• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

International Women’s Day 2024: Meet 8 women making Nigeria proud abroad

Nigerian women abroad

As the world commemorates the 2024 International Women’s Day, themed “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” we honour extraordinary Nigerian women making incredible strides beyond Nigeria’s borders and leaving indelible marks on the global stage.

The campaign theme for this year is “Inspire Inclusion.” Here are eight Nigerian women who are inspiring  other women worldwide:

1. Adejoke Bakare

Adejoke Bakare is a Nigerian-born chef in the United Kingdom and founder of Chishuru, a West-African-themed restaurant in London which made history after being the UK’s first black female-owned restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, a prestigious mark of distinction given to restaurants for excellent cooking.

Bakare’s West African cuisine has drawn customers from all over Britain, attaining unprecedented recognition for its largely unusual and diverse menu. The star-spangled cuisine from Chishuru’s kitchen also made it to the pages of The Sunday Times Magazine with a perfect review score.

Bakare has been featured on Great British Chefs and recognized in the top 100 restaurants in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards, alongside her coveted Michelin star.

2. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 69 is a Nigerian-American economist who has made significant contributions in the field of global finance. Okonjo-Iweala was the first Nigerian woman to serve two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria and also served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, where she led the Nigerian team that negotiated the cancellation of 60% of Nigeria’s $18 billion external debt with the Paris Club.

She served two tenures at the World Bank, and in a latter position, was responsible for managing an $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia. She is the 7th Director-General of the World Trade Organization, and the first woman to lead the World Trade Organization.

Her achievements as Finance Minister garnered international recognition for improving Nigeria’s financial stability and fostering greater fiscal transparency to combat corruption. She has been listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders, the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, the Top 100 Global Thinkers, and the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.

3. Ndidi Nwuneli

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli is a Nigerian entrepreneur and an expert on African agriculture and nutrition, philanthropy and social innovation who holds over 25 years of international development experience with involvement in fostering impactful solutions in the global social innovation landscape, with a focus on Africa.

She is the founder of LEAP Africa and African Food Changemakers. She co-founded Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd. and AACE Foods Processing & Distribution Ltd.

Nwuneli was appointed Chief Executive Officer of ONE campaign, a not-for-profit global advocacy organisation

Nwuneli will lead a global team of campaigners, advocates, and experts based in Abuja, Berlin, Brussels, Dakar, Johannesburg, London, New York, Ottawa, Paris, and Washington D.C. in campaigns aimed at supporting African nations in financial support, developing policies, building political structures, and mobilizing activists towards the overarching goal of eradicating extreme poverty and preventable diseases by 2030.

4. Abigail Marshall Katung

Abigail Wok Marshall Katung, 49 is a Nigerian-British politician, who assumed the position of Lord Mayor of Leeds under the Labour and Co-operative Party, making her the first elected African in the Leeds City Council.

She completed the first and only successful prosecution against state officials for the death of a black person in 1971, establishing the David Oluwale Memorial Association (DOMA) in memory of David Oluwale, the Nigerian migrant to the UK who tragically drowned in River Aire, with two British police officers held responsible for his death.

She served two terms as the representative for the Little London and Woodhouse Ward in 2019 and 2023. And in 2022, co-chaired Leeds City Council’s official ‘Food Champion’ alongside Gareth Batty, the CEO of FareShare Yorkshire.

5. Zain Asher

Zain Ejiofor Asher is a British Nigerian news anchor at CNN International, based in New York City, and currently co-anchors the network’s primetime, global news show One World, where she interviews world leaders, newsmakers, and CEOs.

She has also anchored breaking news coverage during the explosion in Beirut, the End SARS protests in Nigeria, and the deaths of Fidel Castro, Muhammad Ali, and George Michael.

Her memoir, Where The Children Take Us was published by HarperCollins in April 2022. The book was inspired by her 2015 Tedx talk “Trust Your Struggle”, which has been viewed 2.2 million times on YouTube as of 2022. It tells the story of how her mother, widowed and raising four children, worked to fulfill her and her husband’s original dream of moving to England to ensure their children an excellent education and opportunity.

6. Simidele Adeagbo

Simidele Adeagbo, 42 is a Nigerian-born Bobsleigh and Skeleton athlete who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In 2022, she won the women’s mono bob event in the 2022 EuroCup held in Germany, becoming the first athlete from Africa to win an international sliding competition.

In the same year, she was awarded an Olympian for Life for her contributions to winter sport and the promotion of the Olympic Values during her competitive career, following her establishment of SimiSleighs Foundation, a not-for-profit advocacy group for women and girls in sport.

Adeagbo made history this year as the first African athlete to compete in bobsleigh at the IBSF World Championships since its establishment 100 years ago.

7. Toyosi Ogunseye

Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye is a Nigerian journalist who was the first female editor of Punch Newspaper in its 50-year history. She has won over 25 media awards including including the health category of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards in 2011 and 2013.

She served as the head of language services, West Africa at BBC World Service, and was also a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellowship, having completed her Fellowship at the Presidential Precinct.

Ogunseye is currently the President & CEO of the United States Presidential Precinct, where she supports the organisation in delivering leadership programming that engages and inspires emerging leaders.

8. Wunmi Mosaku

Wunmi Mosaku is a Nigerian-born British actress who had achieved notable milestones in her acting career. Wunmi received this prestigious award for Her powerful performance as Gloria Taylor in the TV drama Damilola, Our Loved Boy earned her a BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2016.

Her portrayal of Rial in the horror film His House in 2020 garnered critical acclaim, earning her a BIFA award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film.

Wunmi joined the MCU in the television series Loki in 2021, where she played the role of Hunter B-15. Her achievements inspire aspiring actors and demonstrate the importance of diverse representation in media.