Regardless of the industry and challenges they face, one thing remains clear: Nigerian women will show up and show out. From sports to politics to the arts, Nigerian women have put in the work, braved all the hurdles and taken their flowers this year. Here are all the things Nigerian women achieved in 2023.

Hilda Baci’s record-breaking cook-a-thon 

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This achievement has made two of our impact report lists already, and well-deserved too. When the year started, Guinness World Records would’ve never guessed a Nigerian chef would shake their world. After six years of preparing for this feat, Hilda Baci took to Amore Gardens on May 11, 2023, to begin her record-breaking cook-a-thon, which lasted four days and saw a roaring crowd of Nigerians pool in to support. Not only did Hilda break the record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual, but she also inspired thousands of other Nigerians to begin their record-breaking journeys.

THE STORY: 100 Hours Completed: Hilda Baci on the Journey to Breaking a Culinary World Record

Jade Osiberu’s big trifecta bang

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One thing about the women of Nollywood is they’ll give us the best movies and have us talking about it for days on end. This year, Jade Osiberu gave us an award-winning trifecta with a big bang: Gangs of Lagos, The Trade and Brotherhood. We knew she was IT when she dropped Isoken which still has us scrambling six years later, but with the Prime Video release of these three crime thrillers, she’s cemented her place as Nollywood royalty.

THE STORY: Everything You Need to Know About Jade Osiberu’s “Gangs of Lagos”

Tems’ Grammy win and Oscar nomination 

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It’s Tems’ world, and we’re just living in it. From her epic 2020 run with Essence to a feature on Beyonce’s Renaissance and co-writing and lending her vocals to Rihanna’s Lift Me Up, both in 2022, Tems has proven she’s here to stay. But if all of the above isn’t enough proof for you, her Grammy Award for “Best Melodic Rap Performance” and Oscar nomination for “Best Original Song” in 2023 should do the trick.

THE STORY: How to Collect the Soap Tems Is Using

The Super Falcons’ World Cup run

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For the first time in a while, the Super Falcons gave Nigerians some hope. They made it past the FIFA Women’s World Cup group stage unbeaten and only got kicked out by England through penalty shoot-outs in August. They might not have made it to the finals, but they made it to the FIFA Top 10 rankings as the tenth-best team at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

THE STORY: It’s the Super Falcons’ World And We’re Just Living In It

D’Tigress’s fourth consecutive Afrobasket championship win 

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After a 12-year-long drought with no wins to their name, Nigeria’s basketball team was crowned the FIBA women’s Afrobasket champions in 2017. Just in case everyone thought it was a fluke, they did it again in 2019, then 2021, and in August 2023, for the fourth time in a row, they won the championship. Please, put some respect on their name.

Tobi Amusan’s Laureus Award nomination

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She made the world stop in 2022 setting a 12.12 seconds record to win the 100m Hurdle semi-final race at the World Championships in Oregon, U.S., becoming Nigeria’s first World Record (WR) holder in any track and field event. In February 2023, Tobi also became the first Nigerian to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award in the Breakthrough of the Year category.

Rukayat Shittu’s political win on the first try

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Nothing’s ever as easy as it should be in Nigeria, but as a woman, it’s a million times harder. This is why we were all elated when Rukayat became the youngest woman to win a seat in the Kwara State House of Assembly after the last national elections in February, and on her very first try.

Helen Williams’ record-breaking wig

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After Hilda Baci’s record-breaking cook-a-thon, Nigerians made a beeline to the digital gates of the Guinness Book of World Records. They made several attempts at numerous a-thons, but of all the people who’ve tried their hands at breaking a record this year, Helen Williams was one of the successful few, setting the record for the longest handmade wig at 351.28 metres (1,152 ft 5 in). It took her 11 days and ₦200k.

The first African CEO of CIF

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Nigerian women are breaking the rules, paving the way and making strides in diverse fields both at home and abroad, and Tariye Gbadegisan is a prime example of that. For now, she’s the chief executive officer of ARM Harith Infrastructure Investments, but from March 2024, she’ll resume her role as the CEO of Climate Investment Funds where she’ll lead sustainable energy transitions, solutions based on nature and resilience in more than 70 developing nations, drawing on her 20 years of expertise investing in developing economies.

CAF Player of the Year (Women) award

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After their run at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, it’s no shocker that Super Falcons’ players Asisat Oshoala, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Christy Ucheibe, Osinachi Ohale, Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne and Uchenna Kanu made it to the shortlist for the CAF Player of the Year award. On December 11, Asisat Oshoala won the prestigious award in Marrakech, Morocco.

THE STORY: CAF Awards 2023: The Top Highlights as Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala Win Big

Ayra Starr, Grammy nominee 

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When Ayra Starr sang Sability and proclaimed herself a “sabi girl”, she knew what she was saying. Two years into the game, Ayra has become the first and youngest Nigerian female artist to bag a Grammy nomination. In November, she was nominated for Best African Music Performance thanks to her 2022 global hit single, Rush.

THE STORY: Grammy 2024: Davido Bags First Nomination, Major Categories List

Bola Abioye’s Women in Music Special Recognition Award

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In November, the Women in Music Awards, sponsored by YouTube and dedicated to honoring the most inspirational and influential female execs in the music business, presented “the ultimate problem solver” with their very first Special Recognition Award. Bola Abioye has worked for the last 31 years at Universal Music Group and is the inaugural winner of the award.

Oge Obasi’s big wins with “Mami Wata”

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The movie Oge Obasi co-directed and produced has swept awards left and right since its major release in September. From the 2023 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography to Best Achievement in Cinematography at the AMAA awards, three awards at FESPACO, and now, an Oscar 2024 nomination for Best International Feature Film, it’s been a great year for Nollywood, thanks to Oge and the rest of the crew.

THE STORY: AMAA 2023: “Anikulapo”, “Mami Wata” Win Big, Complete List of Winners

Women at AMVCA 2023

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It was a great year for women at this year’s Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) in May. It’s been years of Bimbo Ademoye delivering hilarious characters and lines, and after breaking the internet as Selina in the rom-com, Selina, she bagged her very first AMVCA. Osas Ighodaro won best actress in a drama for the second time in a row, for her performance as Teju Williams in Man of God. Patience “Mama G” Ozokwor joined the likes of Taiwo Ajayi Lycett and Amaka Igwe, to receive the prestigious AMVCA Industry Merit award 24 years after rising to fame and with over 100 movies under her belt. 

Nora Awolowo’s Nigeria: The Debut and Baby Blues scored the filmmaker her first two AMVCA nominations this year for the Best Documentary award. She won for Nigeria: The Debut, while ex-BBN star, Diane Russet’s Ricordi won Best Original Drama Series. Diane has been on her Nollywood grind for a while now, executive producing and starring in impressive short films like The Therapist and There’s Something Wrong with the Bamideles.

THE STORY: AMVCA 2023: The Big Winners and the People Who Should’ve Won 

“I Do Not Come To You By Chance” at AFRIFF

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“I Do Not Come To You By Chance” was adapted from Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s award-winning book (2009) to screen by Chika Anadu, co-executive produced by Genevieve Nnaji. Since its release in September, it has garnered rave reviews and was a befitting winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Africa International Film Festival in November.

THE STORY: “I Do Not Come To You By Chance” Is Adapted Into Film

AFRIFF 2023’s Best Feature Film

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Every year, AFRIFF premieres and screens a ton of movies, but only one can walk away with the coveted Best Feature Film award. This year, not only did “Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti” a movie about the iconic Nigerian woman’s life directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters win it, but it also left with the Best Screenplay award.

THE STORY: Now in Cinema: the Life and Legend of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s National Diaspora Merit Award

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organization might be Nigeria’s greatest export yet. From being Nigeria’s finance minister to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, it is clear Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has the interests of the Nigerian community at heart, so it made sense when the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission presented the Diaspora Icon award to her in August.

NEXT READ: The Year in Review: Nigerian Pop Events That Went Viral in 2023



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