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Successful Women Should Help Raise Future Successful Women

Nike Oshinowo is more than an ex-beauty queen. An entrepreneur with interest in diverse businesses, and in 2012 she organised the United Nations World Tourism (UNWTO) for Africa Conference, held in Calabar, Cross Rivers State Nigeria.  In her own words, Oshinowo and why successful women must help raise future successful women.

Nike OLet’s talk about Nike Oshinowo, the business woman. You are well known as a former beauty queen back in 1991. How challenging has the transition been from that to being taken seriously as a business woman with a number of businesses? You are CEO of Nike Oshinowo Incorporated, a lifestyle brand…what has your journey entailed?

The interesting thing is that I keep telling people that it’s how you conduct yourself during your reign. I was a beauty queen but I wasn’t a teenager when I was a beauty queen. I was 24-years-old, had finished school and was working. So I was an adult queen as it were, and I knew exactly what I was going to use it for. I’m very aware of the term beauty with a purpose and if you are able to command attention, that attention must be used for a purpose. The purpose then was really charity work but then I’m Nike Osinowo and I’m my father’s child. My father passed on this phenomenal business mind to me and as much as I wanted to be a beauty queen, go into fashion and more, your business mind eventually takes over and kicks in time after time and I think that’s what has happened to me. The first year after my reign, I opened my own business, Nigeria’s first take-away place and it was all about Nigerian food. I knew I would always end up in business, that is what my father did and I knew I would follow in his footsteps. However, what I did was to use my education and business mind and direct it in one area and that was all about health and beauty. Not fashion, just health and beauty. I’m not a fashion expert. Now say to me, what does that have to do with this project? I am 46-years-old. The more time I have spent in Nigeria, the more I love my country. I truly do find it beautiful but you see this word beauty that we throw around so much, with Africa; we are so focused on the physical. I love my country, it’s the beauty from within, the beauty that I get when I look at that (points to Calabar creek behind the hotel), I love that and I want to share that with people. I don’t want when I land in Heathrow airport, they smile at me differently. I want them to love my country too. I want them to love my country the same way that when a New Yorker lands at Heathrow airport and as an American, they treat you differently because they know your country is beautiful and that’s just from them having been educated and exposed to it. I want to educate people about my country and expose them to it.


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