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.”
Lilian O. Ajayi – Founder and CEO of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W), an award-winning not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City, with a reach of 3.5 million people worldwide, in the areas of gender equality and women empowerment.
Lilian Ajayi Ore is a Senior Marketing Executive and Data Scientist with over 16 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 joined by other exceptional leading women, leading the charge in their respective communities.
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 – Adekemi is the Founder, Dentoville Foundation & Co-Founder, Komplete Woman. A dentist from Nigeria, Adekemi’s foundation 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 organization that mentors young women to discover their purpose.
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 – centered 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 organized 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.
We are grateful for the nomination.