By Tochi Wigwe
Fortunately for us, we live in a time where women empowerment is increasingly being displayed and appreciated and of course, Accelerate TV wants to make sure everyone is carried along this path to empowerment.
Here are 20 of the most influential ladies we know who inspire us to be better than we think we are. Feel free to pick your mentor, ladies:
- Agbani Darego Danjuma: @Agbanidarego
We all know her for her modelling. She inspires us to believe that anything is possible. This was perfectly illustrated by her being the first Native African woman to win the ‘Miss World’ title. Darego has judged numerous pageants, and fashion and modelling competitions including Miss World 2014, Miss England 2002, Mr. Scotland 2002, and Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012 and 2014 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.
- Mayowa Nicholas: @Mayowanicholas
Signed to Elite model management, this 19-year-old ‘Unicorn’ Mayowa Nicholas constantly blows us off our feet. From the age of 16 where she won the Elite Model look competition in Nigeria, Mayowa has been featured on Vogue Italy, but more recently, appeared on Lisa Folawiyo’s Spring 2017 collection and DKNY pre fall 2017 lookbook.
- Elizabeth Ayodele: @_Liztte
This young medical student/Model has been featured on the Vogue India 2017 issue while balancing her medical school work. Can we say beauty and brains?
- Somkele Iyamah: @Somkele_i
Somkele, best known for staring in The Wedding party and Dreamwalker, is not only talented when it comes to acting, but she also has an eye for fashion which she has more recently been pursuing. She also featured on Lisa Folawiyo’s clothing line but Somkele herself manages Andrea Iyamah, her sister’s fashion line.
- Ayanda Thabethe: @Ayandathabethe_
This beauty manages to balance being a top billing Tv host with being an ambassador for Ponds and an entrepreneur. She stands her own as a formidable business woman, recently opening Johannesburg’s new unisex luxury salon, Liyanda Hair & Beauty Salon at Melrose Arch. Ayanda is also Managing Director and Founder of Buzzworthy Productions, servicing companies who aim to create “a buzz” for their brands. The agency has been in operation since 2011 with a growing client list that includes Nestle, Loreal, Tsogo Sun, Denel Aviation. She also has a keen interest in developing, encouraging and creating sustainable and practical solutions for entrepreneurs and is one of the founders of a non-profit organisation called the African Emancipation Foundation.
- Stephanie Coker: @Stephaniecoker
Nigeria’s finest, Stephanie Coker, who is also a TV host and entrepreneur but more recently known for hosting ‘The Voice Nigeria’ has made a name for herself in the industry for always rising above expectations.
- Chimamanda Adichie: @Chimamanda_Adichie
With Chimamanda, we don’t have to say too much. An amazing author and influencer. Her works, including Half of a Yellow Sun (which was made into a movie), Americanah, The Thing Around Your Neck, among others, are known worldwide and she continues to uplift not only Africans but more specifically, women, every day.
- TY Bello: @Tybello
The iconic TY Bello, known for her photography and eye for spotting models anywhere (even while they are selling bread) has been in the industry for years but she still continues to reach for the skies every day. TY Bello, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, photographer and philanthropist. TY Bello was the official photographer to former President Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure in office; she also does work for Thisday fashion magazine. TY Bello organizes an annual photography exhibition to raise funds for orphans in Nigeria. She is also the director of Link-a-child, an NGO dedicated to proliferating information on orphanages in Nigeria and seeking sponsorship on their behalf. In July 2011, TY Bello was honored by the non-profit Communication For Change organization in a five-part documentary film series titled RedHot
- Ogo Offodile: @Ogo_offodile
Her claims to be a “creative + Nerd” seem to be true even from her picture above, beside a map and a beautiful checked dress. Her fashion style continues to inspire us.
- Falana Music: @Falanamusic
An upcoming musician who has already performed with the likes of Mr Eazi, Falana is one to look out for.
- Valerie Obaze: @Valeriemrso
This beauty is the owner of R&R, a beauty company, whose raw products are “all natural” with ingredients sourced from African countries. She started making luxury scented candles from the comfort of her kitchen initially as a hobby, then it turned into a business following its high demand. Thereafter, the company created its fragranced body oil R&R Shea Luxury Body Oil.
- Adeola Ariyo: @adeolaariyo
A member of Vision models and an actress. Adeola is continuously climbing model stairs and being featured in well-known magazines around the world. In 2014, Adeola Ariyo was selected as the first ever African Ambassador for Beauty company Elizabeth Arden.
- Lola Emeruwa:
Lola is an entrepreneur who helped to start Zegna Lagos. She is the owner of wish luxury and used to be head of PR and Marketing for Louis Vuitton.
- Tracy Nwapa: @Tracieespieces
Founder of Tracyieespieces hair and she also has an interior design company. All this while keeping her style on point.
- Kika & Chioma: @Goodhairltd
Masters of the famous illusion frontal. These 2 best friends have created a worldwide brand and maintained it while living on two different continents.
- Lisa Folawiyo: @Lisafolawiyo_studio
Renowned fashion designer, Lisa Folawiyo is famously known for incorporating traditional West African textiles with modern tailoring techniques with an emphasis on beading and sequin trim and coming out with trendy bold designs.
- Mimi Onalaja: @Mimionalaja
Simply referred to as Mimi Onalaja, she is a graduate of New York Film Academy. Currently she works as a TV presenter at Ebony life TV where she is a Co-host on play2win and she is also a presenter on VVIP events. She also has a column on Style Vitae – ‘For The Life of Mimi’, where she shares her awesome style and wonderful experiences.
- Ini Dima-Okojie: @inidimaokojie
Ini is a beautiful actress most famously known for her roles in Taste of love, Dinner, On the Real and Akah Bants. She took the bold step of entrepreneurship when she left her successful investment banking career for acting.
- Arese Ugwu: @Smartmoneyarese
A financial advisor and the author of ‘the smart woman money book’. Arese Ugwu is the Founder of smartmoneyafrica.org, a personal finance platform tailored to the African Millennial. She promotes financial literacy in Africa through speaking engagements, workshops as well as multiple media platforms. She serves as an independent director on the boards of House of Tara, the Nigeria Higher Education Foundation, and Partnership Investment Plc. She is an associate member of WIMBIZ (Women in Management Business and Public service) and has served on the planning committee since 2015.
- Uche Pedro: @uchepedro (Bella Naija)
Uchenna Jennifer Eze (born Uche Eze on July 26, 1984) is a Nigerian blogger, writer, social media expert and entrepreneur. She is the founder of BellaNaija, an online entertainment, fashion and lifestyle magazine. In 2014, she was named in Forbes list of “30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa”.