Motivational Personality of the Week- Ibukun Abiodun Awosika
Ibukun Abiodun Awosika was born on 24 December 1962, in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. She had her primary and secondary education at St. Pauls African Church Primary School, Lagos and Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba, respectively. Right from her early years as a student, she had always been excellent at what she did, achieving excellent academic results, and winning the Dotun Okubanjo prize for Most Outstanding Student.
- Ibukun is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). She is also an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of the Lagos Business School, Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain, and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and China European International Business School (CEIBS).
- While on her compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps, Ibukun worked as an audit trainee at the Kano State office of Akintola Williams & Co., in a bid to prepare herself for a career as an Accountant. Upon completion of her service year, she found the Accounting role to be too routine and rigid, and therefore turned down the prospect of continuing with the job.
- She returned to Lagos and soon got a job as the Showroom Manager of Alibert Nigeria Ltd, a Lebanese furniture company. Her time there was short-lived since she questioned some of her employer’s methods and ethics. She felt the business could be done in more efficient and straightforward ways. So, in partnership with an architect, she established a furniture manufacturing company called Quebees Limited in 1989 before it evolved into the Chair Centre Limited and later SOKOA Chair Centre Limited following a venture merge with SOKOA S.A of France and Guaranty Trust Bank in 2004. Today, this company she founded has revenue in Billions of naira.
- Ibukun serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards amongst which are: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Cadbury Nigeria Plc., Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. She chairs the boards of First Bank Nigeria Limited and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) – a facility which she promoted to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria. She was Chairman, FBN Life Assurance Limited; FBN Capital Limited; and Kakawa Discount House Limited.
- As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network, Institute of Directors, and Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria, Ibukun, through her projects aspires to use her opportunities in life to further the greatness of her dear country by raising entrepreneurs to create jobs for the large unemployed youthful population. She is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), served on National Job Creation Committee (NJCC), and sits on the International Advisory Board of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain. She is a co-founder and past chairperson of Women in Business, Management, and Public Service (WIMBIZ), an ordained Pastor and founder of the Christian Missionary Fund.
- Ibukun is a multiple award-winning entrepreneur, and the First Nigerian recipient of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award (IWEC) as a nominee of the US Department of State in 2008.
- She loves to watch investigative and legal series in her leisure time. She is married to Abiodun Awosika and they are blessed with three wonderful sons.