Women4Africa 2015 Award Winners

International African Woman

WINNER

DR OMAWUMI EVELYN URHOBO – NIGERIA

Dr Evelyn Urhobo-R

PRESIDENT/CEO MORGAN SMART DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION WARRI, NIGERIA.
Dr Omawumi Evelyn Urhobo was born in Warri in 1952. Educational institutions attended; Hussey College Warri, University of Lagos Bsc Socio 1972 Msc Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds, Hon Doctorate Degree in Public Admin Evangel Christian University Mouri USA. Also attended Harvard Business School, Fuaqua Business School and Lagos Business School. In 2009, she attended a Management training at the Centre for Women in Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) in Washington DC, where she had the privilege of addressing a US Congress Briefing on The Role of Women in Global Economy in June, 2009.

After her NYSC 1976, she joined the Public Service but resigned after one year, to work with the International University Exchange Fund (IUEF) an international NGO based in Geneva. She worked 5years as the Nigerian Coordinator for 500 South African, Zimbabweans and Namibian Students brought to study in Nigeria during the anti-apartheid struggle in Southern Africa.
Dr Urhobo re-joined the federal Service in 1982 and served for 32years with the last 10 years, as the Delta State Coordinator Niger Delta Development Commission. (NDDC) She retired as a Director in Nov 2012 at the age of 60yrs.

Dr Urhobo has devoted her life to service to God and humanity.
Being very conscious of the poverty amongst her people in the Niger Delta, especially the women, she helped establish the Okere Community Bank in Okere over 22years ago which transformed into the Coastline Micro Finance Bank in 2007. She is the chairman of the Board. The Bank has given micro credit facilities to over 25,000 poor women and youths to help alleviate poverty in Warri and its environs. In 2002, Dr Urhobo endowed the Morgan Smart Development Foundation with personal funds in memory of her late father, dedicated to the economic empowerment of poor women and youths in Nigeria. The Foundation has in the past 12 years provided capacity building and skill acquisition programs for women and youths to earn income. The Foundation has sourced funds from the European Union Mpp3, American Embassy, French Embassy, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and other partners to implement micro projects in rural communities like water, schools, health care centers and sanitation facilities that directly impacted on women and children.

The Foundation presently sponsors over 80 brilliant children from poor homes in secondary schools in Delta State and organizes yearly summer camps to provide career guidance and counseling, mentoring and acquisition of some skills.
Dr Urhobo a devoured Christian works in the church by helping to fund the Street Children Rehabilitation Ministry where she was once the president. She is a National Patroness of the Girls Brigade of Nigeria. She is the Vice Chairman of the Economic Empowerment Committee of Our Savior Church T/B Sq Lagos.
While in school she was the sport prefect and later Head girl. She represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburg in 1970.
Dr Urhobo has been given several awards in Nigeria for her service to humanity including that of Woman of Honor (WOH) in 2005 by the National Council of Women Society (NCWS).

Dr Omawumi Evelyn Urhobo is blessed with 2 biological children and several fostered ones. She also mentor to over 80 Children under her scholarship program.

This category is sponsored by ‘MS Estates’ www.msestates.co.uk )

 

Career Woman of the Year

WINNER

FUNKE ABIMBOLA – NIGERIA

Funke Abimbola-R

FUNKE ABIMBOLA is Managing Counsel (UK & Ireland) for Roche, leading the legal team that supports Roche’s pharmaceutical operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. She is also Data Privacy Officer for the UK. She is a practising solicitor who graduated from Newcastle Law School with honours and is qualified to practice law both in Nigeria and in England & Wales.

A recognised legal expert working within the UK life sciences sector, Funke is also a notable diversity champion within the UK legal industry and has received multiple awards and other recognition for both her legal work and her diversity work. She speaks regularly at legal and diversity conferences in the UK and abroad, including speaking to school and University students about legal careers and her own personal journey.

As a working mother, Funke juggles the demands of her career with home life and supports working mothers on how best to achieve the elusive work/life balance. She is passionate about the law, diversity, education and the healthcare sector. In addition, she is an experienced mentor and sponsor and a keen fundraiser for various charities including Cancer Research UK and Rennie Grove Hospice.

This is category is sponsored by ‘OluOlu Foods’ www.oluolufoods.com)

 

Inspirational Woman of the Year

WINNER

SUSANA EDJANG – EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Susana Edjang-R

Susana Edjang is an international development, global health and policy expert. She currently works for the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), at his Economic, Social and Development Unit. At the UN, Susana’s roles have focused on galvanizing action towards the health-related MDGs as H4+ Coordinator and as Project Manager of the Secretary-General’s signature movement Every Woman Every Child. Susana co-founded the Zambia-UK Health Workforce Alliance; was Parliamentary Advisor on global health and climate change at the UK Parliament; and promoted partnerships, for mutual benefit, between UK health institutions and their counterparts in Africa and Asia at the THET. Susana is on the Governing Council of Africa 2.0, a pan-African network of emerging leaders, leading on health; a member of the council of the Royal African Society; and a 2014 Yale World Fellow.

Originally from Equatorial Guinea, Susana is a trained physiotherapist, Development Economist (BSc, 1st class; MSc) from the School of Oriental & African Studies in London. Susana is co-author of Working in International Health (OUP 2010) and a contributor to African Health Leaders: making change and claiming the future (OUP 2014). She hopes to use her experience to work in Equatorial Guinea in the near future.

This category is sponsored by ‘Realities with Susie’ www.fusionplustv.com

 

Fashion Designer of the Year

WINNER

TINA LOBONDI – DR of Congo

Tina Lobondi

Congolese born Tina Lobondi is an international Fashion Designer and young entrepreneur, with over 7 years experience in the fashion industry. Tina established her label in Notting Hill, London in 2010. Her collections are based on exceptional attention to details and finish, classic and chic designs. Elegance with timeless style is the aim she wants to achieve. The fabrics and materials are sourced from all around the world, Mauritania to Paris and London.

The company’s Made-to order service offers you the possibility of choosing your designs and fabrics, to create individually crafted One-Off pieces all made in London. Working along a seamstress studio to complete her work, Tina has been helping charities such as The Georges Malaika Foundation by donating her garments as auction prizes to raise money for their cause. The Spring Summer 2015 Collection is called “Au cinema”. It was inspired by iconic actresses from Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren to Zoe Saldana. Tina’s work is classic in structure, yet innovative in approach. Bringing together both elegance and edginess to create a striking silhouette. In this season’s luxury women’s Ready-to-wear collection, you will find a range of garments with our signature African print and a mix of bold colors as well as subtle cream and navy in silks materials.

Tina has had her collection grace the Catwalk at the Luxury Sofitel Dubai, Runway Dubai, as well as make an appearance at the F2FA Pan-African Weekend in NYC. Her clientele include Grammy Award winner and New York based singer Angelique Kidjo, London based singer Lianne La Havas and actresses Thandie Newton, Shona McGarty and Hetti Bywater. The designer has become a regular name in the elite of African designers. Tina’s work has been published in various magazines and TV Channels including MarieClaire and ELLE Magazine South-Africa, British Soap Awards, LOOK Magazine, OK Magazine, and BBC Africa. Show-after-show Tina Lobondi continues to delight catwalk-goers with her elegant yet edgy, contemporary chic womenswear designs.

This category is sponsored by ‘Redikuts Kollections’ www.ffolaji.com

 

Media Personality of the Year

WINNER

LUKWESA BURAK – ZAMBIA

Lukwesa

Lukwesa Burak is a TV Presenter and News Anchor at SKY World News. She joined BBC East Midlands as a weather presenter on TV and Radio, and was appointed News Anchor on the Lunchtime and Evening news. At the BBC she presented within the studio, on Radio and for LIVE outside broadcasts. Lukwesa moved to Sky News where she anchored Sky World News covering a broad spectrum of world news stories, most notably the execution of Saddam Hussein and the Indonesia and Haiti earthquakes.

She has also worked as eNCA, in South Africa, where she anchored The Africa Edition broadcasting across Europe & Africa. At Sky World News, she continues to break and present global news stories. She also holds a Master of Science Degree in Geographical Information Systems from Leicester University. She is Patron of All Star Kids charity working towards improving the lives of children in Southern Africa.

This category is sponsored by ‘TAWA’ www.thinkingaloudwithayo.com)

 

Business Woman of the Year

JOINT WINNER

TEMI KOLEOWO – NIGERIA

Temi Koleowo-R

Temi Koleowo is a business consultant, mentor and speaker and a firm believer that everyone is a solution to a problem, Temi assists people through her consultancy Business First Steps to realise buried dreams and turn ideas into viable products. Within four years, the company has turned many ideas into thriving concepts and businesses through her signature programs. Temi’s aptitude for idea development has enabled her to develop creative concepts for existing businesses, thereby increasing their reach and service delivery to a wider audience.

Temi is also the founder of the networking group Business Steps 4 Women which is an interactive support group where women inspire and learn from each other through a structured networking model. The group which has birthed many ideas aims to inspire women to raise their business and personal attainment level. The group currently has five licensed groups all over the UK with more in the pipeline.

Temi’s motivational articles and blog posts are widely circulated. Her workshops, talks and seminars delivered at trade shows, social and religious groups, Government establishments and on TV always inspire people to pursue their life purpose. Her passion to see people maximise their God-given talents is the driving force behind Temi’s businesses.

This category is sponsored by ‘Lebara’ www.lebara.com

 

And

 

Business Woman of the Year

JOINT WINNER

JENNIFER OBASEKI – NIGERIA

Jennifer Obaseki-R

Ms Jennifer Obaseki is Business Woman and Solicitor, a skilled negotiator and advocate with High Court experience in both Queens Bench and Chancery divisions. She has over 20 years legal experience at over 4 firms and her own award winning practice Obaseki solicitors established for over 10 years. Obaseki Solicitors firm deals with Corporate and private matters, Immigration, Property, Employment, Personal Injury, Family Business intellectual property, Probate, Maritime Law and International Trade.

Obaseki Solicitors also offers Legal Aid services for low income clients and a free legal clinic on Fridays. Many Lawyers at the practice are qualified to practice internationally and the firm has business partners in across the African continent and Asia. There is also a qualified Arbitrator in house. Ms Obaseki is also the Director of AFFIRM Human Rights an NGO established to protect individuals basic dignity and resources pus Supply to my Door and online supply company, Launch from London marketing company and OBA Productions (Observing the Best of Africa ) Media and Artist Management Company.

Ms Obaseki acts as adviser to a number of organisations. Ms Obaseki specialises in Human rights and African and European bilateral trade.

This category is sponsored by ‘Lebara’ www.lebara.com

 

Young Achiever of the Year

WINNER

REMEL LONDON – NIGERIA

Remel London-R

Remel London is a leading TV, radio presenter and live events host.

Over the last five years since graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism, Remel has risen up the ranks and carved a solid reputation in the UK entertainment industry.

Her Presenting style is comedic, warm and relaxed which credits her healthy knowledge of all things Showbiz and has welcomed her wide fanbase.
Known for her love of new talent she continues to provide a platform for young artists and her work as a content producer and young pioneer has allowed her to collaborate with some of the leading media companies in the UK. Remel is the face and lead presenter of online platform Link Up TV, one of the recognised hosts of ILUVLIVE, a music industry panel member for the MOBO Awards and this summer will feature on her sixth season of SKY 1’s What’s Up tv show.
Remel’s unique voice can be heard on BBC Radio 1xtra as a new addition to their voice over team and has been heard on national television and corporate advertisements for companies such as Netflix, Capital FM and across the BBC network.

Remel continues to establish herself as a well-respected presenter in the UK and pioneer of UK talent.

This category is sponsored by ‘The British Council’ www.britishcouncil.org

 

Author of the Year

WINNER

KEMI WILLIAMS – NIGERIA

Kemi Williams

My name is Kemi Williams and I practised as a social worker for over 12 years (2000-2012) in the United Kingdom (UK) before writing the book, titled, ‘African Parents Must Know’-2013. I worked in the statutory sector of children and families social work and watched painfully as hundreds of African children were taken into care, parents were often imprisoned or received criminal records and African families suffered breakdowns and breakups for one major reason-ignorance. Many of the practices that led to the violation of the law in the United Kingdom, were in many African countries still acceptable. Many parents simply did not know what life would be like when they arrived in the UK.

I watched helplessly as children were brought to our Child Protection offices. I saw history repeat itself time and again. I felt we were working from the end of the issue when several of the situations could have been prevented in the first instance. I knew there was something wrong with the system and decided to do something. I run a charity called Yeshua’s Arm (see www.yeshuasarm.org) and under its auspices we created a project called the Black Parents Empowerment Programme (BPEP). The purpose was to raise awareness, train and enlighten Black/African parents on child protection and other welfare issues for their children.

In 2010, we were able to secure some funding from the Grassroots Grant and the project was a huge success. We went directly to the leaders in the African communities (mostly pastors) and several gave us direct access to train their congregation. It was however very demanding as I was still working full time for the local authority and we could just not reach as many people as we wanted to. That was when I began to write out what was initially a booklet/small guide for African Parents in the UK. It however ‘grew’ into a book as I addressed several issues faced by African families and added case studies and several other important chapters such as, ‘Know the Law’, ‘Special Children, Special Needs’ and ‘Your Child’s Education’

This category is sponsored by Great Business Platforms www.greatbusinessplatforms.com

 

Humanitarian of the year

WINNER

IFRAH AHMED – SOMALIA

Ifrah Ahmed-R

Ifrah Ahmed is a very committed and highly motivated social and community worker who worked on many different projects involving organisations such as UNICEF, Amnesty International, Irish Refugee Council, Cairde (Caring for health issues of migrant groups), The Africa Centre, Spirasi (Association caring for tortured refugees), Somali Community in Ireland, Integration of African Children in Ireland and UNCHR. (Empowering Women’s Network) and others.

Ifrah Ahmed after 8 years in Ireland, she decided to come back to Somalia in order to help her beloved country for its rebuilding. Ifrah Ahmed has well integrated in Ireland society and was an activist on on youth and women’ rights issues, including women’s health needs. She used to sit on the Steering Committee for Ireland’s National Plan of Action to Address Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Ifrah involved in this work because of of her commitment to help others and to contribute to change the global perception of women’s rights and in particular FGM issue.

Ifrah successful developed support groups for young Somali women living in Ireland and in Somalia. In 2010, Ifrah set up a non profit organisation called United Youth of Ireland that aims to support young people from migrant communities in their artistic, creative and business endeavours.

Since August 2014 Ifrah was in the capital city of Somalia, working as an Advisor to the Minister of Women & Human Rights – during this short time Ifrah has made valuable contributions to Somalia which included the development and planning of an Action Plan for the protection of Sexual Violence in Somalia. Ifrah was part of the group developed the Human Rights Commission bill in Somalia which aims to set up the first ever Independent Commission on Human Rights in Somalia, the signing of the Convention of the Rights of Children that Somalia is now part of International community that has signed the convention as of from 20 January 2015.

During her short period in Somalia Ifrah led research team and published Sexual Violence in Mogadishu, article titled ‘Ending Impunity is Far from Reality on the Ground’ on http://www.globaleducationmagazine.com/sexual-violence-mogadishu-review-analysis-current-trends-literature/ during this research Ifrah visited Internally Displaced People’s camps in Mogadishu and took huge risks for her life in order to find out the truth of issues relating to sexual violance.

Ifrah attends a number of global conferences in Brussels, in London, in Nairobi and in Mogadishu. 28 January to 1st February Ifrah attended International Youth conference in Nairobi to advance the dailague and interests of young people’s needs around the globe.
In April 2015 The Sexual Violence in Mogadishu, article titled ‘Ending Impunity is Far from Reality on the Ground’ was key study on The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) on April 2015 publication on the topic of ‘Targeting Women in Conflict’. It was include a selection of statements, reports and expert articles, which was contribute it during The Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

This category is sponsored by ‘Graceland Hall Hire’ 07449310243

 

Outstanding Mother of the Year

WINNER

YINKA ESSIEN – NIGERIA

Yinka Essien-R

Widowed almost 10 years ago at the age of 41 years old, I am a mother of three boys aged 10. 19 and 20. The challenge of being without my husband and being a single mother was and remains, indescribable. But God…but God has been my rock.

One would have sunk into despair but God raised me up in a remarkable way to look out for others who were lacking the support I so craved; a widows’ support group. So, God led me to start a support group in 2008 called Life 4 Widows. It started off with 7 widows of varying lengths and tenure of widowhood and the group is now 30 members strong. Although it is a Christian based- group, widows of all faiths are welcome.

I have learnt that thought God is unfathomable, He truly does work all things out for our good. Yes, pain can have a purpose and enduring blessings. Such have we experienced and we give God praise for the joys of motherhood. Single motherhood or not, God is our Abba Father, and Father to our children forevermore. In His name, I have become more resourceful; and blessed to bless.

This Category is sponsored by ‘Alpha Childcare’ www.alphachildcare.com

 

International Young Achiever

WINNER

POLLY IRUNGU – KENYA

Polly Irungu

At the age of 16, CNN iReport featured Polly as one of six international women journalists to watch. At the age of 18, she was invited to assist a journalist at the Grammy Awards red carpet in Hollywood, CA. That same summer, Polly won a spot in a New York City exhibit and had her work featured on a billboard by Creative Rising. The following year, Polly was recognized by the University of Oregon as “One of 25 Ducks: Who Will Change The World” and was featured in the college newspaper The Daily Emerald. She has received this recognition twice; in 2013 and 2014. In late 2014, Polly launched her own branding company, K&G Hustle. In 2015, she has the honor of being Women4Africa’s International Young Achiever of the Year.

Besides K&G Hustle, some of Polly’s interests consists of photography (#PhotosByPolly on Instagram), fashion, traveling, music, and innovation. Aside from being the CEO at K&G Hustle, Polly is a regional representative for Def. Jam Recordings, and occasionally she also works with the PAC 12 Sports Network as a Production Assistant.

 

International Business Woman

WINNER

GENEVIEVE PUNI – GHANA

Genevieve-R

Genevieve, the director of RecTrain Limited holds a Master and Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality & Events Management from Bournemouth University and a level three CIPD diploma in Personnel & Training Practice. She has over thirteen (13) years’ working expertise which spans across Recruitment, Training delivery, Employment Relations, Advisory Services, Events and Office management after having worked in the HR arena for both public and private companies including a leading charitable company in the UK Age UK, as well as Hospitality and Employment Sectors.

Her key professional achievements cover recruitment, events planning, training delivery and human resource management and consulting in Europe and Africa. She has undertaken assignments with both local (private & public) and multinational organisations such as Bosch Group Limited, Bauer Resources Limited, Labadi Beach Hotel, Ghana Revenue Authority, Asheshi University College, Gassim Group Limited, The Foschini Group and Engergyst International – part of Caterpillar Group.

My vision is to be one of the best mentors in HR arena within Africa by being helpful to others to achieve their goals. My passion lies in recruitment because you meet people from all walks of life and make an impact in their lives by finding them the ideal as one would say dream job and that puts a smile on my face. Nothing beats “Genevieve thank you so much for finding me work” by a candidate or in the case of an employer for “finding the perfect candidate” That in a nut shell are some of my career and best highlights so far.

RecTrain Limited, an HR firm she runs became a reality two years ago as a result of wanting to bridge a gap in the employment market through providing a seamless service in recruitment in Africa. Established in Ghana, she is on a mission to showcase African talent to the world and also make an impact on others.

 

International Humanitarian of the year

WINNER

KEMI OYIN ADENIJI – NIGERIA

Kemi Oyin-Adeniji-R

Kemi Oyin-Adeniji co-founded House of Wells Enrichment Centres (H.O.W) with her husband in 2008. They left their careers in England and relocated to South Africa to serve as Christian missionaries to children/youth (particularly the vulnerable and HIV/AIDS orphans). Their goal was to release the potential in children/youth & restore their hope and dignity according to Christ’s purpose for their lives. Today, through 9 Enrichment Centres, over 1000 children/youth are benefiting from the work H.O.W does across South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Among the many activities at the H.O.W Centres are After-School Clubs, Reading Clubs for 4-7 yr olds, Teenagers’ Classes, Bible-based life-enrichment skills, Music & Sports activities and extra tuition in key school subjects when needed. H.O.W feed the children every afternoon and monthly groceries, school uniforms & stationeries are given to as many selected kids as fund allow.

As a mother of 3, Kemi is passionate about working with children and her work with H.O.W is making a credible and tangible impact:
Numerous parents commend the H.O.W programme for the difference they can see in their children’s character & academics. Children that have benefited from the extra tuition that H.O.W provides, have excelled in their education.

School principals accredit H.O.W programme to contributing to the reduction of crime levels in their communities, because teenagers attending H.O.W gain from crucial life orientation topics that set them on the right path to a wholesome & promising future.

 

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