Nigeria’s First Females and their world
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Nigerian women have become exceptional in their various spheres. They have stood against all odds to get to the frontlines locally and internationally.

Today, Vanguard WO is sharing the profiles of some of these women in this edition to emphasize the need to be resilient, especially in resisting all challenges and making formidable landmarks.

Tolulope Article

She was the first-ever female combat helicopter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force.

Lieutenant Arotile contributed significantly to combat operations against insecurity in the Northern states of Nigeria. Article died from a head injury sustained in an accident at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna State on 14 July 2020.

Sarah Nnadzwa Jibril

She is a Nigerian politician and psychologist. She was born in March 1945 and was Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Ethics and Moral values. She is Nigeria’s first female presidential candidate under the umbrella of the Social Democratic Party (1992) People’s Democratic Party (1998-2015) both at the primaries and main elections, having stood for president on four occasions.

Dame Virginia Etiaba 

She was the Governor of Anambra State from November 2006 to February 2007. She lasted only three months in office before resuming her old position as deputy governor of Anambra State. She is the first female governor in Nigeria’s history.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

She was named Director-General of the World Trade Organisation after her only rival, South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-Hee, pulled out of the race.


Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ibukunoluwa Awosika

She is a Nigerian businesswoman, motivational speaker, and author. She currently serves as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, making her the first female chairman of a bank in Nigeria.

In 2008, Ibukun was among five Nigerian entrepreneurs who appeared in the first African version of the Dragon’s Den. She also hosts a T.V program called Business His Way. She also starred in the 2020 film, Citation, alongside Temi Otedola, produced by Kunle Afolayan.

Agbani Darego

The Bayelsa State indigene, in 2001 became the first African to be crowned Miss World,  after being crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria.

Now a model, she is one of the most recognizable faces on global runways.


Agbani Darego

Aloma  Maryam Mukhtar

She was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, JSC in 2009, making her the first female in the country to hold the position. She was to hold the position for another five years.

Hadiza Balarabe Usman

Another beautiful Nigerian woman of northern extraction is the first female deputy governor in that region.  As deputy to the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, Hadiza has brought much-needed stability to the tension-prone state.

Nike Okundaye

She is a World famous Nigerian artist, is the first black woman without a degree to lecture at Harvard University.  She said: “I didn’t attend secondary school but today, I teach people abroad. I teach people with doctorate degrees. I teach in Harvard, Canada, UK, and other African countries.”


Mama Nike


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