Meet Nigerian business woman, Ibukun Awosika; CEO of Chair Centre Group

Ibukun Awosika is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, mother and a 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 the 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 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.

Ibukun Awosika wanted to be many things while growing up, from an architect to a lawyer and an accountant lol. While studying chemistry in 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 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.

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 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.

In 2011, She co-founded 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, Broad of Trustees of Women in Management, Business and Public Services (WIMBIZ), a platform that empowers women in business.

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”.

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