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Biography of Adenike OGUNLESI

Nigeria > Business : Adenike OGUNLESI



Biography :

Adenike Ogunlesi is a Nigerian woman who founded the brilliantly-named children's clothing business, Ruff ‘N' Tumble, in Lagos in 1996. It has become a great success story and exports along the West African coast.


Adenike Ogunlesi is the founder and chief executive of Ruff 'N' Tumble an indigenous clothing company in Nigeria that specialises in children's clothing.  From a tiny shop with her and her mother as the main staff, Adenike aka Nike turned Ruff 'n' Tumble into an instantly recognizable brand. She has built a reputation for being one of the best manufacturers of children's clothing in Nigeria.

"My kids ran out of pajamas. And I used to make clothing for women. So I decided that I'd just make some pajamas for my kids. "

In her second year as an undergraduate law student at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Adenike opted out of school unsure of what to do with her life. She then reluctantly accepted her mother's invitation to work in her womens tailor shop. That experience helped her to discover who she was and what she wanted to do.She  is yet another university graduate that never practiced her profession for one day. Trained as a lawyer at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, her father had wanted her to get into a high profile legal practice. But that was not to be. She refused to live out her fathers script. But her mother who made quite an in road into fashion in Ibadan in the early 60s and 70s, asked her to stay with her. Within one year, she said she discovered herself.


"I started in 1996, I was selling from the back of my car, I was selling at bazaars. Everywhere, there was a bazaar, I was there, my table and my suit case, my children and sometimes even my husband. So it all started then."

Today Ruff 'N' Tumble is a thriving business with 50 employees and distribution along the West African coast.

"We don't export now. Export to the West African coast, yes, all along the West African coast, yes, but to say, America or to England, I'm not interested in it at all. If 40 percent of the 120 million people in Nigeria are children, I have the potential of a huge market here."

Adenike was featured in the Africa Open for Business documentary and was recognized as the Fate Foundation Model Entrepreneur in 2005.
She is a mentor to Junior Achievement of Nigeria and the Fate Foundation.


Mrs Adenike Ogunlesi (Ruff 'n' Tumble) Mrs Adenike Ogunlesi, Managing Director and Chief Executive of Ruff 'n' Tumble, the burgeoning garment making for children is yet another university graduate that never practiced her profession for one day. Trained as a lawyer at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, her father had wanted her to get into a high profile legal practice. But that was not to be. She refused to live out her fathers script. But her mother who made quite an in road into fashion in Ibadan in the early 60s and 70s, asked her to stay with her. Within one year, she said she discovered herself.



Last update : 11/27/2007


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