As the highly anticipated 2017 Eloy Awards which celebrates women who have excelled in their different fields draws closer, the founder, Tewa Onasanya sheds light on her passion for celebrating women, what it takes to sustain the Eloy Awards brand and more in an exclusive interview with Dayo Odubanjo.
Tell us a bit about yourself aside being the organizer of the Eloy Awards.
“I’m Tewa Onasanya, the Publisher and Editor in chief of Exquisite magazine, I am also a mindset stylist. I graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a BSC in Pharmacology in 2000, worked for a few Pharmaceuticals company for almost 7 years. Whilst working was when I founded Exquisite magazine in 2003. I am married with 2 great kids, a girl and a boy. I am inspired by people and I love inspiring people, hence the mindset stylist side of me which is all about helping people change the way they think, to live the life they desire.”
What attracted you to the Awards show?
“I love to celebrate women. The ELOY awards ceremony was started in 2009, because we felt women were not being celebrated and acknowledged enough. Since exquisite magazine is for women, it was just a natural thing to celebrate the women who our magazine is targeted at. Our aim is to celebrate women of excellence in all sectors, showing them to the world that it can be done. We also use the awards as a platform to continue to increase the awareness for cervical cancer, which kills one woman every hour in Nigeria.”
What inspired you to start the Exquisite Magazine and the ELOY Awards?
“I started Exquisite magazine because I thought instead of complaining about something, just do something about it. I was born in England and lived in the outskirts of London when I got married. Looking to buy my magazines one day, made me realize there were only a handful of magazines for women of colour and I thought to start my own since I love writing and I have been writing since I was 10 years old. I spoke to a few people I knew that could help with putting a magazine together, I also acquired more knowledge in my new passion and here we are today.
The ELOYs was started because I found the need to celebrate women achievements so others can be inspired to be better versions of themselves”
As the founder of the ELOY Awards, you run one of the biggest Awards shows in Nigeria,whose uniqueness is celebrating women in different fields, it sounds and looks very glamorous from the outside. What is it like on the inside?
“Smile……On the inside it is a lot of work. On the inside its sleepless nights. From the research the team that goes to get new categories in every year so we can capture different sectors, to working with companies that will help bring the vision to fruition, choosing the final nominees and all the work that goes into organising and planning a great event, its hard work, but fun hard work because we enjoy it. It’s such a joy when we discover new sectors that women are excelling in. It’s pure joy when the women who are nominated are so excited and surprised about their nomination. We are filled with so much joy when they send us emails or call to say they didn’t know people were watching and the ELOYs has given them a reason not to give up. So many joyful moments and challenging points on the inside.”
How much time do you and your team put into preparing for The ELOY Awards?
“Literally one year. There is no rest.”
This year’s edition marks the 9th anniversary of putting together the Eloy Awards. What should nominees and guest expect?
“Nominees and guests should expect a great event. We work with the best production company and we put on a great show. You have to attend to experience the exquisiteness of the ELOYs. We will be celebrating all women and awarding the winners with the ELOY awards.”
The Eloy Awards has influencers like Joke Silva, Lanra Da Silva Ajayi and Peace Hyde. What are their roles in the 2017 edition of the ELOY Awards.
“Their roles is just to continue to show that women are inspiring women to be better version of themselves. Our theme this year is “The Year of Inspiration” and these women are inspiring women and men in their respective fields. This year, we say that we are inspired to inspire, so we aim to keep doing that, being inspired and being an inspiration.”
What words of inspiration do you have for women looking to be celebrated and also getting the ELOY Awards plaque on their shelves?
“My advice will be to never give up and continue to do their best in whatever they do. We look for women who are committed and show leadership be it directly or indirectly.
Whether they know it or not, someone out there is rooting for them and praying for them to win in life. People are watching. I believe we are all born to win, winning just depends on how much work each person is willing to put in, so keep working, one day, one day could be that day.”