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.

In the field of justice, there exist individuals whose careers radiate with brilliance, serving as beacons for others to emulate. Hon. Justice Mabel T. Segun-Bello stands prominently among these distinguished figures, acclaimed not only for her profound expertise as an adjudicator but also for her captivating persona as an inspirational speaker and educator. Let us explore the exceptional voyage of this experienced adjudicator, accomplished author, skilled arbitrator, and adept mediator.

Early Life and Education

Born on the 20th of April in Zaria, Kaduna State, Justice Mabel Segun-Bello embarked on her educational journey that spanned primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in Ilorin, Kwara State, and Jos, Plateau State. Her academic pursuits laid a solid foundation for her future endeavors, shaping her into the remarkable individual she is today.

Professional Ascension

Justice Mabel’s ascent in the legal arena began with her call to the Nigerian Bar in January 2001. Under the tutelage of the notable Prince Lateef O. Fagbemi, SAN, she honed her skills at L.O. Fagbemi, SAN & Co. Temitope Chambers. Her quest for knowledge and diverse experiences led her to a brief stint in the banking sector, where she gleaned specialized skills in risk asset management and credit administration.

Transitioning back to the legal sphere, Justice Mabel held various leadership positions, including Vice President of the Law Students’ Society at the University of Ilorin and Treasurer and later Financial Secretary of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja. Her dedication and expertise garnered recognition, earning her awards for outstanding leadership and impact.

Judicial Career

In April 2022, Justice Mabel’s illustrious career reached new heights with her appointment as a Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria. Prior to this appointment, she served diligently as a Magistrate and District Court Judge with the FCT High Court of Justice Abuja for 18 years. Her tenure saw her rise to the position of Chief Magistrate and later as Deputy Chief Registrar and Director for Oaths, where she pioneered the first-ever Digital Affidavit Registry Management System (ARMS) in the Nigerian Judiciary.

Beyond the Bench

Justice Mabel’s impact extends beyond the courtroom. She is a member of prestigious organizations such as Rotary International, advocating for peace, education, and sanitation. Her commitment to continuous learning is evident through her memberships in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators.

As a sought-after conference speaker, Justice Mabel imparts her wisdom on soft skills and specialized training, leaving a lasting impression on diverse audiences. Additionally, her contributions to the Faculty of GOTNI Leadership Center and her authorship of the book “Handbook on Common Court Orders and Directives” underscore her dedication to leadership development and legal guidance.

Personal Life

Beyond her professional achievements, Justice Mabel finds joy in her family life. Happily married to Dr. Olusegun Bello, a medical doctor, she is blessed with three children who undoubtedly inspire her pursuit of excellence.

In conclusion, Justice Mabel T. Segun-Bello exemplifies the epitome of a trailblazer in law and leadership. Her journey is a testament to resilience, dedication, and the relentless pursuit of justice both inside and outside the courtroom. As she continues to inspire and empower others, her legacy will undoubtedly endure for generations to come.

We’re excited to announce a highlight of our Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp: a captivating Fireside Chat with distinguished speakers renowned for their influential work across various sectors. These industry leaders are true icons, ready to share their profound insights and inspiring journeys with us.

This exclusive dialogue is set to take place on December 18, culminating in the BootCamp experience. Register here to be a part of this enlightening session and the entire BootCamp. Don’t miss the chance to connect with and learn from these industry titans!

Azeezat Adejare: Lawyer and Culinary Entrepreneur

Fireside Chat

Azeezat Adejare is a figure of legal understanding and culinary innovation. A licensed attorney, she has woven her expertise through the fabric of legal practice, earning recognition for her commitment to justice and client advocacy. Beyond the courtroom, Azeezat has embraced her passion for African cuisine, establishing herself as a culinary entrepreneur. She is a pioneer in redefining and promoting African food, intertwining cultural heritage with contemporary taste, garnering her admiration within the culinary community.

Her achievements span diverse realms, reflecting her multifaceted interests and capabilities. Azeezat’s journey is a testament to her versatility and dedication, breaking stereotypes and fostering community through her dual pursuits. Her work has garnered attention, positioning her as a community pillar elevating African cuisine and advocating for legal empowerment.

Chinanza Favour Youth Ambassador and Author

Fireside Chat

Chinanza Favour is a distinguished Youth Ambassador and Author whose work has made a substantial impact in the realms of personal transformation and global empowerment. Hailing from Nigeria, she has become a beacon of inspiration for her dedication to fostering positive change and uplifting communities.

Chinaza is a Youth Ambassador who advocates for education, leadership, and personal development. She also works towards gender equality and youth empowerment at local and international levels. as an author and in youth empowerment, she highlights her commitment to positively impacting the world, especially among young people seeking personal growth and global empowerment.

Wendy Wintech: Content Creator and Youtuber

Fireside Chat

Wendy, or Chyluv, is an award-winning tech professional with a decade of experience. She serves as a Senior Agile Business Analyst at a major North American logistics company and is a Program Manager at BlackTECH. Wendy is passionate about bridging gender inequality in the tech industry and has earned recognition, including the Community Champion Award and Women in Tech Excellence Award. She holds a degree in Computer Science and a master’s in Human Capital Management, with expertise in Business Development, Agile Business Analysis, Strategy, and Content Creation. Wendy is also certified in several areas. She values quality time with her family, including her spouse and four children.

Rinret Gofwan: Mental Health Expert

Fireside Chat

Rinret Gofwan, an expert in behavioral change and emotional well-being, specializes in trauma therapy, emotional intelligence coaching, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). With a strong educational background, she holds degrees from the University of Abuja, the University of Jos, and the University of Maiduguri, including a Master’s in International Relations and Strategic Studies. Rinret is also the visionary founding director of the Miriam Gofwan Women and Children Foundation.

Emily Wale-koya: Women’s Empowerment Coach

Fireside Chat

Emily Wale-Koya is a renowned figure in personal branding and online entrepreneurship. With a background in law, Emily transitioned into the digital space and has since made a significant impact. She created the School of Personal Branding to assist people in uncovering and optimizing their brands.

Emily’s accomplishments are notable. She has successfully coached and mentored numerous individuals, empowering them to transform their online presence into profitable ventures. She empowers women through Women of Rubies by sharing insights and experiences.

Emily Wale-Koya’s LinkedIn profile showcases her extensive personal branding and entrepreneurship expertise. Her impressive achievements include turning dreams into 7-figure realities, a testament to her dedication and proficiency in the field. Her journey from law to digital entrepreneurship exemplifies the power of reinvention and the pursuit of one’s passion to succeed in the ever-evolving online landscape.

Register for the media visibility BootCamp here: womenofrubies.com/mediavisibility

In a world teeming with potential and aspiring individuals, there are those who stand out as beacons of inspiration. Chinaza Favour is undeniably one of them. Her journey is a testament to her unwavering dedication to personal transformation, positive social change, and the empowerment of individuals worldwide.

An Author with Impact

Chinaza Favour is not just an accomplished author; she’s a life changer. Her books, ‘Who Are You, Really?’ and ‘Dear Young One,’ have touched the lives of over 15,000 youths across the globe. These aren’t just words on pages; they are catalysts for profound personal transformation.

Youth Ambassador and Brand Ambassador

Chinaza serves as the Youth Ambassador of the La Roche Leadership Foundation, an organization founded by the esteemed former governor of Lagos State, Dr. Akinwunmi Ambode. Her influence also extends to being a brand ambassador for WORITAL, one of Africa’s leading publishing companies. In 2023, RRANA recognized her as one of the top 100+ authors in Nigeria.

Nurturing Literary Talent

Her deep appreciation for art and literature is evident in her annual literary contest. This initiative rewards and spotlights the exceptional literary talents of artists, nurturing the geniuses of the literary world.

Passionate Mental Health Advocate

Chinaza’s advocacy extends to mental health awareness. She’s on a mission to destigmatize therapy and other forms of mental health intervention, a cause that’s more critical than ever in today’s world.

Modest Fashion Model

As a modest fashion model, she elegantly showcases the beauty of decency. She proudly embraces her African roots and inspires other young African women to do the same, without feeling inferior to other races.

Awards and Recognitions

Her contributions to youth development have earned her numerous accolades. In 2022, she was recognized as an Illustrious Writer in Personal Development and Academia by BEWA Africa. She was named the 2022 Outstanding Young Personality of the Year by TIBA and received the Industry Leader of the Year award from CWIN Africa. In 2023, Chinaza was honored with the prestigious Impact Women in Leadership Award by the Women In Leadership hub, among several other accolades.

Restoring Hope and Compassion

Chinaza’s overarching goal is to restore hope, love, and compassion to humanity. She firmly believes that we can change the world one person at a time, and her mantras reflect this: ‘Healing for the world begins with healing within us,’ and ‘You are, because we all are,’ drawing inspiration from the Ubuntu Philosophy.

Chinaza Favour is not just a writer and speaker; she’s a beacon of inspiration, guiding the way towards a brighter, more connected, and empowered world.

You can connect with Chinaza Favour on her social media platforms:

Margaret Ojochide Aligbe is a graduate of Kogi State University and Uppsala University, Sweden (MSc in Sustainable Development), currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Transdisciplinary Sustainability at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. An enthusiastic foodie with a penchant for chronicling everyday tales, she’s a versatile reader spanning various genres and is now a recognized author. Her compositions grace platforms such as BusinessDay Nigeria, The Eco-Instigator, Bella Naija, and more.

Margaret boasts a diverse background in community development, social enterprise, project management, data analytics, communications, and content creation. Driven by a fervour for community growth and tangible sustainability, she’s a beacon of inspiration. Explore her work and musings on her website: https://www.skinfullybooked.com/

Her latest creation, “Candid Conversations: Life. Lessons. Growth,” draws from personal dialogues and life encounters that have profoundly influenced her journey. Delving into subjects like social media, navigating life as a Black international student in three distinct nations (Nigeria, Sweden, and Canada), securing a full scholarship for postgraduate studies overseas after turning 35 with family commitments, adapting to life as a Nigerian abroad with insights for personal growth, all while harmonizing motherhood, marriage, and defying odds to triumph.

This insightful book is now available on Amazon in both paperback and hardcover editions.

Childhood Influence 

Yes, all my life I have always loved reading, writing and traveling. I am the type of person you could easily connect with just by talking about reading and books. So yes, somewhere in my childhood and adulthood, there is a bridge that connects the dreams I had and the goals I am pursuing now.

Leaving Nigeria for Studies Abroad

I left Nigeria to study abroad for the first time in 2019, even though I had gone on tourist trips, this was the first time I was going on something related to a long-term goal. The journey to Sweden was an answered prayer as I have always wanted to go back to school after my first degree in 2007/2008. But being a married woman with children and being over 35, a lot of opportunities are limited, so you have to dig deeper, and work extra smarter for spaces and opportunities that have room for women like me. Hence, in 2019.

I got the Swedish Institute Scholarship for Global Professionals (SISGP) to pursue my Master’s degree in Sustainable Development at Uppsala University Sweden. This was after my second attempt and since then I have gone on to win other scholarships and fellowships.

Academic Journey Across Different Countries

My background in community development work is intertwined with sustainability. This was the foundation of my work in Nigeria, Sweden and Canada. Anyone who does NGO work understands the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its practical application and measuring the impact. This includes being able to show the work you do and applying for grants and connecting with donors/partners. While back in Nigeria, a lot of these sustainability-related issues were more of theory than practical.

We continue to talk about the SDGs but there is still so much to do in practically bringing it to life, and seeing the sustained impact in the life of the people at the bottom of the social economic ladder. (This is a space where the knowledge I now have is useful, I am still looking for opportunities to apply my knowledge in Nigeria and people to partner with).

Hence, it became important for me to begin my graduate studies abroad in 2019 in the field of sustainability in Sweden; a country known for how advanced its systems are and how well they continue to score high on the yearly sustainable development index. The experience allowed me to better understand the challenges we face in Nigeria regarding issues of community development, and gain practical knowledge of sustainability because living in Sweden was me living it daily.

My Book “Candid Conversations” and Its Impact 

One major conversation is the limited opportunities for women over 35 years and even more difficult for married women with children. Too many opportunities are pegged at 18-35. Many business competitions in Nigeria, mentorship competitions, job opportunities and the like. Once you are outside that age bracket, you have to either start on your own or continue to digger even deeper for very rare opportunities, but they exist. The experience became a catalyst to seek funded study opportunities abroad.

My Passion for Sharing My Experiences

I have written about my scholarship journey being a married woman of over 35 with children; climate change impact, Carbon footprints of wars, flooding, Nigeria’s sachet economy and life as an international student. I tend to write about topics that I have practical relevance and sometimes, on topics I have experienced because I don’t struggle with putting the words to paper and I can put them in a better context.

Integrating my Various Skills into My Current Pursuits and Projects

The field of community development and sustainability is a perfect space to bring these skills to action. It is a field that combines broad interdisciplinary collaboration in dealing with complex problems which different in each context. The skills I have allow me to be versatile across roles and partners, an essential requirement in bridging research, policy and practice. My present research in transdisciplinary sustainability is aimed at looking beyond a siloed approach to research and collaboration. Hence, all these skills combined are been vital for my Ph.D. journey and for thriving professionally in Canada.

The Motivation Behind my Website; “Skinfully Booked

After all the recent drama with social media, I decided that I would get a website where I can connect with people with or without social media because as a user, you basically cannot dictate anything. The owners can just wake up and add or remove a feature that could impact your engagement on the platform but there is little to nothing you can do other than rant. So, I designed and launched my website https://www.skinfullybooked.com/ myself in early 2023.

The decision has proven to be positive as I can now show my portfolio outside social media, building my subscriber community both online and offline. Also, I have just launched my store embedded on my website. The website has allowed me to better amplify the skilfully booked brand I am building.

My Journey as a  Black international student across three countries

I would say racism and being the only Black person in some spaces; this is a fight in progress. Coming to terms with racism as a Nigerian who moved abroad, not for tourism as an adult was new for me. Defining racism based on your experience, like finding the right words for what you feel is a learning process, and it takes time to recognize what racism and othering people only because of their skin colour means. To read the signs, allow yourself to feel the trauma; to be better equipped to deal with it instead of being positively blinded by the japa rave; to feel like because you want a greener pasture then you can bear discrimination, no matter how much your rights are trampled upon. Because how much can you take? How long will you continue to suck up knowing that you become just an EDI statistic and when you hustle, there is already a system designed to cap your rise as a Black person.

The other challenge would be juggling children and academics. I have been blessed with the gift of extended family when I first moved abroad alone leaving my children and husband behind before my nuclear family came to join me.  The experience was really difficult being separated but the end goal remained a motivation for all of us. My husband is also supportive which allows me to attend conferences, do some work and school. I can practically chase my dreams as a married woman, and I am blessed that my husband supports my dreams. I also had a baby during my MSc in Sweden but since it was not my first, I was able to manage the emotions of pregnancy, nursing a baby and still graduate in good time.

The Women Who Inspire Me

I have many women who inspire me, but I would mention these three below.

Myself: I am a self-starter and this has been one of my biggest blessings because self-inspiration as a life-long skill has been helpful while I was living in Nigeria with all the “over 35years woman” challenges, navigating opportunities abroad, finding scholarships, jobs and coping with failures.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones because of her style of writing awaken my inner genius to act on my dreams and deal with Imposter syndrome.

Viola Davis because she inspires me to genuine self-love in my Black skin, own my journey and be compassionate towards myself no matter how messed up it gets.

Work-life Balance

Once children are involved you have to wear your multitasking hat to be able to juggle successfully. I work with a schedule, and I am task oriented. So, knowing what I need to do at specific times with deadlines helps me to stay organized. I also, I am a very spontaneous person, it allows me to act on my goals without overthinking.

Plans for the Future

My goal is to finish my Ph.D. and make the Skinfully Booked brand more visible and profitable. I also would love to collaborate with people in Nigeria and other parts of the world in the field of community development and projects aimed at bringing the SDGs to life. I mean projects that are sustainability-inclined seeking real impact and real people.

You can connect with me on my website: https://www.skinfullybooked.com/

Also on Twitter and Instagram: @madeeveryday

A notable Author once said; “There is no friend as loyal as a book”. Reading is like a voyage through time, the more that you read, the more things you will know. We can’t downplay the culture of reading, and authors who write and curate the contents we digest.

Award-winning Amazon bestselling author, Esther Enewerome Odafe is one of such authors promoting reading culture, and also helping professionals, entrepreneurs, organizations, and individuals fulfill their dreams of becoming published authors.

Esther Enewerome Odafe

The famous writer has worked with local and international clients to birth top-notch quality books that reflect their personal or business brands with 0% plagiarism. Her passion for equipping individuals with the right knowledge and skill set for decent work and economic development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 8) has led her to birth a Facebook community of passionate and talented individuals who want to earn from their skills and grow their businesses.

Esther was shortlisted for the 2018 African Writer’s Award- Flash fiction category and; the 2020 SME100 Nigeria 25Under25 Awards- Creative Writing & Content Creation category; and her book won the 2021 Bookney Book of the Year Award.

She is also the founder of The Midas Touch Literary Services and co-founder of Bookney. Her works have appeared in local and international magazines, blogs, and television programs including Writers Space Africa magazine, Freelancers magazine, and Patabah books blog

She shares her inspiring journey with Esther Ijewere in this exclusive and insightful interview.

Childhood Influence

Growing up, my parents would buy me storybooks to read, and I believe it was their way of helping me to cultivate a reading habit. The great thing about reading is that it sharpens your mind and makes you want to bring your imagination to life through writing. Today, as a ghostwriter, writing a brilliant book involves a lot of research, which has to do with intensive reading. So, yes, my childhood prepared me for what I do.

The inspiration behind  Bookney and From Hobby To Career Africa

Bookney was founded by me and Precious Osikha in 2020. In 2019, we noticed many authors complained about intellectual property theft, people selling their books and making money off them. This was what prompted us to start a unique and safe platform for book reading and publishing with better incentives for both authors and readers. I started the Facebook group, From Hobby to Career Africa out of a passion for equipping individuals with the right knowledge and skill set for decent work and economic development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 8). My goal is to help passionate and talented individuals who want to earn from their skills and grow their businesses.

The journey so far

 It has been an interesting journey so far, but not without challenges. However, persistence and seeing the bigger picture of my dreams have kept me going.

Being an author, ghostwriter, editor, and managing all the hats I wear

 For me, it all boils down to knowing what jobs to take and how to arrange my schedule. Anytime I feel pumped to work, I do all the ‘heavy-lifting’ jobs and reserve the more fun ones for when I am lethargic and need an energy boost.

The ripple effect of training 100 newbie writers

This is certainly one of the most fulfilling things I have done. Getting testimonials and seeing milestones from past students about how they have put the training to use either by working for companies or running their businesses makes me happy. Also, helping clients who never thought they could become authors write their books and become bestsellers is fulfilling.

Esther Enewerome Odafe

Challenges of my work

The major challenge for me would be meeting several deadlines around the same time. As someone who wears many hats, jobs come in at different times with varying deadlines. Sometimes they are so close, that it becomes hectic meeting those deadlines.

3 women who inspire me and why

 My mum is my number one inspiration because of how resilient she is. The next person would be Esther Ijewere for her doggedness in helping people notwithstanding the outcome. Last but not the least, I would say to myself because of how determined I am to achieve my dreams.

Nuggets on how to become a successful ghostwriter and editor

The first thing I would recommend is to love knowledge. Whichever way you want to gain knowledge about new things is up to you although, I would recommend reading wide as your best shot. Also, develop the habit of being meticulous if you are not because you need this trait to deliver excellent work. Finally, learn the act of marketing your services and closing sales because, without sales, you are just not in business.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a woman of rubies because I am valuable, strong, and giving. Every business venture I have started, every book I have written, has all been intending 

Contact details;

Social media handles:
Instagram: @enewerome
Facebook: Esther Enewerome Odafe-Ohakah

Achieving personal goals feels great. However, failing to achieve them can deal a massive blow to our egos. After all, this failure is personal, and it often makes us question our own convictions. Of course, every life is filled with failures: some are not too severe, and some are valuable lessons, but failures make us feel weak, powerless, and demotivated.

When things don’t go as we planned, we start to experience this lack of control, and that is truly depressing. It affects how we behave; it prevents us from being happy, and we feel stressed out as a result of all the self-doubt we are experiencing. Luckily, these problems are not beyond solution, and you can conquer this weakness one step at a time.

  1. Learn to accept yourself and give yourself some more credit.

You need to know that every trait you possess can be viewed from both a negative and a positive perspective. If you consider yourself to be determined, and if you do not give up easily, other people might perceive this trait as stubbornness. If you are ambitious, others might call you greedy, whereas if you are humble, they might say that you lack ambition. Abandon the notion that you can become someone that everybody will admire, and focus on being someone you would admire. If you try to impress everyone, you’ll end up forsaking yourself and, as mentioned, these personal failures are far more disappointing. It’s a truth as old as humanity itself: we have our own vision of ourselves, while others have a different perception, and the truth is somewhere in between. In other words, do not take criticism too seriously, and do not be self-absorbed all the time; just learn to accept yourself, and only work on the flaws that you truly wish to eliminate.

  1. Learn how to handle your finances.

Another reason why we might feel stressed out and powerless is when we have trouble handling our finances. When you start to live your own life, there are unexpected expenses that pop up each month, and since these expenses can easily lead to debt, you need to think ahead and save money for those occasions. Whether we want to admit it or not, money is also a form of power, and without it, we feel less secure and less confident. If you are stressed out because of your finances, there are two solutions. You can see what you can do to earn more money; you can ask for a higher paycheck at work, and see what the requirements are; or, you can simply learn how to redistribute your spending budget. Sit down and calculate how much money you need to pay the bills, and then see how much money you have left and create your daily budget based on that number.

  1. Add more organization to your life.

When you feel a lack of control over your life, then you can combat it with a grain of OCD. Start to organize everything you can. It was already mentioned how you can organize your finances and how to earn money by selling things you don’t use. However, you can take this a step further and reorganize your home and daily schedule. The main reasons why this is useful is because you’ll feel a lot better when you are in a well-organized environment, and unexpected problems and obligations are less likely to sneak up on you when you monitor things more adequately.

One thing is certain though: you will feel so much better if your entire living space is neatly organized and if everything feels in its place. Plus, you’ll be motivated to maintain that order, since you worked hard on building it.

  1. Work on self-improvement.

Self-improvement can imply a lot of things. It can mean a change in your governing philosophy, or acquiring new skills, or simply changing your lifestyle for the better. So far, everything mentioned here was a form of self-improvement, and all that remains is that you work on your competence. You can try and do better at work, or you can start to learn other skills that can help you with house maintenance. You don’t need to spend money on this, since you can find online tutorials and start learning this way. As you improve, you will start to fix things on your own; you will start to feel that you have greater control of your life, and you will be proud of yourself. You can train yourself to become a good craftsman, which is fulfilling, and it can help you earn some extra cash on the side.

  1. Learn to rely less on other people.

Lastly, the less you rely on others to solve your problems, the more powerful you will feel. It’s all right to ask for help, and you don’t have to do everything on your own, but if you aren’t able to solve problems without relying on others, then you will be frustrated.

This is why self-improvement is important, because when you are self-sufficient, you feel more liberated and less pressured. Furthermore, with more skills at your disposal, you can even help others, and people will start to appreciate you more. Besides, when you are helpful, you will feel better.

So, know that you are capable of many things, know that you do not need to rely on others, but also, do not refuse or shy away from asking for help. The whole point of this is to make your life easier and to gain more control over it — not to embrace unnecessary struggles.

By: Esther Ijewere

Email : Esther@womenofrubies.com

Instagram & Twitter : @estherijewere

Facebook : Esther Ijewere

***Esther is a social activist, Entrepreneur, Author and prolific writer. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the Award winning Blogazine “Women of Rubies”.

Aduragbemi Akintepede is a nineteen year old undergraduate of Law at Olabisi Onabanjo University. She started writing at the early age of nine and published her first book, a play at the age of fourteen. She has also authored “New Cheese,” a memoir and “Late Last Year,” a short story.

Aduragbemi has a passion for writing, campaigning for women and child rights, acting, teaching and humanitarianism.

One Good Turn” which is her first published book is currently on Ogun State Ministry of Education Science and Technology’s Approved List of Textbooks for use in Junior Secondary Class Two, Literature-in-English text for 2019/2020 academic session in schools across the state.

She shares her inspiring story with me in this interview.

Childhood Influence

My parents are educationists, my dad used to be a civil servant at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology while my mom is a teacher. So, as a little child, I had access to books early. While growing up in primary school, my dad used to have lots of books hanging around the house and some on shelves. I read “Eze Goes to school, Mayor of Casterbridge, Merchant of Venice, Things Fall Apart and books by Wole Soyinka which I didn’t understand but always kept reading. They informed my early writing and I started writing my version of stories as they came to me, in drama, firstly on the plain back of A4 papers not in use anymore at home, then, later I progressed to notebooks when I was admitted into secondary school.

My love for the female gender also grew from my home too. I have two siblings and they are both girls. So, we’re three girls. Our experiences while growing up as children made me love and appreciate femininity. That made me drift more towards the female gender, identifying with their struggles, empathizing with experiences of adult females around me, having a great feeling of joy when females around me are excelling and achieving feats.

My writing journey

I discovered that I love imagining stories and writing them out. Like I said, I started with drama, writing out dialogues. It was fun. Allowing my imagination run wild, writing things I felt should come after another. I had a friend in Junior Secondary Class One then who I write with on notebooks. I wrote my first play in Primary Four. I wrote the second with her. I had graduated to writing stories on notebooks. I would sit with her during break or after exams and start writing. It was our way of playing. Suggesting a plot of action, creating our characters to suit it. Making the dialogue flow. Everything was fun to us.

My friend left my school after our Junior Secondary education. In Senior Secondary Class Two, with the help of my parents, I was able to publish my first book, “One Good Turn Deserves Another.” A publisher advised them to let me publish my stories, so, my play was worked on and I became an author at fourteen.

Started at age 9 and publishing my first book at 14

Looking back, I must say that the journey so far has been God’s special grace. I am not the most creative or talented among my peers, I am still a budding writer but so far God has helped me to transition from then till now. When I started out, writing was a childhood hobby and I had the desire to make great impact, do great exploits even at my young age and that childhood dream is still driving me and I hope younger ones and adults alike can read from me and know that age can never be a determinant or barrier to success.

Being a Government endorsed Author at 19

I must say that being a government endorsed author at such a young age is an incredible honour for me and I’m still in awe of it. I should be the youngest author on the entire list of recommend texts for secondary schools in the state and I feel so honoured. It is also a great encouragement to me and to fellow young people that your age notwithstanding, you can be anything you set your mind to become.

My passion for women, child rights, humanitarian work and it’s Impact

I am passionate about women and children. For women, I recognize and can relate to their strengths, struggles, challenges and flaws.

We have single mothers in our society, we also have women who are married yet single in the actual sense because they bear the entire responsibilities of the home or are denied of marital bliss, love and affection. Naturally, I have a sense of empathy for them and it breaks my heart when I hear sad stories about women being abused, sidelined, going through one pain or the other.

I have always been passionate about the reading culture, mostly for teenagers because I feel it is declining in my generation and it is important to start with the little ones.

I did a revision to my first book early this year shortly before it was adopted by the Ogun state government for Junior Secondary Class Two. I ensured I included lots of vocabularies in it, some of which I learnt myself during the course of writing. It also has questions for each Act in the play. All of these were put in place so that as much as students are reading the didactic part of it with morals being instructed into them, they are also adding to their wealth of knowledge and usage of new words and can also attempt questions on what they have read.

My Goals

I intend to have a book drive in primary and secondary schools firstly in Ogun state where it is a recommended literature text, then, extend it to other states. I also intend to partner with brands mentioned in the play such as Bigi Drinks, Mentos Sweet and Nestlé as well as foundations owned by youths to have book reading sessions, talks, acting out of scenes from the book and also donating books to schools in indigent areas where students cannot afford to buy notebooks not to talk of literature texts.

Other Projects and Activities

I am also a member of organizations which give me platforms to reach out to these category of people I’m passionate about. I belong to Junior Chamber International Nigeria (JCIN), Jesunpadabo Charity Initiative which is a Christian missionary intitiative where people are fed with both the word of God and material needs too, Our Little Gist Foundation where we reach out to the girl child. By God’s grace, I am an executive member of these organizations and my activities in them always bring me a step closer to my dreams.

Balancing it all

I am a Law student in my third year, I don’t really have to give a detailed report to my parents on my academics because they trust me well enough to balance it all. However, I am accountable to my elder sister who is a medical student and also to an older friend of mine. They monitor my grades and academic progress. So, because I know I’ll have to give them a detailed report at the end of every semester, I ensure I perform well.

I also have people who do not cease to remind me to balance everything together. I have seniors in my Law faculty who commend me for doing well in other areas and also urge me to excel in my academics, so, I can be given a platform on my valedictory day to talk about school and my writing as well.

Personally, while following my passion, I always remind myself that I must excel in other areas too. So, I always try to create a balance, write or carry out other activities during semester breaks or periods I don’t have school work to do. I attend tutorials too almost every weekend and so far I have been excelling greatly in my academics.


I am a young writer and as much as I really love writing. Most times, I lose interest in finishing up a story I’m working on. I keep procrastinating or waiting for inspiration. So, far, the knowledge that I am to take the first step- start writing, even if I feel inspired at the moment or not has been of great help. It is more like a farmer who keeps waiting for the sun to come out before setting out, he will definitely fail.

I also have a particular person, my older friend whom I mentioned earlier, Lanre Omodele who really keeps me in track. He gives me deadlines to finish up a story I have lost interest in or been procrastinating.

On Giving up

No, there hasn’t. I am passionate about everything I do and that drives me. There are times I feel discouraged or have low moments but there has never been a time I felt like giving everything up. When I’m down, I turn to God for strength, allow myself to drop my fears and worries at His feet and walk into His rest. My parents have also been very supportive. They help out in almost all areas and are fully involved in every process; writing, editing, publishing and marketing. The immense support and sacrifices of my family, adults who believe in me and youths alike keeps me going.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I feel so honoured to be a Ruby Woman and I feel that what makes me a Woman of Rubies is that I don’t allow anything limit me from going for whatever I want and also the courage to always do things afraid. I also feel that my desire to impact and impart younger generations, to be an epitome of the saying, “it is never too late or too early to start something new or achieve great feats,” makes me a Woman of Rubies.

Dear Young Woman….

For young women who are hesitant to take a leap of faith even while being afraid, I will advice them with two of my personal quotes from my second book, a memoir, “New Cheese” which goes thus:

“Work on self discovery and dare to be a new, better and positive version of you than you were yesterday.”

“Embrace you, assess you, celebrate you and above all, love you everyday to know you deserve the newest cheese out there!”


Media personality and founder of Amputees UnitedAdenike Oyetunde is set to release a new book named after her.

She’s sharing her inspiring story in the new book. Adenike was 20 when she got the news that would change her life. She was in her sophomore year in the university and was at home one weekend when she slipped and landed on her right knee while doing chores. This caused a pain that defied painkillers. She was eventually taken to the hospital and was told she had a blood clot due to the fall and the limb had to be drained out.

After this, she went back to school but her condition kept deteriorating. Another x-ray revealed that the clot was still there. This was when she was referred to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi. She was later diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma (a malignant bone tumor) and was told her right leg had to be amputated to save her life.

Congratulations, Adenike!


Credit: Bella Naija

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie attended the 2018 Action Against Hunger Gala at 583 Park Avenue on October 30, 2018, in New York City.

At the event, she was honored with the Humanitarian Award, presented by CEO of the organization, Andrea Tamburini.

Every year, hundreds of Action Against Hunger’s most dedicated supporters come together for an evening of inspiration and hope and 2018 was no different.

The special night is an opportunity to reflect upon Action Against Hunger’s mission to save the lives of children worldwide and to present their most prestigious award, The Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award, to individuals and corporations that have significant contributions to the humanitarian field.

See photos from the event below.

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 30: Chimamanda Adichie attends the 2018 Action Against Hunger Gala at 583 Park Avenue on October 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 30: Chimamanda Adichie speaks at the 2018 Action Against Hunger Gala at 583 Park Avenue on October 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 30: Chimamanda Adichie speaks at the 2018 Action Against Hunger Gala at 583 Park Avenue on October 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 30: Chimamanda Adichie and Andrea Tamburini attend the 2018 Action Against Hunger Gala at 583 Park Avenue on October 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images


Credit: Bella Naija