Women who inspire

Women who Inspire Us

What better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than to reflect on the women who inspire us every day. These inspirational women have made a distinct impact. They continue to inspire with their motivational acts and unending strive for success in various industries.

Michelle Obama

Women who inspire

Michelle Obama is an American lawyer, university administrator and writer and was the first African-American First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. An Ivy League graduate, she built a successful career; first as a lawyer, and then in the private sector, which she maintained throughout her husband’s early political career.

She has championed several causes and she continues to advocate for poverty awareness; education for the girl child; support for military families and encouraging healthy eating to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity. As a young mother, a fashion icon and the first African-American first lady; Michelle Obama is a role model to many Americans.

One of our favourite quotes by her is this one – ‘Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own “to do” list.’

Ireti Doyle

Women who inspire

Ireti Doyle is a Nigerian award-winning actress in a career that has spanned two decades in the Nigerian entertainment industry. An accomplished writer, actor, producer and presenter. She has created memorable characters on TV in hit shows like Fuji House Of Commotion, Dowry, Gidi Up and Tinsel. Her representation of characters is epic and she always leaves a mark. You can confirm this from her role in the record-breaking Wedding Party Movie and Fifty. She is currently in her fifty’s and her sense of style is very effortless and elegant.

Mrs Isioma Onochie Aihie

Women who inspire

Isioma Onochie has a robust portfolio with a career that started in Information Technology with nearly two decades of experience under her belt. She worked with CB TECHNOLOGIES, BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania, United States working as part of the management team. Then with OANDO PLC, Lagos, Nigeria as the company’s Head of Information Technology.

She then moved on to set up her own businesses in Nigeria. First was TAMIDIA GROUP; a company that successfully established and developed the famous FUNTOPIA. While running FUNTOPIA she delved into the publishing world with the management of JUICE, a bi-monthly entertainment magazine.

She is also the CEO of THE CINDER COMPANY- a company that deals in the management of all production services; stage plays, TV lifestyle shows, animation, commercials, infomercials and documentaries. Her work in this category includes the first successful stage play, “A Voice For Ella”- a modern-day musical adaptation of Cinderella and “Style Me”- a lifestyle TV show that aims to empower the Nigerian woman’s self-worth. At GREY VELVET she is an Executive Director and oversees the Business Operations. She is also a talented Fashion Designer, her label ISI BROWN can also be found at GREY VELVET.

Ayo Megbope

Women who inspire

Ayo Megbope is on our women who inspire us list as an inspiration to entrepreneurs who run odd businesses and feel they’re wasting their time. She has shown that no matter how petty a startup’s products and services may be, positioning your business at the right place, with the right price, and constantly improving your knowledge, will set you up for success.

Ayodeji Oluyemisi Megbope, is the CEO of No Left Overs Nig. Ltd– a full scale catering outfit which started with a take-off capital of N1,000 but today has an annual turnover that runs into millions of naira. She was one of the first women worldwide to benefit from the 10,000 Women Initiative –set up to empower 10,000 underserviced women worldwide with formal business skills and education. Today she is an ambassador of the 10,000 Women Initiative; she has graced numerous local and international platforms and thus become an inspiration to many.

According to her,  “I got to a situation where I had little or nothing to fall back on. My sister-in-law paid me a visit one day and found out that I had used my last N1000 to make moin-moin for myself and my children. She tasted the moin-moin and she was wowed by it.

She then asked me how much it will cost her to get exactly what she had eaten. I told her N1000 and she gave it to me. I made for her, had some leftovers and gave them to some people to taste. They enjoyed it and from there, orders started rolling in”. The rest, they say, is history.

Kehinde Nwani

Women who inspire

Mrs. Kehinde Nwani is a social entrepreneur who has a passion for national transformation. She believes that education can be used as a viable tool for societal development. She has broken new ground in the area of education as a result of her strong passion for improving the standard and quality of education in Nigeria.

Kehinde Nwani has successfully grown Meadow Hall which started as a summer school in 2002 to an education group with 6 subsidiaries: Meadow Hall Education, Meadow Hall Consult, Meadow Hall Foundation, Spring Meadow Edutainment, Meadow Hall Branchise and Meadow Hall Resources. Mrs Nwani has been widely recognized for her educational pursuits, achievements and notable contributions to the growth of education in Nigeria.

Adeola Ogunmola Sowemimo

Women who inspire

She is from Ogbomoso, an ancient town in Oyo State. She graduated from Ladoke Akintola University, which is also based in the old city. Next, she went off to the Sunrise Aviation flight school, a top professional pilot training school located in Ormond Beach, Florida. This eventually resulted in her etching her name in the history books by becoming the first Nigerian female pilot to be hired by Qatar Airways, a world-class airline. She is also the first to fly the big bird, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Dreamliner across the Atlantic.

Oprah Winfrey

Women who inspire

Oprah Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire and has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

Her career in the entertainment industry has spanned over two decades including her television show The Oprah Winfrey Show which ran for a remarkable twenty-five years. Not only was it one of the longest-running shows in America but it also captured an international audience. Her longstanding success with the show is credited to her natural ability to engage with people through television. Oprah uses her status as a platform to highlight global issues such as poverty and child abuse. Through her charity organisation, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation she has donated millions of dollars to provide help for people in countries across the globe.

Chimamanda Adichie

Women who inspire

Chimamanda Adichie has written a series of books and short stories that address the delicate space of femininity, feminism and female power, such as Americanah, which won the National Book Award for fiction in 2013, and We Should All Be Feminists. Her TEDx talk by the same name empowered multiple generations of women to reconsider what it means to be a woman in today’s world. She has also spoken on different platforms including writing, feminism and other social issues.

As a writer, she has received a number of awards including the  MacArthur Genius Grant, the Orange prize, the Booker Prize, and the PEN Pinter Prize, among others. She has also been recognised by different organisations as one of Africa’s prominent women and writers. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie respects and pays tribute to how her roots and journey have shaped her values and experiences.

Chimamanda celebrates this through her work; she applies her Emotional Intelligence to each of her projects, tapping her unbridled passion for pushing the cultural conversation about feminism forward. She also has a Personal Style that is uniquely her — reiterating in her writing and speeches how much her colourful, vibrant and bright fashion choices bring her joy and happiness.

Kathlyn Eyitemi

Women who inspire

Kathlyn Eyitemi was sexually assaulted at the age of four, endured physical and verbal abuse from her dad and was raped a few months before her wedding. Her mother committed suicide when she was fifteen. She was engulfed in self-denial and condemnation and was silent about it for years till she got healed. Today, she is the president of Sisters Interact Network, an interactive NGO for hurting women, providing emotional healing to victims of rape and abuse.

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin

Women who inspire

She is the Founder of Pearls Africa Youth Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization that educates young girls in rural areas in Nigeria with technology skills. Pearls Africa Youth Foundation has trained over 400 young girls in coding. She is also making efforts to put an end to female genital mutilation. On November 1, 2018, Abisoye was one of ten CNN Heroes of the year. She was also recently listed as one of BBC’s 100 Women. She is a social impact entrepreneur and human development expert whose work cuts across education, youth development, and public leadership.

Oby Ezekweseli

Women who inspire

As a professional, Ezekwesili is a Chartered Accountant and founder, and director of the global anti-corruption body. A body based in Berlin, Germany – Transparency International. She served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals. Then as Federal Minister of Education during the second-term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. Since then, she served as the Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012.

A 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Oby was a powerful voice in the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, about the kidnapped Chibok girls. She was also the most visible female Presidential candidate for the 2019 Presidential elections.

Kemi Adetiba

Women who inspire

Kemi Adetiba is fast becoming a Nigerian entertainment staple, breaking barriers and making waves. Her 2016 movie, Wedding Party became the highest-grossing Nigerian movie of all time in less than a year, grossing over N600 million in revenue. She did it again with King of Boys which showed on Netflix.

Kemi is also a trained Lawyer and before this, she was a radio personality and then, a show host. Now, it seems whatever Kemi does, Kemi bosses. That is the female energy our women need.

Tara Fela Durotoye

Women who inspire

Tara Fela-Durotoye is a Nigerian-born lawyer turned Africa’s leading beauty and makeup entrepreneur. She started House of Tara at the age of 20, from her living room; whilst an undergraduate at university back in 1998. She’s since gone on to launch Nigeria’s first-ever bridal directory in 1999. In 2004 she opened the country’s leading beauty academy. Today, Tara has over 3,000 reps spread across Nigeria. She has several stores to her name and she is realising her vision of building a globally respected beauty company of African origin.

Tara remains an inspirational role model and mentor to make-up artists and aspiring beauty business owners across Africa.

Genevieve Nnaji

Women who inspire

She is one of the first modern acts to break fresh grounds in the West. She appeared on Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 2000s and her legacy was sealed as a legend and a role model worth emulating. In 2018, her directorial debut, Lionheart was acquired by the movie streaming service, Netflix and is the first Nigerian movie to achieve that feat.

Kofo Akinkugbe, founder and CEO of Secure ID Nigeria Ltd

Women who inspire

Kofo Akinkugbe is founder & CEO of SecureID Nigeria Ltd. She is an African business leader who has become a market leader in smart card technology and digital security. SecureID is a world-class manufacturing company with the only smart card production plant in West Africa and one of only six on the continent. Her company serves 16 countries across Africa and is fully certified by VISA, Verve and MasterCard. In 2012, Kofo won the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship Mature Business Award.

Mo Abudu

Women who inspire

The Nigerian media-preneur seems to only stronger as years become decades and decades become eras. Starting off as a Human Resource Management Consultant; she started Ebony Life TV as a subsidiary of Media and Entertainment City Africa (MEC Africa)it now airs in over 49 countries. She, however, became vertically known across Nigeria with her hit talk show, Moments With Mo. In March 2018, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced a three-year deal with EbonyLife TV; to co-produce The Dahomey Warriors; a series about the Amazons who took on French colonialists in the 19th century west African kingdom — some of them were also women.

Uche Pedro

Women who inspire

Uche Pedro is the founder of BellaNaija.com, a company that develops and delivers exciting online content aimed at Nigerian and Pan-African audiences. Uche’s savvy grasp of media trends has led to BellaNaija.com becoming the go-to lifestyle, entertainment and fashion portal in Africa. Her website has established a loyal following amongst the young, cosmopolitan, upwardly mobile set in Nigeria; with over 1 million unique visitors and 9 million page views each month.

Adaku Ufere-Awoonor

Women who inspire

Adaku is an award-winning energy professional with over a decade’s experience leading multicultural and multilingual teams across Africa. Her primary capacity is in the field of oil & gas, power, mining, energy policy and gender. She works towards finding solutions that address and lead to the eradication of energy poverty experienced by women in rural and low-income urban areas, in developing countries.

She is the current Chief of Party of the USAID-funded Power Africa West Africa Energy Program in Accra, Ghana.

Adenike Oyetunde

Women who inspire

Adenike Oyetunde is a spirited lawyer and on-air-personality. She had Osteogenic Sarcoma (cancer of the bone) at age 20 when she was in her second year in University. Adenike eventually had to accept the Doctor’s diagnosis and go for limb amputation. After initially refusing to admit that she would live without one of her limbs for the rest of her life. However, this did not stop her from going on to become a Lawyer. Adenike is such an energetic, happy, and inspiring soul. According to her – “I, my name is Adenike Oyetunde, and I am living my life like it’s golden.” She radiates so much positive energy on her Social Media page. Her book titled ‘Adenike’ chronicles her story and so much more.

After reading about these legendary women; you will know you can contribute towards society no matter what. You don’t need to be in a specific field, time or environment to make a difference in the world. They will leave you feeling inspired, confident, and ready to make the most of your life.

Which other woman inspires you? Share with us

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