The inaugural edition of the Her Network Woman of the Year (HNWOTY) Awards which took place in Lagos, instituted a driving force in the realm of award ceremonies made for women, by women. It took place on Sunday, 10th December 2017 and was hosted by phenomenal figures, Ariyike Akinbobola and Shade Ladipo, who were supported by presenters Lola Oj, Banke Alawaye, Glory Edozien, Adaora Mbelu- Dania, Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun, Faith History, Liz Osho, Chinenye Nnoli, Temi Dalley – Chief Human Resource Officer at Sterling Bank, Stephanie Obi, Jane Michael Ekanem, Chinenye Nnoli, Chinny Okoye, Mimi Andani-Michaels, Destiny Amaka and Taje Prest who handed out the awards plaques to winners in their respective categories.
During the event, guests were treated to mini-pancakes and toppings by the Mini Pancake Station, Cocktails courtesy Eventi Cocktails, Dinner by Smol Efik Pots, Desserts by CremeBrulee Lagos and beauty products for special looks of the day, sponsored by Emmaus Beauty. The event location which was decorated by WittyLizEvents created the perfect ambience to complement the theme of the awards event, “Sparkle and Shine”. God Win strings Serenaded guests to soothing tunes from his violin as the evening of celebration progressed.
The One Woman initiative of Sterling Bank sponsored and presented the HNWOTY award in the Entrepreneurship category, won by Toyin Onigbanjo of August Secrets and a keynote speech titled “Building a Legacy” was given by Wunmi Williams, the Creative Director of Nakenohs Boulevard.
After all other awards, Timipre Wolo was announced the overall winner – Woman of the Year 2017. This category was designed to honour a woman of sophistication, style and resilience for undergoing hard work while balancing comprising life and business situations. Timipre was recognised as an overall achiever and for her service to humanity.
Event Decor; WittyLiz Events
Photography: M12 Photography/Light Media House
See Full list of Winners with their profiles below;
Woman of the Year 2017 (Overall Achiever) – TIMIPRE WOLO
Timipre Wolo is the CEO of TFN Energy Limited and the Founder of the Centre for Gender Equality, Education and Empowerment (CGEEE), an NGO which she set up in response to the high level of illiteracy and poverty amongst women and girls in rural areas across Africa.
Timipre began her career in private legal practice, whilst also running the Greener Nigeria Initiative, an NGO focused on the environment which she co-founded. In 2010, she joined the Legal Department of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria’s foremost government agency responsible for capacity development in the oil and gas industry and was subsequently appointed Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary. In September 2011, she was assigned the responsibility of leading the team tasked with fostering closer collaborations between the PTDF and relevant stakeholders in the industry such as IOCs, NOCs, the academia, the National Assembly and Oil producing communities. Thus, becoming the youngest person to ever serve in the PTDF Management.
Timipre also championed the first ever Helicopter pilot training Programme for the petroleum industry in Nigeria with the training of indigenous youths as internationally certified commercial helicopter pilots. Following the successful completion of their training, she played a key role in facilitating PTDF pioneer job-creation partnership with the private sector, culminating in employment of 15 of the young budding pilots into positions hitherto held by expatriates.
Ms. Wolo, who represented Nigeria at the United Nations Youth Assembly in 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively, has a passion for educating young girls. She dedicates time to supporting and mentoring young women and girls, through the “CGEEE” and “ONE HOUR WITH THE KING”, a non-denominational Christian Fellowship she founded in 2013. She enjoys traveling and working with vulnerable children in orphanages and refugee camps and believes that education is a vital tool for sustainable development and that with quality education, anything is achievable irrespective of your status at birth.
Woman of the Year (ADVOCACY) – OMOTADE ALALADE
Omotade’s passion for impacting other people’s lives motivated her to found the Beibei Haven Foundation aimed at offering fertility support to women and couples. One of the goals of the foundation includes the education on conception difficulties and to provide support in partnership with fertility clinics.Her foundation also provides grants to low income earners that can not afford to access quality treatment from fertility clinics. Her work has brought about local and international recognition as she was chosen as one of BBC 100 women who are impacting and inspiring others globally and one of 100 inspiring Nigerian women for International Women’s Day.
Woman of the Year (AGRICULTURE) – ANGEL ADELAJA
Angel is an innovative agricultural entrepreneur passionate about easing the process of obtaining fresh produce through a sustainable supply chain. She is the founder of “Fresh Direct“, a local agricultural production and processing business that utilises smart technology to supply organic produce, meats and processed end products to local communities. Her passion for Agriculture has made her thrive in the world of urban farming where she has started making an impact by promoting the African opportunity in the sector and creating low-tech affordable technologies for simplified and sustainable farming. She plans to expand her business operations beyond Nigeria in the near future.
Woman of the Year (ART) – TOKINI PETERSIDE
Tokini is the Founder of Art X, an annual art fair designed to broaden the scope of Nigeria’s presence in contemporary art in Africa and the world. The second edition of the fair held early November 2017 welcomed over 9,000 visitors and exhibited exclusively curated works of over 65 artists from 15 galleries over 3 days. The event successfully promoted visual arts as an important part of the creative industry in Nigeria, and also positioned Lagos as a budding cultural African hub.
Woman of the Year (BEAUTY) – JOYCEE AWOSIKA
Joycee is the CEO and founder of ORÍKÌ, a luxury grooming brand that fuses all-natural ingredients primarily sourced in Africa with scientific research. She formed the brand out of her passion to create personal grooming items from all-African ingredients while being able to change the lives of the people who locally supply nuts, plants and herbs for the finished products. Her brand has a range of 32 products including oils, creams, soaps and toners for men and women.
Woman of the Year (BROADCAST/JOURNALISM) – MERCY ABANG
Mercy is a freelance journalist with a flare for covering issues facing vulnerable populations. Mercy’s passion has driven her to raise awareness for communities under siege from the Boko Haram terrorists as well as tell stories on mental health, displaced persons and biodiversity. Mercy’s work has taken her across various states in Nigeria and a few West-African countries documenting under-reported stories of communities that receive little or no media attention.
Woman of the Year (CAREER) – JULIET EHIMUAN-CHIAZOR
Juliet is the Google Country Manager for Nigeria who has proven her worth as a top-rated technology and business leader with a long list of achievements under her profile. She is responsible for representing the company in all its business development projects and partnership opportunities in the region. Through her leadership, the company has launched a series of innovative products and services aimed at building the online ecosystem in Nigeria.
Woman of the Year (CREATIVE) – WANA UDOBANG
Wana is a poet and film maker whose poems have been featured at various festivals across the continent. She has produced and directed documentaries on issues that affect health, beauty and the human psyche; her works include “Sensitive Skin” a documentary film about the autoimmune disease Psoriasis, “Nylon” a short documentary on grief and the docu-series Warriors exploring the lives of people with sickle cell disease. Wana recently released her sophomore spoken word album, In Memory Of Forgetting which successfully brings to the fore relevant issues like molestation, abuse and neglect as they affect the female gender.
Woman of the Year (ENTREPRENEUR) – TOYIN ONIGBANJO
Toyin is the founder of “August Secrets”, a food solutions company for babies and toddlers geared towards aiding Nigerian mothers feed their babies with healthier meals from organic produce including vegetables, grains and tubers. She began producing her range of local baby cereals last year and has gradually expanded her customer base to locations outside Nigeria.
Toyin recently released a recipe book including meal plans for toddlers which is an absolute lifesaver for new Nigerian mothers who opt for healthier meal options.
Woman of the Year (FILM/TV) – KEMI ADETIBA
Kemi is an outstanding storyteller who has the ability to transform the phenomenal features of a simple story into an elaborate production. She recently created an online series which features women from various industries narrating the evolution of their career difficulties, successes and personal lives. The series “King Women” (2017) can be best described as a visual source of mentorship and inspiration for women.
Woman of FUTURE – WADI BEN HIRKI
Wadi is a vibrant young woman who is passionate about impacting her community through a variety of avenues including charity, business and a motivational outreach programme. In order to reach her goal, she simultaneously runs a charity – Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation, a business – Sapphire by WBHF and an empowerment initiative – SHEROES by WBH. Her key projects; Street2School, GirlsNotWives and LITMOW (Love In The Midst Of War) are geared towards achieving sustainable development goals. Her projects have helped over 1000 children get new shoes, clothes, stationery and access to primary education. She has also raised awareness on the importance of education and vocation to young girls and victims of the Boko Haram insurgency. In general, Wadi is an advocate for gender equality, education and poverty alleviation and takes up public speaking engagements and memberships in youth and organisations to share a message of hope on behalf of victims and the less privileged.
Woman of the Year (HEALTHCARE) – ADEPEJU JAIYEOBA
Adepeju is passionate about changing lives of women and girls on a global scale as well as contributing towards the improvement of Nigeria’s stance towards healthcare for women and children. Her passion is fuelled from a personal experience of losing a friend to childbirth because of delays in immediate medical care and expertise. She is also a skilled community development advocate who believes that the only way forward in the health sector is a shift towards education and skilled practices rather than traditional methods of birthing with no proper facility and use of care.
Woman of the Year (HOSPITALITY) – CHIAMAKA OBUEKWE
Chiamaka is the co-founder and CEO of Social Prefect Tours, a lifestyle establishment that promotes African tourism and seeks to connect people through exploratory experiences in the region. Her main business driver is to promote the diverse Nigerian heritage and popular landmarks in Nigeria which showcase our country’s beautiful landscapes. Chiamaka constantly seeks to curate new travel experiences as she not only strives to change the Nigerian tourism outlook but to create new experiences for people. She has travelled to 25 out of the 36 Nigerian states and has fully explored 19 of these for the purpose of building her travel expertise and discovering beautiful tourist attractions in Nigeria to share globally.
Woman of the Year (MUSIC/ENTERTAINMENT) – SIMISOLA BOLATITO OGUNLEYE
Simi is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who began her journey as a gospel singer but has transitioned into the Afro-pop genre. Since the beginning of her journey, she has released two albums and has been a featured nominee at The Headies awards which propelled her musical career to larger heights. Her music connotes love and serves as emotional anthems for the average Nigerian lover while burgeoning humour and melody in a perfect fusion. She is currently signed to X3M Music under which she released her sophomore studio album “Simisola”.
Woman of the Year (PHILANTHROPY) ADEDAYO JOSEPH
Adedayo is a Clinical Radiation Oncologist who through her initiative, “The Dorcas Care Foundation” is dedicated to improving early cancer detection, ensuring accurate diagnosis and enabling prompt and proper treatment of childhood cancer in Nigeria. Her initiative creates awareness as well as procures, funds or directly provides treatment and social support to children made vulnerable by limited resources. Adedayo has sponsored the treatment of children and recently, launched a Childhood Cancer handbook series – a book which seeks to dispel the stigma associated with the disease and provide information about cancer in general to the parents and physicians, with good understanding about facts and myths surrounding cancer. She is also the Medical Director of Visiting Medical Services Ltd, a convenience health care service aimed at providing off-site and accessible patient care experiences in Lagos area.
Woman of the Year (SOCIAL MEDIA) – YEMISI ODUSANYA
Yemisi “Sisi Yemmie” is a popular content creator and vlogger who founded SISIYEMMIE.COM, a food and lifestyle blog. She has successfully created a brand through sharing her personal recipes and weekly video diaries that provide insight into her everyday life on YouTube and her blog. Her videos also highlight the beauty of Lagos that may not be readily seen and appreciated throughout the world. She provides recipes in a practical and cogent manner for meals that can be recreated simply at home and consistently puts a lot of passion into her creations, making her popular amongst viewers.
Woman of the Year (SPORTS) – BLESSING OKAGBARE-IGHOTEGUONOR
Blessing is a Nigerian track and field athlete who specializes in long jump and short sprint events. She is an Olympic and World Championship medalist in the long jump, and a world medallist in the 200 metres. She also holds the Women’s 100 metres Commonwealth Games record for the fastest time at 10.85 seconds. Her 100 m best of 10.79 made her the African record holder for the event until it was eclipsed by Murielle Ahoure in 2016. She has also been awarded medals at the All-Africa Games, IAAF Continental Cup and World Relays.
Woman of the Year (START UP) – ADEYINKA TEKENAH
Adeyinka is the creator and founder of “Happy Coffee Nigeria“, an innovative solution used to restructure the ideologies and misconceptions of coffee drinking. Apart from supporting the industry by purchasing from Nigerian farmers, she aims to enlighten Nigerians on the art of coffee drinking and showcase the coffee industry as a lucrative part of the agricultural sector.
Woman of the Year (TECH) – ABISOYE AJAYI – AKINFOLARIN
Abisoye is the founder of “Girl Coding”, an initiative of the Pearl Africa Foundation which aims to get underprivileged girls from slums, orphanages and correctional homes into the world of technology. With four instructors, Abisoye and her tech friends tutor over 100 girls (aged 10 -17) who have signed up to learn skills such as programming, user interface design and animation. After their training is concluded, the girls are placed on internships with I.T firms and paired with female tech mentors to guide them. Abisoye’s vision for the future is to add up to 20,000 female programmers into the Nigerian tech eco-system by the year 2020. Abisoye also launched “Lady labs Innovation Hub“, which caters specifically to the tech needs of girls from underserved communities. Her hub is a safe place where these girls can be mentored by professional ladies in the field of technology, business, health and hygiene.