Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, or Sade Adu, often blends Afro-Cuban tunes with soul and smooth jazz in her music. The Grammy Award winner had initially studied fashion designing and been a model. The founder of the band Sade, she has released iconic tracks such as No Ordinary Love.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and feminist. She is popular for writing novels, such as Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She is credited with popularizing African literature among a new generation of readers, especially in the United States. In 2015, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.
Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, actress, and songwriter. After having created an opportunity to establish herself in the United Kingdom, Savage returned to Nigeria and played an important role in elevating the Nigerian music industry. In 2018, she became the first woman to win the MTV Europe Music Award under the Best African Act category.
Nigerian warrior queen Amina ruled the 16th-century city-state Zazzau at a time when women leaders were hard to come by. Her 34-year-old reign saw her expanding her kingdom and developing trade routes. Some believe she was merely a mythical figure, but remnants of the walls she had built prove otherwise.
Nigerian beauty queen Agbani Darego made headlines with her Miss World win in 2001, when she became the first indigenous African to win the pageant. A bright computer science student back then, she was also the first from her country to make it to the Miss Universe Top 10.
From being the first female student at her secondary grammar school, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti rose to be Nigeria’s foremost feminist and a champion for women’s rights. Initially a teacher, she launched the Abeokuta Women’s Union and also participated in Nigeria’s independence struggle. She later won the Lenin Peace Prize and the Order of the Niger.
Born in London, Nigerian media magnate Mo Abudu is known for her pathbreaking contribution to the African media. She launched EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first global all-black lifestyle channel, and executive-produced Fifty, the highest-grossing Nigerian film of 2015. A former recruitment consultant, she is also part of the British Psychological Society.