Lipstick & Legacy: African Women Leaving Their Entrepreneurial Mark in the World

Lipstick or legacy? Both. These women are leaving behind memorably marks (imprints), daily. Their capes, thigh-high boots (some wear high top Nike sneakers) barely see rest. We see them making leaps and bounds, changing the scene on movie screens, filling our shopping carts, replenishing our business accounts, shifting perceptions via media, providing career resources & mentorship, and empowering us via beauty, health and wellness (my heroine).

Damilola Oke, Founder of Fierce & Modish

This award-winning stylist and image consultant is working her way up and drawing all the right attention. She is building a reputation of recreating brands and breaking into the boy’s club that menswear styling is infamous for. She quit her job in 2013 to set up Fierce and Modish even though styling wasn’t considered ‘a thing’ back then. In Ms. Oke’s words “Nigeria is a place where emotions and sentiments rule. People want to see physical transformations happen.” Will she be bottling and selling whatever magic dust she sprinkled on Singer Waje and other notable people this year? Purses out? Ready. Set….


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When Grace follows you, it breaks Protocol and leaves you in awe.

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Adaora Asala, CEO of Easy Taxi

Adaora got her start in Tech before start-ups and innovation caught her attention. She’s currently the Managing Director at Easy Taxi but is still deeply involved in empowering women through seed investing in women-led social enterprises spanning media, technology, and agriculture. She also plays an advisory role in several initiatives that empower women and girls.

Adaora Asala CEO of Easy Taxi

Kambili Ofili-Okonkwo, Swimwear Designer for Kamokini

She ditched the 9 to 5 life, a job with Total where she worked in procurement to design swimwear that would appeal to the average woman. She has managed to break into a mostly conservative society with designs that make women feel sensual and decent at the same time. Her advice to budding entrepreneurs “Put your back into it and make it count because not much is sweeter than doing what you love.”

Kambili Ofili-Okonkwo

Kelechi Anyadiegwu, Founder of Zuvaa

Zuvaa may have been born out of Kelechi’s frustration with the unavailability of fashionable African-inspired clothing /accessories for sale but Zuvaa is a community now. Today Kelechi’s e-commerce site gets millions of visits each day and Zuvaa clients hail from all over the globe. The site also serves as a platform for African designers, to showcase their merchandise, earn recognition and make a living. The 27-year-old has been listed among Forbes’ 2016 30 under 30 list (entrepreneurs)!


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“The Woman you’re becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces and material things. Choose HER over Everything.” ✨👑✨ • • • January 7th, 2018 I made a decision that changed the trajectory of my life, exactly one year ago #DunniesJourney began 🎨 • • • GOD has been so faithful to me…In January of 2018 I created a vision board and list of goals I desired to achieve even though I felt heartbroken, devastated and at my absolute lowest …I knew deep down that in-spite of my circumstances things could only get better by the Grace of God. ✨🙏🏾✨No matter what I had to face in 2018 I held on to my FAITH and I will be sharing my testimony this Saturday 1/12 during the vision board party I will be hosting with click the link in my IG Bio for tickets & more info. • • • • 📸 @thearthype Ankara Set: @ofuure MUA: @omolewa_cosmetics Braids: @hair2bdifferent / @CandyCrochets _ @dunnieo

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Biodun Dapherede, Founder of EatPrayOverachieve 

Biodun launched to help young careerists find their way. With a background in Human Resources and Writing, she’s been able to mentor fresh graduates and help them see the need for a sense of ownership despite daunting unemployment issues in her country. She started the Eatprayoverachieve networking events and clothing drive in 2015. She believes that the key issue holding Nigeria back is her insistence on looking outwards for saviors. “I wish we would stop focusing on everything except what matters, us! We are Africa’s best resources.” Her books, The JJC Guide Series are expected to hit the stands this year.

Zim Ugochukwu, Founder of Travel Noire

From to TravelNoireTV, Zim has become the go-to girl for travel tips. What happens when you are the ethnically unique individual journeying to places that have hardly ever interacted with your kind? Are human beings that different? Does travel have to involve so much drama? The Travel Noire brand raises these salient questions the world is curious about. Zim has launched an incredible conversation that sheds insight on the way people of color travel, allows them to share experiences, their love for food, fashion, and life. With 196,000 Instagram followers, Zim is a media force to be reckoned with. Zim has promised her followers richer content on and TravelNoireTV so we look forward to all of that this year.

Bilikiss Adebiyi, Founder of Wecyclers

“I’ve always been interested in ideas that focus on re-purposing waste.” Says this former IBM Software Engineer. Transforming the lives of a class that constitutes nearly 60 percent of Lagos, Bilikiss’s community recycling initiative is nothing short of brilliant. She has not only managed to influence environmental behavior and draw attention to a lifestyle that’s degrading the mega-city, but she is also creating employment on a large and steady scale by partnering with corporations like CocaCola and GlaxoSmithKline.

Bilikiss Adebiyi, Founder of Wecyclers

Shola Okubote, Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Woman.NG

The soft-spoken media entrepreneur is changing the global conversation regarding Nigerian women and African women in general. From business to entertainment, technology to politics, her website launched as Femmelounge in 2010 and has garnered over 90,000 Facebook likes. Shola uses her platform to support girl/women empowerment initiatives all while working 9 to 5 as a consultant for a university in the United Kingdom.

Shola Okubote

Bolanle Olukanni, TV Host of Red Carpet Darling

This TV sweetheart captured the hearts of millions of viewers from her early days co-hosting the talent-hunt show Project Fame alongside actor, Joseph Benjamin. Since then she has grown her fan base with on EbonylifeTV’s Moments with Mo show. She was the top choice for red carpet hosting duties in 2015 and we anticipate more partnerships with reputable brands this year.


Ms. Niniola Soleye, Managing Director at Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh Health Trust

Ms. Soleye holds a BA in cognitive science/neuroscience and currently oversees growth & partnership strategy, fundraising, communications and PR for the foundation. She worked with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), an organization focused on handling major health concerns in over 50 countries. Her job included supporting internal communications and change management across the organization. She’s making strides in the area of health concerns in Nigeria and is currently developing a strategy to keep outbreaks like the Ebola outbreak of 2015 from happening again.


Niniola Soleye

Simone Bartlett, Co-Founder of Eve & Tribe 

In barely 3 years, Simone has worked to make this ready-to-wear fashion brand one of the most recognized fashion labels in Nigeria. Eve & Tribe ruled the red carpet in 2015 and celebrities like Fashion Bomb’s Claire Sulmers, Toke Makinwa, Fade Ogunro, and Kaylah Oniwo were seen looking fabulous in their pieces. Her position as co-founder at Eve & Tribe isn’t her first foray into the fashion industry, she once worked as Head Buyer for Jumia Fashion Nigeria.


Lola Masha, Country Manager at OLX

Ms. Masha has worked with reputable corporations like Google and Mckinsey. She also served as Head of Corporate Strategy for Bank PHB (now defunct) in 2009. Since February 2014, she has been largely responsible for building a world-class customer support service at OLX. She is well known for her easygoing nature and no-nonsense management style and won herself more admirers with her handling of the child abductions that was traced to a maid ad on OLX last year. Fortunately, the children were found a few weeks later.

Lola Masha, Country Manager at OLX

Joyce Awojoodu, CEO of ORIKI Group

‘ORÍKÌ’ [Or.eek.e] is a skincare brand that promotes the use of natural ingredients to create a total of 32 personal care. This ORIKI group has expanded considerably in the last year with additions like the spa, hair clinic, and The ORIKI Foundation. Before launching ORIKI, she spent nine years working in the power sector in Nigeria and the US. She also served as the Technical Assistant on Research, Analysis, and Informatics to the Minister of Power.


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So cute! . . . 📷 :@jacquelinewoodwell . . What does Sunday mean to you . . . .

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Disrupting Narratives & Creating Communities In Style

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