Walk against Rape


Women of Rubies was  created by Esther Ijewere to celebrate exceptional women. Esther Ijewere is an enterprising social activist, women’s advocate, columnist, author and the Founder of Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children — a non-profit outfit devoted to advocacy, development and social enterprise solutions amongst others.

An Olabisi Onabanjo University trained Sociologist, Esther Ijewere is the brain behind W.A.R. — Walk Against Rape, an advocacy initiative created to lend a voice for the victims of rape and demand justice, an initiative endorsed by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Read Also: How To Use Mindfulness Meditation To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

The NGO organises workshops in secondary schools tagged College Acquaintance Rape Education (C.A.R.E) in partnership with the Lagos state Ministry of Justice and the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT). Esther, the initiator of Project Capable; a Lagos State Ministry of Education approved programme, Esther is the youngest recipient of The Idea Builders Women Mentoring Women Award, winning Mentee of the year 2010 and “Women Enterprise Award” from Vital Voices International & Exxon Mobil.

Esther Ijewere- Women of Rubies
Esther Ijewere

She also won the award for “Best Use of Advocacy” from her Alma Mata; Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2012, for her contribution in fighting and creating awareness on Rape.

In 2016 Esther bagged four awards for her platform Women of Rubies, notably among these award is “Young Person of the Year” and “Wise Women in Media” awards.

Read Also: Esther Ijewere Listed As An African Woman In Development

She is a Fellow with Vital Voices Global Leadership USA; an organization founded by Hillary Clinton and aimed at empowering young women change makers all over the world.

She unveiled her first book on rape and violence against women, titled “Breaking the Silence”. She is also a columnist with the Guardian Newspaper, her page “ Women of Rubies” a platform used to celebrate exceptional women with inspiring stories, the page is a sequel to her award winning blog www.womenofrubies.com, which is fast becoming the one stop blog for the everyday woman. Esther recently started a platform for men called “Men who Inspire”, to further balance her advocacy work as an advocate, and also kicked off the #GettalkingwithEsther show to spread positivity on social media.

In this interview, she bares all with Vanguard Newspaper

Kindly tell us the story of Women of Rubies, your career path and how it all started?

Women of Rubies was born out of my passion for humanity. I started out as a social activist, lending my voice to victims of rape, and other forms of gender-based violence. This  evolved into the media, which is the Women of Rubies platform where I use my column and blog as a vehicle of social change  to put the spotlight on other women in different sectors who are contributing their quota to nation building and adding value to the society through their work.

Looking back, would you say Women of Rubies and your other initiatives have achieved what it set out to accomplish?

Absolutely! We have accomplished even more than we envisaged ten years ago. Despite the losses we suffered, we have stayed solid and consistent through the years.

Every project we have embarked on has impacted lives and added value. We have served those at the grassroots and the high earned professionals. The ripple effect of the work we do is unquantifiable, and that’s the reason why even after 10 years, with all the bumps and losses we’ve encountered, we are still very relevant in the sectors we represent, because God is fully involved in everything we do.

Rubies Ink Initiative  championed the first of its kind Walk against Rape campaign in Nigeria, The walk did not only encourage victims of rape to speak up, It also became an annual event most of concerned Nigerians and celebrities look forward to. We used different toolkit (workshops, media, information handbook, town hall meetings in different communities) to educate and sensitize the society.

Watch: 5 Ways To Stop Being A People Pleaser

We also got justice for several victims through our alliance with the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and the domestic and sexual violence response team (DSVRT). The walk is endorsed by the Federal and State Government respectively. We have over fifty celebrities and influencers who are our ambassadors.

They use their platforms to educate the society on the scourge of rape, and aim for victims to get justice. The walk will be moving to other parts of Nigeria this year by God’s grace.

With Women of Rubies, we have given visibility and brought stories of different amazing women to the front burner, featured and celebrated over 1000 (one thousand women) through our Guardian Newspaper column, blog and social media pages.

Read Also: How To Understand The Impact Of Trauma

We have raised over N5M funds for several women in distress, paid hospital bills, supported widows, paid rent for homeless victims of domestic violence and also re-integrate them back into the society.  During the thick of COVID-19 pandemic, we were one of the organizations at the forefront raising funds for families who were affected, and we continue to support many.

Let’s talk about “Get Talking with Esther”. Can you shed more light on this project?

I am very expressive, I love to write and read from people, I love to celebrate people and give them hope, I love when I can feel people’s thoughts through words. “Get talking with Esther” is just about that.  It’s a #Tweetchat session that gives you the ambience of a show on Twitter.

Basically, using my platform, years of experience, and skill set for social good to give everyone a voice. We fix broken tables, bring “Under the table” conversations to the front burner for positivity. We bring people who share life experiences, healing, and learning. My mission is to use the show to spread positivity on social media, especially Twitter. It will be 2 years by August 13th, 2022.

Women of Rubies

Intimate us about your proudest moments in the last ten years?

There are many proud moments, and it will be hard to pick just one. But I’d say each time I touch someone’s life, give hope to a helpless person, use my platform to celebrate a person who needs visibility and light up someone’s dark path, it becomes a proud moment.

The joy of giving back and paying it forward is innate. It’s my happy place. Above all, being a mother, and experiencing childbirth is my proudest moment. The joy of holding your baby in your hands. It’s unexplainable. I pray every woman seeking the fruit of the womb will experience this.

Kindly mention some of the lessons life has taught you?

Patience; life has taught me to be patient with myself and others. Setting boundaries is also one of the lessons I have learnt over the years. For a longtime, I didn’t have boundaries, and I ended up burning out and feeling used. The moment I started setting my boundaries, things changed. I learned how to say no respectfully without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries has helped me greatly in navigating where and who I give my energy.

Life also taught me the beauty of releasing power and letting go easily. While I am still a work in progress, these lessons have helped me stay grounded and focused.

You have a passion for women and single mothers. How was this ignited?

My passion for women is innate, I mean being a woman, I should love and support other women naturally. However, single motherhood is very personal. I am a single mum, I know and identify the pain and struggles of single mothers. It’s twice the sacrifice, and it takes a lot to raise kids alone. Spreading light to other lone parents is from a place of experience, love and understanding. I wish society would judge us less, and support us more.

Was there any time you had felt like giving in, wrapping your platforms and moving on?

Yes, several times. It’s hard to run an organization in Nigeria, especially when you don’t have core funding and lack committed human power. I almost gave up everything when my marriage crashed. My saving grace was remembering that my purpose is bigger than me, and my light is brighter than being a wife. Each time I have those wrapping up moments, I reflect on why I started and the beautiful moments.I will keep pushing against all odds. It’s an assignment and I have to do it well. Giving up is not an option.

Read Also: 9 Powerful Ways To Be More Confident

Who really is Esther Ijewere?

Esther is smart, strong, opinionated, and kind hearted. She is determined, dogged and much focused. She is passionate about issues that affect women and children. She is the Introvert, who loves her own space, the multi-tasking single mum who works hard so her kids can learn all she was not taught. The deep soul, and very spiritual woman who prays a lot. The writer who writes with passion and deep understanding for humanity. The very private woman who prefers to share her work than her personal life. The playful, happy-go-lucky girl who is living intentionally. Esther, like every human is not perfect. She is a work in progress

What principles have worked for you over the years?

Putting God first, staying focused, honesty, diligence and speaking my truth against all odds. These principles have and continue to help me stay grounded.

How did you build such a strong following on social media?

That’s the power of consistency. I have also managed to keep a drama-free life on social media, separated my personal life from my work, and consciously use my platforms to support folks and spread love and light. I have also focused on being relevant and not just popular. I worked hard over the years to make my name a solution to a problem I solve. People gravitate towards value naturally. However, I do not take glory for any of it. I am just a vessel doing God’s bidding on earth. It is my hope that my light continues to attract and touch souls all over the world, even beyond social media.

Esther Ijewere

Who are your role models?

My Mom for being a strong support system and instilling the right values in me. I always tell people that my life, especially my philanthropic side, is a reflection of good upbringing. However, I am a mummy’s girl with a mind of my own.

Oprah Winfrey- Her success and resilience is a vision board of what I intend to be and more. One of my late Uncles; Bolaji Rosiji, told me one time that my drive and passion reminds him of Oprah. It’s a compliment I hold dear to my heart. I wish to meet her someday.

Every woman before me in the development, advocacy and media sector is my role model. I have great respect for pace-setters who gave young women like me wings to fly, the ones who make room for us to grow and amplify our light.

If you were to start all over again what will you do differently?

I will align with people who have more expertise than me, and be more open about my struggles and challenges. Being in a society where you are constantly judged for your failure and mistakes could kill your morale, and make it hard for you to open up.

I am learning how to ask for help and lean on people who can add value to me, and my brand. Life is a lesson, I embrace everything with love, and open to change and best practices.

What is your message to women battling one challenge or the other?

Don’t give up! .There is light at the end of the dark tunnel. Don’t keep your problems to yourself, share with people who can proffer solutions and help. You are not your mistake and challenges, don’t let it consume you. There is always someone out there you can talk to, and ask for support.

Read Also: 8 Ways To Find Hope When You Are Hopeless

How do you rejuvenate when your energy is down?

I meditate, listen to frequency music, practice self-affirmations, focus on my power spot for energy boost, and stay mindful. I reduce my screen time when I am down and just be in the moment, appreciating the things in my present.

Watch:  How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

How do you unwind?

Spending time with my kids, Netflix and chill, and sometimes hanging out with friends and family who love me for who I am.

Connect with Esther;

Facebook;  https://www.facebook.com/esther.ijewere/

Instagram; https://www.instagram.com/estherijewere/

Twitter; https://twitter.com/estherijewere

LinkedIn; https://www.linkedin.com/in/esther-ijewere-3a082b2b/

Youtube; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHFArqRf4HcjiekNGkopow

Email: Admin@womenofrubies.com



Two days ago Girl child advocate Olamide Alli was gruesomely murdered by the father of her kids, he plucked out her eyes, took out her braids with pliers and stabbed her 11 times, then killed himself afterwards.

The relationship which was started when she was 17 years old was described as toxic and controlling by many who knew the couple when they were alive.

Many women have been programmed to endure abusive relationships, an age long tradition of keeping face and suffering and smiling that make many women redundant or send them to their early grave.

However, Domestic Violence is a two way traffic, as men also suffer violence in relationships, but ego and societal perception of being seen as weak make them endure.

Three years ago there was a popular case of a lawyer who stabbed her husband thrice in the back and several times on his private part. Some tagged it a crime of passion while some women came to her defense , but I won’t support such irresponsible act, just because the culprit has the “W” tag. No justification for violence of any kind!!!!

Man or Woman no one deserves to die in such a way.

We nee to continue advocating for the rule of “Walking Away”, and stop telling people to manage abusive relationships, you are saving them from being killed or stopping them from killing out of psychological torture.

Abusive  relationships are unfortunately very common. They come in forms of physical abuse and emotional abuse, in which both are equally as devastating.

Most are just pushed under the rug, in hopes their partners will change, out of fear of their partner, thinking it is just a momentary reaction or thinking it is completely normal. Abusive relationships are definitely unhealthy, and should not be continued. An abusive partner normally will never change, no matter how much they claim they are going to.

Here are signs you are in an abusive relationship and why you need to walk away ;

  1. Being treated as a property or sexual object

2.Others see the abuser as a very nice person and the abuser acts very pleasant and loving between acts of violence

  1. Denying the seriousness of the violence and /or blaming it on circumstances like stress, anger, partners behaviour, drugs, alcohol or other reasons

4. Constant jealousy , calls and/or surprise visits.

5. Controlling and/or treating you like a child such as interrogating intensely, tracking location, having to ask permission to go places or try new things, keeping all the money, and asking for receipts and proof of what you’ve been up to

6. Unrealistic expectations of perfect behavior and treatment

7. Isolation from family, friends, cars, phones, jobs, and/or the public

8. Name calling, degrading, and/or humiliating

  1. Manipulating your emotions and making you feel like you’re the problem

10. Easily insulted, angered, or saddened

11. Feeling fear, nervous, unsafe, trapped, or hopeless

12. Forceful sex

13. Blaming others for mistakes

  1. Arguing constantly and quickly.

Feel free to add other signs you know, remember nothing is worth losing your life/or going to jail for.

Walking away cost you nothing , just tell your legs to receive common sense before your hands get you in trouble.


“Esther is an activist, Writer, Columnist, Author and editor-in-chief & founder -Women of Rubies. She is passionate about issues that affect women and children. 

Facebook: Esther Ijewere

Twitter & IG : @Estherijewere

LinkedIn: Esther Ijewere

Email: admin@womenofrubies.com





Nigerians have once again shown their passion for humanity and affinity for change by donating N1.6M, within 24 hours to cover  legal fees of “Alleged”   Rape Victim; Seyitan Babatayo.

In the past few days, we have seen the turn of events between Music Star; Dban’j and his alleged Victim; Ms. Seyitan, We have also seen how oppression was used in a systemic way In a bid to shut down the young Woman.

While it is okay for an accused person to defend their name , it is not okay to abuse your power and try to alter the Justice system Intentionally to suit your purpose, this is exactly what the Dbanj camp has shown in the past few days, abuse of power, Intimidation and infringement of privacy (Taking over her Twitter account, while she was  at another safe location).

According to reports,Seyitan was arrested and denied access to friends, family, and legal representation in the early hours of yesterday, after the outcry on social media from several activists like; Josephine Chukwuma, Anthonia Ojenagbon, Kiki Mordi and a host of others, she was eventually released.


The Plot Twist

Within 24 hours, women on Twitter raised over a million Naira for Seyitan’s legal fees to ensure she gets proper representation.

While this was ongoing, Someone was also tweeting from Seyitan’s Twitter handle ;

The first tweet:

The second tweet:

…and there was a tweet promoting Dbanj’s New song…Foolish much eh or publicity stunt?



Seyitan just wanted an apology……


There’s a hashtag – #SilenceDbanj  also trending 

There is also an ongoing petition to have the United Nations remove D’banj as a Youth Ambassador for Peace. The 2,500 signatures needed for the petition are almost complete. (Culled from Bellanaija)

Some Celebrities like Donjazzy, Tiwa Savage, MI Abaga and a host of others have also taken a stand

Thought provoking view by Elnathan John

This is truly a sad event, but as an organisation we stand against Rape, as we have been doing for years through our sister Organisation; Walk Against Rape. We also spoke with a member of Seyi’s family and she assured us that Seyi is safe.

Esther Ijewere


On Saturday November 25th , 2018 The Eloy awards held the 10th edition of it’s prestigious award ceremony and Esther Ijewere, founder of Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children and Editor-In-Chief of Multiple award winning blog Women of Rubies won the Social Entrepreneur award, for her selflessness and contribution towards the empowerment of women both at the grassroots and social level.

While she was unable to attend the epoch making event, Esther was well represented by her Mentee Lordwilliams Gusi Tobby of Girlhub Africa, who gave an outstanding speech on behalf of her Mentor and also congratulated other Nominees.

Reacting to the award, Esther took to her social media page to show her appreciation;

“Thank you Jesus for yet another award! Who am I? Nothing but pencil before you Heavenly father … absolutely Nothing!

Just a young girl whose life is a movement she barely can understand.

I dedicate this Award to my Mom! Mummy I never reach where I dey go o but this is for you! For bringing me to the world against all odds and always standing by me through thick and thin… I owe you so much Mama!!!

To everyone that voted for me, May God honour you all, I appreciate you for your love and constant support! We won!!!

Our beautiful Queens at Women of Rubies You guys rock! Thanks for making it all worth it

Thanks to my wonderful team, this is our Win guys! Yes! We did it.

Thanks for picking yet another award for me my ever supportive mentee and aburo Lordwilliams Tobby. I appreciate you!

To Tewa Onasanya and the @eloyawards team, I Stan you. May God bless the work of your hands. Thanks for counting me worthy

Thank you Jesus, for this, that and everything! I remain Loyal

This is Esther’s second award this year, it will be recalled that the social entrepreneur won the “Humanitarian of the year award” at the D&K Soumi awards back in August.

As part of the plan to ensure full justice for the Late Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje, 13, who died last month as a result of the alleged sexual assault, the operatives of the National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has arrested the aunty of the late Ochaya, Mrs. Ogbuja who is suspected to have had knowledge of the nefarious act but refused to report or speak out.
The arrest of Mrs. Ogbuja said to be a Staff of the catering Department of the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, came about four weeks after intensive manhunt having disappeared from her house shortly after the tragic incident.
#JusticeForOchanya: NAPTIP arrests late victim
It would be recalled that the late Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje, a 13 years old student of the Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, died on Sunday 21st October 2018 after a life battle with Vesico vaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.
This was occasioned by the allegedly sexual abuse by one Andrew Ogbuja, Head of Department, Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State, and his son, Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja, a final year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
In addition to the ongoing prosecution of the principal suspects in the case, the Director – General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dame Julie Okah – Donli, immediately directed the Markudi Zonal Command of the Agency to arrest the said Mrs. Ogbuja and other accomplices for prosecution.
Giving detail of the arrest, the Markudi Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Mr. Ganiu Agaran, said it took the combined efforts of operatives of the Agency in Markudi, Lagos and even Abuja before she was arrested.
Report indicated that the suspect, who got hint of the plan to arrest her, had absconded to Lagos and later to Abuja before she finally returned to Markudi were she was arrested Friday afternoon.
Speaking on the development, NAPTIP Director – General, Dame Julie Okah Donli, said the suspect will be thoroughly investigated to ascertain her level of connivance in the incident and thereafter charged to court.
“I am still pained by the tragic death of the Late Elizabeth Ochaya Ogbaje and the only thing we can do to ensure that her groaning spirit rest in peace is to ensure that full dose of justice is served on all those that are directly or indirectly involved in the unwholesome act that led to her death.
“It is important to establish the status of people around the late girl who had knowledge of her ordeal and yet refused to report to the Law enforcement Agencies who would have rescued her.
“We cannot continue to fold our hands while our children are been sexually molested and assaulted by people that ought to have protected them. This case at hand will be a case that will be monitored and all those linked in one way or the other shall all be made to face the full weight of the law.
“I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to all State Governors to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) which is presently applicable in the Federal Capital Territory. This Act is designed to ensure that our children and other vulnerable classes of the society are protected.
“It is important to point out that domesticating the VAPP is another form of giving the citizen real divided of democracy”, NAPTIP Director – General said.
Credit: LIB

Esther Ijewere is an enterprising social activist, youth advocate, Columnist, author, mother of two and the Executive Director of Rubies Ink Initiative- a social enterprise outfit devoted to youth advocacy, public relations and social enterprise solutions among others. An Olabisi Onabanjo University-trained Sociologist, as a social advocate, she is the brain behind W.A.R- Walk Against Rape, an advocacy initiative created to lend a voice for the victims of rape and demand justice for the perpetrator’s, an initiative endorsed by the Lagos State Ministry Of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. She is also a columnist with The Guardian newspaper with her page Women of Rubies, a platform used to celebrate exceptional women with inspiring stories. The page is a sequel to her award-winning blog www.womenofrubies.com, which is fast becoming the one stop blog for the everyday woman. In this interview with NIKE SOTADE, she talks about the strides she has made in her passion to fight against rape in the society

Tell us about yourself, education, growing up etc.
I am Esther Ijewere, the Founder of Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children, Convener of the Walk Against Rape Campaign and also, Editor-In-Chief of Women of Rubies, a blog aimed at celebrating exceptional women with inspiring stories. I sit on the board of The African Development Imperative (TADI) and also, a fellow with Hillary Clinton’s founded Vital Voices Global Leadership. I have been into advocacy and development work since 2010. I am the recipient of many awards – notable among them are the ‘Wise Woman in Media Award’ I received last year and my recent recognition as one of the ‘100 Most Inspiring Women in Nigeria’ by Leading Ladies Africa. I had my Primary and Secondary education in Lagos and graduated from the Olabisi Onabanjo University with a BSc in Sociology and Diploma in Marketing. I am also a certified ‘On Air Personality’ but that’s one of the many caps I am yet to explore. I believe in learning and acquiring knowledge as much as one can in any field of interest – if you can think it, then you can do it.

Any experiences in life that propelled you into sexual violence or anti-rape advocacy? You’re a mother of two girls, are they your inspiration too?
At the time I started the anti-rape campaign, I realised a lot of people were scared of reporting cases of rape out of fear of being stigmatised and judged. The number of reported cases was very low. This propelled me to start the sensitization awareness and lend my voice while complementing the work of the Government in curbing rape and other forms of sexual violence. Being a mother of two girls also deepened my passion for the cause, as I can’t imagine any of them having to go through such ordeal in life.

You’ve been working with government agencies in what capacity? Do you think Lagos State government is doing enough in its anti-rape campaign?
I have been working with the Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation since 2010; we partner with them annually to organise our Walk Against Rape Campaign and also refer cases of rape and domestic abuse to them, while we follow it up to a justifiable end. As such, I’d emphatically say that Lagos State is the only State that has shown the most concern on issues that affect women, particularly rape. The Governor, for example, has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of violence against women, and he works hand in hand with the necessary government agencies to make sure offenders are prosecuted. The Lagos State Government is doing enough at the moment; I just hope they can create more Help Centres in every local council across the State to help victims get help faster. This is one thing I have been advocating for since 2010.

Have they prosecuted any offenders? Kindly give figures if you have them.
In 2016, 4, 035 cases ranging from rape, child abuse, sexual assault, sexual abuse to defilement, were handled by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice; this, being a cumulative figure alongside the previous year. The number of unreported cases is obviously higher than that as 140 offenders were prosecuted last year. I believe the figure will increase as time goes by.

What kind of advocacy do you take to the schools?
Sensitisation and Awareness through our College Acquaintance Rape Education workshop (C.A.R.E) where we educate these young kids on how to identify an abuse and the need to report such cases to the necessary authority. I also wrote an information Handbook on Rape called “Breaking the Silence.” We use it as a toolkit to sensitize them – a book that contains all the necessary information they need; from help lines to help centres across Lagos. The feedbacks from the kids in the last few years have been great; we have more kids reporting such cases in confidentiality now.

Who are the potential or likely rapists?
Undisciplined men, who do not have self-control, are potential rapist.

Kindly share with us some of the tips you’ve offered school children on defending themselves against predators.
I have a personal code I teach them with called L.I.E.S: L stands for ‘Learn to say NO’, I – ‘Identify the situation’, E – ‘Expose the perpetrator’, S – ‘Say it as it is without conceding information’. I encourage them to write this in their exercise books or we give them stick on papers they can paste on their wardrobes.

More rape cases are being reported in the news nowadays. What do you think could be responsible?
It’s still indiscipline and lack of self control. There is no justification for rape or any form of sexual abuse. Some have argued that the economy is one of the reasons but I beg to differ: how will raping or defiling a child change your financial status? It’s also good we have more reported cases lately – this goes to show we have not been lending our voice in vain.

Do you counsel rape victims, too? What advice do you have for them to move on with their lives?
Yes, I do. First, I take them through a healing process; the biggest stage of healing is ‘breaking your silence’ and I also encourage them not to ever blame themselves for getting raped or dwell on it.

You’re also a blogger and columnist with the popular Women of Rubies interviews. How do you go out of your way to get these exceptional women?
Blogging, through the Women of Rubies Platform, has been very interesting. It avails me the opportunity to be more inspired and challenges me to even do more. We often have people nominate women they feel are worthy of being celebrated; we get nominations weekly for a ‘deserving woman’ whose story deserves to be brought to the front-burner.

What’s relaxation for you?
Sadly, I hardly relax but lately, I’m beginning to learn how to have some time for myself. I go out to see an interesting movie or just stay indoors and watch one – zero-attention to social media; just that alone-movie time to relax the head.

Who are your role models?
My mum, because she had every reason under the sun not to bring me to the world, but against all odds she did and made sure I become the woman I am today. Another person is Kate Henshaw. She is one of the very first people who believed in me, she made sure I got more tutelage from more experienced women in my line of work and she also became a mentor in the process. Aunty Kate as I fondly call her is one of my biggest support systems in the industry. Her selflessness and humility inspire me a lot. I also admire Remi Shonaiya, the presidential candidate for KOWA Party for daring to be different and standing up tall, for showing that a woman can contest and one day sit at the highest level of authority in this country. I am inspired by her courage and the way she has positioned herself even after losing the election. I also admire Ini onuk and Betty Irabor. On the International scene it’s Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton.

You’re the daughter of a renowned accountant in the country, why didn’t you follow daddy’s career? What life’s lessons have you learned from your dad?
For me, this is what God wants me to do; this is the path He wants me to toe – I am living my own purpose. My dad’s purpose is in accounting and other fields he has excelled in; he respects my vision and is very supportive of my aspirations in life. One life lesson he taught me is to always stay and think positive, no matter what life throws at me.

What’s your philosophy of life?
I am not scared of lifting other women up; I am not afraid to help other women and see them succeed. My thing is: “as long as I wear the crown, no one can take my throne”. You can’t boldly say you have succeeded in life till you help someone who can never pay you back.

Advice for young women out there
Women, stand up! Go out there and be all you want to be. Be strong and bold, do all you can to have a voice and an identity. Let your name be the solution to a problem you solve.

Interview originally published by Guardian