Once every month on OnoBello.com, our Hard Talk feature focuses on successful companies and individuals who have risen to the top through strong visions, dedication and hard work. We feature well-deserving Nigerians making a difference in the lives of people around them and economy in general. Our aim with these features is to inspire the youth to understand the rigors involved in achieving success in whatever field youare in, as you may know, nothing good comes easy, hence the reason we speak to entrepreneurs to share their success stories. This is simply to encourage and inspire you to forge ahead and work hard in whatever field you are involved in. The ultimate goal is to make a difference in your lives, that of your families and your community.
This month we feature a woman who has come to make her mark in a male dominated profession as a successful architect. Architect (Mrs.) Olajumoke Olufunmilola Adenowo is the founder and principal partner at AD Consulting (AD)- an Architecture and Interior Design firm based in Nigeria. AD stands for Architecture and Design and is a 17year old firm that offers complete architectural services from design through to supervision and also complete interior architecture and design services.
Architect Adenowo started her firm out of people’s needsfor an all-in-one service provider; she saw a gap in the field and decided to move in. AD conceptualises every aspect of any building from inception, the foundation down to the last light fitting, according to her “we know where every piece of furniture and every drape is going right from inception and from the feedback we get, our attention to detail is unparalleled”.
AD’s portfolio boosts of executing the design and construction of over 70 outstanding projects for the Nigerian Federal and State Governments, banking and financial institutions, corporate organisations and private individuals.
Architect Adenowo now 43 years old started her business out of sheer determination and the need for a more challenging career, she resigned her old job with Femi Majekodunmi Associates (FMA) where she had worked from 1991-1994. During her time with FMA she had designed the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, however despite a successful career as a youth she realised she needed more challenging opportunities and this leadto her starting up AD. She was barely 25 years old at the time and was already a Chartered Architect, according to her “I prayed about my decision and knew it was the right one to make even though I didn’t have any business capital and had very little money saved from a previous project. My salary at the time was N4, 000, it hardly covered my fuel, but I gave it to the church building fund and trusted God, he wouldn't just sit by and watch me fail? Would He? No!” Armed with this mindset she worked from home for about two weeks on a project she had landed and when she finally got paid she was able to rent her first tiny office space in Lagos.
Architect Adenowo had always had the vision to create iconic landmarks and seminal buildings for any discerning clientele. AD provides holistic services to clients and delivers detailed and inspiring spaces.
Born in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria on October 16, 1968, Architect Adenowo attended Federal Government Girls College, Oyo State from 1978 to 1983 receiving several awards for academic excellence. She then proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in architecture (1988), and a record-breaking distinction in Masters of Science (MSc) in Architecture a first in several decades in the history of the university. During her time in Obafemi Awolowo University she won several faculty awards for her academic work and design skills. Upon completion of her postgraduate Masters degree, she was included in the “Who Will Be Who” in the 21st Century (young achievers section) by the international biography centre Cambridge, England (1991).
She is an Alumni member of a number of prestigious institutions including the Lagos Business School Chief Executives Programme (2002) and The Developing Leadership Competencies Programme- IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Barcelona, Spain (2005).
Aside architecture and design she’salso founded and headed Advantage Energy, company that provides manpower solutions in the oil and gas sector and has worked on several oil and gas projects with Exxon Mobil, Esso and their subsidiaries. The property subsidiary of this company known as Advantage Properties has developed estate properties in the Lekki Peninsula axis of Lagos State.
She has been a member of a number of prestigious professional bodies including Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Interior Designers Association of Nigeria (IDAN), European Coaching Institute, and International Mentoring Association.
She is also widely known as an inspirational and motivational speaker and has spoken at hundreds of conferences and summits within and outside Nigeria including the London Business School and at the Harvard Business School (Africa Business Conference).
Armed with an enviable portfolio, Architect Adenowo has held positions and appointments in various capacities including Vice President of The Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme (2002), Member of the Ekiti State Transitional Committee (2007) and Chairperson of the National Tank Youth Development Committee (2008). She is a trustee and board member to a number of bodies including the National Reformation Centre, Grace Orphanage, Indian Ayuba Foundation and Governors board at Emanuel Etuh’s Foundation.
She is passionate towards less privileged women and youth in the Nigerian society and runs an established faith based Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) called Awesome Treasures Foundation (ATF). ATF was founded in 1999 and identifies, develops and deploys transformational leaders to positively affect Nigeria in line with the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) declared by the United Nations.
ATF‘s initiatives over the years have attracted over 50, 000 women, young people and children. The NGO has changed lives for the better by empowering women and the youth through the provision of entrepreneurial and skills acquisition to over 5, 000 women, providing basic primary education to inner city children, providing primary health care facilities to over 1, 500 people, rescuing over 120 young girls in danger of being sexual abused amongst other initiatives.
Architect Adenowo also anchors a weekly radio program on Classic FM called ‘Voice of Change’ (VOC). She uses this media to raise Transformational Leaders in our society. Architect Adenowo has created a cycle whereby she inspires and mentors other women and youth who in turn mentor others in a process she hopes will pave the way for a national transformation of women, youth and children in our country Nigeria.
Architect Adenowo has created a cycle whereby she inspires and mentors other women and youth who in turn mentor others in a process she hopes will pave the way for a national transformation of women, youth and children in our country Nigeria.
She is also an author and has published four best-selling books in the last 15 years; they are Child of Destiny (1996), Covenant Forces (2000), Mothers’ Prophetic Prayer Manual (2009) and Mysterious Seed (2009). On October 16, 2011 she will be launching a new book titled Prophetic Prayer Manual Volume II, this book addresses the issues women face in marriage and struggles of motherhood.
Her passion for humanity, diligence, spirituality, philanthropy and immense contributions to the Nigerian society have all been praised by a number of National Newspapers and magazines including Thisday (Style), Vanguard (Allure), the Nation, Thisday Business people, The Guardian, Punch, Gem Woman, Business Day, Glitterati and Genevieve.
In 2007 she was recognised for her work with women empowerment and was honored with the Rare Gems Award by the women’s Optimum Development Foundation (WODEF) in collaborations with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIFEM).
We were able to get this incredibly busy woman of many facets to sit an share her experiences, we hope you get inspired just like we are.
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