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Bukola Akin-Akindoju is a vibrant and innovative shoemaker, entrepreneur, and cultural ambassador renowned for her exceptional talent in crafting leather and fabric accessories. With a unique ability to blend traditional Nigerian elements with contemporary fashion trends, Bukola has established herself as a leading figure in the industry. A deep passion marks her journey for craftsmanship, a commitment to empowering others, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Early Life and Education

Bukola’s early experiences provided her with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by underprivileged communities. These experiences fueled her passion for making a difference through her work. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Lagos, where she first began exploring her creative interests by crafting earrings, crocheted items, and various fashion pieces. Her time at university was characterized by a tireless work ethic, balancing academic pursuits with hands-on learning in the craft of fashion design and entrepreneurship.

Driven by a desire to expand her horizons, Bukola pursued a Master’s degree in International Business Management from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. This international experience broadened her perspective and equipped her with the strategic acumen necessary to navigate the global fashion landscape.

Early Inspirations and Initial Venture

Bukola’s entrepreneurial journey took a significant turn when she ventured into shoemaking and bag designing, starting her business with N10,000. This transition was inspired by childhood memories of friendly competitions with her siblings to polish their father’s shoes, an activity he called “My Special Touch Competition.” This early fascination with footwear led her to apprentice with a roadside shoemaker while balancing her job and university studies, gaining invaluable hands-on experience in the nuances of shoemaking.

Transformative Training at Shoespeed Academy

In 2016, Bukola embarked on a transformative journey by enrolling in formal training at Shoespeed Academy. Here, she immersed herself deeply in both the practical and business aspects of shoemaking. Shoespeed not only functioned as a business venture but also served as a pivotal training ground, seamlessly merging the artistry of craftsmanship with essential entrepreneurial skills. This comprehensive education was instrumental in refining Bukola’s technical prowess, equipping her to excel in her craft.

Innovation and Sustainability in Design

During her time at Shoespeed Academy, Bukola mastered traditional shoemaking techniques and innovatively created new designs. Inspired by scraps, she transformed remnants into unique patterns, showcasing her dedication to sustainability and creativity. Complementing her formal training with apprenticeships and self-study, Bukola stayed ahead of industry trends, ensuring her designs met and exceeded contemporary standards.

Mentorship, Ara-Ide, and Industry Leadership

Bukola’s journey at Shoespeed Academy honed her technical skills and prepared her for a role as a freelance facilitator. She became a mentor, guiding others in shoemaking and entrepreneurship, reflecting her belief in the power of education and mentorship.

Today, Bukola inspires through her brand, Ara-Ide, integrating artistry, craftsmanship, and cultural heritage. Her commitment to sustainability is ingrained in her brand’s philosophy, championing ethical sourcing, eco-friendly materials, and innovative techniques.

Mentored by Obi-Leather, Bukola refined her skills and embraced innovation. Her industry collaborations elevate Ara-Ide’s reputation as a beacon of craftsmanship, sustainability, and cultural heritage, inspiring others in artisanal fashion.

Professional Milestones

A pivotal moment in Bukola’s career came in 2017 when she was selected as one of the top 50 recipients of a scholarship to study Entrepreneurial Management at the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos Business School. Out of over 12,000 applicants, Bukola’s selection validated her hard work and dedication, opening up incredible opportunities for her business. This opportunity provided extensive training and mentorship, significantly impacting her personal growth and brand development. Post-graduation, Bukola shared her journey on the Enterprise Development Centre Radio, inspiring others with her resilience and determination.

Ara-Ide: A Fusion of Tradition and Modernity

Bukola established Ara-Ide, a brand synonymous with sustainable luxury, focusing on ethical production and cultural heritage. Specializing in custom-made shoes, bags, and accessories from locally sourced materials, including traditional African fabrics and leather, her designs blend African elements with contemporary fashion, celebrating cultural heritage and modern aesthetics. Bukola’s commitment to authenticity sets her apart in the industry.

Currently, she aims to expand Ara-Ide internationally while maintaining ties to Nigeria. Operational in the UK, she works on establishing a standard branch. Despite her absence, her business thrives under her trusted partner’s management, ensuring continued growth and sustainability in custom-made fashion.

Community Empowerment and Mentorship

Bukola is deeply committed to community empowerment through education and skill development. She mentors aspiring designers and artisans, imparting valuable craftsmanship and business skills. Initiatives like the Sisi Akada project empower women and young girls by teaching them to repurpose materials into fashion accessories, promoting creativity and economic independence.

Her impact extends widely, having trained over 500 women and young girls in Nigeria with creative and manufacturing skills. Bukola also volunteers with NGOs like those in Makoko, providing vocational training and creating job opportunities. Her dedication empowers individuals to establish sustainable livelihoods in the fashion industry, supporting marginalized groups.

Additionally, Bukola mentors aspiring creatives, offering guidance to navigate their industries and achieve professional success. Her approach fosters a supportive network within Nigeria’s creative sectors, enhancing practical skills and community engagement.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

Bukola Akin-Akindoju’s work breaks barriers, celebrates cultural heritage, and empowers the next generation of creatives. Passionate about promoting African culture globally, she has helped elevate the acceptance of African fashion in the Western world. Through her designs, Bukola aims to spotlight African culture and diversity, enriching lives and inspiring a deeper embrace of roots.

Her contributions to the fashion industry have earned notable recognition. In 2023, she was nominated for the Inspirational Student Awards at Sheffield Hallam University, highlighting her roles as both student and entrepreneur and her inspirational impact. Additionally, Bukola was nominated for African Fashion Brand of the Year at the YAGI Awards, recognizing her global promotion of African fashion. She also received the Extra Mile Award for her dedication to supporting aspiring creatives and community empowerment. These accolades underscore her profound leadership in fashion, balancing academic pursuits with entrepreneurial success.

Recognition and Future Vision

Bukola’s visionary leadership has garnered widespread acclaim, earning her accolades such as the African Fashion Brand of the Year at the prestigious Yagi Awards. She continues to champion sustainable fashion through advocacy and innovation, envisioning a future where ethical practices and cultural diversity thrive in the global fashion landscape.

Looking ahead, Bukola remains steadfast in her commitment to expanding Ara-Ide’s global footprint while deepening its impact on sustainable fashion practices. She aims to launch initiatives that promote environmental stewardship and empower marginalized communities through sustainable economic opportunities.

Vision for the Future

Currently, Bukola is deeply involved in several projects aimed at fostering youth development and empowerment. She is establishing training programs in underserved communities, providing young people with access to valuable skills and resources. Additionally, she is working on launching a mentorship platform that connects industry professionals with aspiring talents, offering guidance, support, and networking opportunities.

Bukola is also part of a vibrant team of young entrepreneurs in the UK, collaborating to create platforms for SMEs to thrive and network. This initiative fosters collaboration and support among SMEs, empowering each member to grow and succeed in their individual businesses.

Legacy and Impact

Bukola Akin-Akindoju’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience, creativity, and cultural heritage. Her work continues to inspire and make a lasting impact on the fashion industry and beyond. Through her brand Ara-Ide, her community initiatives, and her mentorship efforts, Bukola is building a legacy of authenticity, empowerment, and celebration of African heritage. Her story is a beacon of hope and determination, encouraging others to relentlessly pursue their passions and embrace their cultural identities.

Connect with her to learn more about her work on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin

 

Risikatu Olasumbo Awogbemi is a shining example of resilience, dedication, and community spirit. A Nigerian-born Canadian, she has made significant strides since migrating to Canada in 2006. As the CEO of SMTN International Inc., a leading cargo company, and the Founder of the Advocacy Centre for Women and Family Matters, Olasumbo’s contributions to business and community advocacy are remarkable. Her journey, marked by numerous awards and active involvement in various organizations, showcases her commitment to empowering others and making a positive impact in Canada and beyond.

A Journey from Nigeria to Canada

Risikatu Olasumbo Awogbemi embarked on her journey to Canada in 2006. A devoted mother of four boys, she has called Brampton home for over 13 years, where she actively supports her community through volunteer work, including school trips and various local events. Her dedication to service is further exemplified by her membership in the Rotary Club of Brampton.

Leading SMTN International Inc.

As the CEO of SMTN International Inc., Olasumbo leads one of Canada’s premier cargo companies. SMTN International Inc. is renowned for its fast, reliable, and efficient air and sea cargo, warehousing, and procurement services, catering to customers across Canada and internationally. Located strategically at the Toronto Pearson International Airport Business District, SMTN ensures seamless logistics operations and easy access for customers. Numerous satisfied customer testimonials validate the company’s commitment to excellence.

Advocacy and Community Service

Olasumbo’s passion for community service extends beyond her business endeavors. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Advocacy Centre for Women and Family Matters, a not-for-profit organization that supports women from various communities in Canada and beyond. The center provides essential counseling and protective services to empower women and children to stand against violence. Her involvement in various community-based programs, both locally and internationally, underscores her commitment to giving back and supporting humanity.

Risikatu Olasumbo Awogbemi
Risikatu Olasumbo Awogbemi, CEO- Smtn Cargo

Educational Background and Professional Achievements

Olasumbo’s dedication to personal and professional growth is evident in her academic achievements. In 2018, she earned a post-graduate certificate in Project Management from Humber College, Ontario, and she is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Her educational background also includes an MSc in Finance and an MSc in Transport Management.

Recognitions and Awards

Her excellence in entrepreneurship and community service has earned her numerous accolades, including:

  • Canada Vendors Entrepreneurship and Business Personality of the Year Award (2020)
  • NNC Business Personality of the Year Award (2021)
  • Afro Heritage Community Award of Excellence (2022)
  • ABEDORC Production Award of Excellence (2022)
  • CNP/CAP Power of Inclusion Catalyst for Change Award (2023)
  • Recognition for contribution to The Empowered Summit (2024) by the Honorable MPP David Smith

Active Community Involvement

Olasumbo continues to actively participate in various community organizations, including the Nigerian Canadian Association in the GTA and the Network of Nigerians in Canada (NNC), supporting Nigerian Canadian communities across the Greater Toronto Area. She is also a member of the Brampton Residence Association Council 2024.

Risikatu Olasumbo Awogbemi’s unwavering dedication to her community, both locally and internationally, highlights her passion for making a positive impact and empowering others.

Bose Fawehinmi is dedicated to helping individuals and couples navigate the often turbulent waters of relationships with grace and faith. As a certified Christian counselor and an infidelity recovery expert, Bose’s unique approach to life coaching is deeply rooted in her diverse background.

A Journey from Engineering to Empowerment

Originally trained as an engineer, Bose brings analytical precision and a problem-solving mindset to her practice. Over the past two decades, she has evolved from her engineering roots into a successful serial entrepreneur, utilizing her wide-ranging experiences to empower others in their personal and professional lives.

A Passion for Personal Growth

Her entrepreneurial spirit is matched by her commitment to personal growth. Bose is an avid enthusiast of continuous learning and self-improvement, believing firmly in the transformative power of these principles. She is passionate about helping others unlock their potential, fostering both emotional healing and practical life skills to achieve lasting change.

Faith-Based Guidance and Practical Strategies

Working with singles, engaged couples, and married partners, Bose offers a blend of faith-based guidance and practical strategies. Her expertise in infidelity recovery makes her an invaluable resource for those seeking to rebuild trust and create a stronger, more fulfilling relationship. She combines her professional knowledge with genuine empathy and personal experience, providing a holistic approach to relationship counseling.

Authenticity and Relatable Support

Bose’s dedication extends beyond her professional life into her own home, where she enjoys a happy and fulfilling marriage. This personal success adds authenticity to her counsel, as she draws from real-life experiences to connect with and support her clients. Her warmth, empathy, and unwavering support have made her a trusted advisor to many on their journey toward personal and relational fulfillment.

Through her work, Bose Fawehinmi has touched countless lives, helping people realize their potential and achieve the harmony and happiness they deserve. Her vision and dedication continue to inspire and guide many, making her a prominent figure in the fields of life coaching and relationship counseling.

Follow her on Instagram to learn more about her work

Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a distinguished feminist activist, gender and development specialist, policy advocate, and social sector expert. With decades of experience and numerous accolades to her name, she has been a formidable force in advancing women’s rights and social justice across Africa and beyond. Her journey from academia to global advocacy showcases her relentless dedication to gender equality and empowerment. Erelu Fayemi’s contributions have spanned across various sectors, from grassroots activism to high-level policy advocacy, making her a beacon of hope and a role model for countless women.

Academic Background and Professional Training

HE Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi holds a BA (1984) and MA (1988) in History from the University of Ife, Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She also earned an MA in Gender and Society (1992) from Middlesex University, UK, and received a PhD (Honoris Causa) in Sociology from the Tai Solarin University of Education (2014).

Leadership in Women’s Development

From 1991-2001, Erelu Fayemi served as the Director of Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), an international development organization for African women. During her tenure, she established the African Women’s Leadership Institute (AWLI), which has produced over 6,000 women leaders across Africa. She is also the co-founder of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the first Africa-wide grant-making foundation for women’s organizations, and served as the first Executive Director from 2001-2010.

Founding the African Women’s Development Fund

Erelu Fayemi co-founded the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) and served as its first CEO from 2001-2010. Under her leadership, AWDF supported thousands of women’s rights organizations in 42 African countries with millions of dollars in grants.

Current Roles and Initiatives

Currently, Erelu Fayemi is the CEO of Above Whispers Media Group, specializing in leadership development for women. She also runs an online community called Abovewhispers.com, where she lends her voice to issues affecting women and encourages them to rise above whispers, using their voices, resources, and positions where it matters. Recently, she established ‘The Wrapper Network’, an online mentoring and support program for young women. She served as a UN Women Nigeria Senior Advisor (2017-2018) and is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Africa Leadership Center, King’s College, London.

Legislative Contributions in Ekiti State

When her husband, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, took office as Governor of Ekiti State from 2010 to 2014, Erelu Fayemi became actively involved in policy advocacy, grassroots empowerment, and social inclusion programs. She led campaigns to enact several critical laws, including the Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Law (2011, revised in 2019), the Equal Opportunities Bill (2013), the HIV Anti-Stigma Bill (2014), the Treatment, Care and Protection Bill for Sexually Abused Minors (2020), the Ekiti State Mental Health Law (2021), and the Ekiti State Gender Composition Law (2022). She chaired the Ekiti State GBV Management Committee and the Ekiti State AIDS Control Agency (2018 – 2022) and led the Nigeria Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) from 2020 to 2022.

Erelu Bisi Adeleye-
Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi

Literary Contributions

Erelu Fayemi is the author of several influential works, including ‘Speaking for Myself: Perspectives on Social, Political and Feminist Activism in Africa’ (2013), ‘Speaking above a Whisper’ (2013), an autobiography, ‘Loud Whispers’ (2017), and ‘Where is your Wrapper?’ (2020). She also co-edited ‘Voice, Power and Soul’ with Jessica Horn (2008), a compilation of images and stories of African Feminists. Her books “Tray of Locust Beans” and “Demand and Supply” delve into socio-political and cultural themes, advocating for gender equality and empowerment.

The Wrapper Network: Empowering Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Erelu Bisi Fayemi initiated the “A Wrapper for Women Initiative,” providing hope and support to over 60,000 households in Ekiti. Inspired by a story of solidarity, this initiative symbolizes unity, protection, and care, encouraging women to support each other.

Encouragement to Young Women

Erelu encourages young women to be actively involved in politics and community affairs. She emphasizes the importance of persistence, self-awareness, and courage, urging women to raise their voices and demand action against issues like sexual violence.

Final Thoughts

Erelu Bisi Fayemi’s journey is a testament to resilience, advocacy, and unwavering commitment to gender equality. Her work continues to inspire and empower women globally, reminding us all of the power of solidarity and the importance of using our voices for change. Through her vast and varied efforts, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi continues to champion gender equality, advocate for social justice, and empower women across Africa and beyond.

Oluwaseyi Moejoh, affectionately called Seyi, has come a long way from her days of picking up plastic bottles as a teenager. Almost 7 years ago, if someone had told her that she would one day make history as the first young African woman named a Young Superhero for Earth, it would have seemed far-fetched. But that was just the beginning of her remarkable journey.

A Call to Action

Oluwaseyi’s interest in tackling plastic pollution sparked when she was a 16-year-old high school student. She was disheartened by the rising pollution levels in her country and concerned about the lack of meaningful involvement of the next generation in finding solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.

Since then, with relentless passion, Seyi has spearheaded over 50 youth-led projects in the past six years to address plastic pollution and catalyze climate action in Nigeria and Africa. Through her nonprofit, U-recycle Initiative Africa, she has led initiatives such as deploying “talking” recycling bins in leading universities, developing a tech-enabled gamified learning platform about plastic pollution, and conducting climate education workshops in low-income schools across Nigeria.

A Testament to Youth Power

Seyi’s favorite quote, “Young people can change the world, give us a chance,” echoes her journey. At just 22, her story stands as a testament to the transformative power of youth when given an opportunity to shape a sustainable future. It’s also a clarion call to older generations to support young people in realizing their dreams of a greener, healthier planet.

Despite facing challenges due to her age, gender, and background, Seyi refused to be held back. She believes in the importance of intergenerational collaboration, understanding, and listening to the needs of the earth, the vulnerable, and the next generation.

Recognition and Acknowledgment

Last month, in Atlanta, United States, Oluwaseyi was honored with the 2024 Young SuperHero for Earth Award by the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF), the oldest and largest youth-focused environmental organization globally. This recognition places her among environmental visionaries like President Jimmy Carter, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Xiye Bastida. Additionally, she was named one of Leading Ladies Africa’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria for 2024.

The CPF, an offshoot of the Captain Planet and the Planeteers animated series, aims to foster youth’s connection with nature and empower them to create change. Through various programs like Project Learning Garden and the Planeteer Alliance, CPF has impacted over 1.7 million K-12 youth globally, nurturing a generation of eco-conscious leaders.

Oluwaseyi Moejoh’s journey serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the power of youth to drive positive change and create a more sustainable future for all.

Maria Frankis, a talented actor born and raised in Essex, UK, has been captivating audiences with her exceptional performances and dynamic presence. Her journey in the arts began early, studying acting, dancing, and singing, which laid a strong foundation for her career. In 2011, Maria made a significant move to Toronto, Canada, where her passion for acting continued to flourish, fueling her desire to create the most compelling on-screen characters.

Maria’s dedication and hard work have paid off remarkably. She recently landed a nationwide commercial, becoming the face of Aveeno, a testament to her growing influence in the industry. Moreover, her first Hallmark Christmas movie, “A Not So Royal Christmas,” released in December 2023, showcases her versatility and charm, adding a festive touch to her expanding portfolio.

Maria Frankis

Shining in “The Life Coach”

Maria’s latest role truly highlights her range and talent. She shines as Jennifer in “The Life Coach,” produced by Canadian media mogul Patricia Bebia Mawa and Broadframe Media. The film also stars Linda Osifo, Kosa Akaraiwe, Sylvain Plasse, and Lori Canlas. Maria’s portrayal of Jennifer is a perfect blend of emotional depth and humor, reminding viewers to find light in the darkest moments. Through her character, Maria explores themes of love, healing, and community, sparking important conversations about life’s complexities and the strength of human connections.

In “The Life Coach,” Jennifer navigates personal challenges and triumphs, reflecting a relatable journey that resonates with many. Maria’s ability to blend emotional depth with humor makes her character incredibly engaging, drawing audiences into her world and leaving a lasting impact.

A Journey of Passion and Dedication

Maria Frankis’s rise in the acting world is inspiring, marked by her relentless pursuit of excellence and her ability to bring authenticity to every role. From her Essex roots to her thriving career in Toronto, Maria continues to build a legacy of compelling performances that entertain and provoke thought. Her journey is a testament to the power of passion and dedication in achieving one’s dreams.

Catch Maria’s Performance

Don’t miss Maria’s captivating performance in “The Life Coach.” Produced by Broadway Media, the film is set to become a significant contribution to Canadian cinema. Through her character, Maria not only entertains but also sparks meaningful discussions about love, resilience, and the power of community. Maria Frankis is undoubtedly a star on the rise, and her journey in Canada is one to watch closely.

Follow ‘The Life Coach Film’ on Facebook and Instagram

 

Jibs Abitoye, a Nigerian-Canadian politician, is leading the charge for diversity and community engagement in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. As a second-term Councillor, Abitoye’s trailblazing achievements and unwavering commitment to inclusivity have made her a beacon of hope and progress in the city. Her journey, marked by trailblazing achievements and unwavering commitment to diversity, has positioned her as a beacon of hope and progress in the community.

Breaking Barriers

Jibs Abitoye’s election in 2017 was a landmark event. As the first Black woman to be elected in the province of Alberta since the 1970s, she shattered a decades-long barrier, bringing a fresh perspective and renewed vigor to the local government. Her groundbreaking role extends beyond just representation; it underscores the importance of inclusivity and the strength found in diversity.

Jibs Abitoye

Founding the Fort Black Society

Understanding the pivotal role of representation and support within communities of color, Jibs founded the Fort Black Society. This organization is more than just a community group; it is a testament to her dedication to fostering a more inclusive society where diversity is celebrated and valued. Through the Fort Black Society, Jibs has created a platform for dialogue, support, and empowerment for Black residents and other marginalized groups in Fort Saskatchewan.

Championing Key Initiatives

Since stepping into her role as Councillor, Jibs has been a tireless advocate for numerous initiatives that resonate deeply with the needs and aspirations of her constituents:

  • Diversity & Inclusion Policy: Jibs has been instrumental in developing and promoting policies that ensure every resident feels seen, heard, and valued. Her work has laid a strong foundation for a more inclusive community where diversity is woven into the fabric of the city’s identity.
  • Parental Leave for Elected Officials: Recognizing the challenges faced by elected officials who are also parents, Jibs championed the introduction of parental leave policies. This initiative supports work-life balance and encourages more young parents to consider public service without sacrificing their family responsibilities.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Jibs is a vocal advocate for environmental sustainability, pushing for policies that protect and preserve Fort Saskatchewan’s natural beauty for future generations. Her efforts include promoting green initiatives and sustainable practices within the community.
  • Fair Utility Bills: Addressing the practical concerns of residents, Jibs has worked diligently to ensure fair and transparent utility billing. Her efforts aim to ease the financial burden on families and ensure that utility services are both affordable and reliable.

A Versatile Leader

Jibs’ accomplishments extend far beyond her political career. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, a trained economist, a fashion designer, and a realtor. Her diverse skill set and professional experiences enrich her approach to governance and community service, allowing her to tackle issues from multiple perspectives.

Media Recognition and Personal Life

Her impactful work has not gone unnoticed. Jibs has been featured in major Canadian media outlets, highlighting her contributions and the positive changes she has spearheaded. Despite her numerous professional commitments, she remains deeply rooted in her personal life as a wife and mother of three. Balancing her roles with grace, Jibs also dedicates time to volunteer work, further exemplifying her commitment to service and community.

Jibs Abitoye

A Balanced and Impactful Life

Jibs Abitoye’s life and career embody the essence of a balanced and impactful existence. Through her pioneering efforts and dedicated service, she continues to inspire countless individuals within and beyond Fort Saskatchewan. Her story is a powerful reminder that with vision, dedication, and resilience, one can break barriers, foster inclusivity, and make meaningful contributions to society.

As Fort Saskatchewan looks to the future, the leadership and legacy of Jibs Abitoye stand as a testament to what is possible when diversity is embraced and every voice is given a platform.

Biodun Stephen is a distinguished Nigerian filmmaker and writer with a portfolio of notable and globally acclaimed films. As the founder of Shutterspeed Projects, a content production company established in 2014, she has been at the forefront of creating numerous entertaining and inspiring films and series that resonate with audiences worldwide.

A Decade of Storytelling

Over the past decade, Biodun Stephen has carved a niche for herself by crafting heartfelt, human-angle stories inspired by her personal experiences and environment. Her background in advertising copywriting and radio has significantly influenced her filmmaking career, instilling a deep understanding of the power of communication through visual storytelling. She firmly believes that film serves as a vehicle for entertainment, communication, and education.

Acclaimed Works and Recognitions

Since founding Shutterspeed Projects, Biodun Stephen has written, produced, and directed films that have earned nominations and awards within Nigeria, across Africa, and internationally. Her notable films include:

  • The Visit: Praised for its minimal yet insightful cast, story, and originality, it received two nominations at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
  • Picture Perfect: Received five nominations and won two awards at the 2017 Best of Nollywood Awards.
  • Breaded Life: Nominated for Best Film West Africa at the AMVCA 2021.
  • Tiwa’s Baggage: Earned her a nomination for Best Director at the 2018 City People Movie Awards.
  • Seven and a Half Dates: Recommended by Guardian as a must-see film.
  • Sista: An award-winning film that explores the struggles of single mothers.
  • Momiwa: Starring Uzor Arukwe and Blessing Obasi Nze.

Other popular films such as Ovy’s Voice, Ehis Bitters, and Looking for Baami topped Iroko Viewer’s Choice Awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively. Her exceptional work in screenwriting earned her the AMVCA award for Best Screenplay, and she has received international awards for Best Director for films like Last Days and Strangers.

Shutterspeed Projects

Under Biodun’s leadership, Shutterspeed Projects has become a prominent name in the film industry, with its productions featured on major platforms such as Mnet’s DStv, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Iroko TV. The company continues to push the boundaries of storytelling, ensuring that its films reach a global audience.

Memorable Characters and Strong Narratives

One of Biodun Stephen’s indispensable approaches to storytelling is the creation of strong, memorable characters that resonate with audiences long after the viewing experience. Characters like “Jobe” in Picture Perfect, “Todowede” in Breaded Life, and “Ajinde” in Looking for Baami  ‘Sista’  and most recently, ‘Momiwa’ have become fan favorites, showcasing her talent for developing relatable and enduring personas.

Directorial Achievements

Beyond her writing and production prowess, Biodun has also directed several successful films, including:

  • Aki and Paw Paw
  • Introducing the Kujus

Her directorial style is marked by meticulous attention to production details and a commitment to bringing out the best in her cast, ensuring that every project she undertakes is of the highest quality.

Personal Life and Philosophy

Biodun Stephen was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her passion for storytelling was evident from a young age, leading her to pursue a career in filmmaking. Her personal experiences and keen observations of her environment continue to fuel her creativity and dedication to the craft. She is a firm believer in the transformative power of film, using her platform to communicate, educate, and entertain.

Looking Ahead

Biodun Stephen remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of storytelling and filmmaking. With a vision to continually inspire and entertain, she aims to create more groundbreaking films that highlight African stories on a global stage. Her commitment to excellence and her innovative approach to filmmaking make her a formidable force in the industry.

For more about Biodun Stephen and her work, visit her social media platforms. Follow her journey as she continues to empower and inspire through the art of film.

Omotola Bamigbaiye’s journey to success is anything but conventional. In a world where achievement often equates to flawlessness, her story stands out as a testament to resilience, determination, and the beauty found within imperfections. As a lecturer, entrepreneur, marketing expert, and now author, Omotola’s path exemplifies the power of embracing life’s twists and turns with grace and authenticity.

From Lecture Halls to Boardrooms: A Multifaceted Career

Omotola’s journey began in the lecture halls, where she shared her expertise as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Lagos Business School (ULBS) and a facilitator at Orange Academy. Armed with a Doctorate in Marketing, she seamlessly transitioned into the corporate world, leaving an indelible mark on the financial services and FMCG sectors.

As the Marketing Director, Sub Saharan Africa at pladis Global Limited, Omotola’s strategic vision and portfolio management skills have propelled her to the forefront of her industry. But beyond her corporate success, she remains committed to empowering others through education and mentorship.

Dr. Omotola Bamigbaiye

Crafting Compelling Narratives: The Power of Storytelling

In her latest endeavor, Omotola ventures into the world of literature with her book, “Imperfectly Awesome.” Adulting can be chaotic. But it can also be a hilarious and thrilling ride. From career expectations to motherhood, relationships, and the nagging whispers of imposter syndrome, there’s always something to grapple with. Written in an honest, relatable tone, I share my stories of becoming to help you love yourself, reinvent, and bloom—just the way you were designed to. The world may only play off-tune beats, but you can create your rhythm and dance to it gracefully . . . or however else you please.

Through candid storytelling, Omotola shares the highs and lows of her personal and professional journey, offering readers a glimpse into the transformative power of resilience and hope. Drawing from her own experiences, she explores themes of self-discovery, overcoming adversity, and finding beauty in imperfection. Her book serves as a roadmap for those navigating life’s uncertainties, encouraging readers to embrace their flaws and celebrate their unique journey.

Lessons in Resilience: Navigating Life’s Challenges

Omotola’s story is one of resilience in the face of adversity. From navigating boardrooms with a baby strapped to her back to battling imposter syndrome and career setbacks, she has weathered life’s storms with grace and determination. Through it all, she has learned valuable lessons about the importance of self-love, perseverance, and owning one’s narrative. Her journey serves as an inspiration to women everywhere, reminding them that success is not defined by perfection but by the courage to embrace imperfections and forge ahead despite the odds.

Embracing Life’s Messy, Beautiful Chaos

In a world obsessed with perfection, Omotola’s story is a refreshing reminder that life’s greatest lessons are often found in its messiest moments. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of resilience, self-love, and unwavering determination. As she continues to inspire others through her work and her words, Omotola Bamigbaiye stands as a shining example of what it means to embrace imperfections and find beauty in life’s messy, beautiful chaos.