Five Nigerian women share what power means to them

what does power mean to you?

Power, in its essence, touches every part of life, shaping connections, steering interactions, and charting the world’s direction. It’s intertwined with knowledge, sway, and duty, painting a landscape of human prowess that ranges from the mighty to the subtle.

Power’s aura brings a dance of admiration and control into light, placing its holders on a pedestal of societal esteem and command. This theme is the heart of Marie Claire Nigeria’s Power Issue, exploring power’s many layers and its role in crafting stories of those who harness it and those influenced by it.

Power embodies a spectrum of influences, from the might of physical strength and the leverage of wealth to the subtleties of personal autonomy, the resilience of the human spirit, and the nuances of political beliefs. Possessing power or being perceived as powerful frequently suggests an innate entitlement, as though it’s a birthright for some. It is often seen in the capacity to command influence over others and to navigate through life’s various challenges with authority. Yet, for numerous groups, particularly women, power is not a given—it’s a hard-earned privilege, a testament to their strength and perseverance in the face of societal structures designed to limit their reach.

What does power mean to you?

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The notion of power is endlessly multifaceted and subjective, sparking discussions that vary widely depending on who you ask. To delve deeper into this complex topic, we turned to five Nigerian women, each a trailblazer in her own right, hailing from diverse backgrounds and industries. These women have carved out remarkable careers, drawing strength from their unique experiences and aspirations and breaking through societal barriers and norms that once sought to define their limits. Their stories are a testament to what power truly embodies: the ability to shape one’s destiny and make an indelible mark on the world. Each of them embodies power, redefining it on their own terms.

Chidera Muoka, Editor-in-Chief at Marie Claire Nigeria

I believe power is the ultimate force that grants me the agency to shape the world around me according to my deepest desires, unfettered by the constraints imposed by society or economics. It embodies the collective strength of a community of women who unite to share their narratives and boldly voice their truths in the face of adversity.

True power lies in the kaleidoscope of identities I can embody a woman, a leader, a mother, a friend, a sister, a wife—each facet contributing to the rich tapestry of my being without imposing limitations.

Power is freedom—the boundless liberty to exist authentically, express myself fully, and pursue my dreams without inhibition. It’s the unwavering freedom to be simply be who I am.

Alexandra Obochi, CEO of Ndiiche

As a woman and entrepreneur, power for me is sitting comfortably in my femininity and uniqueness. It is accepting the quirky little things that society says are not normal. Taking those “flaws” and making them my own without caring what society says will put me in the position to call myself powerful because I have released myself from the box that society has put me in, thereby setting myself apart from everyone to be able to discover who I truly am and what my purpose in life is.

Ella Spiffy, A&R executive and businesswoman

As a woman in my field, power means humility under control. The ability to handle things successfully to a touch of detail and impact while making progress is a skill that graduates as one proceeds in her career moving forward

Blvck Sun, Independent Fashion Stylist, Designer, and Creative Director

As a woman, power means various things to me, depending on individual perspectives and circumstances. Power may involve autonomy over one’s life choices, career, and relationships. But for me, power consists of the ability to influence, create change, and pursue goals and aspirations without limits.

Martha Hans-Bello, Financial consultant at international Development Firm

Power means staying focused on the essential things. As a woman, keeping my goals and aspirations in view is crucial to stay sane. Staying focused means achieving my goals and reaching the level I want to be on. That, for me, is what makes me powerful.

For every woman, the essence of power holds a unique significance, coloured by our individual experiences, convictions, values, and dreams. The way we interpret this is a mirror reflecting our true selves and the future selves we aspire to be. Thus, when we contemplate the inquiry, “What does power mean to me?” it’s an invitation to embrace the inherent power that resides within us—the power to remain unwaveringly true to ourselves in the face of societal pressures and limitations.



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