Since time immemorial, all over the world, women have been driving social and economical changes. These women and their groundbreaking achievements are documented and celebrated the world over.
However, in Africa, not enough is being said about these great women. Nigeria in particular has produced a lot of leading amazons on the world front. One of them is Olamide Orekunrin and she is our woman crush for this week.
Ola was born in London, England and graduated from Hull York Medical School at the age of 21, becoming one of the youngest medical doctors in the United Kingdom.
She is a British-Nigerian medical doctor and founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria; a charity based in Lagos, Nigeria.
After graduation, Olamide worked as a helicopter pilot with specialised training in aviation medicine with the National Health Service, United Kingdom.
Whilst visiting relatives in Nigeria, Ola’s younger sister became very ill as a result of her anaemic condition but the local hospital could not handle the crisis.
To find access to the right medicines, the family sought out air ambulance services in Nigeria and across West Africa but the closest one was 5 hours away in South Africa.
By the time logistics had been sorted, it was too late and her sister had died.
Undaunted by this horrific experience and the difficult challenges, she successfully established Flying Doctors in Lagos, Nigeria in 2007.
Flying Doctors currently have 20 aircraft and 44 well trained doctors who can deliver care en route to one of Nigeria’s hospitals.
Ola is a member of both the American Academy of Aesthetic Surgeons and the British Medical Association. She was listed among Young Global leaders by World Economic Forum in 2013.
Orekunrin believes that improvements in Nigeria’s position in the world will result from the action of entrepreneurs and not the government.
She has received several awards and recognition, some of them including ThisDay Awards for Contribution to Health in Africa, The Future Award as Entrepreneur of the year, and NewsDirect Awards as ‘Outstanding Female CEO of the Year 2013′.
In February 2018, she received “Extraordinary Business Achievement Award” at the Silverbird Group’s annual award held in Lagos, becoming the youngest person ever to win the prestigious award at age 30 and the only woman in the last decade.
She is also a TED fellow and has been honoured by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Young Global Leader.