On Monday, the Nigerian former minister of finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made history when she was announced the first female and first African Director General of the World Trade Organization.
Hundreds and thousands of Nigerian women celebrated her huge achievement by adapting her style of dressing often times native ‘Ankara’ print with a matching her head tie and glasses.The trend known as #BelikeNgozi challenge began on social media when a businesswoman Temie Giwa Tubosun expressed her desire to give 100,000 naira to anyone who could imitate and dress up like Okonjo-Iweali the most.
When asked why she decided to start the challenge in Okonjo-Iweali’s honour, she stated “I love her. Her story inspires me. She is a Nigerian-American like me and we’re both mothers.” On her Instagram she posted a video of her dressed up like the new boss and wrote “I have been a fan of Aunty Ngozi Okonjo Iweala (NOI) since I found out about her, way back when I was in graduate school. I am a total #Stan and I have been stanning for years.”
On Nigerian Twitter, photos and videos of many women and a few men wearing Ankara headscarves and native wear quickly spread, and by Tuesday, the hashtag had gone viral, becoming one of the social network’s biggest trends. Okonjo-Iweala replied the original challenge post by Temie Giwa-Tubosiun, saying, “Thanks to Temi @temite & all my wonderful sisters who dressed up in Ankara yesterday. Thank you for all your messages of support. I’m delighted & honoured to see so many getting the “gele” right. Please let me know who won the challenge.’’
When she assumes office on March 1, Okonjo-Iweala vowed to prioritize fair trade and access to Covid-19 vaccines.
Here are some of the pictures women posted for the challenge and their messages: