These Nigerian women are making strides in different fields across the continent. They have broken through the gender barriers and have become visionaries, leaders and an inspiration for young women all over the world.
These women have contributed immensely in their respective fields while making a career out of it. Some of them inspire, influence and have created job opportunities which in turn bounces back to the society both home and abroad. They have also worked to put Nigeria on a global pedestal.
We are taking a close look at these admirable women making moves in their different fields.
1. Nkem Onyeali-Ikpe
Onyeali-Ikpe is the first female to be appointed as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc.
She was formerly the Executive Director, Lagos and South West Directorate of the bank, and has been an integral part of Fidelity Bank for six years before her appointment.
She has spent over 30 years working across various banks; including Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Citizens International Bank/Enterprise Bank.
2. Enoh T Ebong
Enoh T. Ebong is a U.S. government Senior Executive Service member, General Counsel, and Strategist, recognized for leading and advancing international public-private partnership.
She was also the former Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
President Joe Biden recently appointed Nigerian-Born Ebong as the Acting Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. This means a return to USTDA where she had served in a variety of roles, such as the Agency’s General Counsel, and Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer from 2004 to 2019.
3. Ayomide Olajide
Program Manager for Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ). She earlier served as a Program Officer before rising to this role.
Prior to joining WIMBIZ, Ayomide worked with the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and worked as a consultant for Enabling Nigeria for a Better Business Environment (ENABLE) an affiliate of The Department for International Development (DFID).
4. Abike Dabiri Erewa
Nigerian politician and former member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Constituency in Lagos State.
She was the Chairman of the House Committee on Media & Publicity. She was also the former Chair of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, and was elected for the first time in 2003, and re-elected in 2007 and 2011 In 2015, she was appointed as the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.
In November 2018, Dabiri-Erewa was given a new role of Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission which serves till date.
5. Mo Abudu
Mosunmola Abudu popularly known as Mo Abudu is the founder of Ebony Life Television and Inspire Africa Foundation. She’s also the host of ‘Moments with Mo.’ As a TV producer, media personality, human resources management consultant, and entrepreneur, Mo is the poster woman for those who keep evolving for the better. She has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”.
Sony Pictures Television recently signed an exclusive first-look deal with her media company Ebony Life Media to develop scripted TV series.
6. Funmi Iyanda
Award-winning broadcaster, journalist, columnist and blogger. Funmi Iyanda produced and hosted Nigeria’s popular talk show “New Dawn With Funmi”, which aired on the national network for over eight years.
She was once named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Powerful Women in Africa.
Funmi is also a social commentator; her passion is admirable and her focus on making a mark in her generation is contagious.
7. Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie
Nigerian novelist, non-fiction writer and activist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is known as “the most prominent” of a procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors in Nigeria.
From being sampled by Beyonce, to giving insightful talks, having huge motion pictures made out of her novels and writing thought-provoking articles, Chimamanda constantly redefines the notions of what and who an author should be.
8. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Renowned Nigerian economist and two-term Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is one Nigerian woman that for a period, was daily, on the national news. She was one of the managing directors of World Bank and also held the position of Foreign Minister of Nigeria in 2006.
She is set to be be the first woman and the first African to lead World Trade Organisation (WTO)
9. Kemi Adetiba
Award winning filmmaker, Director, media entrepreneur. She is the director behind one of the most revered Nigerian movie “The Wedding Party” which was premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
She started as a radio presenter for Silver’s Rhythm 93.7 FM. She was the voice behind the two national hit shows – Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside.
Kemi Adetiba slowly moved from radio to television by presenting on TV. Afterwards, she moved to music and movie production.
10. Ndidi Nwuneli
Advocate for social and economic change. She is the founder and managing partner of LEAP Africa, a leadership training and coaching organization which is committed to empowering, inspiring and equipping a new regime of leaders in Africa.
Nwuneli is also the director of Sahel Capital Partners, a leading advisory firm focused on agro-business and manufacturing sectors and the co-founder of AACE Foods, an agro-processing company. Through her work with Sahel and AACE, Ndidi has also enhanced agricultural practice in Nigeria.
11. Adenrele Sonariwo
Founding director of the Rele Art Gallery Lagos, Nigeria as well as the Rele Art Gallery in Los Angeles, California and also Rele Arts Foundation, which seek to promote contemporary art, and harness it to facilitate social change, in Nigeria.
Adenrele was the lead curator for the first Nigerian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, and a member of the jury for the 13th edition of the Dak’Art Biennale in 2018. In 2016 she was a winner at the Future Awards for Arts and Culture; since 2019, she has been a consultant on culture and tourism to the governor of Ogun State.
12. Tara Fela-Durotoye
Tara is a lawyer, a pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria and wife of the popular public speaker Fela Durotoye.
The founder of House of Tara International and creator of the Tara Orekelewa Beauty range was awarded the Africa SMME Award and the Entrepreneur award in South Africa. In 2013, Forbes listed her as one of the 20 Young Power Women In Africa.
She is a graduate of the prestigious Stanford SEED Transformation Program and this has aided her work as a mentor to many Nigerian women.