Sexism, diapers and making it work in Lagos: Adibeli Nduka-Agwu, VP, iROKO Holdings

Adibeli Nduka-Agwu, VP, Marketing & Content Operations, iROKO Partners. Credit:

It was my first week in Lagos, squeezing in a workout at the hotel gym, when a pudgy business man I had met earlier entered and started staring. Somewhat irritated I asked: “Sorry, can I help you?” He leaned closer and beamed: “It’s ok… I just enjoy watching you sweat.” My workout was over, my work life had begun.

I left the West three years ago to work across Lagos, Johannesburg and Nairobi expanding, “The Netflix of Africa”. I’ve had male counterparts refuse to speak to me (one physically closed his eyes until my male subordinate spoke); I was asked by a male client in a packed meeting room if he could sit on my lap, and the number of business men that hoped they could conclude our deal in their hotel room is endless. Sexism has followed me to Lagos like a virus: unwanted yet unshakable. Yet (and this may surprise some), I would argue that being a woman in Lagos has felt like LESS of a career barrier for me in my work compared to my time in North America or Europe.

Read more: Sexism, Diapers and Making it Work in Lagos — Africa 2.0 UK