The great Margaret Thatcher once said, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” It is all too easy to celebrate achievements of men or assume that the great legacies we record were made by men, leaving women mostly under-appreciated in today’s society. But more women are rising to positions where they can simply not be ignored anymore and we hope every female is taking this queue.
As the world celebrates another women’s day, there is no doubt that the past year has been eventful for women across the globe.
From Hillary Clinton’s near win of the most powerful seat in the world; to the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who stood up for themselves with the brilliant, messy, chaotic World Women’s March; to multiple wins for women at the Oscars; plus women all across Africa asking for improved access to maternal health and other basic provisions; not forgetting the Access Women Network seminar themed, “Violence against women”; join Accelerate TV as we celebrate eight gallant women on this 8th of March:
- Pearl Thusi is a South African actress, model, radio, and television personality. The mother of one has had to work her way through life’s hurdles to achieve international stardom and here is what she thinks about life, “We’re not here to get rich and earn yachts. That’s fine, but we’re here to serve our purpose, and our purpose is much greater than what we think. Until we change our perspective, we’ll never know exactly what we’re capable of.” Pearl is the host of MTV Africa’s Lip Sync Battle Africa, as well as EbonyLife TV’s Moments South Africa. She also plays the role of Dayana Mampasi in the United States TV series, Quantico. Pearl is currently writing a book sharing her experiences as a young single mother navigating her way through life as a young career woman in efforts to inspire and educate mothers.
- Tara Fela-Durotoye is a big pioneer of the beauty industry in Nigeria, who began her journey by transforming her sitting room into a makeshift studio. In 1999, she launched the first ever bridal directory and in 2005, she established the country’s first makeup school, launched the Tara Product line and hosted Nigeria’s first Make-up conference in 2014. Tara Fela-Durotoye is the Creative Director and CEO of House of Tara International, aside from being a certified lawyer.
- Nkemdilim Begho is the Managing Director of Future Software Resources Limited – an IT solutions provider. She volunteers and mentors young and less privileged children in Nigeria, through various NGOs like Women in Technology (W.TECH), Ajegunle.org, among others. She was awarded the Jim Ovia Prize for Software Excellence and is also a recipient of the Etisalat Prize for Innovation.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist, nonfiction and short story writer. A recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Adichie’s works have been known to inspire many and promote Africa. The feminist has been quoted as saying, “I am angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change, but in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.” Parts of Adichie’s TED talk were sampled in Beyoncé’s song “Flawless”.
- Mosunmola Abudu, commonly known as Mo Abudu, is a Nigerian talk show host, TV producer, media personality, human resources management consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”. You would know her from her famous TV talk show, Moments with Mo, which is the first syndicated daily talk show. She also owns The Inspire Africa Foundation. Mo believes that “Your ability to make things happen is what makes you different.”
- Bukola Elemide, who we all know as Aṣa is a Nigerian French singer, songwriter, and recording artiste fuelled on old-school Soul. Her songs say a lot about our melancholy, our dreams, our thoughts and our reflections. It almost feels like they’ve have been part of our lives even before Asa wrote and sang them and that’s why we love Asa. She believes in the ability to make a difference, saying, “I know I can’t change the past but as the river keeps flowing, I will keep moving on.”
- Lupita Nyong’o is an actress, who began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. The Kenyan star once gave a speech at the EssenceBlack Women In Hollywood luncheon in Beverly Hills, on the beauty of black women and said her views changed when she saw South Sudanese supermodel, Alek Wek become successful. She in turn received this letter from a girl she had inspired: “I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.” In 2014, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recruited Nyong’o in an effort to oppose development in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, Virginia. The historic neighborhood, one of Richmond’s oldest, was the site of major slave-trading before the American Civil War. On October 19, 2014, Nyong’o sent a letter to Richmond Mayor, Dwight C. Jones, which she posted on social media sites, asking him to withdraw support for the development proposal.
- Lisa Folawiyo is a Nigerian fashion designer celebrated for her colourful collections that fuse traditional West African fabrics with modern tailoring and beaded embellishments. Since starting her label in 2005, Folawiyo has spearheaded the movement of Nigerian designers achieving international recognition for their work. She has a knack for elevating traditional African prints above the status quo, making them relevant for a global audience. She has showrooms in both Nigeria and New York and her collections are stocked in the UK, the US, South Africa and Nigeria itself.
Happy International Women’s Day!
More women are doing great by the day, let us help you celebrate them as you comment the woman who inspires you on our instagram and twitter handles @accelerate_tv
Written by Oluwatoyin Adeleye