Saturday, 3rd June 2023

Winners at Her Network Woman of the Year Awards 2019

By Guardian Woman
28 December 2019   |   4:11 am
The third annual Her Network Woman of the Year Awards held on Sunday, December 15 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

The third annual Her Network Woman of the Year Awards held on Sunday, December 15 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

Women from different walks of life and sectors came together to celebrate and honour each other at the annual event which celebrates outstanding women who have made significant impact in their workplace, community or network.

Nominees, honorees, and guests stayed true to the theme of the night, Flourish, a call to action for the women to bloom and blossom regardless of anything. For the second time in a row, media personality-Simi Drey, hosted the ceremony, which was an evening of inspiration and celebration.

During the ceremony, Mrs Rita James, the MD of Merciport Resources and Founder of Shaunammite Foundation, delivered a keynote speech on “Success in Different Measures” where she spoke about the importance of defining what success means for oneself and staying focused on one’s path.

The Founder, Nkem Onwudiwe, in her opening speech welcomed the guests and highlighted the theme for the year, “Her Year of Honour” and the need to celebrate women daily. She proceeded to present the first award of the night for Her Network Woman of the Year in Advocacy to Anita Kemi DaSilva Ibru of WARIF Nigeria.

Other recipients include- Her Network Woman of the Year in Career- Anu Adesolum; Her Network Woman of the Year in Community Service- Gusi Tobby Lord Williams; Her Network Woman of the Year in Education- Omolola Aneke; Her Network Woman of the Year in Healthcare -Adekemi Adeniyan; Her Network Start-up Woman of the Year Chidinma Chukwuemeka and Her Network Woman of the Future -Onyekachi Nwakoby. The Woman of the Year in Media was prsented by TVC Communications Your View host, Morayo Afolabi- Brown, to Kiki Mordi. MoneyLine presented Woman of the Year in Technology to Odunayo Eweniyi and House of Tara International presented Entrepreneur Woman of the Year to Tokini Peterside.

Adaora Lumina Mbelu, who was in attendance with her family, was honoured with the Her Network Inspiration Award for the impactful and admirable work she has achieved over the years in her professional and personal work. Uche Pedro, the founder of Bella Naija was also honoured with the Her Network Trailblazer Award for being an innovator and trendsetter in digital media. Guests were refreshed by Malta Guinness, and treated to gifts by Araliabynature and House of Tara.

Here’s a profile of the Award recipients:

Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru

Anita Kemi Dasilva Ibru- 2019 Her Network Woman of the Year in Advocacy
Anita Kemi Dasilva is a specialist Obstetrician and Gynecologist with a medical background that extends to Public Health. Dr. Kemi Dasilva has worked in Lagos for over 10 years in private practice, where she has dedicated her time to working closely with NGOs and related agencies in addressing the prevailing issues of gender-based violence, rape, and trafficking of young girls and women in communities throughout Lagos, by offering free medical support and counseling. Dr. Dasilva is a strong advocate of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. She is known for her unmitigated passion for women’s rights which has shaped her life and has led to her establishing the Women at Risk International Foundation WARIF, a foundation through which she works towards ensuring that globally, all young girls and women live in a society free of rape and sexual violence.

Anuoluwapo Adasolum- 2019 Her Network Career Woman Of The Year
Anu Adasolum is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Rensource Distributed Energy Limited. She provides day-to-day leadership and management, empowering the operational team to meet business goal and projections. Anu drives the engine room of Rensource’s operations, driving growth strategies, managing talent and refining processes to realise the company’s ambition to deliver off-grid power solutions to millions of Nigerians. Having worked in diverse industries ranging from Manufacturing, Private Equity, Real Estate and E-Commerce, Anu has carved a niche for herself in Organizational Management and Transformation. Anu has lived and worked in both Africa and Europe, with a range of roles spanning the UK, Denmark, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.

Gusi Tobby Lord Williams- 2019 Her Network Woman Of The Year In Community Service
Gusi Tobby Williams is the founder of Girl Hub Africa, a vision based on a Divine mandate and strong passion to raise young leaders, who will transform Africa and the world through the art of service and volunteering.

A graduate of Law at the University of Benin, Gusi created the platform to ensure that unemployment is reduced to the barest minimum by exposing young African youths to various volunteering opportunities. This has so far exposed over 300 volunteers from different walks of life and has given about 1,000 youths the privilege to work with and mentor several others.



Lola Aneke- 2019 Her Network Woman Of The Year In Education
Omolola is the Executive Director of the Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training Academy, known as the C.A.D.E.T. Academy, and the founder of the non-profit, Non-Governmental Organisation Dewdrops Community Centre for Special Needs. She is also a radio personality and has hosted a weekly special needs radio show since 2015, which currently airs on Kiss FM Abuja, aimed at creating awareness and advocating for children with special education needs and empowering parents and caregivers with relevant information and resources. She has trained and empowered numerous parents, teachers and caregivers locally and internationally and recently authored two crucial best-selling books, namely: Special Needs Made Easy (Vol. 1) and Mastering Autism.

Tokini Peterside- 2019 Her Network Entrepreneur Woman Of The Year
Tokini Peterside is the creator of ART X
Lagos, the first international art fair in West Africa. Through her platform, ART X, Tokinini showcases and celebrates the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and its Diaspora.

Tokini, who wanted to contribute to how the world sees the city of Lagos, launched the three-day event in 2016 to support Nigerian and pan-African artists and give curators, collectors, and the public better access to them. The event has also featured a music festival and a new prize for emerging artists since its launch.


Dr. Adekemi Adeniyan- 2019 Her Network Healthcare Woman Of The Year
Dr. Adekemi Adeniyan is a dentist who founded Dentoville, a foundation that focuses on providing free oral health education and treatments to the less privileged, especially people in rural areas. She is also the co-founder of Komplete Woman, an organisation that mentors young women to discover their purpose. Adekemi has previously worked as Assistant Country Director for Health Equity International, Nigeria. She is a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative RLC, West Africa and also an associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, UK.

Dr Adekemi is passionate about improving 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. Adeniyan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry from i.Ya Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University, Ukraine.


Kiki Mordi- 2019 Her Network Woman Of The Year In Media
Kiki Mordi is a BBC Investigative Journalist, radio presenter, a filmmaker and storyteller. Kiki Mordi is notably well known for the impact of her work as an investigative journalist – she uncovered sexual harassment in African universities, particularly Universities in Nigeria and Ghana.

Chidinma Chukwuemeka- 2019 Her Network Start-Up Woman Of The Year
Chidinma is a youth and women entrepreneurship advocate and the Cofounder of The Footwear Academy; a company she created to foster economic growth and reduce youth unemployment in Nigeria, through shoemaking. She learned shoemaking at Accademia Riaci, Florence, Italy and has since used her work at The Footwear Academy to improve the lives of shoemakers in Aba and Lagos state, Nigeria by enabling them produce export-standard footwear products through trainings, finishing services and access to quality raw materials. She is a seasoned entrepreneur and has received several awards, prizes, and grants. Noteworthy of her achievements is being named the Star of Business & Entrepreneurship at the YALI West Africa Nigeria Cohort 4. She is currently a YALI RLC Entrepreneurship Mentor. Her Start-up The Footwear Academy, has pitched and participated in various local and international startup competition. They are the recent winners of the Proudly Made in Aba Hackathon – winning a grant prize of $50,000 from Ford Foundation. They also took 2nd place in 2017 at the Open Mic Africa startup Pitch competition organized by Techpreneur Africa and MIT Legatum. Chidinma is a renowned Entrepreneurship speaker and has contributed intelligently to various youth-centered entrepreneurship and Nation-building events including This Generation Conference, Abuja, Sigma Pension Future Tour Events in various Nigerian Universities, GSK Sponsored social entrepreneurship training for young pharmacists in Lagos state and an HR forum panel discussion at Regenesys Business School. She is a pioneer member and one of the administrators of The Young Enterprising Women in Africa network (YEWA); a nonprofit group geared towards empowering and enabling women entrepreneurs in Africa. Chidinma is currently a recipient of the South-West Nigeria Excellence Awards in recognition of her contribution to youth and economic empowerment in southwest Nigeria.

Odunayo Eweniyi- 2019 Her Network Woman Of The Year In Technology
Odunayo Eweniyi is the Co-founder of Piggy Vest, a platform whose mission is to give people the power to manage their finances by making it clearer and more transparent. She previously co-founded, one of the largest job sites in Africa with the largest database of pre-screened candidates. She has five years’ experience in Business Analysis and Operations and is a first-class Graduate of Computer Engineering, Covenant University, Nigeria.

Odunayo previously co-founded, one of the largest job sites in Africa with the largest database of pre-screened candidates. She has five years experience in Business Analysis and Operations and is a First-Class Graduate of Computer Engineering, Covenant University, Nigeria.

Onyekachi Nwakoby- 2019 Her Network Woman Of The Future
Onyekachi Nwakoby is the Founder of MEDGLOBE, a health organization committed to promoting health and medication adherence globally. She is a Pharmacist with experience in community pharmacy practice; she just finished her pharmacy internship with Mopheth Pharmacy as the Best Intern Of the Year 2018 where she focused on pharmaceutical care, drug dispensing and Pharmacy management. Apart from MEDGLOBE, Onyekachi is a professional volunteer with Girlhub Africa. She holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Pharmacy obtained from Central University, Ghana and is the youngest board member of Nigeria Association of Foreign-trained Pharmacists (NAFtraPh). She is passionate about drug adherence and educating the public on the right indication of drugs and every other drug information in order to reduce side effects, drug abuse, misuse, self-medication and worse case death.

Adaora Mbelu – Her Network Inspiration Award Honoree
Adaora Mbelu is a bright light, dreamterpreter, and purpose driver. As the author of the book “This Thing Called Purpose,” Adaora’s book has helped many understand the true essence of living with and through purpose. And within the past few years, she has also used her expertise as a brand developer to work on several projects with different multinational companies, SMEs, and individuals.

Prior to brand development, Adaora worked as a content manager on the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Conference, the Nigeria Centenary Awards, and the International Conference On Peace & Security. She was also the project manager for Freemantle Licensed TV Shows, Nigerian Idol and Nigeria’s Got Talent, where she managed the business, brand, and production aspect of the shows. She has worked in the sports industry as a Corporate Communications Manager for OSMI during the 2010 World Cup, managing all communications on the broadcast rights for Nigeria.

Prior to moving to Nigeria, Adaora was also a Credit Analyst at Citigroup where she received awards for organisational efficiency and team spirit. In 2017, she was mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “11 Africans that are changing the business landscape in Africa.” She was also nominated in the “Entrepreneur Of The Year” and “Prize For Media Enterprise” Categories of the Future Awards Africa. Adaora has been featured amongst Nigeria’s Under 40 CEO’s, and Top 30 Under 30.

Aside from her academic and professional work, she has a super-awesome passion for community development. She is the co-founder of Socially Africa (@sociallyafrica), a foundation that gives back to the community through several initiatives. Adaora further hosts a weekly podcast video series titled: “The Lumination Show” (@lumination.tribe) and also hosts a mentorship group via @thedreamterpreters.

Uche Pedro – Her Network Trailblazer Award Honoree
Uche Pedro is the Founder of BellaNaija, Africa’s leading lifestyle digital media company with a distinct focus covering a diverse range of areas including entertainment, cinema, fashion, culture, and advocacy.
BellaNaija has a digital footprint of over 200 million impressions and 10 million followers across platforms. Uche pioneered the monetisation of media technology in Nigeria. Along with her team, 12 years after the journey began, she continues to spearhead the revolution of the lifestyle sector through Africa’s No 1 weddings and fashion digital media super-brands – BellaNaija Weddings and BellaNaija Style.

In 2018, Uche was one of 10 emerging African leaders selected for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-Gates Letter campaign. She was also named as a business leader on the OkayAfrica 100 Women list. In March 2019, Uche was honoured with the Forbes Woman Africa New Media Award for BellaNaija’s innovative impact on media in Africa.

Uche is passionate about the progress of youth in Nigeria and across Africa. As a board member of Pan-African youth non-profit LEAP Africa, she contributes to the development of impactful programs for youth across Africa. Through BN DoGood, she has led campaigns and actions for active change. Uche was recognized at the Frown Awards by UNICEF/UNFPA for her efforts toward the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria. She co-founded PVCitizen to encourage millennials and Generation Z Nigerians to register, vote and become active citizens.  Uche holds a Bachelors degree – Honours Business Administration (HBA) from the Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada where she graduated with distinction.