Ibukunoluwa Awosika was born in Ibadan on the 24th of December, 1962 to the Adekola family as Bilkisu Abiodun Motunrayo Omobolanle Ibidunni. She is the third child in a Moslem family then of seven children. She was born to a Nigerian father, Mr. Abdulmashood Adekola of Oke-Foko Ibadan, and a Cameroonian mother, Hannah Aduke Adekola nee Ashu of Tinto village in Western Cameroon.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika had her primary education in Ibadan but because her father´s nature of work ensured that he was transferred to several places regularly, she got transferred to various schools and ended up finishing her primary education at St. Pauls African Church Primary School in Lagos. She then proceeded to Methodist Girls High School, Yaba for her secondary school education where she got involved in many activities such as sports, debate and singing amongst others and even though a Muslim at the time, read the valedictory message for her set in Church. She obtained excellent academic results, finishing with a Grade 1 and wining the Dotun Okubanjo prize for the most outstanding student. Thereafter, she gained admission to University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study Chemistry.
Mrs. Ibukun Awosika graduated with a BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). She is an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School and the Global Executive MBA Programme of the prestigious IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
Ibukun started her working career with Akintola Williams & Co. (now Deloitte) as an Audit Trainee during her national youth corps service. Thereafter, she worked at Alibert Nigeria Ltd, a furniture company, as Showroom Manager. Three and a half months after her employment, she resigned her position to set up her own furniture manufacturing company, Quebees Ltd, from which The Chair Centre Ltd later evolved.
She is the Founder and Chairperson of The Chair Centre Ltd, a market leader in the office furniture and banking security systems industries. After the ban on importation of furniture by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004, The Chair Centre Ltd went into a joint venture with Sokoa S.A of France and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to set up Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd., and she was appointed the MD/CEO of the joint-venture company.
In addition, she independently established another ultra-modern furniture facility, Furniture Manufacturers´ Mart in Lagos in the latter part of 2006. The latest additions to her entrepreneurial exploits are the opening of branches of The Chair Centre Ltd in Accra (Ghana), Tinapa and Calabar (South eastern Nigeria).
She is the host of a popular television programme, Business His Way, where she shares ethical business values and principles, distilled from The Holy Bible, with the business community in Nigeria and neighboring countries. The telecast is presently transmitted on seven TV stations. In the first African edition of Dragons Den by Sony Pictures, Ibukun was asked to join five other Nigerian entrepreneurs as dragons in Dragons Den, Nigeria. Mrs. Awosika is also the Host of Ignite TV, an initiative to proffer a lasting solution to youth unemployment by creating an enabling environment which ignites an enterprise culture and optimal professional performance amongst youth in Lagos state.
She is an ordained pastor of The Fountain of Life Church and the Founder of Christian Missionary Fund, a non-governmental body dedicated to raising support for Christian missionaries across the country.
Ibukun is the immediate past Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), an organisation committed to elevating the profile of women in management and business. She sits on a number of boards, notable among which are: First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Plc, Digital Jewels Ltd, The Convention on Business Integrity, and Youths Business Initiative (a project of Prince Charles organisation: Prince Trust).
She founded the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), a national career centre in Lagos, Nigeria, which was set up in September 2007 to address the high rates of unemployment in the country by making Nigerian graduates employable and good assets to the economy. AGDC, which she chairs, runs developmental programs/projects that focus on the employability, economic productivity and global relevance of the Nigerian graduate. She also chairs the board of FBN Life Assurance Limited.
As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and Aspen Global Leadership network, Ibukun aspires to use her opportunities in life to further the greatness of her country which she loves, through her projects which involve raising entrepreneurs to create jobs for the large youthful unemployed population. She served on National Job Creation Committee (NCJC), is a member of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG), a member of Lagos State University’s Governing Council and was recently appointed to the Board of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund. In her spare time, she loves to watch investigative and legal series on television.
Ibukun is a multiple award winning entrepreneur and the First Nigerian recipient in 2008 of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award as a nominee of the US Department of State. Other awards include:
- Nominee, Entrepreneur of The Year (2005), THISDAY Newspaper´s Annual Merit Award
- Nominee, The Best Female Entrepreneur of the Year (2006): Financial Standard and Pan-African Organisation for Women Recognition (POWR)
- Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2005, Success Digests Magazine´s Annual Enterprise Award.
- FATE Model Entrepreneur Award for the year 2006: FATE Foundation.
- Golden Heart Award (2007), under the aegis of the International Women Society
- Award of Leadership Excellence 2008: Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos Island Chapter
- International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award 2008: Manhattan Chambers of Commerce and the United States Government
She is married to Abiodun Oludola Awosika, and their marriage is blessed with three wonderful sons: Oludola, Olafusika and Olamiposi.
Now you know that extraordinary people are ordinary people with extraordinary determination!
#Walking in the footsteps of Giants with Gbenga Asaolu~Eagleolu# Ibukun Awosika_May 5
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