist who doesn’t shy away from showcasing our rich culture and heritage. Her works on paper combine collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers. She tells subtle yet powerful stories through art. She was featured in the Guardian best American art, 2016 and is also listed as a woman of the year 2016 in The Financial Times. More recently, Njideka provided the illustration for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest book: ‘Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions.’

Nkechi Harry Ngonadi
The ever energetic and stylish, Nkechi is the founder of NHN Couture, a Nigerian women’s wear fashion brand. According to her ““NHN Couture is an inspiration from God and this is rooted in our vision and mission statement –‘Bringing decency back to church first and the society at large, covered yet sexy, fabulous and simply classy.” She is passionate about inspiring and encouraging women to be their best and more importantly, to embrace a Godly womanhood. We love her Instagram posts where she shares inspiration, wisdom and loads of fun moments.

Nkechikwu Azinge
She is the founder of Sickle Cell Aid Foundation, an NGO aimed at raising awareness on sickle cell anaemia and helping less privileged victims gain access to quality healthcare. Her selfless acts gained her an award of recognition by Queen Elizabeth II as well as a spot on Commonwealth Young Achievers’ list in 2015. In 2016, she was listed among the 100 most Influential Young Africans by Africa Youths Award.

Nkem Okocha
Nkem is the founder and CEO of Mamamoni, an NGO aimed at empowering women in rural communities by enabling them to get access to free skill acquisition, financial literacy and mobile loans to set up small businesses. Her selfless impact is not only being felt by women, but also by children. A Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur Fellow, Nkem was also awarded at the Ebony Life Sisterhood Awards, in the recognition for her huge impact as a social entrepreneur and change maker.

Nkiru N’joku
An Award-Winning Screenwriter, Producer and Director, Nkiru is the head-writer of the M-Net series, tinsel. She also serves as Content Producer for MTN Project Fame, with some of her on-screen work including Hotel Majestic and MTV’s Shuga. We especially love Nkriu because she has inspired all of us to be brave, courageous and open – as she has shared and chronicled all her life lessons and her journey of raising Didi – her gorgeous, special needs daughter. The world definitely needs more Nkirus in it.

Ogwah Ogbeh- Iweze
Co-Founder and Creative Director of Dzyn Couture, Ogwah runs one of Nigeria’s well-known and loved fashion houses. A business she Co-Founded with her sister, Ofure, Dzyn Couture meets the needs of the contemporary, classy woman who desires affordable luxury. A favorite feature of the Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Dzyn Couture is constantly setting new standards in Fashion, Retail and Business. Ogwah is also representative of the burgeoning class of successful female entrepreneurs in Abuja.

Omasan Ogisi
Professional, knowledgeable and with an incredible amount of expertise, Omasan is the General Manager for Corporate Affairs at MTN, a position she assumed in 2016. Prior to that she was the former Head of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility for Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa. A consummate professional, Omasan is one of the few women with adepth competence and skill in Information Communications Technology, and her love for the industry, is evident when she speaks. A passionate business developer and telecommunication strategist, Omasan is a proud advocate for women in STEM careers.

Onos Ariyo
When Onos sings, the world literally halts in its tracks. An award-winning Singer, Gospel Minister and Vocalist, Onos is recognized as one who ministers hope, inspiration and salvation to all who listen to her. Her music prowess has been felt on stages such as the The Experience and she has performed alongside gospel music icons such as Don Moen, Ron Kenoly and Fred Hammond. A self-avowed lover of God, Onos is working on her sophomore album which should be released sometime in 2017.

Osaretin Demuren
Osaretin Demuren is a leading Nigerian banker who has carved an amazing record setting profile for herself in the male dominated industry. In 1999, she became the first female director for Trade and Exchange, Central Bank of Nigeria, and In 2015, she became the First Female Chairperson of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC. She is indeed a strong role model to the younger generation of women.

Ozoz Sokoh
Most popularly known as Kitchen Butterlfy, Ozoz is a globally respected Chef, and gives an imaginative and creative twist to seemingly ordinary dishes and food. She is also a writer and exploration geologist, traits which are somehow reflected in her explorative dishes and evident love for arts. Ozoz is an inspiration because through her we see that the mundane can become extraordinary. Recently, she was featured as a guest chef, at the prestigious GTBank Food and Drink Fair.

Rimini Makama
RecogniSed by Forbes as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women under 40 in Africa, Rimini is the Head of Corporate & Governmental Affairs Director at Microsoft Nigeria. She was formerly the Communications Director at Africa Practice; Africa’s foremost strategy and communications consultancy. A Lawyer by profession, Rimini previously worked at (INTERPOL) in Lyon, France where she was instrumental to the drafting of cooperation agreements between the 190 member countries and reviewing notices and individual requests safeguarding international security and safety across borders. Talk about being a ‘Power Woman.’

Sandie Okoro
Sandie Okoro is a lawyer and the Senior Vice President of The World Bank Group. She also serves as the Global General Counsel for HSBC Global Asset Management and Deputy General Counsel of HSBC Retail banking and Wealth Management. She is a globally respected foremost woman leader and has been described as “a highly regarded thought leader with a strong track record of developing new legal approaches in the field of international finance” by President Of The World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim.

Shola David-Borha
Until very recently Sola was the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc – a full service financial services Group with subsidiaries in Commercial Banking, Investment Banking, Pension and Non-Pension Asset Management and Stockbroking. In January this year, she was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Rest of Africa, for the Standard Bank Group – a huge feat for a woman, and inspiration to millions of others. Described as “extremely fair and a bright shining light,’ Sola is definitely a strong woman leader. An associate Pastor at RCCG, City of David Parish, she was recognized in 2016 as the ‘All Africa Business Woman of the Year’ at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards in Partnership with CNBC Africa.

Simbo Bello-Ukiri
Simbo is the MD/CEO of Avon Healthcare Limited, a healthcare maintenance organization, which was set up in Nigeria in 2013. She is a trained lawyer, with over 20 years’ experience cutting across a broad range of sectors, including: Banking, Telecommunications, FMCG and health. A determined and focused visionary, Simbo has helped grow the Avon HMO brand into one of the top leading healthcare organizations in the country. A passionate advocate for women empowerment and gender equality, Simbo is a great example of Women in Leadership.

Simisola Ogunleye
Popularly known as Simply Simi, Simisola is an Afro-pop singer and songwriter, signed on to the X3M Music label, with a distinct, hard-to-miss voice. Known for chartbusters which include: Jamb Question, Love Don’t Care and Soldier featuring Falz, Simi has become one of Nigeria’s most beloved female musicians. She’s also a delight to follow on social media as she uses various platforms to engage with her clients and display her funny sense of humour. Simi was also recently appointed as an ambassador with the telecommunications company, Etisalat. You go girl!

Somkhele Idhalama
Perhaps a great description for Somkhele would be “Still Waters that run deep.” The delectable Nollywood actress and model who came to limelight through the Nigerian web drama series, Gidi Up, is known to pack a delightful punch in whatever role she plays. We can’t forget her stirring performance in 93 Days, The Arbitration, and most recently, The Wedding Party. Indeed, 2016 appeared to be the “Year of Somkhele,” where she was recognized at various awards including: The Future Awards Africa, The Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCAs) and The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). There’s only ONE place Somekhele can go – and that’s up!

Sophia Ike-Onu
She is the founder and CEO of the5kshop.com; an online retail store, stocking fashion and home solutions all under the price cap of 5000 Naira. With a diverse skillset, Sophia is also a social media strategist and an architect. According to her: “The5kShop was created to provide a safe and convenient way for Africans to shop quality fashion items at the BEST possible price.” A serial entrepreneur of sorts, Sophia is also the Co-Founder of DRYV.Me, a tech-enabled automobile service provider. Not resting on her oars, in 2016, Sophia won the British Council Enterprise Challenge, where she got the unique opportunity to be coached and mentored by Sir Richard Branson.

Tara Fela Durotoye
Tara is a Nigerian makeup artist and lawyer. She is also the CEO of renowned international make up brand, House of Tara International and is highly regarded as the pioneer of the bridal make-up profession in Nigeria. We love Tara because she’s such a strong and positive mentor to thousands of Nigerian women, including Arese Ugwu of Smart Money Africa. In 2015, collaborating with her own mentor, Ibukun Awosika, she launched the TFD Series – a platform to engage and mentor other women, and has reached over 1000 women in different continents since then. In 2016, we love how she turned around a major business challenge into triumph with the #IStandWithTara campaign to encourage people to buy the original Tara products and speak out against counterfeiting.

Temie Giwa
Temie is the Founder and CEO of Lifebank Nigeria, a platform that tackles blood shortage in the country. She is a healthcare manager who is passionate about saving lives and making blood available when and where needed in Nigeria. Her humanitarian and social enterprise led to the establishment of LifeBank in 2015, following a near-death experience, and the difficulties she faced giving birth to her son. Using an app, LifeBank provides records of blood banks available all over Lagos, which allows health centres to find the relevant blood types and order for delivery. Her lifesaving initiative has earned her a commendation from Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, as well as a feature on ‘CNN’s Africa Start-Up.’

Titi Oyinsan
Titi is an On-Air Personality at Nigeria’s Inspiration FM, where she hosts a variety of shows that cater to a myriad of people. She’s also a TV Presenter, a Talk-Show Host, A Professional Voice Over Artiste, and the COO of Amber 11 Media Limited – a company she Co-Founded with her husband, Oscar Oyinsan. A passion driven humanitarian and social entrepreneur, Titi is also the Founder of IAMDYNAMITE Network, and runs the ‘I Am Dynamite’ campaign as an online platform to raise funds in order to promote girl-child education. We also love how she and her husband parent their gorgeous twin daughters, Amber and Ruby.

Toke Makinwa
Toke is an award-winning media personality, OAP, TV Host and Vlogger. In 2016, she authored the bestselling and hugely controversial memoir ‘On Becoming,’ which resonated with a lot of women, and gave an insight to some of the life-altering
challenges that she has faced. From then till now, Toke’s trajectory has been upward, proving that trials can also be a huge launching pad to success and redefinition. Toke is also a motivational speaker and popular co-host on Ebony Life TV’s talk show ‘Moments,’ and is regarded as one of the most inspiring media figures for young Nigerian women.

Tokini Peterside
Half Woman-Half Amazing, Tokini is the Founder/CEO of the TP Collective – a company dedicated to the evolution of contemporary African culture, through strategic consultancy that aides businesses within the art and design sector. Her list of super impressive clients include: ALARA (the luxury concept store created by Reni Folawiyo), Maki Oh (an artisanal fashion designer worn by the likes of Michelle Obama and Lupita Nyong’o), and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ (the film based on Chimamanda Adichie’s novel, of the same title). She is also the Founder and Convener of ART X Lagos – the first international contemporary art fair in West Africa.

Tosin Oshinowo
Tosin is the poster-child inspiration, for every black girl who thinks she can, and goes ahead to achieve her dreams. Tosin is the Founder and Principal Architect at CMDesign Atelier, an architecture design consultancy established in 2012. With futuristic and cutting-edge designs, she has spearheaded many notable projects, including the design of the sleek Maryland Mall, re-opened in Lagos Nigeria, in 2016. We love that Tosin is breaking boundaries in what many may think to be a male-dominated industry.

Uche Majekodunmi
With nearly 3 decades of consistently creating mind-blowing designs, and planning exquisite events, Uche Majekodunmi is most definitely an industry leader and a clear inspiration. She is the CEO of Newton & David – a Nigerian-based Event Management, Flora Decor, and Set Design Company. With credentials from the renowned Mary Adams, of Knightsbridge London, England and Paula Pryke, in Islington, North London where she did a brief course, Uche has carved a niche for herself, not only as a pioneer of the event and decor industry, but also as a Florist extraordinaire. With an impressive list of clients and a slew of both local and international awards, Uche seems focused on continually growing the N&D brand, and expanding the business.

Ufuoma McDermott
If you’ve happened to see Ifeoma Fafunwa’s stage play, Hear Word – then you would vividly recall the powerful and masterful performance of ‘Sister Esther.’ Meet Award-winning Actress, Film Director, and Producer – Ufuoma McDermott. For Ufuoma, the journey to excellence hasn’t been immediate or sudden, as she’s spent over a decade honing her skills as an Actress and well respected thespian. With TV Series and blockbusters like Duplicity, Wives on Strike and Okafor’s Law under her belt, Ufuoma is all about breaking boundaries, and we are so here for that!

Uneku Atawodi
Uneku is an astounding serial entrepreneur and achiever. She is the General Manager of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a training platform for aspiring technology entrepreneurs. In 2012, she Founded ‘Ride to Shine’ and later founded Malaik Limited in 2015. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Royal Commonwealth Society. She was listed among Forbes Under 30 in 2016 and was also nominated for CBNC Young African Leader.

Valerie Obaze
Valerie is the Founder, R&R Luxury, a business that was set up in 2010 when what started out as hobby for making natural, homemade, scented luxury candles morphed into something more. The business evolved further, according to her, when she had an ‘aha’ moment, based on certain needs she had while pregnant, and thereafter expanded the R&R product range. With a vision to share 100% Natural, Made in Africa products with the rest of the world, the products contain no parabens, artificial colours or mineral oils. The R&R Luxury range of products is fast becoming a staple for those who desire its luxurious and natural products.

Wangi Mba Uzuokwu
Wangi is the Chief Executive Officer for M-Net operations in West Africa with core responsibility for Leading the strategy and mapping the footprint for the Africa Magic brand and channels in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also responsible for a number of content development and showcasing initiatives such as Africa Magic GO, the Africa Magic Video on Demand service and the Africa Magic Original Films project, an initiative that provides a platform for showcasing original premium African titles. A successful business and media strategist, Wangi’s career spans nearly two decades in top management positions in multinationals such as British American Tobacco, The Coca-Cola Company, and Airtel. We love Wangi because she’s a great example of women breaking barriers in the corporate world.

Yemisi Aribisala
Witty, bold and immensely colourful woman, Yemisi is a Nigerian Essayist, Writer and Food Memoirist. She is the Author of: ‘Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and the Nigerian Taste Buds’– a collection of essays that takes on “the cultural politics and
erotics of Nigerian cuisine” in an amusingly clever way. From 2009 to 2011, Yemisi was the food columnist at the now defunct, groundbreaking 234 newspaper, where she first gained public attention. She is renowned for her portrayal of Nigerian foods as a distinct community and culture. Her memoir won her the John Avery Awards in 2016.


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