Nigeria: #BelikeNgoziChallenge Creates Social Buzz

20 February 2021

The appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) led many Nigerians into partaking in a social media challenge called #BELIKENGOZICHALLENGE

The challenge was about people dressing like the newly appointed World Trade Organisation Director General, the challenge has been trending for days on the internet by the admirers of the renowned international public servant.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala with her unique dress style is known to dress in African print dresses popularly known as ankara, with a trademark headgear and beaded jewelry with her glasses always on.

The #belikeNgoziiweala challenge has made many Nigerians into dressing just as she does. Her fans say her costume jewelry is fashionable and unique.The challenge is to celebrate the former minister of finance in Nigeria who made history on Monday, February 15, after she was elected as the Director General of the World Trade Organization, making her the first woman and first African to lead the organization, which led many Nigerians to celebrate her on various social media platforms.

The challenge which has continued to generate participation from many Nigerians, however, had some say, it was the first challenge that has actually made sense out of all the numerous social media challenges that have been embarked on. A fan of hers said, "this challenge will not trend because it is not showing boobs".

Interestingly, men were not left out of the challenge, " A lot of women are participating in this challenge, from the aged to the Bosslady woman to students and young girls, funny enough the men are not left out too, as many have joined this challenge to honour her, because she is a woman full of emulation,a woman of substance and affirming that women can do better and strife to achieve whatever they want to achieve in life," said Fatima Alhasasn.

Mimicking any of her communication lines to celebrate her was also initiated to promote decency, the challenge saw young women trying to mimic her dress pattern in support of her appointment and to promote women globally who aspire to be like her.

Speaking on why she joined the challenge Mary Akpan stated on her Facebook platform that, "I decided to join #belikengozichallenge to celebrate her recent feat. Dress sense or gele for me, she represents the word, hardwork, persarverance, intelligence, smart, bravery, courage, etc., and a source of inspiration to every African girl-child. More wins to Ngozi Okonjo," she said.

Temie Giwa- Tubosun via her twitter handle, she said, "There are millions of NOIs in the world and we are behind her. We wish her the best as she goes to lead the World Trade Organization. She has shown us that we can, because she is doing it, we will as well."

Temie Giwa said that her 16-year-old daughter also joined in the challenge. "My prayer is that she too will aspire to run the World Trade Organization one day. She is also a commerce student, so it fits."

Sophie Anthony, who also participated in the challenge via Facebook said, " I am celebrating greatness!! You have paved the way for us!

Again, you have shown us that women can do anything and attain any height, not just in our country but in the world!!

We love you ma! Congratulations once again!

History has been made"

Among the prominent people who joined the challenge was Uche Jumbo and British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, who joined the challenge on Wednesday. The British high commissioner dressed in an Ankara print in video posted on her social media handle congratulated Dr Ngozi, "Hey, my sister Ngozi, we are so proud of you, the new director-general of the World Trade Organisation. Congratulations!" She also encouraged young girls saying, "And all you young girls out there, see what you can achieve, you can be brilliant in your career but also be yourself," Laing advised.

Also, Nollywood actress Rachael Okonkwo has said she feels delighted to join the #BeLikeNgoziChallenge. The 33-year-old shared pictures of herself dressed like the former Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Instagram on Friday. Charles Inojie a comedian and movie director also partook in the challenge.

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