Ibukun Awosika is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, mother, and pastor. She is a survivor and has set a standard for young women in Africa! Ibukun has shown that “What a man can do, a woman can do even better” by succeeding in the furniture industry; an industry dominated by male folks. Ibukun Awosika has a few 1st’s, one of which is that she is the first female Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria.
Ibukun Awosika Background
Ibukun Awosika was born on the 24th of December, 1962 to Mr. Abdulmashood Adekola and Hannah Aduke Adekola. She is the 3rd child of seven children and hails from Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
She attended St. Paul African Church Primary School and Methodist Girl’s High School, Yaba, Lagos State. Ibukun Awosika has a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Obafemi Awolowo University and holds a post graduate certificate and MBA from Lagos Business School and I.E.S.E Business School respectively.
She is happily married to Abiodun Awosika and they are blessed with three children; Oludola, Olafusika, and Olamiposi. Her husband, Abiodun Awosika is the CEO of Excel Exploration & Production Company Limited
Ibukun Awosika’s Early Career
Ibukun Awosika wanted to be many things while growing up, from an architect to a lawyer and an accountant lol. While studying chemistry at Obafemi Awolowo University, she desperately wanted to be a Lawyer and did everything to get into Law. When that did not work out, she decided she was going to be an accountant and started attending accounting classes while in the university studying chemistry.
After school, Ibukun Awosika started out as an Audit Trainee at Akintola Williams & Co (now Deloitte) as a corp member. She then discovered that she was not cut out to be an accountant; dusting and carrying files around. Her creative and hyperactive personality will not allow her to subject herself to a life of routine. For that, she left Akintola Williams & Co despite being offered a permanent employment opportunity.
She found a job as a showroom manager at Alibert Nigeria Limited. While at the job, she discovered she had a thing for architecture as she imagined all the things she could do to a space with furniture. This made her venture out on her own after spending a little over three months at Alibert Nigeria Limited.
Ibuku Awosika’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Quebees Limited – a furniture manufacturing company established in 1989 was Ibukun’s baby. Quebees Limited has since evolved into The Chair Centre Limited and SOKOA Chair Centre Limited. SOKOA Chair Centre Limited is a merger between SOKOA S.A of France, Guaranty Trust Bank, The Chair Limited and Other stakeholders in the furniture industry. SOKOA Chair Centre Limited was created in 2014 due to the federal government’s ban on the importation of furniture items in 2014. She needed the merger which was successful to produce locally.
She is CEO/founder of The Chair Centre Group which have sub-companies. The companies are The Chair Centre Limited, SOKOA Chair Centre, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited and TCC System & Service Limited. The Chair Centre Group are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank way system services.
Ibukun Awosika’s Philanthropic Gestures
In 2011, She co-founded the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre which is a facility established to address the high rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria. Ibukun Awosika is also the co-founder and former Chairman, Board of Trustees of Women in Management, Business and Public Services (WIMBIZ), a platform that empowers women in business.
Appointments And Boards Where Ibukun Awosika Serves
On September 7th of 2015, the multi-talented entrepreneur was appointed the Chairman, Board of Trustees of First Bank of Nigeria. She is also the Chairperson of Intermac, the organizers of smart card conference in Nigeria.
Ibukun Awosika sits on a number of boards including Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Digital Jewel Limited and International Advisory Board of I.E.S.E Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
Ibukun Awosika was the Chairman, FBN Life Assurance Limited, FBN Capital Limited, and Kakawa Discount House Limited. She has served on the board of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as well as the National Job Creation Committee (NJCC).
Ibukun Awosika is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network, Institute of Directors and Society for corporate Governance, Nigeria.
Our renowned entrepreneur is a TV personality and hosts a programme on television “Business His Way.” She is also the author of “Business His Way” and “The “Girl” Entrepreneurs”.
Beyond her career success, Ibukun is a pastor at the Fountain of Life Church and she established the Christian Missionary Fund which is dedicated to raising support for christian missionaries across the country.
Ibukun Awosika’s Recognitions and Awards
- Nomination for the Entrepreneur of the Year at THISDAY Newspaper Annual Merit Award in 2005
- Nominated for Female Entrepreneur of the year prize at the Success Digests Magazine’s Annual Enterprise Award in 2005
- Nomination for the Best Female Entrepreneur of the year by Financial Standard and Pan-African Organization for Women Recognition in 2006
- FATE Model Entrepreneur Award of the Year at the FATE Foundation Awards in 2006
- Golden Heart Award at the International Women Society Awards in 2007
- International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award in 2008
- Nomination for the YNaija Person of the Year in 2015
Dreams come to pass when we dare to believe in ourselves. Ibukun Awosika believed in herself and today she is a success and she admonishes young people to believe in themselves. She believes that you need to be passionate about your dream because “It takes passion to overcome the thoughts of giving up when faced with disappointments and other obstacles”.
Let’s create visibility for your brand and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to have access to our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Photo Credit: Instagram Page of Ibukun Awosika