Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi: The quintessential Amazon wears new crown

By Zion Rufus

The installation of Ekiti State First Lady, H.E Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi as the Fiwajoye of Otun-Ekiti and the Yeye Oba of Erinmope-Ekiti, the highest chieftaincy titles of the land, has been duly referred to be the “most honorable installation and conferment” of the year 2022.

This new cap rightly fits Erelu Bisi Fayemi who has established a name and praise for herself as a woman whose legacies, goodwill, and grandeur will remain evergreen even in centuries to come.

August 27th, 2022, Erinmope-Ekiti was packed with people waiting to see the processions that took place as Erele Bisi Fayemi arrived at the CAC Primary School Playing Ground in Erinmope-Ekiti looking radiant in all her glamor.

The momentous day was graced by notable dignitaries and a majestic line up of royalties such as the Ooni of Ife, HRM Babatunde A.E Ogunwusi; the Obaleo of Erinmope-Ekiti, HRM Sunday A. Aniyi; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi amongst others who gathered for coronation ceremony and conferment of chieftaincy/awards which held in Erinmope-Ekiti.

Erelu Bisi Adeleye Fayemi is well renowned as a prolific writer, social entrepreneur, policy advocate, gender specialist, and feminist activist amongst a myriad of other tremendous feats. She has contributed immensely towards ensuring that women have a place in leadership and governmental positions. She also played a key role in shaping civil society engagement for black and ethnic minority people in the UK and Europe, giving a voice to the concerns of people of African descent in various policy spaces.

In 1994, Bisi led a delegation of African women in Europe to the UN Human Rights Conference in Vienna, Austria as part of the global campaign of “Women’s rights are human rights”.

In 2007, she was the recipient of the ‘Changing the Face of Philanthropy’ award from the Women’s Funding Network in the USA. In December 2021, she was named as one of the 100 most influential leaders in civil society in Nigeria by National Network of NGOS in Nigeria, the umbrella body for SOs in Nigeria.

Bisi Fayemi is a co-founder of the African Women’s Development Fund, (AWDF) – the first Africa-wide grant-making foundation for women, and served as the first Executive Director from 2001-2010. She is currently Principal Partner, Amandla Consulting, specializing in leadership development for women, and she runs an online community called She was until recently, a UN Women Nigeria Senior Advisor, and is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Africa Leadership Center, King’s College, London.

She serves on the Executive Boards of the African Women’s Development Fund, and the Global Fund for Women USA where she chairs the Program Committee. She is Chair of the Advisory Council of the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund, a member of the Advisory Board of the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) of the Synergos Institute, a member of the Advisory Board of the HID Awolowo Foundation and also serves on the Governing Council of Elizade University, Nigeria. She holds a PhD (Honoris Causa) in Sociology from the Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria.

In March 2022, she was also declared Outstanding Woman Leader by the United Nations Development Program Nigeria, UN Women Nigeria, the European Union delegation to Nigeria, and the British High Commission.

Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi was born in Liverpool, England on June 11, 1963. She has a BA (1984) and MA (1988) in History from the University of Ife, Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She also received an MA in Gender and Society (1992) from Middlesex University, UK.



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