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The Flying Doctor: The Myth of the ‘Runz Girl’



Last week I was doing some business in Port Harcourt staying at the Presidential Hotel. After my dinner, I tried to go back to my room, but the security lady at the lift stopped me saying that she had to confirm with the ‘owner’ of the room before I was allowed upstairs. She proceeded to place a call to my room on the intercom to take permission from the ‘owner’.

It took me about 10 minutes to explain to her that I was a female on a business trip with three of my staff staying in the hotel and that there was no ‘owner’ except me, the owner/founder/CEO of the company that was paying for my room and three others. She looked like she had seen a ghost. She seemed not to be able to comprehend how I managed to own my company and pay for my own hotel room.
As we conversed further she told me how difficult she found it balancing her work as a security guard in a large hotel with being a mother of five. Her husband had not worked in 3 years. She was surprised that I was not a ‘runz girl’.

A ‘runz girl’ is basically as woman who enters into a relationship with financial gain as major motivation for being in that relationship. Many Nigerian women are often stereotyped as ‘runz girls’ especially when they are successful. Some of the most successful, hardworking Nigerian women have been called ‘runz girls’ or former ‘runz girls’. But in actual fact, as much as we talk about how many ‘runz girls’ there are in Nigeria, I have never met one. I believe the whole ‘runz girl’ phenomenon i.e that Nigeria has been overrun with such women, is a myth solely formulated to make women feel small, regardless of their achievements.

I am not saying the ‘runz girl’ does not exist, but I am saying their numbers have been grossly overestimated. I am certain that the female security guard that I met at the Presidential is part of a huge silent majority of Nigerian women whose numbers have been underestimated. The silent majority of Nigerian women sell goods in Mushin or Oshodi. The silent majority are hairdressers or tailors or house-helps or nurses. The silent majority that teach in public schools or work for the police. This is the silent majority of women that out-earn, out-perform and work harder than their husbands. When a man is boasting about the ‘big’ burial he did for his father or his kids who are in an expensive school, we typically assume the money is all coming from the man, but this is very rarely the case.

Nigerian women package their men better than Proctor and Gamble package products. Many women will claim their husbands work in or own a particular company, when he has really been unemployed for years. Most of these women will do anything, including lying, to make sure their men look good on the outside.
My company; The Flying Doctors, offers support to clinics/hospitals across Nigeria. I was interested to learn that the men in certain regions do not work at all, but stay at home or in beer parlours, sending their wives out to labour on the farms.

Women also contribute significantly to the agricultural sector. For example in Delta, female farmers constitute 70% of the agricultural workforce and produce 80% of the region’s food.
The term ‘gold-digger’ has always been attributed to women. But many of the weddings we read about are between a man and a wealthier woman! I openly hear lots of men talk about how they would love to marry a certain Governor or Senator’s daughter because of the contracts that they can get. But why has this not birthed a ‘runz boy’ phenomenon? Why are these men so rarely referred to as gold-diggers?

When I showed some of my closest Nigerian male friends this article, I thought they would find it infuriating. But instead they recounted the most inspiring stories of their hard-working mothers who were bold and entrepreneurial as the financial heads of their households.

Nigerian society looks down on single mothers deeming them ‘irresponsible’. But the single mothers that I know usually shoulder a lot more responsibility than their married counterparts. From running the household, cooking, cleaning, school fees and myriad of other responsibilities which even two people struggle to handle.

Women are natural fighters. During the military regime in Nigeria, it was women like Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti who led the voices against the oppressive government, bold enough to risk her life for her cause. How many men were bold enough to walk in her shoes? During the civil rights movement, it was women like Rosa Parks leading the fight for change. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps in the twentieth century, including Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955. Both other women!! Even in North Korea today, it is the women that are at the forefront of business in marketplaces across the country, risking death to feed their families. Throughout history women have been standing up against oppression and taking action on the issues that many men just talk about.

The myth of the Nigerian runz girl is so pervasive in this country that even other women have started to believe it. It is a dangerous myth that tells Nigerian men that any successful woman has gotten their wealth from men. It also tells the young Nigerian women that any financial success must come from being sexually appealing to men. This, of course, is not true. Wealth comes from the kind of hard-work, determination and sacrifice that most human beings both men and women will simply not make.

In today’s Lagos, many households have female breadwinners. Contrary, to the ‘runz girl’ myth, a great number of men make relationship decisions with potential financial gain as a major factor. There are probably just as many runz boys as runz girls.

This article is not in any way anti-men. It simply presents a more balanced view of our society in general. There are lazy men and lazy women. There are runz girls and there are runz boys. There are hard-working women and there are hard-working men.

This article is dedicated to the hard-working mothers, who will continue to work till their skin blisters in low paid jobs to provide for their families whilst a runz boy husband sits in a beer parlour all day taking the credit. You are appreciated.

This article is also dedicated to the thousands of innovative women across Nigeria that have built profitable, businesses from scratch with few resources whilst bringing up large families. You continue to inspire me.

To the millions of women like the security guard in the Presidential who have been convinced by the myth that majority of successful women in Nigeria, do some kind of ‘runz’.  It is simply not true. Believing it, weakens us as women. It destroys our self-worth and confidence. Nigerian women, like most women across Africa are some of the most resilient, hard-working, resourceful women I know. They strive despite all of the odds: high rates of rape, domestic abuse, and patriarchal societies, to make sure they put bread on the table for their families. This may mean walking miles in the sun to their farms, spending days fuelled by caffeine in libraries or waking up when most are asleep to start selling goods in the market. Women are the backbone of developing communities. This is certainly the case in Africa. Statistics show that the average man reinvests about 30 percent to 40 percent of his income into his family, whereas the average women reinvests 90 percent. They are our mothers, our sisters, our best-friends, our bosses and our children. They should be afforded the respect they deserve.

Ola Orekunin is a medical doctor, a trainee helicopter pilot and an entrepreneur who founded West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service, the Flying Doctors Nigeria which saves hundreds of lives across the region every year. She is extremely passionate about healthcare in Africa and works with various foundations, charities and governments to improve standards of healthcare. Follow her on Twitter: @naijaflyingdr


  1. some hater

    February 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    spot on!

    • Tum

      February 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Great points in this article, but who is going to announce to the world that they are a runz girl? Has anyone seen or know somebody that self-identified themselves as a runz girl? Runz girls are not a myth,, they are very much alive in Nigeria- but its done in some form of secrecy. I mean why will the security asked to call the owner of your room? because she is used to seeing runz girls

    • M

      February 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Question is, a young lady(working,student or a recent graduate) with a rich boyfriend who takes care of her needs what will you call her? A married woman commiting adultery with her super rich boyfriend? Or ladies that enjoy meaningless sex?Think the word runz girl is over flogged I would stick to calling them prostitute or hooker or nightcrawler.never been disrespected by anyone ‘ cause I put them in their place and ladies should dress the way they want to be addressed.

    • miss_e

      February 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Spot on…who is going to self-identify as a runz girl? A runz girl can even be a woman who prolongs the chase even when she has no interest in the man; all so she can keep receiving gifts and dinners.

    • Ruzy

      May 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Tum,
      I happen to work in a hotel and i have met lots of girls who are not ashamed, to tell u they are runz girls. Also I’ve been embarrassed on several occasions when am out on business trips and staying in hotel as well, thanks to my body seize. Girls have to be re-oriented, girls are the ones bringing this on us. some ladies have reduce their worth to the level a sex slave, and if we are to celebrate women, we should go back to the drawing boards, we should make our ladies know their worth, this can be done in various aspects of our life, we need to appreciate our women, in the market place, church, salons, shops, meeting etc. A word of compliment can make one woman look at life differently. GOD HELP US.

    • Gorgeous

      February 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Omo bone o. Madam Ola, runs girls dey. It is best we focus on rehabilitation and inspiring the up and coming ones rather than denying the existence of such filth. When there is a problem, let us admit it and work hard to change such a preception. There is no smoke without fire. Too many people doing runs. Its rather degrading and spoils things for the decent ones who are a minority. Even runs girls claim they “work hard” for their money. So a lot of them will be hailing themselves here. Instead of acknowledging that they have sold themselves, and degraded themselves for a few crumbs which could cost them a fortune and their dignity tomorrow. It is all well and good to do “power to the women” but runs girls are a very nasty plague in Nigeria today. That cannot be ignored or excused. Thanks

    • AL Wes

      February 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      ….On Point. Carry Go!!!

  2. Endo

    February 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Very inspiring woman. I doff my hat to Ola. May God continue to bless your hustle!

  3. Bella Noire

    February 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Great, great article! Great insight. Women must not believe what they say about us. Believe what you know about you!

  4. soum

    February 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm


  5. KIN

    February 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Great article Dr. Ola!!!! Interesting read.

  6. Emek

    February 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    May God bless all our mothers, these are the strongest and most dogged set of people you will ever come across.

  7. Rise

    February 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for writing. I remember once I drove into silver bird and I wouldn’t ‘grease’ the palm of the security guard and he suddenly went on a rant about how I was driving a car that was bought by my ‘aristo’. Firstly, I was too stunned to speak and then it went on to bother me that every young hard working saving to the penny car buying 20-something year old in Lagos is viewed as a “Runz girl”. To this day, I’m still too stunned.

    • Happy

      February 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      My sister you have spoken the truth. When I hear such comments I openly laugh in their faces because I know the know its a lie and it really pains them:)

    • Nkiru. Njoku

      February 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Ah, just make a ‘wrong’ move on the road and what do you get? ‘Ashawo! Who buy you mottooooo?!” Na wa for us!

    • mra

      February 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      You are so right! Was just about to pass the same comment. Best answer to give them is – ‘yes o! E dey pain you?’ (sarcastically of course). A friend of mine replied a taxi driver like that. She also told him that – the man who bought her dis moto can also buy another. So he should feel ashamed and move on! Heard of other insulted ladies that have given similar answers. The result is – the man is usually left open mouthed and embarrassed and surprised that his goading did not work. After all honestly, if e dey pain you go buy moto for ur wife or pikin!!

    • TA

      February 4, 2014 at 6:21 am

      This is a classic response on Naija roads from Port Harcourt to Aba,from Abuja to Lagos,from Benin to Uyo,the bullies with their road rage be yelling ‘Ashawo who buy you motor? My classic response? Drive straight ahead with a dead pan face.

  8. choco

    February 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Awesome write-up!

  9. PP

    February 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Writer of the article, you really cant blame the security woman sha! The first time i was there for a course, i was thoroughly embarrassed (with my nice knee length skirt suit and pulled back ponytail) I was stopped by every security in the hotel and each time I had to explain I was there for a course. I had to even start carrying my I.D card to stop the lengthy explanation I was so pissed that night. Then Morning came I was waiting for my shuttle, my dear sisters in Bella! See the outflow of girls from the hotel in droves, I had to ask the nearest person to me if there was an event or something; you needed to see how the guy laughed at me “his reply; yea business conference. Till I left it was a normal occurrence.
    This is not the underestimate the core of the article that there are hardworking girls and women out there making the female gender proud…. But try and take census of what young people look up to and want now. When we were younger people admired; doctors, lawyers, astronauts, neurosurgeons, biochemist, bankers, business analyst etc. but what people want now is the fastest way to make money. Then there was pride in the dignity of your work, but now your success is by the car you drive, the bag you carry, the shoes on your leg or the gadgets in your hands and the post of your beautiful things on instagram.
    Runz is not a myth! It is eating deep into the fiber of our society especially with the students… as we continue (with blogs and website) celebrating unknown acquired luxury. Let us start as women praising and celebrating hardworking women, give young girls something to look up to.

    • jcsgrl

      February 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Yes ma’am you said what i wanted to say. Like you agree I might agree that the runz girl syndrome is not a myth. Infact it is becoming an epidemic. Gone are the days when it was confined to poor, uneducated girls. Now working, able women are also doing it. They might not be clamoring out a hotel in the morning but they know how to target their next source and leverage it well to their benefit. Look at some of our female actresses including the ones we celebrate. With all the money they are making, an aristo is still in the mix. The level of greed ehn!

    • Guest

      February 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Well said….she’s not saying runz is a myth, she’s saying the society has made it the only tag for a successful woman….in the words of Chimamanda Adichie ” the problem with stereotypes isn’t that they are not true but they are incomplete”….just as YOU were not a runz girl in the hotel, there are many more like you and Ola…so why let the runz girls be your tag?…’s like how black people are profiled as underachievers or criminals in foreign countries when countless blacks are soaring high….many of the readers are veering off the message behind this lovely article and its sad….in her words, why aren’t there runz boys…I know soooo many…is it because they are not as obvious looking as the women?. As the writer has said well packaged?…..we ought to be fair and objective

    • Dr C

      February 9, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Kai. Thank you. God will bless you. You have said it as it should have been said. For those who can’t get the spirit of the article…pele.

    • Joe

      February 4, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      I live in Port Harcourt and it is really disgusting, in as much as one would really appreciate our mothers and wives who in the past almost single-handedly contributed to our upbringing, the girls of these days are actually disgrace to the hard working women. There are “runz girls” and they are much so the subject cannot be over emphasize. I feel for them because what kind of mothers would they become in future? what kind of role model would they become in future. Let them consider the future before taking these actions today, let them consider their families and ultimately God.

  10. poisefreak

    February 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Truly inspiring! This is what i’d like to see more of on blogs, the average African/Nigerian woman is strong and contributes a lot to development. You should share more with us. Good job!

  11. Hurperyearmie

    February 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    i love this

  12. Abana

    February 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I had a friend tell me that 80% of the young women in Lagos are runz girls. A whole 80%! I was shocked and asked him when the statistics was carried out. He said he was told that by his female friend who went to UNILAG. So we women ourselves are our own enemies. The belief that any woman in works in a bank is a runz girl is ridiculous. The idea that a successful woman should not ‘showcase’ her wealth like her male counterparts do for fear of being termed a runz girl is ridiculous. I watch my parents and I very much doubt my dad would still be with my mom if she was not successful. The woman can take care of herself and his entire family if she so wishes and that fact humbles my dad.

  13. Mz Socially Awkward...

    February 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    “Nigeria women package their men better than a Proctor and Gamble product”. Yes ma’am. And if by some error, the community finds out the real balance of the equation in your marriage, every next move you make will be tainted with the accusation that you’re “a proud woman” because of your success, or even worse, you must be sleeping with your boss/big men/in-law to be doing so well.

    And I’ve experienced the treatment at Hotel Presidential, it actually starts from the gate (and the security staff are more patronizing if you decide to go there without driving), all the way to the main doors, past the reception desk and on to the elevator doors. Not sure I blame them as it’s commonly known that prostitutes are prone to strolling in and stalking the corridors to proposition guests. Plus Port Harcourt has a really bad history of girls sleeping around for money: I can tell you’re a Lagos chick, trust me when I say that sex sells for petty cash in PH. This is the sad reality that goes on to inform the assumption that every pretty young thing must have a man financing her.

    My belief is that Naija women don’t defend the female community so staunchly because their husbands, brothers, fathers or bosses have been caught in the web of one “runz girl” at one point or the other. Therefore, we’ve become conditioned to walking around, secretly suspecting each other of doing runz. It’s a male dominated society as well and enough genuine success stories of hardworking women are just not filtering through to inspire the younger woman who’s wondering exactly how to make their own success happen. So they hear more about the “aristo” path in life and a lot of them take it.

    And finally, you can blame Nollywood for putting the same plot line (i.e. Uni girls sleeping with rich men) in about a hundred thousand movies and counting… That said, I join you in celebrating the silent majority of womenfolk doing incredible things and making daily sacrifices that we never hear about. May the gratitude of their children continue to be their reward.

    • Dr. N

      February 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      My dear, the day I had to go to Hotel Presidential, I dressed very modestly for this same reason. You know what the doorman said, “You will make a lot of money working with us”. I was confused till I realized the job was not to stand at the door! Lol. A male colleague also spread vicious rumors about me cause I was favored over him for a job. When he did worse to one of his “guys”, that one came to report his silly self for believing him. I try to defend the ladies who are doing the right thing. Runz girls are fewere but more visible. We must not join the “pull her down” crowd. However tempting.

    • Que

      February 3, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Your opening paragraph….#Saynomore! Any woman out earning her man is proud….. I actually had a guy I was considering dating say to me severally that his marriage will end if his wife gets richer dan him, cos she’ll certainly get proud n start competing with him ….he noticed my sincere shock n said it was a joke, but boyyy I had switched off cos even his attitude betrayed him n me I cant shout….

    • Like

      February 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      I work in a FMCG company and I do earn well.. I remember I was about to date a guy who couldn’t understand why I had a car… he feels the society will judge me.. some weeks ago, a friend told me the reason I am single is my car and to sum it up– my friend once said I have to bring myself down as I will be seen as proud because of my status…..

      Sometimes I have to give people the impression that the car is own by my mom

    • I'm Rick James Bitch!

      February 3, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      That quote resonated with me too, that is possibly the most important sentence in the article. More power to you Ms. Ola and all the other hardworking women out there. And even the Nigerian men who are free from all the drama(wife battering, runz, etc etc)
      As for the runs girl, I really do not see how what somebody decides to do with their body is any of my business. I won’t judge anybody because they sin differently than me. Moreover, they make their bed, they will lie in it years from now. . . There are far too many real issues in the world for me to concern with myself with someone that knows better. They say when you know better, you do better. If you decide not to, its not my heart attack oh jare.

    • Ekwitosi

      February 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Muhammad Yunis who is the proponent of Micro Credit said the reason why he started the scheme with lending money to women is because he realized that it is the women that reinvest their money back into the family. That is why I have issue with all these our blogs and magazines. Nobody tells the story of the common people in the society. They are the ones that are truly the pillars of the society they are the ones that their meager salary is circulating in our economy. A true sign of arriving in Nigeria is when your investments are abroad. Check it out even our musicians that live in Nigeria are taking pictures of their lofts abroad and posting on instagram.
      The only time I see this Ola is when she writes an article and posts it here I don’t see pictures of her from dawn to dusk everywhere and I am not saying there is anything that is wrong with that if that is what your job entails or how you want to live your life. What I am saying is there are countless women like her as well as countless women like that one making hair by the roadside as she is selling her cold drinks and ice block. These are the ones that are busy working hard. The reason why these days you see a lot of women in high placed levels at their career is because most times their male counter parts will refuse to work as hard because they want to hit gold immediately. By the time they realize it they have taken themselves out of the workforce. And tomorrow someone that sees that woman tags her as runs girl. Even the women need to start celebrating themselves! It’s all about reorientation!
      @MSA I agree with you because when even the women undermine their achievement to put the man forward nobody differentiates between hard work and runs anymore.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Hello Lady. Long time no comment.

    • Ekwitosi

      February 4, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      @Bobosteke & Lara Bian My sister I dey ooh! How now? Na condition make crayfish bend. As for this article it is serious and the comments are killing me! There is nothing one will not hear.
      @MSA ‘Yes, many of them are increasingly turning into Runz Boyz themselves, but they continue to be the ones dismissing our hardwork as being a result of vaginal work and we have to start coming together as women to resist & reorient that level of understanding. So this is us discussing how to make it better for us’
      @MSA ‘That is really, really sad. Kai, Naija, a country where having a vagina is practically formalized as a vocational skill. Little wonder that the human trafficking business is thriving’
      So vagina these days is performing a lot functions!
      On a more serious note this trend is very scary! That is why as a single person your presence will threaten people left, right and center because they think you have a motif!

    • Ekwitosi

      February 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      *motive not motif!

  14. Funke

    February 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Now this is what I call a blog! Not the one-liners doted across the internet calling themselves bloggers. Great article Bella Naija! I’ve always loved your stuff 🙂

  15. jcsgrl

    February 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Very interesting article. I would say you can’t blame the poor Nigerians for thinking most girls were runz because the women we see who flaunt their money and status are mostly runz girls. Girls who work hard for their money are mostly subtle and prudent. When you don’t work hard for your money you spend it like there’s no tomorrow. Now honestly I can understand ladies who grew up under extenuating circumstances using an aristo to get by. What I dont understand are the ones who clearly have jobs or source of income. I remember a chic in my company looking for a place to live and some other gals were accosting her that in Abuja babes don’t pay for their rent. Like who does that? They went on to advise her she needed to have a man to take care of rent, another for a car, another for monthly allowance and these were girls who worked.
    Like you said, we have to remember that such girls are truly the minority even though a part of me is beginning to think they are gradually getting to the majority. Like you Ola I dont really know any runz girls. the women around me are hardworking, intelligent and successful on their own. So i guess runz girls attract fellow runz girls abi?

  16. Chika

    February 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Great Article. I couldn’t agree more…
    Btw, I believe the male equivalent of runz girls is ‘ ikoyi husband’ lol

  17. Omilola

    February 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Preach it sister. Very well written.

  18. Ms Kcee

    February 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Dr. Ola….. Am a single mother and understand the challenges of everyday living! You did justice to my thoughts and millions of women out there! Wonderful write-up!

  19. 5'5

    February 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    well done!
    Thank you also for pointing out that as many men make decisions on potential mate based on the Economic grit of the lady which is now part of the compatibility test.

  20. mirabel said

    February 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    all my life my mom has alwayz been the most reliable if not only bread winner we had in my family even to my extended family… my dad either pays attention when he wants to or will rada spend his money outside.. very self-centered and selfish mom gave us the very best education she culd afford, held the best job in the family alwayz made excuses for why my dad culd nt stand up and b d best at providing for his family.. she opened countless of businesses for him that kept folding up one after the the oda, which i think led to my dads laziness.. my mom will pay for our fees , rent, and all the family expenses , wen it comes up in a conversation she doesnt hesitate to tell anyone who cares to know that its her husband that paid for everything.. and i laugh ..mayb if she had sat back and kicked his backside every single time mayb he wuldnt turn out like dis.. funny how now wen i send my mom money he is the first t complain how he spent all he had in growing the family forgetting we were all der and witnessed his escapades .. how he wuld rada spend his money on outsiders ,women, dan his own family…. now i tell my mom God 4bid i end up with a lazy man.. i want to be as strong as my mom but even stronger to resist dat kinda love dat will allow me keep and allow a lazy man.. i love my father to death but its just is wat it is .. ur very spot on… women shuld really stop allowing or making excuses for lazy men.. on the runz girl thing.. ive had my fair share of bn called a runz girl… i tell people runz shuldnt be an option when u have 2legs and hands .. healthy enough to get any kinda job.. ive done any and every kind of self – satisfying jobs to help myself and family .. so y shuld i b tagged a runz girl when i work extremely hard for myself … we just dnt value and respect women in nigeria thats just it.. that y we always think we need men to reach our full potentials in life… when all we need is hardwork determination and God

    • AA

      February 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Naija women will continue making excuses for lazy men cause na by force we must to marry na. Our society has drummed it into our heads that we are to complete without husbands. Just check the wedding posts on BN and read how many girls are “tapping” into their blessings. Until we Naija women stop allowing our men to define us, we will always be called what insecure men wish to call us, and be at the mercy of lazy and/or violent men

    • Sandi

      February 4, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Spot on. I lost it the other day with my mum on this issue and of all people I expected her to understand because of her experience with my dad. I’m hoping I told her for the last time that marriage is not by force and I will not settle just because 30 is nearby. I’m not willing to marry and be unhappy. I want that full, real and faithful love and these men out here are not ready to give it.

      As for runz girls. I honestly thought nollywood exaggerated it until I got off the Delta flight. I’ve been shocked.
      But at the same time people need to differentiate a runz girl from a hard working woman. A friend and I used to treat ourselves. We’d rent a hotel room and go out. She was engaged at the time and her fiance knew we were going out with no problems. He even helped with reservations. So we’re at the counter and she identifies as Mr. Blank’s wife. Immediately the guys near us gave this disgusted look. We had to ask if it was ok for her to have a husband.

      Well sha God help us all

    • TA

      February 4, 2014 at 6:33 am

      God bless you for this!
      Seriously BN,please we need the like button.

    • Ekwitosi

      February 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      @AA thank you because the way people just tap into things is just alarming! You don’t know what deity they have tapped into and you want to tap into what they have!

    • The girl @ the Virgin Atlantic lounge @ Washington Dulles Airport

      February 4, 2014 at 1:59 am

      Your mother deserves a medal!

    • frostycake

      February 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      And ur name deserves a medal

  21. F.I.F

    February 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    great write up, i really appreciate you for this. worse, if you’re pretty they assume you’re a dull brain or you’re sleeping with the boss. they don’t stop to check your CV or drive, mentality, PERSONALITY OR ACHIEVEMENTS

  22. mamamo

    February 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Wow! Thank you for this inspiring and thought-provoking article…

  23. notaplayerhater

    February 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Ola, I would kiss u now if I could see you. Awesome write-up. As one of the silent majority u so eloquently describe, I doff my heart for de astute manner u corralled de issues and painted my picture. And I respect ur hustlle dear girl. We sisters need to stand up for each other and also stop buying into de ‘runsgirl’ myth. I’ve seen enuf runboyz to last me 12 lifetimes, so pls, sumone put paid to dis tripe already! Gud job dear

  24. Zayt

    February 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Great article. Very inspiring!

  25. adelegirl

    February 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    This article is long overdue. Gossip blogs and social media (anyone remember Naija Twitter’s “Assistant Madam”?) have helped to hype the “runz girl” myth. Any successful young woman is immediately considered a runz girl. Even those who are married are not spared the smear of being a runz girl. If you happen to be beautiful and married to a successful perhaps older man, you are also termed a runz girl who “upgraded” to being a wife. The number of times I’ve been called “ashewo” whilst driving, by disgruntled men (mainly those annoying abuja cab drivers who constitute a nuisance on the roads). I know several women , mine inclusive, who worked tirelessly, extremely hard to give their children a chance at a better future. Women have always been industrious and great multi-taskers. We take care of the home front, work regular 9 to 5s and still do business by the side. Almost every female I know is into some business/trade, earning extra income. In spite of all these, we still get tagged the “weaker sex” and have to struggle, fight, fast, pray and work twice as hard as our male colleagues for promotion, increase especially in the corporate field.

    I have to say that I am just as guilty – how many times have I believed/accommodated stories about powerful women in Nigeria – ministers such as DAM, Princess Stella – who are often accused of sleeping with the President. The influence they wield plays a major role in jumping to such conclusions. What if they are influential simply because the President considers them very loyal and good at their jobs? We may disagree but what if that’s why he is keeping them on in spite of all the scandals attached to them.

    Then to even talk about the insults hotels like Transcorp dish out to women- a woman can’t go into certain areas alone except she has a male escort because runz girls parade their “wares” and solicit at such places. Abeg, who patronises the girls – ghosts? Then you are sized up before you enter – if you look “responsible” you are kosher otherwise you’ll be pulled to the side and questioned. I realise there is a real problem with runz girls at such places but the thing is, if there is no demand, there won’t be supply.

    Women also need to pull each other up and help quash the myth of the runz girl. See Chika Ike having to defend herself for splurging on a holiday in dubai. Do we know how long she saved, how hard she worked and sacrificed to give herself that treat?

    We have just become so cynical in this country.

    Thanks Ola Orekunrin for raising this issue with this beautiful article.

    • jcsgrl

      February 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Oh nne I used to be team you are innocent until proven guilty concerning the likes of DAM and Stella because they are educated, blah blah blah. Infact coming to Nja opened my eyes. I can speak for DAM, leave that thing. Bottom power is involved. We are family friends and have inside info on her and her hubby marriage. However, she is a very smart woman o! Doesn’t deter the fact. She used ALL her God-given talent.
      Even in my office, you will be surprised at women who were sleeping around for one favor or the other. I will stick up for them and say lai lai no this person until one by one their story opened. Anyway, now that I have become desensitized I dont even care again. To each his own. Its not my job to be digging for the source of someone’s wealth, Make everyone do wetin sweet their body

    • whocares

      February 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      lmaoooooooooooo. Team you are innocent until proven guilty. It is a different case when you have a job and still resort to that isn’t it? I cant even kill myself over who is selling their yansh for things.. life is too long to add this one too.

    • Shade

      February 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      I hope you typed your comment from a cyber cafe? I hope you know there’s something called an IP address and DAM’s cohorts could just decide to get to the root of your identity. Kiaaaaful o! Lol

    • adelegirl

      February 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Lol at all her God-given talent. I have also heard those stories but they were mostly from men, in the oil and gas industry whose businesses haven’t particularly benefited from her tenure, so I took them with a pinch of salt. I am not vouching for her character and I’m very disappointed in her tenure what with all the rot in that sector but I have not caught her myself or seen real evidence that she is using bottom power so let me not conclude thus. I always stop and think how any people also think I am using bottom power to get by before I think that of other women.

    • c'est moi

      February 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      @adelegirl, I totally agree with you except for the ‘runzigirl myth’ reference. I have so tried not to comment on this so I don’t get misunderstood but here I am. Firstly, this is a lovely piece and I am so proud of this amazing woman who is doing such a great job. Secondly, I think it is a huge step in the right direction to promote hardwork and showcasing women who have worked hard to get to where they are cos there are loads and loads of them. But then I read through the comments and find young ladies making references solely to their mothers. That is particularly true as my mum is my mentor, role model and the strongest and most resilient woman on earth and I know we all can say same about our mothers. How come we can’t say same about our peers? Let’s be true to ourselves, cos if a problem isn’t acknowledged, it cannot be corrected. The days when women believed in their brains in Nigeria are slowly fading away. Times are gradually changing! SMALL GIRLS, 16, 17 now believe that their bodies can get them anything they want. Men are not making things better, inshort they are the horrible instigators ‘nothing goes for nothing’ (as they put it). You can say that ‘runz chics’ are a few minority or a myth but I totally disagree. They are littered all over the place like pure water sachets! From that student who has a private cab when we know her parents can’t afford such luxury, to the student whose school apartment is much more furnished than her father’s parlour, who is fooling who? Is it the babes with huge apartments in Lekki, from nowhere! Or the ones who will land jobs without qualification! Lolz… the ones with established businesses who slept their way into getting the capital. The days of our mothers are slowly fading and saying we don’t care how anyone makes their money, I totally disagree! They are our sisters and daughters, cousins and friends and have lost their way, they have been led to believe that their bodies can get them anything, the latest commodity! Life is not a race, take it slow. We will all come here and celebrate and applaud the likes of this lovely lady, how about we remind ourselves we are worth more. We are beautiful, strong, resilient and hardworking and we do not have to sleep our way to get anything! How about we celebrate our peers as we celebrate our mothers! Ashewo no be work! And if we think an ashewo is only the woman standing on the street, we need to think again!

  26. nene

    February 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    runz girls and prostitutes will come here and write comments thanking this lady, but note: she wasn’t talking to you people! she is dedicating it to hardworking women. there are runs girls in nigeria, both married, and single, and i don’t think that their numbers are overstimated, i just think people are always quick to pounce on single girls, meanwhile they neglect married women, who are outnumbering single ladies in the prostitution/runz business. there is even the business of same sex runz.

    • Ada Nnewi

      February 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      NENE! NENE! NENE! Why are you always are you always so negative?! You will age well before your time if you continue like this…

    • nene

      February 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      negative kwa? am i lying? am i not speaking the truth? nne, i don’t sugar coat anything. i’m on the internet so i can write/saywhatever, but i will always speak my mind based on what i think and how i feel.

    • triple o!

      February 3, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      “i’m on the internet so i can write/saywhatever”….read: coward. In person, you will keep quiet abi?

    • Busarni

      February 4, 2014 at 7:41 am

      @triple o: why are you on her case na, abi are you a runz girl. Hian, whatever happened to freedom of speech.

  27. Eny

    February 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    More power to you Ola! And all successful, hardworking Nigerian women.

  28. Modella

    February 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Ahaaaa,I had similar experience with my sister and female friends a While back..we couldn’t pass the security point @ Transcorp Hilton in Abuja,saying unless we must have guys for all of us,or else the suspect we are potential runz girls to
    woo potential customers..I’m still stunned!

    • jcsgrl

      February 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Really at Transcorp? I used to frequent there a lot sans hubby and nobody accosted me. Thought it was only at Sheraton. Honestly sometimes I think its the way you present yourself and I’m not saying you looked or acted like a runz girls. but for example one time a girlfriend and me went to Sheraton for drinks. I dint know that place was capital of whoredom! We sat there drinking and chatting and we saw guys sitting around drinking. Nobody approached us or even asked us what we were doing. Until the flood gates opened and ladies I mean women from all works and religion poured in including those with hijabs. My first time ever seeing muslim prostitutes…didnt know they existed. I’m soo naive. My God next thing, my friend and I were outnumbered. We looked out of place before we now realized what was going on. Omo we quickly paid and left the place o. I dont want to go to jail for killing somebody if the men approached us.

  29. NaijaPikin

    February 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Whats even more sad/painful is women are just as guilty in dishing out the runzgirl title as the men……..

    sad!sad!sad!I love to travel, i save my money, i sacrifice many luxuries just so I can afford to go to a new country each year. Pple will now see pictures and attribute it to my bf sponsoring. psssst. God dey

    • madman

      February 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      well said. Women are their own worst enemies.

  30. Buki

    February 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm


  31. Priscy

    February 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Spot on…I was having this same argument with a colleague of mine. I was asking him to suggest a good car that would be good for me as a single lady, he replied that it’s not a good image as a single lady to be seen driving her own car. He said I would be termed a ‘runs girl’ and men would think I’m too expensive and therefore would not be able to approach me. I was shocked because he is a well educated man with this line of thought.

    • Chika

      February 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Well, sounds like he gave you the answer you were asking for. You asked for a car for a single lady and he gave you his opinion.

      Hmmmm, why in the world did you ask for a car that is ‘good for a single lady’.

    • camo

      February 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Maybe she was looking at something she can maintain ‘alone'( something that wont need frequent baby sitting, like frequent clogging, gear box wahala, overheating scenarios etc) Maybe she was just asking for a car that wont require much upkeep. I recall that I have asked a better male colleague this same question and he suggested Toyota Corrolla 2003-2005. So I don’t think she was at fault the boy just had backward mentality.

    • Busarni

      February 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Now i now know that there is a particular car type for single ladies. ok

    • Like

      February 3, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      A friend of mine went car shopping with her brother and she had to write on lowering your standard .. not just monetary wise but intellectual as some guys are threaten by your intelligence

    • Leye

      February 4, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Most nigerian ‘educated’ men think very very backwards

  32. Crofty

    February 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Great article!

  33. Berry Dakara

    February 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Wow. I have no words.

  34. Mariaah

    February 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    My office rents its operation space in one of the biggest hotels in Nigeria, Anuja to be precise. Just last Friday, I flung a honourable’s complimentary card right back at the hotel’s security guard who forgot his job specification. So I understand this article more than anyone. I have been at this job since September 2013 but last 2 weeks that I worked late opened my eyes even more. Young girls were “hanging out” at the car park waiting for Men coming in and out of the park so that they can “bargain”.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      That is really, really sad. Kai, Naija, a country where having a vagina is practically formalized as a vocational skill. Little wonder that the human trafficking business is thriving.

    • Titi

      February 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Hey Mz Socially Awkward, abeg who is DAM? 4

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

      @Titi, I think she’s Dame Allison Madueke. There, I said it. Make dem come use my IP address come catch me… 😀

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

      *Deziani Allison Madueke*

    • AA

      February 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      When did things get this bad?? Na wa o

    • adelegirl

      February 4, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Very true about Transcorp. The girls hanging around the car park accost no just men but women too. One evening, walking into the hotel from the car park, one of the girls walked up to me and asked if she could come in with me, so that she could beat the security guards scrutiny. I didn’t even answer and walked hurriedly on. Pls on what basis would I have done that? I don’t condone prostitution- why should I aid and abet a fellow woman in selling her body? Then those that see me escorting her in would think I’m her pimp, or madam or we are colleagues kwa? Hian!

  35. whocares

    February 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    If I wasn’t at work I would give this article a standing ovation. All of my life I have been surrounded by hard working women, who take pride in themselves, and their work, and who have instilled that in me. They are not spectacularly rich, but have worked hard enough to provide for their family, so they fall into that unspoken minority you speak of, thank you for this.
    It is a shame that the media helps to perpetuate this runs girls issue. Movies, jokes, everything tells you that a successful woman did not get to her position based on merits, but on the largess of men.. I wont give myself a headache over that, I will simply work hard enough and elevate myself to a position where I can tell people to go fuck themselves when they bring their ignorant reasoning to my doorstep.

  36. Meanwhile...

    February 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Port Harcourt! That place is a den of sin and iniquity! Sodom and Gomorrah! I stayed in Novotel for a program and what my eyes saw, what my ears heard and what I experienced can fill a book!! Hmm! What didn’t I go through? Was it the hotel staff at the check-in counter? The way they looked me over like I was trash even though I clearly alighted from the staff bus? Was it the concierge that kept asking who was paying for my room? Was it the few attempts at buffet dinner where some fool had the gall to tell me his room number that I should go up and wait for him there? The women in the lounge eyeing you with pointy daggers sizing you up till one asks who allowed me to come here? Even walking on the street the propositions you get from men and womencan make a hardened prostitute blush. I got fed up and didn’t leave my hotel room, not even to buy credit or get food- for the rest of my lengthy stay. PH I bow ooooh

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Yes, unfortunately I have to say that men in PH tend to have more money than sense or class… blame it on the “quickie millionaire” syndrome that’s plagued the town since the advent of democratic rule and the revelation of how much actual wealth there is to be made from the state coffers… and the girls smell the circulation of money in the air and go into action. It’s a vicious cycle.

    • Titi

      February 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Please who is DAM?

    • Dr C

      February 9, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      awwww…..pele! i feel you on so many levels. These days in Abuja i’ve had to cut down on my nights out as a result of a couple of embarassing encounters. But my question is how come the HOTELS themselves never get that awful reputation? How come the HOTELS and the MEN get to be holier-than-thou in all this?

  37. X- Factor

    February 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm


  38. Siki

    February 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Beautiful piece! May God Bless you for your boldness. I have been trying so hard to let my male counterparts see through this myth. For example, I am the only female in the midst of forty male counterpart in an engineering firm in PHC and I worked hard to get here. A lot of them now believe that a woman can be so much more cos I put up a lot of competition which they see. God Bless Nigerian women! Many more are beginning to realize that hard work; not beauty, pays…

  39. ifeoluwa

    February 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    so beautifully put together

  40. Thatgidigirl

    February 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    hear hear! At last someone is making sense!

  41. Nwachidinma

    February 3, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Wow! Thanks for this inspiring mesaage. It is a gentle reminder to all women to remember their worth. We are capable of doing anything and everything a man can do. Let’s not forget to fight for our rights. Our children will need this blessed assurance.

  42. Chinma Eke

    February 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Spot on, awesome article. Massive shout-out to all the women out there, working for their money. The situation in Nigeria is so bad that every working woman is termed a runz girl or woman. There are so many examples of wives who package their husbands/family but are never appreciated. Most men today go into relationships for financial reasons, but are they termed ‘runz boyz’?
    In Africa, the woman is always wayward.

  43. Kike

    February 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    This article truly hits home because my mum has always been the strong provider in our family. Not from lack of Daddy not trying but she has more business acumen and does way better. Unfortunately she is from the old school era where you must not be seen to do better than your husband. The four of us schooled abroad and she nicely tells people it is my father. African man that he is proudly says his children are abroad and mumsie just keeps quiet. It irks me badly. Especially in Church, people see him as the big man with 4 kids abroad. Her car is bad now and she can afford to change it but she won’t because daddy can’t change his now and it will be weird to buy a car for your wife when yours is really ad too. She is now waiting for him to change his before she buys another one. We have told her to buy another one and say her children bought it. She is saying no o, we live abroad, she will face the music. Let her manage. This is a woman in her 50’s. So annoying.
    As for being harassed at hotels, i think like @jcsgirl it is how you are dressed. I think o. I have been to Transcorp, Sheraton, Protea, Four Points etc by virtue of my job, most times I stayed there or visiting friends who are staying there and not once have I experienced such. People tell me I have a baby face ajebutter look. They just assume that I am a rick kid spending daddy’s money. The hotel staff even joke that I should share to them some of Daddy’s money now, enjoyment was not meant for only me. I just laugh and shake my head. If only you knew

    • adelegirl

      February 4, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Hmm, you are right Kike. Just thinking about it and it occurs to me that I have visited a few big name hotels in Abuja and Lagos – all work related and never, not once have I been accosted and mistaken for a runz girl. People need to dress the way they wish to be addressed especially here in Nigeria which is still so conservative (It is almost an abomination to go to the beach or a swimming pool wearing a bikini). I also realise that carriage matters, when you carry yourself with self confidence and poise, such people will even be afraid to step up to you and make stupid insinuations about your character/occupation.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      I could not agree more. Your dressing matters, Carriage, as well as the way you speak. I’m not saying that it totally wipes off the bias but it makes them question it.

      I actually love staying in hotels and Guest Houses and I have very rarely being accosted. Except when I stayed at Sheraton in Abuja when I went for a conference. Of course it was awoof but I certainly did not look like I could not afford to pay. The first day, I got “the eye”, but soon after the security and reception would wave as I passed. The first morning I came down for breakfast and the lady in charge was watching me like a hawk; taking in my makeupless face, severe black dress and spectacles, she could not reconcile my nerdy look with the abundant curves. She would nod grudgingly whenever I came down. One security man i had never met before by the lifts actually had the guts to pretend he was using the lift when he was actually tailing me. But it actually made me laugh.

      I also stayed at NICON luxury, though most of the doubts were cleared as I paid with my card and i scolded them that i had rung all their lines earlier in the day to arrange accommodation and no one picked so that put them in the defensive. The next morning I came down by 7am looking for all the world like I was meeting with Mr. President himself. It was all, “yes ma”, Let us help you with your bags, ma” “thank you, Ma”.

      And yes I am quite certain there was no grey in my braids.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

      @Bobosteke & Lara Bian, I laughed at your last two paragraphs… that’s how it’s done, babes. That’s exactly how it’s done 🙂

  44. Uche Ugo

    February 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    This great article made me remember my mum, who tirelessly struggled to see my and my siblings through school. One of the ‘hard-working mothers, who will continue to work till their skin blisters in low paid jobs to provide for their families’, the silent minority. Women are the unsung heroes of our society, I have also recognised this in my article, Strength of A Woman. Great piece BN!

  45. my wife is Fiiiine!!

    February 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Say what you want about stereo typing, truth of the matter is that Ashewo plenty for Naija. you cannot, and should never dispute it. the number of runz girls that were in the University of Lagos when i was there tells you that if a country like ours allows young people to own things that they cannot account for without asking any questions, therein lies the problem. Until i travelled out of the country years ago to come to school in the States i always accounted for everything i owned and still do. My mum knew what we had as boys, you can imagine the scrutiny my sister’s got from mum. When i was still in Lag and the Mercedes Benz Padded was still in Vogue, i once picked up a working girl, she worked for Econet then; was prob 8 years older than i am. Granted i looked older than my age because i was big back then, she wasted no time in getting down to asking for money and all. Most young women in Naija are greedy, they dont want to work; they want easy money. Sex is the language they know men understand and they are def using it to corner the so-called good things of life. You are among the lucky ones that receivied training at home, think about the Bini ones that they send to go and do prostitution. Our country is SICK, the People of Naija are Sick. And you Doctor i am sorry to say cannot cure Naija women of what is ailing them. Like i said Ashewo Plenty for Niaja, just ask your brothers.

    • Ayo

      February 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      So negative.

    • Dr. N

      February 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      No dear, do not give up on us. For the sake of your loved ones. Change can come. It was not so in the beginning and it must not remain so. Not if u lend a “positive” voice.

  46. 'Debo

    February 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Well written.
    A modest definition of runz girl though.

  47. Sim

    February 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    This!!!!>>>>>>>>>> “Nigerian women package their men better than Proctor and Gamble package products. ”
    But let’s say the truth sha, there are Runz girls o, and they are PLENTY

  48. Que

    February 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Aaaarrrrghhhhh! My long detailed comment just disappeared and I cant type all ova again… buy yes I have experienced same treatment from a woman in her 50s at d airport upon moving bk with plenty luggage, I was accused of acquiring d luggage via runs aid… I promptly replied d woman head on, but was super exhausted n eventually just left…..

    On this issue I take d same stand as with jailing innocent people for crimes they didnt commit-it is better to let 10 criminals slide than to place a life sentence on an innocent citizen….. If you do not have concrete evidence to slam a person, kindly free them. Its so heartbreaking when u’re wrongly accused like this. Yes the runz girl culture exists but i agree with Ola, it is more a case of bad news that spreads like wild fire….there are certainly more upstanding women than runs women, if not every one of us will be surrounded by more runz babes than genuine earners in our individual circles of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances… The only way I see this being different is if u belong in a clique of runz girls and women, in which case you gotta check yourself too…

    I am even almost immune to d security people at supermarkets n carparks who assume everything is from chairman…. sotay on saturday here I was a mega plaza supermkt for a quick snack, came in alone, came out wit some stranger who was insisting on knowing me….. walkd to my car n was digging in my bag for change when d bloody foolish security guy who parked me n who saw me come alone, proceeded to ask the stranger ‘ chairman’ to supply d change for his madam naaa…. d eyeing n warning I gave him kept his tongue in place sharply! #Irritatingassumptions!

  49. natty

    February 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Bless you Ola!, its so sad how loads of decent single girls like myself have been categorised as runz girls. These days I can’t even splurge on luxuries I want without being afraid of being called a runz girl

  50. AA

    February 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Dr Ola this is a wonderful and inspiring article. However, there are too many girls that sell their bodies for money. I have said it here before that Naija women need to do better and expect better from themselves. Too many girls are only thinking of one thing, and that is money. That is why so many marriages are crumbling in this country. Rather than women being strong and independent, we tear marriages down doing runs, in search or aristos or husbands. Things need to change. But Dr Ola, you are truly an inspiration

  51. madman

    February 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    well written article. Single and rich equals “runs girl.”

  52. Osaro

    February 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    If I was happy to leave PH after 4yrs it was because of this phenomenon. I was born and bred in Lagos and never encountered such a thing until the moment I landed PH. I worked hard went where I wanted, ate where I wanted and wa mainly respected, no big deal. In PH it really was a shock to my system so i took to staying home with DSTV fully paid lol. Itis such a pity this still is the perception in PH.

  53. madman

    February 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I must say however, are we going to say that there are no **runz girls?** I have a friend who won’t move back to Nigeria until she’s married because when she goes to Nigeria on business – Men approach her with all kinds of sexual offers. Women perpetuate these stereotypes and MEN know that Nigeria is a patriarchal society, hence, they will keep offering and conducting all kinds of sexual harrassment and aasaults.

  54. Mama Mia!!!

    February 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Hmmmm, so many people are loving this message, cool!!! I love that you are an optimist viewing the cup half full rather than the other way round. To me, a gold digger and runs girl or boy are one and the same thing and is not gender biased. However, nowadays, there are so many of them, believe me, there is a thin line between being hardworking and wanting the best for oneself and living of off someone’s wealth. It’s so heart breaking cause girls now go out with their boyfriend’s fathers with the motivational factor being money even politicians are not spared. I remember walking into a restaurant with my dad for dinner couple of months back, you needed to see the penetrating stares we got it was almost like they wanted stoning him to death, it’s so sad that nowadays, things aren’t always as they seem rather it’s more like what you see is what you get. Honestly, society has made it difficult for people to see things as they are, also, I do not understand why women choose to marry men older than their fathers under the guise of love when most of these men are usually wealthy. what’s the woman to think? While, I agree that the few of us who work hard to earn what we have, deserve more respect than we get, I understand peeps will judge regardless. just stay focused and do right by yourself never compromise standards and values for trivia things such as material gains. Life is so much better than all that stuff…

    • Miss Anonymous

      February 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Very well said.

      There are also men who won’t date a girl if her parents aren’t of a certain socio economic status. Within 30 minutes of meeting you, they want to know your last name.

  55. deevagal

    February 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    This is one of the most intelligent and inspiring article i ever read on bellanaija!
    thumbs up to the brilliant flying doctor for this.
    God bless you.

  56. Seyi

    February 3, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring!

  57. pynk

    February 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Haha runz babe’s are plenty in Nigeria. Same way decent women are still to be found. Reminds me when I just moved back around 2011, a high school friend said she was having drinks at boat club for her bday. Thought nothing of it, dressed casually and showed up. Next thing a bunch of slightly older men showed up, I didn’t think too much of it till the guy asked where I lived and I mentioned where and next thing he was telling me he could pay my rent. I was almost in tears. And I looked at him and asked him why he assumed that I needed my rent paid. He said something along the lines of because I was mixed and he thought I was very pretty and he wanted me to himself. I just excused myself to go to the bathroom, got in my car and left. I later found out my so called friend had pimped me and was intending on making money off me. I was so insulted cos I just thought about how hard I worked, degrees ie arnd, how I deprived myself to buy my apartment and how I had deprived myself over the years to accomplish for someone to take me as a piece of ass. I promptly starting cutting out folks who I couldn’t explain their lifestyles.

    • jinkelele

      February 3, 2014 at 10:42 pm


    • TA

      February 4, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Wow! No words for your ‘friend’,I have no words for her. *smh

  58. Onye

    February 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Abeg who is this DAM? I know a girl who got her car bought by her sugar daddy. He wants to marry her but she thinks he’s too old. And yet she’ll be sleeping with him and accepting expensive cars and gifts from him. I remember she had an altercation with a security guard who beat the shit out of her because he said she was an ashawo. He used cutlass and everything. She went to court about it in Lagos. Her story was that she was with her best friend (a guy) in his car waiting outside her sister’s house and this security man just attacked her. Abeg jare! The security man must have seen her with plenty men that’s why he decided to attack. Ptsheew!!

    • peyton

      February 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Its thinking like this that makes me wanna smack some faces. So because the gal is a runs gal the security man should chase her with cutlass what knd of warped thinking is that? No iam not a runs girl I do not suppourt the lifestyle but that security man had no right to lay his hand on that lady what nonsense so because she’s doing runs the woman shld be attacked with a cutlass? What kind of person are you? That’s how you will go to a hotel for legit reasons businuess conference or whatever and security man will chase you. Abi you haven’t been listening that even decent women face harrasment too? Or you missed that part

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 4, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Thank you very much, Peyton, for being the voice of reason here.

    • Ekwitosi

      February 4, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      @Peyton I agree with you because this is the way that that same security man will tag every woman that he comes across as wayward! He had no right whatsoever. We are not disputing that this behavior is not there but then when people start to attack young women at random it becomes a norm. Every young girl becomes a prostitute!

    • Bleed Blue

      February 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Peyton you will never lack wisdom. Onye’s comment was just…unbelievable really

  59. fleur rouge

    February 4, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Ola, hate to burst your bubble. Lets just say you are not a PHC person. Runz girls are real and in large Nos In PHC.

  60. thatgidigirl

    February 4, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Why are we so focused on the girls? do they runz/sleep with themselves? Like Chimamanda said its the law of demand and supply. Why are we not speaking out against the men both married and unmarried that sleep with these girls? Does security stop men when they walk into a hotel alone to ask for proper identification or confirm their business in the hotel? Why is it all on the women? And on the case of women lying on behalf of their lazy husbands, I rest my case. E go be for them. Women esp Nigerians need to realize that marriage is not the ultimate in life and we should not let society and parents pressure us into settling for anything in trousers that come our way after we pass a certain age. I remember when I wanted to buy my first car, my mum went on and on about how I would chase men away if I bought an expensive car. off course I cudnot care less. I live a good life, buy whatever I want with my money cos ain’t nobody got time for that. Life is too short for all those serenren talk. I’m sure a lot if naija guys are intimidated by Ola Orekunrin’s success. Great write up Ola, you are an inspiration.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

      I hear you and fully endorse your point that girls shouldn’t be the only ones up for discussion here. In fact, I don’t think a lot of comments are castigating the ladies in question – I believe many commenters are simply responding to the writer’s assertion that the prevalence of “Runz Girls” is merely a myth used to undermine the success of women in Nigeria. Hence the above responses which point out that, unfortunately, these kinds of women do exist in large numbers albeit side by side with other women doing honest labour for their own money.

      And remember this our society is dominated by egocentric men. Yes, many of them are increasingly turning into Runz Boyz themselves, but they continue to be the ones dismissing our hardwork as being a result of vaginal work and we have to start coming together as women to resist & reorient that level of understanding. So this is us discussing how to make it better for us.

      The men can sort out their Runz Boyz situation for themselves…

  61. Ademi Adesida

    February 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Now this is what I am talking about. I am so inspired!… there are “runs” guys or men of course!

  62. Omoo

    February 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Runz girls are everywhere in Nigeria..and nope, they do not have to be sit at home call girls..these days you find theme everywhere..from a so called village girl who has migrated for greener pastures to an undergraduate, even to a well educated working class lady. I tell you Naija has got runz girls in all dimension. It is almost the norm these hardly find a girl who doesn’t want one, two or more guys aside someones she’s dating just for the purpose of paying her bills and fulfilling other materialistic aspects of her life. W still have a few genuine ones tho but if you checked somehow, you will find that one “maga” was in a way involved!..not in all cases though

  63. ebony87

    February 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Ola, thank you so much for this write up. I’ve had my fair share of harassment just because i live in Abuja. Funny thing is that i actually live with my parents who both have their jobs as well as i have mine and still the men in my estate and around me want their share, not considering the fact that i have a boyfriend. Some actually proposition me with taking care of me, placing me on a monthly pay and trips to any part of the world just so i can be their mistress. When i don’t agree, I’m called names. I do well to laugh in their faces and tell them i have a job and can take care of myself. It’s really annoying as this happens almost every time i choose to go out of my office or home. I try to encourage myself because i have my mum as my role model. She made me the woman i am now and has made me realize that i have a lot to offer to the world other than my beauty. Not disputing the fact that there are runz girls, there are more hardworking women out there also

  64. FOB

    February 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I feel so tired and weak even as I comment. This is just depressing to read for me as a single lady, with big ambitions.
    But it is soo true. Just take a stroll on Oniru Palace road in Lekki and you will see the chalets rented by these hookers. 5 to 6 girl may pool money to rent a small flat there. Every evening you see them pouring out ready for the nights trade.
    Even on Sundays they pour out in their masses to the nearest “Mega church” RCCG City of David. Not even bothering to change their outfits to church clothes.
    These things pain me a lot. Not because i’m a perfect saint, but because they make it hard for the decent girls who aspire to do good for themselves. How will men respect us….. tired much; maybe I have just been seeing too many prostitutes everyday.

  65. Frances

    February 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Anyway, as much as i like her article, and it has affected me, right in the front of my house in Ikoyi, where a LASTMA guy called me ashawo [I am happily married, and run my company in Nigeria and in the states] just because i was driving myself, plus i have a small frame.

    On the other hand, it is to note that there are many former runz girls, and even a bit on the celebrated side, an examples is Toke Makinwa, she cannot come out and deny this that she was never one. Am not bashing her but its good to call a spade, a spade. There are several many other examples, we know…several of them now work in media or have become stylists of some sort.

  66. mio

    February 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    @frances. Has God blessed u more for calling ‘a spade, a spade’. Totally uncalled for.

  67. Leye

    February 4, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I agree with this 100%

  68. everything's rosie

    February 4, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Mehnnnn, After reading the responses on this “Runz” topic, I am too weak to add mine.

  69. Soki Briggs

    February 5, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Truth is – a Typical Nigerian girl expects too much from her Boyfriend.
    She might not be dating him solely for financial gain but if she expects him to take care of her every need – that’s usually how they start. Next thing you know she’s doing the same to other toasters if her bf starts getting wise.
    We need to change that mentality – Y’all want respect and equality? start being responsible for yourselves.

  70. NNENNE

    February 5, 2014 at 2:17 am

    The sad part is that the accuser most of the time,s are women.
    Most Nigeria women do not believe a woman can single handedly work her way to success

  71. NNENNE

    February 5, 2014 at 2:20 am

    *the accusers*

  72. not perfectly perfect

    February 5, 2014 at 3:10 am

    my dear eye wey see na mouth dem go use talk am: I attended a private uni and many of those girls do runzzzz even with all their popsy’s money. ….I was practically living wit a runzz girl for bout 3 of my 4yrs to in sch…..I regularly asked questions within myself ”wot is the reason these girls do wot dey do???”” and they even know themselves so whenever they wanna leave sch they go together

  73. Just Me

    February 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I remember clearly when I just began working and my male colleagues were advising me not to buy a car, rather, use bike as my sole means of transportation so that I do not scare potential husbands away! I was about to give them a piece of my tongue when one of the more silent guys in the room spoke up and said the more reason I need to buy any car I damn well could afford, especially not after going through college and making something meaningful of my life; and then all of a sudden, some riffraff filled with inferiority complex will have the nerve to approach me for a life commitment! There was one who even told me that I had to tone down on my drive, and that I was too ambitious for a woman!
    I stayed true to myself and beliefs but not without hearing malicious snickers about me being an old maid whose mates had married with at least three kids! Anyway, fast forward to the present and I am blessed with a husband who confessed to me that my drive and determination keep him on his toes and make him want to achieve more out of life.
    Sisters, know thyself.


      February 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm


  74. pinky

    February 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I usually get the asahwo insult till the day I replied one man by calling him ‘ impotent man’ hisego went real down I knew I have found the right word

  75. frances

    February 5, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    looking for the love not like for this article..true true!


    February 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm


  77. Newbie

    February 10, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Great article, I co-sign.

  78. Colbert

    April 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    This is very inspiring. It is a shame that people have those judgements about women they don’t know and they don’t know the story from. It’s a good thing that this is posted, because I think there are a lot of women who could get motivated by this text. It shows the world how much people judge without using their brains of even have any knowledge about the situation. To be honost I didn’t even know about these “runz girls” but it’s good it’s published.

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