As a young woman, I gain so much inspiration from the Nigerian women who have paved the way. Not only are they successful in their chosen careers, they manage to successfully balance it with family life.
The big 4-0 is the arguably the most revered age for women – I know some of my friends in their twenties have already started dreading this milestone.
These women in various stages of their 40s show that there is no need to fret, instead there is a lot to look forward to.
Here are the FAB 40s
Adenike Ogunlesi changed the clothing business in Nigeria. From a tiny shop with her and her mother as the main staff, Nike turned Ruff ‘n’ Tumble into an instantly recognizable brand. When banks wouldn’t loan her money to expand her business, she turned to family for support and they never regretted their decision to invest in Ruff ‘n’ Tumble. Nike turned a 150,000 naira initial investment into a multi-million naira business.
Despite her many commitments as a CEO, wife and mother, she makes a strong effort to share knowledge with young entrepreneurs. She featured in the Africa Open for Business documentary and was recognized as the FATE Foundation Model Entrepreneur in 2005. Nike is an excellent role model for young women who want to pursue the business of fashion.
Ifeyinwa Ighodalo entered the limelight when she won the St Moritz Most Stylish Woman award. She was one of the people who were rocking Ankara before it became the new ‘it’ fabric. Ify is definitely not all about beauty and style. In her year, she was one of the best graduating students from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she studied Accounting and along with her business partner, Moni Fagbemi has run an extremely successful furniture and interior design company called Design Options for over a decade. She is very involved in various non-profit and developmental initiatives and is one of the founders of Wimbiz, an organization that supports and encourages women in business.
She is married to Asue Ighodalo and has a daughter. For young women with entrepreneurial ambitions, Ify is a really great role model.
These women in their 40s who exemplify FABNESS.
To the akara seller in her 40s struggling to send her children to school, the 40-year old single mother whose daughter finally graduated from university, the woman approaching 40 who is scared because she hasn’t had a child yet, the 45 year old woman who after years of hard work has finally broken the glass ceiling…this is dedicated to YOU. This is dedicated to our mothers.
I’ll be doing more features on a wide variety of people on bellanaija in the future. So watch out…let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for future features…