Achieving Ladies: 5 Nigerians Who Have Risen Above The Odds

Nigerians all over the world will always be known for their strength, intelligence and beauty.  Whether male or female, Nigerians always triumph and overcome every seemingly insurmountable challenge. In any nation of the world, I bet you would see a Nigerian that has made a name thereby publicise the glory of the great nation Nigeria. From the Imafidons to the Emeagwali to Anita Omonuwa, Nigerians are carving a niche for themselves across the nations of the world. Women have not been left out of the list of those who have achieved greatness and made the county Nigeria proud. Across all sectors: from Entertainment to Engineering to Sports- Ladies have also recorded great achievements, some of these Nigerians are-

Tara Fela-Durotoye

Mrs Durotoye was born on 6th March 1977. A lawyer who pioneered make up artistry in Nigeria. She launched the first bridal make-up line in 1999 and has a wide range of cosmetic products to her name. Though she comes from a polygamous home, her step mother trained her even after her parents got separated when she was barely eight months old. Tara challenged the norm that belittles children from broken homes. She carved a niche for herself and set the pace for others to follow in the make-up industry. Tara did not only establish the bridal make up profession in Nigeria, she also organised trainings and seminars to ensure others get this skill also.

She is an alumna of the Stanford SEED transformation programme whose name was included on the Forbes list of 20 Young Power Women in Africa (2013).

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An Awardee of the MacArthur Genius Grant, Chimamanda was described as the most prominent of a procession of critically acclaimed young Anglophone authors in the times literary supplement. She gained admission to study Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. However a year and half into the programme, she left Nigeria to study Communication and Political Science at the Drextel University Philadelphia USA and completed a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at the John Hopkins University.

In 1997, she published Decisions; a collection of poems and in 1998 a play titled “For The Love of Biafra”. Her story “That Harmattan Morning” got the nomination for the BBC short story awards and she eventually won  the O. Henry Prize for her story “The American Embassy”. Adichie has risen to become a household name, among her most popular articles are – The Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) and Americanah (2013). She has several nominations and awards which include Commonwealth Writers Prize (2005), Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize (2013), International Nonino Prize amongst others.

Chioma Ajunwa Opara

Chioma who was born into a very humble background rose beyond all odds to become the legend that she is today. The last of nine children, she gained admission into the University but had to quit as a result of her mother’s inability to foot her school bills. Originally a footballer, Chioma looked away from football and decided to concentrate on athletics because she was constantly benched and in her words “I have never regretted the decision [to leave football] because I’ve made my mark in athletics. I could have continued with football but there was a particular coach…”

Ajunwa participated in the 1990 Commonwealth games specialising in the 100m, 200m and long jump games to win a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay. Though she maintained her innocence, Chioma was banned from participating in sport for four years after failing a drug test in 1992. However she didn’t allow this limit her, she went on to become the first West- African woman and Nigerian to win the Olympic gold medal in a track and field event. She got a National award- Member of the Order of Niger and also is now a member of the Nigerian Police Force.

Agbani Asenite Darego

Agbani who was born on the 22nd of December 1981 studied Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Port-Harcourt. Right from her teenage days, she longed to be a model and even went ahead to audition for the M-net Face of Africa Modelling competition but did not make it to the final stage. She did not let this deter her passion, she was later crowned the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2001. Afterwards, she became a contestant at the Miss Universe competition coming in the seventh position.

Contrary to popular perception, she became the first native African to claim the Miss World crown. She is a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Genevieve Nnaji

Also a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Genevieve hails from Mbaise Imo state. She was born into a middle class family as the fourth of eighth children. She schooled at Methodist Girls College Yaba, then proceeded to the University of Lagos to study Creative Arts. Nnaji who also ventured into modelling began her acting career as a child actress, since then she has risen to become a household name locally and internationally.

Aside from acting and modelling, she has also featured in some major television commercials which include Pronto beverage advert, Omo detergent advert and became the Face Of Lux Nigeria in 2004. She went into the fashion industry and flouted her clothing line St. Geneveive in 2008. She has earned and won several nominations across the globe. These awards include 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award, 2014 Nigerian Entertainment Award, 2012 Nollywood Movies Awards, 2011 Zulu African Film Academy Award amongst others.

 

 

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