Women who inspire



Ivy Bartley is a Ghanian social entrepreneur and a profound tech-woman. The CEO and Co-founder of Developers in Vogue, an organization helping and motivating women to pursue careers in the tech industry.

She recently joined tech giants, Microsoft as a programmes manager. She has attained a remarkable feat after she recently joined Microsoft.

Ivy’s organization trains and equips thousands of women in Africa with digital skills. The young Ghanaian achiever will continue to direct affairs at her organisation alongside her new role as programmes manager at Microsoft. She noted in the post below that she remains optimistic about the new opportunity.


In a competition organized by billionaire businessman Strive Masiyiwa thBartley won a $10,000 prize as one of the 10 finalists of the Kwese #GoGettaz.

Her company, Developers in Vogue, is a social enterprise that is aimed in creating highly skilled female developers who are passionate about using technology to revolutionize Africa and the world.

Bartley provides, training, mentorship including job placement for African women in tech.

Great woman in tech!

She built Bet365 in a Portakabin in Stoke. Now she’s paid three times more than CEO of Apple.

If Denise Coates’s record-breaking £265m pay packet was stacked up in new £50 notes it would form a tower almost twice as high as the Shard skyscraper in London.

The enormous pay package, paid to the founder and chief executive of Bet365, the online gambling business based in Stoke-on-Trent, was more than three times greater than Tim Cook earned (£80m) running Apple, the most valuable company in the world. It was 25 times more than Bob Dudley received for running BP and 55 times more than the £4.9m that Dave Lewis, the chief executive of Tesco, has to rub along on.

For Coates, the best paid female executive in the world, it was not even a one-off. A year earlier, she handed herself £217m from the profits of what remains a private family owned business, albeit one worth billions.

All the numbers associated with Bet365 are big: gamblers wagered £52.5bn with the company last year, a sum that outstrips the annual economic output of Croatia and Uruguay.

The company’s winnings on those stakes – shown as revenue in financial accounts released this week – were £2.7bn. It had an operating profit of £682m, meaning it has a staggering profit margin of 25%, far higher than traditional bookmakers saddled with the fixed cost of high street shops. Bet365’s licence to operate in the UK is, in effect, a licence to print money.

As eye-catching as Bet365’s financial performance is, it garnered far less attention than the £220m salary and £45m in dividends pocketed by Coates, who owns more than half the company. Vince Cable, the former business minister and Liberal Democrat leader, called Coates’s pay package “irresponsible and excessive”, while the High Pay Centre said it was “obscene”.

If Bet365 were listed on the stock exchange, such payouts would probably fall at the first hurdle of shareholder distaste, as seen in the revolt against the £100m bonus deal handed to the chief executive of the housebuilder Persimmon. Jeff Fairburn eventually offered to hand back £25m and make a donation to charity – but the embarrassment heaped on the company led to his departure this month.

Bet365 is the personal fiefdom of the Coates family, a business dynasty worth £5.8bn, more than Sir Richard Branson’s empire. The story of how they built their empire from a Portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent is the stuff of industry legend.

Coates’s father, Peter, the 80-year-old son of a miner, became a successful local businessman and owned a string of betting shops. But it was Coates, an econometrics graduate who, at around the turn of the millennium, became aware of the jackpot opportunity that lay online.

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She bought the Bet365.com domain name from eBay for $25,000 and borrowed against the bricks-and-mortar stores to develop sports-betting technology that left slow-moving rivals in the dust.

When the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill were buying the systems they needed from third parties, Bet365 already had them and was deploying them at great speed.

Under Coates’s stewardship, the firm married its tech advantage with shrewd marketing – the actor Ray Winstone fronts their TV campaigns tied to live sports and virtually orders viewers to make a wager: “Bet in play – now!” he growls.

But Bet365 is not just about taking a punt on the Premier League from the comfort of a sofa. Fancy a bet on the correct score in the AS Oued Ellil match against AS Marsa in Tunisia’s League 2? Or a wager on Irish club hurling, Austrian cross-country skiing, Australian political elections, Italy’s X Factor, on Vegas games or at a live online casino? Bet365 claims to have 35 million customers, which would make it the world’s biggest online gambling business.

Now the company looks poised to break into the US, via a $50m (£39m) deal with a New York casino operator designed to take advantage of the huge growth potential in the country since the supreme court repealed a decades-old ban on sports betting.

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Bet365 is fast becoming Stoke’s most successful export. Its tech-based success story looms large in a city once dominated by its potteries, such as Wedgwood, Spode and Royal Doulton.

It owns the Stoke City Football Club, while many of its 4,000-member workforce are based at its sprawling headquarters near Hanley, Stoke’s de facto city centre.

Bet365 does not seem keen on media scrutiny and rarely answers inquiries, choosing to disclose only what it must in regulated filings with Companies House.

It has not, for instance, addressed any criticism of Coates’s pay deal, which some have found jarring in a week when new figures showed an alarming rise in the number of child problem gamblers.

READ ALSO: “If You Ever Walked Away From An Abusive Relationship, You Won!”

Charles and Liz Ritchie, who founded the Gambling With Livescharity after their son, Jack, killed himself after a gambling addiction, said they found Coates’s payout “particularly upsetting” in the circumstances.

While Coates gives much of her cash to good causes, such as the Douglas Macmillan Hospice and Alzheimer’s Research UK, her foundation’s page on the Charity Commission website offers no indication of whether any of it goes to problem gambling treatment.

Her largesse is also partly funded by a relatively low UK corporation tax rate, and the company’s £78m tax contribution last year was rather less than one might expect, thanks in part to subsidiaries in jurisdictions such as Gibraltar, a haven for gambling firms.

Bet365 has also been coy about where its customers are based. A Guardian investigation in 2014 found that punters in China – where betting is banned in all but a few tightly controlled arenas – were jailed after apparently placing bets on the Bet365 website.

The company said it was not breaking any laws but would not confirm whether or not it accepted stakes.

In this week’s accounts Bet365 said disclosing any more about its regional income “would be severely prejudicial to the interests of the group”. A recruitment page reveals the company is looking for “Chinese language customer account advisors”, though it could be targeting Chinese speakers in the UK or elsewhere.

Unless Bet365 volunteers more information, it will remain one of Britain’s most opaque companies – but also one of its most successful.

Source: Guardian

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Roheemah Arogundade and Kehinde Lawal broke 21-yr-old record in Obafemi Awolowo University.

Both Kehinde Lawal and Roheemah Arogundade graduated with 4.56 CGPA, something no student has been able achieve in the last 21 years.

Since 1997, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) did not produce first class graduates in its English Department. In fact, the last distinction graduate of the department, Akinmade Akande is now a professor of English.

In OAU, the English and Geology Departments have a reputation for not producing first class graduates. However, on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, the university at its 43rd joint convocation ceremony announced Roheemah Arogundade and Kehinde Lawal as the first graduates of the University to bag first class from the English Department.

Roheemah and Kehinde

Roheemah and Kehinde
Roheemah and Kehinde

In this interview with Pulse, the two outstanding graduates talked about their lives on campus and their academic achievements.

Pulse: Did you determine to break the jinx when you realized there’s been no first class graduate since 1997 in your department?

Roheemah: Growing up, the thirst for excellence was instilled in me by my parents. So I always aspire to excellence wherever I find myself and upon my entry into the university. That’s what I worked towards achieving.

Kehinde: I strongly desired it but it was hard at the same time to dispel the thought of the long-believed “impossibility.” From the onset, I was determined to try and make a stride for goods grades (maybe not for a first class but to be the best in a class of about 400 students). The desperate zeal to really finish with a first class grew when I made a 5.0 CGPA in my 200 level 2nd semester result. At that point, I was wowed and I made up my mind to try all I could to have first class. So, from that time, I was working towards it.

Kehinde Lawal

Kehinde Lawal
Kehinde Lawal

Pulse: What did you do differently that made it easy for you to break the record?

Roheemah: I wouldn’t know if I had done something different, only that I decided to work not only hard but smart too. I had a plan for every semester. I had a senior colleague who I would meet at the end of every semester to make copies of her notes and materials in order to prepare for the next semester in advance. I also ensured that I attended every class, attended discussions and tutorials, met with lecturers and fellow students when I needed to understand some topics. Also, I ensured that I read all the topics treated in class in a day. And most importantly, I never neglected my prayers.

Roheemah Arogundade

Roheemah Arogundade
Roheemah Arogundade

Kehinde: Well, I can not state specifically what I did differently from others because I do not know how much effort some other people pumped towards having a first class in the department. But, on a general note, what I noticed that I did differently from many of my colleagues was to study every night ( even if it was just for an hour). Many students failed to cultivate the habit of consistent revision or studying until it’s time for assessments. “Crash reading” never works for me. So, I tried to prepare for exams from the beginning of the semester.

Pulse: What were your campus days like?

Roheemah: They were quite interesting. Apart from academics, I was involved in other activities. I was a member of the drug-free club and also a member of Association of Nigerian Authors. I participated in volunteering activities such as Nigerian cleanups and some others. I took a course in project management. I was engaged in freelance writing and editing and also tutoring.

Kehinde: Campus life was quite stressful for me. I had too many extracurricular activities I delved into. From my 200 level, I was committed to being a member of different committees in the department. I was a member of the Audit committee, Trip and Excursion Committee, Award Dinner Committee, Class party committee and others. In my 2nd year also, I started as a member of NASELS’ Communication Bureau (the press outfit of the department). Gradually, I rose in rank to become the assistant managing editor, the managing editor and the Editor-in-Chief in my final year. I was actively involved in the publication of the departmental magazine (FOUNT) in 2015 too.

Pulse: Were you aware there was another student in the department with record-breaking CGPA and did you see her as competition?

Roheemah: No, I didn’t know earlier on but when I did, I was quite happy when I realised that a friend was also doing excellently well. There was no competition of any kind, instead, we always met to discuss difficult topics and explain them to one another.

Kehinde: Yes, there were rumours. Same way mine was a rumour until I finally graduated. But I didn’t see her as competition. During exams, we had group discussions and revised past questions together. I was very happy we made it but we were surprised that we finished with the same point- 4.56.

Kehinde Lawal

Kehinde Lawal
Kehinde Lawal

Pulse: What do you think is responsible for the lack of first class graduates for 21 years in the department?

Roheemah: I believe every student works hard or tries their best to be excellent too. So I just believe it wasn’t time.

Kehinde: I can’t say precisely. However, I feel the orientation fresh students get on admission into the department is quite discouraging. So, even without making an effort to make the first class, students in the department just naturally feel comfortable having average grades because everyone believes the first class grade is impossible.

I hope that the achievement Roheemah and I have made would further encourage students and prospective students of the department to do better. Now it is established that it is possible, I hope to see more people graduating with first class in years to come. Although it’s not by default, hard work is highly recommended too.

Pulse: Apart from studying what would you say helped to achieve this academic feat?

Roheemah: God and my support system i.e. my family and friends

Kehinde: God, Prayers and support from my mother, family and my best friend.

Pulse: Did the school management reward you for breaking the record?

Roheemah: At this moment, no.

Kehinde: There are not many awards in the department and the single one that exists was not awarded to anyone.

This is something that also needs to be changed to encourage students. The school should make provisions for awards and Alumni too should do the same.

Pulse: With your first class degree in English what career path do you intend to follow?

Roheemah: I’m passionate about academics, so I’ll be getting involved one way or another in that but I also love writing. So definitely that’s something I will be pursuing too. I’m open to anything really, as long as it is something that contributes positively to the society and gives room for self-growth.

Roheemah Arogundade

Roheemah Arogundade
Roheemah Arogundade

Kehinde: Good grades aren’t guarantees for a secured career path but they open doors of life-changing opportunities for those that seek it.

With a first class from OAU and in a department where it was previously considered impossible, I have a certain level of confidence that it would be relatively easy to study further anywhere in the world.

I would love to explore opportunities in the communication field like corporate communications, marketing, advertising, media relations, brand management, and public relations. All these are interrelated fields that my degree in English would help me with immensely.


Credit: Pulse News

Talented Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham has been presented with an award of recognition from the wife of the President, Dr Mrs Aisha Buhari for her immense contribution to the development of Nigerian Entertainment Industry.

Toyin shared the news and picture of the award on her Instagram page. She also used the opportunity to appreciate her fans and dedicated the award to them.

 See her post below.

TW magazine has featured 2019 Presidential candidate Obiageli Ezekwesili as the cover star for its November/December 2018 issue.

TW magazine wrote:

We know her as the woman who reformed the educational system during her years in office as Minister of Education. She is also the woman who would not let us forget our girls, championing the ‘Bring back our Girls’ campaign – never backing down or surrendering in the face of threat or menace.

She is Obiageli Catherine Ezekwesili, Oby Ezekwesili to most, ‘Ogeli to her family and in this edition, she let us into her world, shared her vision for our beloved country, revealed the man who helped her find her voice and why she believes she can be the next president.

Also in the magazine’s latest issue, the fashion column is a love letter to every big girl. For years, Temi Aboderin-Alao has worked tirelessly to put plus size girls on the map – her fashion line JP Kouture and the plus size fashion week is proof. In a revealing chat, she shares the struggles, the highs and the lows that went into her journey.

Still, on body positivity, TW’s special report on ‘FAT’ is an open and unguarded conversation with three women who shared what it’s like in the ‘Big girls’ world as they know of and live it.

Cover Credits:
Photographer: B.I.E Photography (@b.i.e_photography)
Stylist: Favour Olugu (@favolugu)
Makeup: Maryjane Ohobu for Zaron Cosmetics (@maryjaneohobu @zaroncosmetics)
Cover Story: Syreeta Akinyide (@syreetaakinyede)


News credit: Bella Naija

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
In January 2019, a Liberal arts student from New York born to immigrant parents, will become the first black woman to lead Harvard University’s Crimson newspaper in its 145-year history.

The BBC has released its BBC 100 Women list for 2018, which celebrates 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.

The list includes leaders, trailblazers and everyday heroes from over 60 countries, ranging from age 15 to 94.

Nigerians on the list include:

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, the 33-year old Social impact entrepreneur, who is the founder of GirlsCoding, an NGO that teaches girls how to code, design and build websites that help solve problems in their communities. Abisoye is also one of the 10 finalist for the CNN Hero Award for 2018.

Amina J Mohammed, 57 – Deputy secretary general, United Nations, Nigeria.

Amina is a former minister of environment in Nigeria and has previously been a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Bola Tinubu, 51 – Lawyer, Nigeria.

Bola is a corporate lawyer who established the first free children’s helpline in Nigeria – Cece Yara Foundation

Chidera Eggerue, 23, The UK-based blogger – ‘Slumflower’ is a best-selling author and activist behind the social media movement #saggyboobsmatter, driving new conversations about perceptions of women’s bodies.

Other Africans on the list include:

Fatma Samoura, 56 – Fifa secretary general, Senegal.

Fatma is the first woman and the first African to hold the position of secretary general of Fifa.

Nimco Ali, 35 – Writer and activist, Somaliland

Nimco is an award-winning FGM (female genital mutilation) activist.

Noma Dumezweni, 49 – Actor, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland).

Noma is the first woman to play the adult version of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, playing in London’s West End and Broadway, New York.

Shrouk El-Attar, 26 – Electronic design engineer, Egypt. Shrouk is a refugee and full-time engineer, who uses belly dancing to raise awareness and campaign for the rights of the LGBT+ community in Egypt.

Raghda Ezzeldin, 26 – Free-diver, Egypt.

Raghda is a record-breaking free-diver, who descends to extreme depths without breathing apparatus.

Mamitu Gashe, 72 – Senior nurse aide/fistula surgeon, Ethiopia.

Mamitu is now an internationally certified fistula surgeon, after being treated for fistula (an injury which can occur in childbirth) herself.

Thando Hopa, 29 – Model, lawyer, activist, South Africa.

Thando is a diversity and inclusion advocate. Cast in the Pirelli calendar 2018, she is the first person of colour in South Africa to have featured in the publication.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, 35 – Environmentalist and advocate for indigenous people and women, Chad.

Hindou is an indigenous woman of Chad, advocating for the protection of the environment and for the rights of indigenous peoples on an international scale.

Helena Ndume, 58 – Ophthalmologist, Namibia.

Helena has performed sight-restoring surgeries upon 35,000 Namibians, free of charge – many of her patients now call her “Namibia’s miracle doctor”.

Olivette Otele, 48 – Professor in History at Bath Spa University, Cameroon.

Olivette is a historian and memory scholar who works on European colonial history and post-colonial legacies.

Brigitte Sossou Perenyi, 28 – Documentary producer, Ghana.

Brigitte is an award-winning documentary producer, who told her story of being a Trokosi – a practice that sends girls to serve priests in shrines as payment for the “sins” of their family – and being trafficked from Togo to Ghana.

Juliet Sargeant, 53 – Garden designer, Tanzania.

Juliet is a doctor-turned-garden designer working to make “places that feel as good as they look”.

Ruth Medufia, 27 – Metal worker, Ghana.

Ruth is a female welder who lives in an urban slum community and aspires to be a role model for young women in the construction industry.

See other names on the list below:

Esraa al-Shafei, 32 – Executive director of not for profit Majal.org., Bahrain.

Esraa has founded a diverse number of digital platforms to give a voice to those under-represented in the Middle East and North Africa.

Svetlana Alekseeva, 18 – Model, Russia.

Svetlana survived a fire that burned almost half her body and now works to help people with scars feel positive about their bodies.

Lizt Alfonso, 51 – Director and choreographer, Cuba.

Lizt has created an internationally recognised fusion dance company which has performed in hundreds of cities across the world.

Isabel Allende, 76 – Author, Peru.

Isabel, who was born in Peru to Chilean parents, is the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author and has sold more than 70 million books in 42 languages.

Boushra Yahya Almutawakel, 49 – Artist, photographer and activist, Yemen.

Boushra is the first female Yemeni professional photographer, whose work has been featured in international publications and acquired by the British Museum.

Alina Anisimova, 19 – Student programmer, Kyrgyzstan.

Alina leads the Kyrgyz Girls’ Space School, which aims to send the country’s first satellite into space.

Frances Arnold, 62 – Professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry, US.

Frances is the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and her work on enzymes is used in laboratories, making everything from advanced medicines to biofuels and laundry detergents.


Continue reading at https://www.bellanaija.com/2018/11/abisoye-ajayi-akinfolarin-amina-mohammed-bola-tinubu-named-in-bbc-100-women-for-2018-see-full-list/


Credit: Bella Naija

She had been a good girl and must have wondered what cruel fate must have been forced on her. Her life immediately changed. She was maligned by her family members, with a different bottle of water to drink water.

They also felt the need to be extra-careful on anything Jo-Ann had used. It wasn’t their fault, but a limited information in a dark world without sufficient information on a disease they knew nothing of, but that it kills.

In 2013, Jo-Ann told Namib Times that, “It all started out as being an innocent young child at school, and then I fell pregnant. I was 5 months pregnant at the time when I received a phone call from the doctor saying I needed to come in immediately. I got there and there was a crowd waiting to tell me I have AIDS and was going to die.”

She later told UNICEF that, “The only thing I knew about HIV was that it was a death sentence. I didn’t want to die. I was only a kid and had a lot of dreams. Even my own mother changed when I told her about my status. And the same thing happened over and over again in the family, in the community, in the city. I just couldn’t be with others anymore. I was denied all rights.

The then young girl reached her breaking point when her school’s principal told her to stop coming to school, “That was my breaking point, because I loved school, even if I were pregnant and HIV-positive. At that moment I was hopeless.

When her mother started planning her funeral, she left for her grandmother’s place in Witvlei, Namibia. She accepted her. From there, she started learning about HIV and enrolled in a UNICEF programme on antiretroviral drugs that separated her disease from her child.

“Remi is 13 years old now. He is my strength and my courage. He made me wake up every morning and keep dreaming, keep believing and have hope.” She says of her son.

After Remi’s birth, Jo-Ann returned to school and earned a qualification in project management, then became an advocate for HIV/AIDS and told her story in her book, A Diary from the Land of the Brave.

From there, she rose to distinguished assemblies like the 2007 United Nations General Assembly, before becoming the toast of Witvlei to become their mayor at 26 and pioneered a huge housing project for the poor and desolate.

She says, “In 2010, the same community that had thrown stones at me, that literally had wanted to kill me, asked me to stand before them and show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Then she became the Public Relations Officer of a German initiative in 2016 after she got out of office. In 2016, there were 19.4 million people living with HIV (53%) in eastern and southern Africa and 6.1 million (17%) in western and central Africa, according to statistics by HIV.


Culled from pulse.ng