Woman of the Week: Dr. Erinma Bell – a truly remarkable woman

We first met Dr. Erinma Bell at the Woman & Home 50 over 50 Awards last October. She was sitting next to us and Grace struck up a conversation with her and we have kept in touch since. We are thrilled that she agreed to be our Woman of the Week and if we simply list her achievements you will understand why…..

  • First woman, in 150 years, to have a statue of herself unveiled in Manchester Town Hall
  • Deputy Lieutenant for County of Greater Manchester
  • Recognised as one of the 100 Inspiring Women in Manchester
  • Listed as one of the 250 Most Influential People in Greater Manchester
  • Recognised as one of the Top 100 Nigerians in UK 
  • 2014 Ambassador for Moss Side, Manchester
  • Rotary Peace Fellow

We wanted to find out more about the personal side of this impressive lady and so we interviewed her. Her answers reveal a warm, friendly and selfless person with much to share with the world.

Woman of the Week: Dr. Erinma Bell - a truly remarkable woman
DR. ERINMA BELL MBE DL JP

Who is Dr. Erinma Bell?

I am 54 years of age and a Nigerian born in Britain.  I am married to my husband Raymond, and partner, for the past 35 years.  Together we have 8 children, 7 boys and one girl.  I now class myself as a ‘Community Peace Activist’.

Woman of the Week: Dr. Erinma Bell - a truly remarkable woman
Dr. Erinma Bell at the unveiling of her statue

How have you have changed since you turned 50?

I do not feel that I have changed. If anything I have returned to being me. Living my life – a good life – full of colour and vibrancy. Age is but a number, and in fact I never usually think about my age.  Meaning I have to actually calculate what my current age is, if I am asked.

Where have you lived during your life?

I have lived in Lagos, Nigeria; Jamaica; Thailand; London and of course Manchester. 

Where would you like to live?

Definitely somewhere hot!

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Creative clothing design and sewing.

What clothes do you like to wear?

95% of the clothing I wear, I make myself. I do not buy clothing online, however, I am more likely to buy material.  I cannot do without my matching shoes and bags.  Essential to my wardrobe is my ‘sewing machines’ of which I have four!

Technology: have you embraced it and if you have, your favourite app/website. 

I have embraced technology and love it.  My favourite app/website is, dare I say it, www.aliexpress.com you can source just about anything from this website.

What is your favourite beauty product?

I use natural untreated Shea Butter straight from Nigeria.  I love it because it is pure and gives my skin that smooth taut feel.

Any particular beauty regime?

At night, after removing all make-up if any or after washing my face, I use L’Oreal Revitalift (Night) mixed with a little vaseline.

Do you have a signature dish?

I love to cook.  My signature dish is my Jellof Rice and Fried Chicken.  I also enjoy baking and decorating cakes, I have done all my children’s birthday cakes.

And your favourite tipple?

My favourite drink is Baileys.

How about reading books?

I do not really have a favourite book or author.  I tend to find books and believe that it was left for me so I will read them.  Last summer I read A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French (I found this book in the loo in JFK in New York). I do like to read a good novel/drama.  Last Summer I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – which is another book I found.

What do you love to watch on TV? 

I do not really watch regular TV but am more into Netflix. I love the series and the ability to binge watch as I don’t like waiting until next week for an episode.  My favourite TV shows have to be ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ and ‘Project Runway’.

And your favourite genre of music?

My favourite genre of music is Afrobeats.

Is there anything you can’t live without?

My sewing machine.

Who do you admire or are you most grateful to?

I am most grateful to The Most High. All gratitude is due to The Most High.  I do also admire Oprah Winfrey.

What are your top 5 tips for #womenover50?

  1. There is only one person that can make you happy and that’s YOU.
  2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – so look in the mirror each and every day.
  3. Don’t put off until tomorrow that which you can do today.
  4. Do not focus on problems, because that’s all you will have. Focus on the possibilities, then you will see the opportunities.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people who will help you rise to higher heights.

Thank you Erinma for sharing all of that with us.

For previous Women of the Week click HERE