Olajumoke Adenowo was included in the International Biographical Centre’s “‘Who will be who’ in the twenty-first century” list as early as 1991. Adenowo’s achievements have more than justified whatever criteria were used to compile the list two to three decades later. She is not known as Africa’s “Starchitect” for nothing.
On the 16th of October 1968, the lady who is today one of the most well-known architects in the world and among the top ten in Africa was born in Ibadan, Oyo State. Because her parents were professors, she grew up in a university setting, attending the University of Ibadan Staff Primary School and the Federal Government Girls College in Oyo State.
Olajumoke’s education did not finish with a Master’s degree or a job. Later on, she would participate in other programs, such as the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program. She also attended the Harvard Kennedy School, the Yale School of Management, and the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain.
Olajumoke finished secondary school at the age of 14 and was accepted into Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where she earned her first and second degrees in architecture. Her decision to study architecture was influenced by a childhood vacation to Paris, she would later remark. On her tour, she was astounded by some of the structures she saw.
The Entrepreneurial Journey of ‘Advantage’
Adenowo founded AD Consulting in 1994, an interior design and architectural firm noted for its bespoke and intricate designs and constructions, from conception to completion. Abuja Film City, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Heritage Bank Headquarters, and the Ekiti State Liaison Office in Lagos are just a few of AD Consulting’s projects.
She is the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Principal Partner, and she has worked on large projects like Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, the Nigerian government, a number of banks, and even the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Awesome Treasures Foundation (ATF), a faith-based non-governmental organization, was founded by Adenowo in 1999 with the goal of raising 1000 leaders by 2030 through its numerous programs.
She also founded Advantage Energy, an oil and gas company, and Advantage Property, a property management agency.
Progression in her career
Olajumoke began his career in architecture as an Assistant Architect at Towry Coker And Associates. Her next stop was Femi Majekodunmi Associates, where she designed the Federal Ministry of Finance, which would be located in Abuja. Even though Olajumoke was only 23 years old at the time, this initiative served as a stepping stone for her to bigger prospects.
It was also the catalyst for her being named to the International Biographical Centre’s “Who Will Be Who in the Twenty-First Century” list in 1991. Jumoke decided to establish her first business three years later.
Awards and recognition
Because it’s nearly impossible to hide a golden fish, Adenowo’s work has garnered her a lot of attention and honors. Olajumoke won the IDEA Award for Best Commercial Designer in 2012, and she won four more awards in 2013: Best Public Service Architecture at the International Property Awards, Best Mixed-Use Architecture at the African Property Awards, Best Interior Architect at the IDEA Awards, and Best Public Service Architecture at the African Property Awards.
In 2014, Adenowo was also honored with the Ekiti State Merit Award and the IDEA Award for Best Institution Architect. Her name has appeared on a number of notable lists. Adenowo was named one of YNaija’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in 2014, AFK Insider’s 10 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2015, and Genevieve’s 21 Outstanding Women in 2016.
In 2016, Olajumoke Adenowo was named Business Woman of the Year by the New African Woman Award. In 2018, Africa Economic Builders named her Africa’s Most Inspiring Business Woman, and her company was named one of Nigeria’s 100 Most Innovative Female-Owned Businesses.
In 2013, the University of West England, Bristol, inducted Olajumoke Adenowo into the Black History Month Hall of Fame. She was dubbed “Africa’s Starchitect” and honored on CNN African Voices in 2014. Her Alma Mater named her a “Ambassador of Excellence,” and La Batisseurs des Economies De L’Afrique named her one of Africa’s Most Inspiring Business Women.
She has been dubbed “the face of architecture in Nigeria” by The Guardian (Nigeria), and she was named one of the most inspirational women in architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 2018.
Adenowo may be one of Nigeria’s wealthiest architects, however there are no statistics to back this up. However, she is one of Nigeria’s most successful architects. Indeed, Olajumoke Adenowo’s arms would be aching for days if she received a handshake for each great achievement she has made.