Seeing as it is International Women’s day, I decided to mention a few Nigerian women I admire, a few out of very many.
Chimamanda Adichie. Author. I could have sworn that I had a picture with Adichie so I could show off but haters won’t let me be great, I cannot find it. Yesterday, I was talking to a friend about a recent Adichie article and he said ‘that one should stop talking’ before I could even say what the article was about. This is not uncommon. I find that many Nigerians feel Adichie should speak less. I do not understand this. Why should she like everyone else not be entitled to her opinions whether they sit well with us or not. While I do not always agree with her, it is the very thing I admire most about her, that she has her opinions and states them. I like that she’d strong willed and refuses to be bullied by a society that feels they have the right to decide for her, what her thoughts should be.
I believe that artists are given talents not simply so they can make money off it but so they can influence society and that Chimamanda has definitely done. Her Tedx talk; We should all be Feminists has reached far and wide converting many to the bright side. Like her, I want a world where we no longer need feminism because we would have achieved gender equality.
Emem Isong Misodi. Filmmaker. I definitely have a picture with her. Emem has been a rebel from as
Mrs M. M. Isong. Educationist. Also happens to be my mother. My mum gave us everything but most importantly she gave us a free will. There was discipline, too much if you ask me but on the things that really mattered, She allowed us to choose. For instance, at 14, I no longer wanted to go to their church, she didn’t force me. They’d drop me at my new church even though she didn’t approve. We chose what we wanted to study, my brother was originally a science student , made his papers but decided he preferred the Arts so his GCE and SSCE results are very different. My mother was cool with this. I can’t really explain my mother, she was liberal and very strict at the same time but suffice to say that she is the greatest woman of all time. Most of what I am is because she raised me.
Mary Olushoga. Entrepreneur. I need to start keeping it short or no one’s going to read it. Mary is the
Mealdred Okwo. Filmmaker. Fondly called Aunty M, Mealdred is our advocate in Nollywood.
Bola Aduwo. Writer. Publicist. Aduwo is an ultimate believer in people. She uses her blog to showcase and encourage new talent. ‘You can’t keep hiding’ She used to tell me. And she’s made sure that I hide less and less.
Tara Durotoye. Make up Artist. I am an admirer of not just her work but her person. One would think that someone in the bridal/make up industry would be flamboyant but Tara has maintained her simple and warm outlook. It’s surprising that Tara is only just turning 40. In a country that seems to work against you, her level of success is no mean feat.
and it gladdened my heart. She’s been at the top of the game almost from inception and she is still at the top of the game. Did I tell you that we attended the same secondary school?
Mary Njoku. Entrepreneur. Mary is CEO of ROK studios. Mrs. Njoku has contributed to the
Dotun Akande. Founder: Patrick Speech and Languages Centre. Patrick Speech and Languages Centre is the pioneer special needs school for children with Autism. Dotun set up the school after her son had been diagnosed with autism and has since then invested a lot in creating awareness on autism and offering support for autistic children and their families. Akande believes that autistic children can lead normal lives with early detection and advocates for this.
Uche Jombo Rodriguez. Actor, Producer. Uche is a major source of inspiration, one of the most hard working people I know, Uche has through hard work and will power pulled herself to the top and has stayed there. I cannot talk about Rodrigues without talking about how much of a giver she is ; of her time, money and self.
Ansa Kpokpogiri. Filmmaker. Ansa was one of the best people I ever met. She started her Nollywood career from the bottom of the ladder and through sheer hard work and diligence rose to be one of the best. She was bold, brave and beautiful. She gave so much of herself to her work, her family and her friends. Many times, I wanted to quit, Ansa urged me on and now even in death, I hear her voice telling me everything will be fine.
Happy International Women's Day!