If you mention her name to many people in Port Harcourt, the garden city of Nigeria and oil rich city, they may say they have not heard of Sotonye Fulton before. This is because she is not your loud society lady. If you’ve been attending a lot of the high profile parties in Port Harcourt these days, you must have noticed this beautiful lady whose outfits turn heads.
But unknown to many, Sotonye is easily one of Port Harcourt’s most successful ladies in business. The chieftain of PDP is well connected and very influential too. Not only that, she is beautiful and stylist and will stand out in a crowd with her lovely eyeballs that hit you once you look at her. However, it is not on account of her beauty that she stands out, as she has over the last couple of years proved to be a combination of brain and beauty. The Opobo born graduate of University Port Harcourt is the publisher of one of Nigeria’s most prestigious glossy magazines, Gist. She is the immediate past Chairman, Rivers State Independent Publishers Association (RIVPA). Before going into publication, she had been able to make a mark in the hospitality industry. Obviously, the adorable and alluring lady of style, anything she does, she goes into it with total passion, hence the same success she made of her previous business. Sotonye who is presently a Commissioner in Rivers State Civil Service Commission shared her world of excellence with us as she spoke with CHINEDU OGUH on her life, business and politics among other issues.
“My name is Sotonye Fulton. I was born and bred in Rivers State. To be precise, I hail from Opobo town.
I have a degree in management studies from University of Port Harcourt. I am happily married and God has blessed us with wonderful children”. As a young girl, she had the dream of becoming a successful woman and that she has lived up to. She has been in business since her tender age and has since then offered a lot of employment to youths. For those who know her to the bone marrow, there is no failure in her philosophy. This perhaps aptly describes the exciting entrepreneurship of this young lady who is making waves in different areas. On how she has been able to combine the role of a mother, wife and career woman; hear her.
“As I always say, my first constituency is my home. I know that when all is said and done, I would not need to give account to God on how successful I was as a career woman, but I would definitely have to give account of my role in the lives of children that God has blessed and entrusted me with. My husband, children and work are my world so I combine all three roles very well”.
When asked on her views that women should be seen and not heard, she thundered: “This certainly is one of the discriminatory tendencies that must be eliminated from our society. Women must have an opportunity not only to express themselves but to canvas for same positions with men. The idea of women being seen and not heard is considered primitive and should be discouraged at all cost.
Commenting on Governor Nyesom Wike’s government, the Commissioner in Rivers State Civil Service Commission said “It is on record that since the creation of the state about four decades ago, no administration has accorded the womenfolk its rightful place in the scheme of things than Chief Nyesom Wike. Sincerely speaking, Rivers women have never had it so good and beautiful before the emergence of the present regime.
Wike as a pacesetter has set several examples in governance in this country. “The governor in his wisdom has uplifted the spirit, integrity, honour and respect of Rivers women by according them rightful place of honour in his administration. It is undisputable fact that Governor Wike is the most gender-friendly governor in the whole of the federation. Where do we start and where do we end, never in the history of Rivers State do we have a female Deputy Governor, a female Chief Judge as well as a female Chief Judge, Customary Court of Appeal. Women are well represented in his cabinet, board members of government establishments. Talking about giving honour to whom honour is due, Wike should be given a special place of honour for taking the welfare of the women in the state to another level”.
Gentle and very reserved, Sotonye Fulton, one of the most fashion- conscious ladies around knows how to live life to the fullest. Her posh home in Port Harcourt speaks for itself with the best cars money can buy parked neatly in the garage.
Outside business, Sotonye who makes out time to attend parties and social gathering loves meeting people and making them happy. A very straight forward person, the publisher turned politician who likes eating good food hates dishonest, lazy and greed people. A selfless woman, Sotonye apart from her business activities also has special interest in taking care of orphans, the homeless, the less privileged and the downtrodden in the society.”