Women of Rubies


Mimi Shodeinde is a British Nigerian artist, designer and entrepreneur, born and raised in London, Mimi’s passion for art was developed at a young age. Winning awards for her artwork she went on to complete her degree in Interior Architecture at Edinburgh.

She has worked and collaborated on a wide range of projects both nationally and internationally, from interior architectural projects, furniture design, lighting and product design spanning The UK, Europe, The Middle East and West Africa.

Mimi’s drafting and painting skills together with her artist’s eye allow her to break down the relationship between form and function where art and design intersect.

She draws on her diverse influences and background to manipulate the use of space through both form and placement defying categorization. Her style is fluid, sophisticated and functional but seeks to imbue each project with a personality of its own.

Consistency is key, love every moment of the journey, and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back!

Mimi has a background in Fine Arts and had always been intrigued by painting and sketching at a young age, which served as a leverage to venture into interior architecture. Her keen interest in how interiors influenced the way people behave and interact with objects or a piece of furniture led her to create intriguing pieces that are quite different from what people are used to.

Her earliest form of inspiration came from her mother who was a fulltime business person and her father, who was a trained architect amidst other things. They instilled in her the value of hard work and the power of resilience, which are important values an entrepreneur should have.

As an entrepreneur, Mimi describes her greatest satisfaction in these words, “Seeing my ideas come to life. I feel peace when I see something that has worked perfectly, the way I imagined it in my mind. I still get surprised every time I walk into the studio. Taking something from sketch to reality isn’t always easy and there are many hurdles, tweaks & corrections needed to get to that final piece. Its hard work, but it’s so worth it!”

Miminat focuses on Interior Architecture & Design, Furniture, Lighting and Product Design and was established in 2015.

To commemorate June 16th as International Day of the African Child, media personality and entrepreneur Munirat “Anto” Lecky has revealed plans to launch the Edo Babes Are Fly Initiative to promote girl child education, empowerment and skills acquisition, and reduce the rate of gender-based violence and sex trafficking in Edo State. Through her NGO, Anto Lecky alongside Musleehat Hamadu, plan to use the Edo Babes Are Fly Initiative to combat the many issues facing women from Edo State. Edo State is known as Nigeria’s capital for human trafficking, especially of young women and girls. According to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM), 94% of women trafficked to Europe from Nigeria are from Edo State.

To kick-off, the initiative is celebrating history made and history in the making by paying homage to great women who have shaped and are shaping Edo history and Nigeria at large with an educational tribute photoshoot featuring some favourites in the Nigerian entertainment industry.

These women include: Anto Lecky herself as Queen Idia, the Queen Mother and a cultural symbol of modern-day Nigeria; Jemima Osunde, Physiotherapist and Actress, as Princess Elizabeth Olowu, the first female bronze caster in Nigeria; Idia Aisien, Actor and TV Host, as Mabel Dorothy Segun, broadcaster, author, and first Nigerian woman to play table tennis; Arese Ugwu, Author and Executive Producer, as Osaretin Demuren, First Female Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank; Vanessa “Vandora” Williams, TV Presenter and Influencer, as Prof. Lilian Salami, current and second female Chancellor of the University of Benin; Linda Osifo, Actress and Brand Ambassador, as Aisha Yesufu, socio-political activist and convener of Bring Back Our Girls Movement; Winfrey Dania Okolo, Media Personality and Lawyer, as Omosede Igbinedion, lawyer and youngest female member into the 8th Assembly of the House of Representatives (Nigeria).

Anto Lecky says her initiative will celebrate Edo women both home and abroad who contribute immensely to the betterment of society and also spur the younger generation to attain greater heights. She noted that the tribute photo shoot is a reminder of the giant strides that women of Edo extraction have made, and continue to make.

“I’m inspired by the stories of all of these women we are paying tribute to, and my colleagues who were so earnest to be the muses for the project. All of these women are role models for girls around the world. We decided to pay homage to these women, while encouraging other Edo women that they are “fly”, and can soar above any stereotype” She said


She also revealed that the Edo Babes Are Fly initiative is one of the many works the Live Wire Project will be championing. “We plan to host impactful events on key days, and offer educational & skills acquisition resources.” “We hope to share the stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking. We also hope to partner with international organizations and to amplify the efforts of domestic organizations that need celebrity backing.” She further added.

Anto Lecky is not new to celebrating Nigerian and African women. She hosts a talk show on Ogelle Africa titled “She’s A Boss” celebrating African women who strive and thrive; and has paid tribute to some of her favorite women in the Nigerian entertainment industry on International Women’s Day.



connect with The Live Wire Project on Instagram @thelivewireproject or email



OmoAkin Olayinka Mercy is a luminary with life expectations and purposeful aim of supporting young adults to achieve result at the appropriate time.
 She’s an advocate of The Great people foundation whose objective is to ensure that students and the less privilege on streets get back to school.
She is a trained and qualified teacher who studied business education in Adeniran Ogunsanya college of education. A trained Business Coach at My Branding Academy.
A certified public Speaker at TalkGenerals Training School and also a Certified Diction Coach at Right Sounds Institute.
She’s s competent Photographer,an Edutainer of MercyNub TVshow,On air personnel.
She’s excellent singer, a competent and certified diction coach,a relationship and career counselor,an inspirational citer with evidence and mind -blowing Testimonies.
She’s the founder of MercyNub Media Empire, also a Brand Visiblity Coach with the aim making Brands to be known,seen and heard all over the universe.
She is highly skilled in enterprenuership with excellent initiatives aspect (MercyNub Media),also a  privileged member of young African leaders initiative( YALI Network team) which stands for innovating of ideas around business management in order to create prosperous  lasting solutions and impact in the  environment.
She shares her story with us in this interview.

Childhood Preparation

Yes I was prepared, My childhood was a training ground because parents were not available to nurture me but my Grandmother did. She spent her last kobo to make sure I have good Education and also to express a global Mind. Blessed Memories to her as well.

Inspiration behind MercyNub
MercyNub media was an inspiration got from my love for Photograph because it is an uncommon field. I’m a Photographer.
Being a Visibility Coach
 Being a Brand Visibility Coach, It has restored many lives and birth initiatives.
Great People Foundation
Great people Foundation has existed 6 years ago. It is a graced platform that have saved lives in order to have equal Education with the Elite. It is an international platform.
How I manage my Feat
 Time management is the seed that germinates to Success. I do tie my activities with dates and time . I have time table.
My perception of branding & visibility
 Branding is a taste of how you want us to perceive and Buy You. So as a Brand Visibility Coach, my niche is to ensure that your product, value or content gets a Global recognition by embracing Media Appearance.
 At times busy schedules may hinder my effectiveness.
Other Projects
Music Ministry,TALKshows and Adult Literacy.
3 Women who Inspire Me and Why
 Mrs Ibunkunoluwa Awosika, She’s a woman that births good deliveries.
b. Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, she never gave up on her dreams. Now the richest female.
c. Mrs Iweala Ngozi, She has proven that a woman can get to any length in life despite her background.
Nuggets on how to become a successful Public Speaker
 From my own School of thought, we’re all public Speakers. Because as a successful Person ,The Microphone will get to you one day to come share your Success Story to motivate others so everyone should embrace Personal Development cause it’s the key to master one’s craft.
Being a Woman of Rubies
 I’m a woman of Rubies because I’m priceless being designed by God, I’m born to lead and Dominate, I have a higher and Success Voice and I forever say No to Status Quo.
Facebook: Omoakin ola Mercy
1G: MercyNub Media
WhatsApp: 08098014636.

Shoes perform the dual function of making a fashion statement and protecting our delicate feet from dirt and dust. It is without doubt that I say that everyone loves great shoes that both look good and feel great.
Sadly, for many school kids in Nigeria, having such shoes is simply not an option, and when it is an option, it is a luxury for them. The desire to make a remarkable impact in the lives of these Nigerian school children, coupled with intense passion for making beautiful shoes led Temilade Adegbite, an entrepreneur shoemaker to launch Right Legs shoe business.

Temilade who didn’t come from an entrepreneurial background was inspired to launch into entrepreneurship due to her personal problems with finding shoes that fit her big foot. As she grew older, it became a challenge as it became more difficult getting the designs she wanted for my size. She found out through a survey she carried out that a lot of other people face her dilemma and she acted on the thought that prompted her into learning shoemaking craft and produce designs that are inclusive of all sizes.

Temilade sees building a business that produces bespoke shoes for customers as a means to contributing to the society at a social impact level, using her expertise to produce shoes for those kids that don’t have and cannot afford them.

This is why the goal of Right Legs is centered around catering to big-footed customers and supporting poor kids with good footwear to wear to school. And as a standard policy, 5% on the price of every set of footwear bought by customers goes towards the making of school shoes for kids that can’t afford to buy them.

Beyond the profit, her greatest satisfaction as an entrepreneur comes from being able to solve the problem of access to footwear in different sizes. Another satisfaction comes from being able to create great shoes from raw materials, producing something that is both beautiful and practical and that everyone wants on their feet.
Temilade also enjoys the pleasure of creating shoes for Nigerian future leaders.

Her personal experience is the best piece of advice she can give to every intending business owner, it is simply:

Find the need and solve the problem.


Often the most successful brands and products are created out of a personal experience or a market need. For Zuwaira Ikharo Shuaib, she was inspired to create her business and product range for both of these reasons with the birth of her triplets and the need to find great natural skincare products for her new arrivals.

When you are a mother to triplets, you have first hand knowledge of just what babies need when it comes to natural skincare, and that is certainly the case with Zuwaira Ikharo Shuaib, founder of Amal Botanicals Baby Care who has a wealth of personal experience, essential consumer insights into what moms want for their delicate babies, and the passion to create a brand that can deliver.

Start from where you are and have a bigger outlook of where you want to be.

Amal Baby Care products are made from natural ingredients which have anti-inflammatory properties and have been tested and proven to relief dry skin, eczema, cradle cap, diaper rash and other skin inflammation, especially in babies.

Coming from being a chartered accountant and tax administrator to becoming an entrepreneur has been a very interesting journey for Zuwaira who has zero background in entrepreneurship. She had to learn entrepreneurship and is still learning on the never-ending journey. With entrepreneurship, Zuwaira has had to do lots of things and have been afraid and alone. With lots of mistakes on the journey from sourcing wrong machines to wrong purchase of raw materials leading to big loss for the company in millions, but she survived it all and pulled through.

She finds utmost joy and satisfaction in caring for other babies just like how she cared for her beautifully born premature triplets and helping other mothers ease the joy of motherhood by providing them with Natural Baby Care Solutions.

The simple entrepreneurial advice that has helped her scale through the initial hurdles of her business is “start with what you have no matter how little. Start from where you are and have a bigger outlook of where you want to be. Continue to put in the work daily and reinvest into the business.”

Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro is a Computer Scientist turned Social Entrepreneur. She is also the Founder and CEO of MitiMeth, an award-winning Social Enterprise transforming waste and building livelihoods through the transformation of water hyacinth, typha grass, banana bark, coconut shells and bamboo culms into useful,  aesthetic products.

Her passion lies in rethinking, designing and producing unique home décor, art décor, gifts, stationery, baskets, fashion accessories, dining-ware and rope from these environmental menaces and agricultural residues.

Achenyo discovered water hyacinth which has been a persistent aquatic weed infestation problem in Nigeria and saw that as an opportunity to practically express her message on converting waste into something beneficial. It wasn’t difficult for her to choose crafts because it requires less capital to start and the technicalities involved are minimal. She thought it was a wise move to start small, have physical, marketable products and have economic proof that would serve as motivation to people who want to learn how to transform the waste in their environment to substantial and beneficial products.

Along the entrepreneurial journey, set realistic expectations. Disappointment is a given and so are detours. Being resilient and agile are essential attributes to have as an entrepreneur.

With over NGN17M in wages transferred to 100+ home-based Artisans, MitiMeth is impacting lives and the environment for good and has  received recognition and favourable coverage from organizations

They have received accolades including the 2015 Tony Elumelu Foundation Award, the 2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, the 2013 YouWIN Award, the 2013 Local Raw Materials Content Award.

As an entrepreneur, Achenyo has learned several valuable lessons on the journey to significance and impact at MitiMeth. Here are some of the valuable lessons:

  1. For those who want to embark on the entrepreneurial journey or who are already on the journey, weigh your options carefully. Think through them, reach a decision and stick with it. Know your risk tolerance levels and take a calculated risk. Be confident and just do it! You do not want to look back several years down the line and wish regretfully that you should have done it.
  2. Prepare for the journey. Research the idea, solicit advice as to the potential of your business idea from as many sources as possible: friends, family, colleagues, business associates, or any industry specialists you may have access to. Map the trip (write a business plan, apply to incubators, join network organizations and events, embark on professional development and training, “give-away” services and sample products, form partnerships, assemble the right team).
  3. Enjoy the journey. Pace your business and don’t run ahead of yourself either due to peer pressure or ill-informed advice. Don’t drive more miles than your business is capable of handling.
  4. Refuel along the way and don’t allow your tank to get dangerously low. Retreat every now and then to rejuvenate. Self-care is important. Make stops along the way to make sure you are still on the right track (take stock and evaluate the business to ensure you are meeting objectives and you are working towards the vision and mission of the business).
  5. Celebrate your achievements.
  6. Know that there’ll be unanticipated diversions along the way (like a change in government policy, a recession, a pandemic etc). Identify those potential threats to your business (your SWOT analysis) and devise ways to mitigate the impacts. Don’t panic or get overworked about the diversions. Make the most of the “distractions”. Focus on the positives by making lemonade out of lemons!
  7. Take it all in.

From inception to date, MitiMeth has trained over 400 women from communities across Nigeria and Ghana to make eco-friendly home décor and lifestyle products from these natural fibres. She is passionate about creating employment opportunities through sustainable textiles and accessories from renewable materials.

Passion is one of the key ingredients to building any successful business and brand. And, in the world of artisan chocolate making, it is one of the Savanna Premium Chocolate brand’s strongest assets, thanks to founders Chiinga Musonda and Lynn Musonda Phiri.

Chiinga Musonda – Savanna Chocolate

Chiinga has previously worked in banking with JP Morgan Chase and UBS in NYC. Most recently, she worked with the scientific publisher / information services provider Elsevier in The Netherlands. She also has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics and in Computer Science from Smith College in the USA.

Lynn Musonda – Savanna Chocolate

Lynn, the second half of the company, previously worked for the Zambia Telecommunications company. She is currently pursuing an MBA in International Business and has a BA with honors in Business Studies with Marketing from University of Greenwich.

These two sisters have a tracked record of different previous work settings, but nothing beats the passion which drove them to produce chocolates. The pleasure they derived from eating chocolates right from childhood and also the joy on the faces of loved ones when gifted chocolates were enough to fuel their passion and kickstart the journey.

Savanna Chocolate Products

Today, we have Savanna Chocolates because two sisters in love with chocolates decided to recreate the standard in Zambia.

As expected from an Indigenous manufacturing company, the duo absolutely love the support they are getting from the Zambian community. Chiinga and Lynn learned pretty quickly that this is not about them manufacturing chocolate in their beloved country, Zambia but that they are building a Zambian brand and the people want to engage with the brand in help to make it the best it can be.

The invaluable feedback received from their community has helped them improve in packaging designs and even in the chocolate flavors.
The excitement they get when their customers purchase their products and then share their feedback on social media cannot be contained as these positive feedback in turn motivates them to keep improving their products.

Savanna Premium Chocolate
Chocolate letters, a product of Savanna Premium Chocolate

They take pride in the fact that their chocolates are made from carefully selected single origin cocoa beans to preserve the flavors of the country of origin. They are constantly improving on their chocolate making process to ensure that consumers get premium quality chocolates.

What makes their chocolates different from others is that they sell handcrafted chocolates and chocolate products that are made from natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no preservatives.

“Start before you are ready”. If you have a business idea, don’t wait until you feel you are ready. Just start and with every step that you make, it will become clear what you need to do and you will learn what needs to be done. The product or service may not be perfect in the beginning but you can keep improving as you build. By starting you will get invaluable feedback that you need to grow or make adjustments to your idea. The more momentum you build the more you will see your dream become reality,” are their final words to women who have a business idea they’re afraid to launch.


Gladys Kgorane is the founder and owner of Caleb’s farm in Potchefstroom, South Africa, a niche agri business that supplies farm fresh products, eggs, free range chickens, sheep packages and pork packages for its customers.

As a family oriented entrepreneur, Gladys is married with three children, she started her farming business on her smallholding back in 2013. Today she has seen it grow substantially from those early days, and now supplies 30 trays of eggs daily to  customers, in addition to a wide range of farm fresh meat and fresh vegetables.

The love of farming and providing farm fresh products inspired her to start Caleb’s farm. Caleb’s Farm, supplies farm fresh products, eggs, free range chickens, sheep packages and pork packages for our customers. They also provide fresh cut processed vegetables which are ready to go into the pot.

As part of their service, they offer a fresh produce supply service for the catering of funerals and weddings, and also for households and companies, starting with 1kg packages through to 10kg packages or larger quantities as required by our customers.

A product of Caleb’s Farm

Her company’s premise is to save customer’s time while still maintaining quality of products.

Gladys’ passion lie on being a solution which is why she launched her farm to solve the problem of unhealthy feeding. In her own words, “My journey has been full of challenges, but the dream has always been to be the solution, and that has been my inspiration. To feed the nation.”

While other people chase after profit as an entrepreneur, Gladys’ most satisfaction as an entrepreneur comes from her being the solution to poor feeding habits in her country. She aspires to expand her farm and go into commercial farming sometime in the future.

Gladys is one resilient and determined woman which is shown in her advice for up and coming women entrepreneurs.
“Start with what you have and know that giving up is not an option,” is Gladys’ piece of counsel to every intending entrepreneur.


The fashion sector is one of the most important sectors from a job creation and economic contribution perspective, and for Kulukaya Sadiki, founder of Glo-Ray Designs Sustainable Studio in Malawi, sustainable fashion is key.


Glo-ray designs

Her business approach is to incorporate fabric recycling and reuse into the production process to create timeless fashion pieces with minimal environmental impact.

Kulukaya Sadiki is a Sustainable Fashion Designer, Humanitarian and a Marketing Strategist by profession.
She selected as a Young African Leader for the ‘Leadership in Business’ cohort for her business skills by the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a USA program in 2020.

She started her sustainable fashion business in 2017 after realizing that it is possible to make a difference within the community and environment using an important aspect of humanity which is clothing.

Her clothing brand focuses on recycled and rejected fabric to create timeless trends thereby delaying disposal and minimizing fabric pollution. She works in the market with women fabric suppliers, inspiring them and empowering them with business knowledge.

Kulukaya is also the Founder and Chairperson of a registered non-profit organization called ‘Ladies of Influence’ which focuses on sustainable development in Malawi through humanitarian effort with the main focus being the girl child.

She launched into entrepreneur after learning from her late father who was an entrepreneur who had a studio with over 20 employees. He instilled a spirit of determination and resilience in all his children. He encouraged them and told us to go out and become whoever we wanted to be.

In 2011 Kulukaya joined her sister in her IT venture because it felt that her sister was the best person to mentor and prepare her for the business world and more.
She learned from her sister how as women we must work twice as hard to claim our place in the business world. Through her sister’s entrepreneurial venture, she learnt how to work for every penny.

Kalukaya started her business while she was working with her sister.
In her words, “Growing up in the environment I did, my entrepreneurial journey was inevitable.”

As her entrepreneurial advice to women who are planning to launch a start-up, she said:

“I know that life feels like an uphill when you look at the distance between where you are and where you want to be. I know there are voices pulling you from every side, some are encouraging and others are distracting. Invest time in knowing who you really are, so your NO will be firm and your YES will be particular.”

“Choose your circle carefully because this is one important aspect of self-development, move with the driven and ambitious. At the point you are now, I have been there before and I am still there in some parts of my life but child, God did not create us on earth for mediocrity.”

“You are special and the world needs you to use every gift you have to make it a better place. Fear is nothing but a feeling, it gets smaller with each step you take to climb up to your dreams. You are different because God chose you, you are special just the way you are.”

“Rise up and act on your dreams, don’t let the world drown your voice but speak up where you need to and be the one who raises a generation of fearless, driven, ambitious and action oriented young people!”

Kofo Akinkugbe, CEO of SecureID Is Marketing Africa To The World With Her World-Class Smart Card Technology And Digital Security Recognised globally for her entrepreneurial success story and strong business track record, Kofo Akinkugbe is founder & CEO of SecureID Nigeria Ltd a market leader in smart card technology and digital security.

SecureID is a world-class manufacturing facility with the only smart card production plant in West Africa and one of only six on the continent. This company serves 16 countries across Africa and is fully certified by VISA, Verve and MasterCard.

Kofo is one of Africa’s thought leaders in the subjects of entrepreneurship and innovation in the technology sector.

After serving in the Nigerian Youth Service Corps, Kofo started her career in the banking industry, working with International Merchant Bank Plc and Chartered Bank Limited.  She remained in the financial sector for over 12 years until 1997 when she left to start Interface Technologies, a security management and biometrics technologies company.

With a mathematics major, and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, she successfully ran Interface Technologies Ltd. (ITL) for nine years, before establishing SecureID Nigeria Ltd., an offshoot from a small department in Interface Technologies and the first VISA certified plant in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kofo is a business leader who recognizes the power of innovation as a vital factor for business success, something she not only encourages in all her employees at Secure ID, but in the many business conference speeches and presentations she gives around the world.

As the chief executive of SecureID, which is still a relatively young firm creating MasterCard and Visa and operating in 16 African countries, Kofo is an excellent example of a chief executive that is building a successful company based on innovation.

Create a working  environment that encourages creativity. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Kofo urged business owners to build capacity that will sustain the creativity, that is, developing the capacity of employees.  She however cautioned against engaging only family members, urging the need to employ people with untapped talents.

Kofo Akinkugbe

She said:  “We need to create an environment that would drive creativity. Do not be afraid to test new things.”

Her company has succeeded by thinking ahead, developing a product that was not yet in demand at the time it was being developed.

She added, “We must be creative, ensuring we are a step ahead of competition,” also stressing the need to make it a company policy to encourage employees to be creative and to track returns on investment based on staff creativity.

She asked, “How effectively do you measure and track the returns on your investment. Does the way you innovate reflect your vision and appetite for innovation. Encourage staff to be innovative, do things innovatively.”

Today, Kofo’s company, Secure ID, is Nigeria’s leading Smart Card Manufacturing and Personalization Plant; providing comprehensive end-to-end payment, identity management and digital security solutions for the financial services sector, telecommunications, government, education, healthcare and private enterprises.

Located in Lagos, the company is fully certified by VISA, Verve and MasterCard, and operates a world-class production plant employing best practices and international standards.

The company’s client base spans over five (5) African countries and is the leading EMV certified card plant in West Africa, one of 6 in Africa and a member of the elite club of only 80 such companies in the world.  It’s vision is to be Africa’s leading smart card solutions provider specializing in payment, e-identification and security solutions company.

Her simple entrepreneurial advice to anyone who is planning to launch something new but is holding back because of lack of funds is this, “once you have a good plan and a good concept and you work through it, the funds will always come.”