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Leading African Female Entrepreneurs Reni Folawiyo, Folake Coker, Tara Fela-Durotoye, Deola Sagoe & More discuss Female Empowerment in SCHICK Magazine



In SCHICK Magazine’s debut edition, the ‘Power Issue’, the publication celebrates some of our leading African female entrepreneurs in the fashion and beauty industry who are making an impact and changing our narrative.

Leading female entrepreneurs Reni Folawiyo, Adenike Ogunlesi, Folake Coker, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Deola Sagoe, Oke Maduewesi, Tara Fela-Durotoye and Iona McCreath discuss female empowerment and the driving forces behind their successes.

Reni Folawiyo, Nigeria: Founder of Alara Lagos, a luxury shopping destination

Tara Fela-Durotoye, Nigeria: Founder of House of Tara, a beauty and cosmetics brand

Adenike Ogunlesi, Nigeria: Founder of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, a children’s clothing label

Folake Coker, Nigeria: Founder of Tiffany Amber, a clothing and lifestyle brand

Deola Sagoe, Nigeria: Founder of House of Deola, a womenswear label

Oke Maduwesi, Nigeria: Founder of Zaron Cosmetics, a hair and beauty cosmetics brand

Iona McCreath, Kenya: Founder of Kikoti, a youth clothing line for KikoRomeo label

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Ethiopia: Founder of Sole Rebels, an eco-sensitive footwear brand

Check out excerpts below!

Deola Sagoe

What Makes you Feel Powerful in your own Role on a Day-To-Day Basis?

I would say I feel empowered by the sheer enormity of untapped potential in the industry, that’s so glaring to me. I am so passionate about bringing these potentials to life with, using the talents that Almighty God has bestowed upon me.

Oke Maduewesi

What did it take to be where you are today?

Being driven, having the passion for succeeding and believing in my capabilities. Also, having a great team! It didn’t take just me, it took everyone else for us to get this far. Understanding your market,  being customer driven and aligning with their needs is the key to success. Everything I have said and done so far would not have been possible without grace from God. My faith has played a major role in what I have become today. For that, I am grateful. I am also thankful for my family as their support contributed to where I am today.

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

What is the Spirit of African Women in Business?

The spirit of African Woman is multifacet. I believe African women bring a dynamic combination that encompasses creativity, entrepreneurialism, authenticity and a depth of skill sets to business that is unique and vibrant. That’s why we see very interesting companies and brands being driven by women., emerging from across the continent. In the fashion category, it is being deeply felt. The global customer today is hyper-aware; They want authentic products from authentic brands with real stories and a unique point of view. In the fashion space, African women understand this and are delivering on these need in the most incredible and inspiring ways.


Photography: Kola Oshalusi | @kolaOshalusi
All Make-up: Zaron Cosmetics | @Zaroncosmetics
Make-up for Tara Fela-Durotoye: House of Tara | @houseoftara


  1. Shola

    May 16, 2017 at 7:59 am

    One of my challenges with Africano women in business is the lack of TRUTH. Many of them give general answers but rarely speak the full truth about their businesses. At the heart of business is finance. We never hear how these ladies acquired their money how they crated the partnerships. This is what you get African girls need to read. All this glamour image so doing business keeps other women dilusional. Thank god for ibukun awosika this woman walks in truth.

    • Wura

      May 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      They all came from rich comfortable trust fund families. I’m sorry but no matter what anyone says I’ll never buy any business story these ones have to tell. Only Tara I’m sure of out of those up there who didn’t come from money. Most times I drool over success stories here on BN then I do some research into how they started then I’m disappointed. Not like I’m trying to bring down their “effort” or “struggle” BUT nah, they had it easy money-wise and it’s money that mars 99% of dreams in this country. When you did not start with daddy/hubby’s money, talk to me. Before then, keep on doing you. No hate.

  2. siju

    May 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Deola, whats up with this gele na

  3. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    May 16, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I like Oke Maduewesi’s response, “….. Understanding your market.”

    Iona McCreath looks like Sonia Ogbonna, but she is not Sonia Ogbonna

    Folake Coker looks approachable, like someone you can gist with, that would make you feel comfortable

    Tara, is beautiful

    Nice pictures, all of them


    May 16, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I agree with what shola and wura Wrote, we really cant buy these stories no matter how good they sound half the population of nigerians in nigeria and outside of nigeria cant relate to them. A country where majority are average and below average incomed, who are you trying to motivate here? the already wealthy business owners or the struggling average and below average readers. SCHICK magazine should take a dive outside the norm, in the haste to be so classy and luxurious you are putting out content that has been done in diff ways!! think outside the box, nigerians should learn how to embrace all aspect. I was thinking SCHICK magazine will finally be a magazine something like the likes of Essence magazine , owned by women and for women! and most especially all women. The rich, the regular, the popular, the nobodys, the average, the poor and down right to every representation of women. I just hope this “power issue” is one of many better content to come.

    • Baby gurl

      May 17, 2017 at 7:51 am

      It would actually be lovely if SCHICK becomes our ESSENCE. That magazine speaks to my soul. When I read it it’s like I’m in the midst of my sisters, cousins and aunties drinking kunu and sharing kose with one another (lol) and talking about everything under the sun. Essence is Magic!

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