Monalisa Okojie is currently based in Los Angeles, California. She was born an Ishan Princess from Lagos, Nigeria. A lawyer in Nigeria. She practiced law for 8 years before deciding to change career paths. In 2008, she graduated from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America located in Carlsbad, California, and also received an MBA and an MPH from California Southern University. She is fluent in Yoruba, Ishan, Pidgin English, and English. Today, she is a wife, a mother of three, an extremely successful business woman, a philanthropist, and a global traveler. She is passionate about fashion, believes in humanitarian work, and in spreading love and kindness, especially to the less fortunate. She is often sought after to speak at various events and universities and is seen by many as a voice of inspiration to all.
In 2008, Monalisa debuted Nehita Inc. She has created an elegant and upscale jewelry collection that showcases timeless and classic pieces, using only the finest of handpicked exotic gems, gold, conflict-free diamonds, and precious stones. Since its debut collection in 2008, celebrities such as, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Alan Cumming, Norah Jones, Nick Cannon, Rosario Dawson, and many others have worn Nehita. Since then, she has maintained a huge celebrity following and her jewelry line has consistently received rave reviews. Nehita Jewelry has been seen in fashion shows, television, and magazines in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Trinidad, Miami, New York, major cities in Europe, Dubai, Australia and in Africa.
She recently launched Mona by Nehita, as a more cost effective alternative to the Nehita collections. It speaks to a wider range of customers that still value Monalisa’s sophistication, but might not be able to indulge in some of her higher end pieces. The uniqueness and sheer beauty of her pieces has aptly given rise to her being referred to as “The Jewelry Designer to the Stars”. She has recently been promoting her jewelry line in Rwanda.
Monalisa is now expanding her brand into the world of film and journalism. She is exploring prospects now that will offer her creative disposition a more narrative outlet. She hopes to use the world of film to bring to light issues that might not otherwise be given the attention they deserve. She is also doing some documentary work that is less serious in nature and that would easily be accomplished with her multi-cultural insights and global perspectives on the beauty inherent in cultures other than the ones usually depicted in mainstream media. She knows that there is beauty in diversity, and that it may be found and that it may be found in the unlikeliest of places.
Justifiably so, one of Monalisa’s proudest accomplishments is the success of the nonprofit she founded, Upward African Women. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit California based public benefit corporation whose goal is to empower and educate women and children globally.