Meet the 2020 Her Network Woman of the Year Honorees.

he Year 2020 has been one interesting year for all of us. The pandemic blindsided a lot of us and affected more individuals, families and industries than we can account for.

In a few hours, we will be announcing outstanding women of impact who have through their Network, Community, Workplace made a difference in the lives of people. From committing to breaking the cycle of poverty, to relentlessly driving change behind the scenes, these outstanding women have remained consistent in their dedication to make an impact.

In line with our mandate to live our truth, public nominations for this year was shelved and the #hnwoty Alumni and Advisory Board Members handpicked honorees for the year 2020.

The 2020 Her Network Woman of the Awards is presented by #HerNetwork in Association with Bella Naija and Supported by Remy Martin, Lavyanna Skin.

The 2020 Her Network Woman of the Year Honorees are:

Chioma Okolie: Chioma Okolie sees her job as a unique opportunity to help people. As Head, CSR of Airtel (Nigeria), Chioma’s passion shines through as she leads the sustainability vision of the company with unrivalled passion.

She also helps drive an Airtel employee volunteer scheme which has seen over 100 families helped and around N30 million naira raised. Chioma helps to produce and oversee Airtel’s “Touching Lives” project which has impacted over 2.5million Nigerians in several communities across the country. Through Chioma’s work, families have had their sick find succor, widows have received urgent help, many have received scholarships and school facilities have been upgraded. The project has bagged several awards and continues to be the gold standard for genuine philanthropy. For her passion in helping people and impacting humanity, Chioma Okolie is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Doyinsola Ogunye: Doyinsola is a Goalkeeper at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the aim of bringing together leaders around the world to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also a fellow of the Royal African Young Leadership Forum by led by the Ooni of Ife and aimed at celebrating young Africans excelling in their various sectors.

She is passionate about environmental sustainability and aims to engage young people in pushing for policies that drive towards the global goals. Doyinsola is the founder of Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), a non-profit organization focused on inculcating environmental and social values for the overall development of the Nigerian child. For being an advocate for a more sustainable world and driving environmental change, Doyinsola Ogunye is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Feyikemi Abudu: She does not like to call herself an activist but Feyikemi ‘FK’ Abudu became an inspiration to millions of Nigeria’s youth during the #EndSars protests by speaking up for injustice and seeking help for many who were stranded or in trouble. Also, an innovator, she recently founded a cutting-edge emergency response service, connecting individuals in medical crises with urgent intervention in a matter of minutes. 

As an entrepreneur, she has set up several concerns including a recycling outfit, which turns recycled plastic into luggage. For her work in inspiring young people and speaking up on women’s issues, FK Abudu is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Jennifer Soba Pearse: Jennifer Soba Pearse is a young thought leader who is passionate about community development, state-building and most importantly community service learning. She believes youth are the cornerstone to societal rejuvenation and will make significant impact in society if given social responsibility opportunities to make a difference.

In 2020 Jennifer started an almajiri transformational system for 379 almajiris in Karu, Nassarawa and now runs a monthly feeding and educative program for them to gain basic education while getting at least one meal a day. As of November 2020, the school has additionally admitted 50 almajiris from neighboring Minna, Niger state. For using her platform and resources to impact live through community development, Jennifer is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Linda Esuabana:  The coronavirus pandemic and economic upheaval has left many families in dire need. Linda Esubana, Head Chef and CEO at Smol Efik Pots, has championed a feeding initiative and  actively contributed to feeding the poor at zero cost.

Linda Esuabana

Linda is known as a lady with the heart of gold, and goes the extra mile in her service to clients and giving back to society. For her selfless service, Linda is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Mide Coker:  In the year 2020, one organisation stands clearly apart from all others in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) has helped awakening a national response to the issue of gender violence through the mobilization of government and the private sector in helping survivors and prosecuting offenders.

Mide Coker, a lawyer, is the Head of Communications at WARIF,  and was instrumental in creating and implementing a strategy which has seen the participation of governors, their wives and even the national assembly in formalizing laws against gender violence. For her outstanding work for women throughout 2020 and especially during the 16 days of activism, Mide Coker is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Morayo Afolabi Brown: With a daily reach of around 2 million people, Morayo is a person of influence who leads national conversations on issues that affect society.

Morayo Afolabi – Brown

She also speaks up for women on issues affecting their daily lives and is not afraid to speak up on controversial subjects from which most TV hosts will shy away. For using her platform in calling government to account and speaking up for the oppressed, Morayo Afolabi-Brown is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Nkem Okocha: A very personal story about her struggling widowed mother is what inspired Nkem Okocha to start a social enterprise, seeking to change the lives of women, one person at a time.

Her Mamamoni, a FinTech group has directly impacted more than 4,000 women since it was founded in 2013. Nkem is on a mission to empower poor, rural and urban slum women with free vocational skills and mobile loans. Her goal is to transform communities by empowering women to run small businesses. Very passionate about lifting women out of poverty, Mamamoni continues to encourage the participation of women in the economy micro-loans and engaging in continuous training. For her work in building a better world for our women, Nkem Okocha is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Nwamaka Onyemelukwe: Few women leaders in the corporate space have impacted more lives as Nwamaka Onyemelukwe has done. In a year where a global pandemic and economic headwinds have seen many thrown into extreme poverty, she has led the way in the provision of relief materials to thousands of women.

In her role as Head, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, she has championed sustainability development and the implementation of various award-winning initiatives across the country. Onyemelukwe is responsible for various sustainability initiatives empowering over 100,000 women on economic empowerment and recycling projects, securing financial inclusion for women as well as driving environmental sustainability in the country. For consistently championing sustainability development, Nwamaka is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Ogochukwu Ekezie: Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem is passionate about women and children. This has translated to her work at Union Bank where she leads the communications team. Her work has seen the launch of initiatives like EDU360, an education platform for young people, the bank’s Women Empowerment Hub and its Alpher Mentorship Programme.

Ogochukwu Ekezie – Ekaidem

A fellow of the ArchBishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme, Ogochukwu is deeply committed to driving Union Bank towards actively participation in civic responsibility. For driving innovative social impact focused initiatives that have positively reverberated in diverse industries including education and technology, Ogochukwu is a Her Network Woman of the Year.

Tomie Balogun: Tomie Balogun is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the leading expert on how to start, manage and grow investment clubs. Through the Green Investment Club, Tomie is on a mission to help young working professionals take advantage of the power of many and build wealth in the process.

Tomie’s career spans four (4) industries: Value Added Technology, Telecommunications, Management Consulting and Banking. For being part of a pivotal movement that is working to ensure that we sidestep many of the money mistakes made by previous generations, Tomie Balogun is Her Network Woman of the Year.

Abosede George – Ogan & Ibijoke Faborode: In Nigeria and across Africa, women are still significantly underrepresented within the corridors of power.

Ibijoke Faborede and Abosede George Ogan are at the forefront to change this phenomenon by pushing for more women to participate in the political process. Through their ElectHer initiative, they aim to engage, encourage and equip to run and win elections in Nigeria. While Ibijoke brings her cross-sectoral experience to bear in mobilizing resources, Abosede comes with her nonprofit background to drive policy and engagement. Together, they have an ambitious goal of get 1,000 Nigerian women running for office by 2023. For their dedication to the advancement of women in politics and helping them break the barriers to entry into governance, this powerhouse duo who work as one are the Her Network “Woman” of the Year.

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