#IWD2019: 10 Nigerian Women Who Have Left Their Names On The Sands Of Time

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Influential Women In Nigeria. 

As the world celebrates International Women Day today, March 8, Nigeria joins to celebrate the women who have shaped the nation for the better. These women have put Nigeria on the world map in their various sectors and with their skills. The history of Nigeria would be incomplete without adding the names of these admirable and powerful women.

Read: Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Mo Abudu named in Variety’s International Women’s Impact Report 2018

To celebrate the International Women’s Day, we have carefully highlighted these influential women who are worth emulating. Below is the list.

1. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was the first female minister of finance in Nigeria and she served two terms. She also served as Managing director of the World Bank. in 2014 she was listed as one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.In July 2017 she was named an independent non-executive director at Standard Chartered Plc in the United Kingdom.

2.  Olufumilayo Ransome-Kuti

Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a teacher, political activist, and leader of her generation, she paved the way for women to have the right to vote, She was also the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria. She died on the 13th of April 1978.


3. Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili  She was a co-founder of transparency international, She also served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Federal Minister of Education during the second-term presidency of Obasanjo. She also founded the #bringbackourgirls campaign which brought international recognition for the 400 kidnapped girls Chibok. She contested for the 2019 Nigeria Presidential election.

4. Agbani Darego

Agbani Darego was the first African to the Miss World in 2001 as she became the first African and black woman to win the title. She has since had a long and illustrious modeling career all over the world.  In 2010 she launched a style and fashion reality show Stylogenic on Nigerian television, and three years later announced her denim range, AD by Agbani Darego, which includes jeans, dresses, sunglasses, and bags.

5. Folorunsho Alakija

Mrs. Alajika is a businesswoman and one of the richest African women and also one of the richest black women in the world. As of 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. She has a foundation called the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants.

6. Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Adichie is an author of short stories and poems, her book Half of A Yellow sun was made into a movie. She has been invited to give talks and lectures all over the world including TEDx talks  Parts of Adichie’s TED talk were sampled in Beyonce’s song “Flawless” in December 2013. She is a strong advocate of feminism. She also received the 2019 Everett M. Rogers Award. She was honored for reframing the discourse on race, gender & identity.

Huggies Nappy Pants

 7. Joke Silva

Joke Silva is a pioneer in the Nigerian film industry, she started her career in the early 1990s, she has stared in both local and international films in the course of her career. On 29 September 2014, Silva received recognition as a Member of the Order Of The Federal Republic one of the highest Honours in Nigeria.

Also Read: Everything You Should Know About Nollywood Veteran Actress, Joke Silva

8. Mosunmola Abudu

Mo Abudu Ebonylife TV Anniversary

Mosunmola Abudu popularly known as Mo Abudu is a Nigerian media mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She’s the Chief Executive Officer of Africa’s first Global Black Multi-Broadcast Entertainment Network, “Ebony Life Television” which she founded in 2013.

“Forbes Africa” recognized Mo Abudu as the first African woman to own a Pan-Africa TV channel in 2013. Hollywood Reporter also listed her as one of the 25 most Powerful Women in Global TV in 2013. Mo was honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Women Werk, New York in 2014. Mo Abudu Bag African Achievers Award in 2018 for her contribution in media. She made the 2018 UK Power list. The media mogul is set to receive the 2019 MIPTV Médailles d’Honneur in Cannes

Read: Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Ebony Life TV Boss, Mo Abudu

9. Ibukun Awosika

Ibukun Awosika business magnate, author, and motivational speaker. On September 7, 2015, she  became the first woman to be appointed Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. Mrs. Awosika was among five Nigerian entrepreneurs who appeared in the first African version of the Dragon’s Den. She also hosts a T.V programme called Business His Way.

10. Onyeka Onwenu

Onyeka Onwenu is a singer, songwriter, actress, journalist, politician. Onwenu began her music career in 1981 while still working with the NTA. Originally a secular artist, she now sings mainly gospel music. She is also an advocate for peace and social justice.

Read: Everything You Should Know About A True Legend, Onyeka Onwenu