First Women

How A “Tiny Girl With A Big Afro” Created The First Quality Women Magazine In Nigeria



Emotan Magazine, a woman bi-monthly magazine was founded in 1977 by trail-blazing Mrs Tola Adenle.

Mrs Adenle’s career in journalism started when she was serving the mandatory National Youth Service at The Daily Sketch Newspaper. She went on to start, Emotan, A Woman’s Bimonthly which ran from 1977 to 1985.

From 2002, she contributed weekly essays to The Comet on Sunday, and she continued writing till December 26, 2010.

Emotan Magazine which was sold for 50kobo at the time, it covered many women related issues including politics, sports, fashion, and opinions.

In her Editorial Note in the July/August 1978 issue, she described Emotan as ‘Nigeria’s First Quality Women’s Magazine’

She also wrote about being a female publisher;

I remember when people used to ask when they would see my boss!… Well, do you blame those male ch……? I’m a most unusual publisher, I agree…. I did succeed even with all these men despite my quarter-inch afro which I have grown back.

“The tiny African girl with the big afro” was how one of her bosses described her when she worked at the World Bank in the early to mid 1970s.

Interestingly, Mrs Tola Adenle has kept the memories of her magazine alive through blogging and she has been doing this since 2011.

After she was introduced to blogging by her youngest daughter, she decided to digitize her old newspaper weekly essays as well as write on other subjects that are of interest to her.

She considers her blog,, as a free time hobby to keep her  busy.

One of the subjects she loves to write about is the Yoruba’s Aṣọ Òkè, which has attracted over 12,000 viewers on her blog.

Because of her followers love for the subject, she created a different category on her blog for the topic while she wrote a book on the subject titled, “Aso oke Yoruba: A Tapestry of Love & Colour, A journey of Personal Discovery.”

Mrs Tola Adenle at 70 in 2016



Here is another cover of the magazine shared by Mrs Adenle’s child on tumblr

Photo Credits
Photography by Keiko Oikawa
Depo Adenle
Princely Photos


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  1. Pingback: FIRST WOMEN: First Nigerian Woman To Become A Physician – Woman.NG

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