The duo of Ayora Bolajoko Kuforiji -Olubi and Otunba Oluwatoyin Olakunrin tops the list of Nigeria’s most distinguished society matriarchs. These two matriarchs, who are both in their 70’s, are regarded as pathfinders and pacesetters within the corporate sector of the society. Their professional statuses are quite intimidating, just as well, their accomplishments, which can best be described as being highly laudable.
Olakunrin is Africa’s first female chartered accountant. Her intellectual capacity stands her out among her contemporaries-both male or female. Presently the chairman of Education Trust Fund, Olakunrin, is also a past president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). She is the former president of the Society of Women Accountants in Nigeria (SWAN) She has been involved in auditing account of major ‘s organisations.
On her own part, Kuforiji-Olubi, a former Minister of Commerce and Industry, was the first female graduate of Member of the Institute of Chattered Accountants (ICAN). She was elected the first female ICAN President, 1989, as the 25th President. She is also a foundation member and Grand Matron of the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN). Kuforiji-Olubi was the first Nigerian woman to become the Managing Director of an international company in Nigeria, VYB (Nigeria) Ltd. in 1977. She was also the first female Chairman of a public quoted company on the stock exchange-BEWAC Plc., the holding company for VYB and its subsidiaries. Kuforiji-Olubi is also the first female Chairman of United Bank for Africa(UBA).
Ironically, the relationship between these two matriarchs is no where near being chummy. They are not exactly fond of each other, because they share a professional rivalry, which is less healthy too. This professional rivalry has been evident since 1963, when they both graduated from their respective universities. Over the years, as the two corporate titans advanced in age, the rivalry has refused to wane. The professional rivalry has affected their social lifestyles as well. They avoid each other in the most diplomatic of manners, even when they run into each other at corporate or social functions. Although, the unhealthy friendship between Olakunrin and Kuforiji-Olubi poses as a source of concern to other elders within the society, there seems to be little they can do to puncture the 50 year old rivalry.