Behind the scene is an attempt to peep into the world of our favorite models and mentors; highlighting specific principles that they have successfully built their lives upon.
Enjoy the ride!
Ibukun 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 Muslim family of seven children 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.
Primary education started in Ibadan for her, but completed at St. Paul’s African Church Primary school in Lagos.
Secondary school was at Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, where she engaged in sports, debate and singing amongst other things. She delivered the Valedictory message for her set in Church (even as a Muslim).
The healing power of God, revealed the Father’s love to her and she has not looked back ever since.
She achieved excellent academic results, finishing with Grade 1 and won the Dotun Okubanjo prize for the most outstanding student.
She graduated with BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). 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.
Starting off at Akintola Williams & Co. (now Deloitte) as an Audit Trainee during her National Youth Service Corps, she had a 3 short month stint at Albert Nigeria Ltd, a furniture company, as Showroom Manager. Thereafter, at only 25, she resigned her position to set up her own furniture manufacturing company, Quebees Ltd, from which The Chair Centre Ltd later evolved. She had a distaste for the value system of the furniture company and made a decision to be different with hers.
Founder and Chairperson of The Chair Center Ltd, she had strong convictions in God. She made up her mind to embrace challenges and look for solutions within the legal boundaries and confines of her values, when dealing with challenges.
As regards work ethics, she counsels:
Accept your limitations; be honest in your relationships and be exceptionally competent in the area of your strengths.
She independently established another ultra-modern furniture facility, Furniture Manufacturers’ Mart in Lagos in the latter part of 2006. This huge leap of faith was taken realizing that failure just signifies you need new information for creation. It isn’t negative at all; it just means you need more information to produce the result you desire.
She identifies her ability to recognize business opportunities and go for them in faith. Taking directed steps is a requirement for every successful entrepreneur.
A man is made up of the values he subscribes to. Certain values according to Ibukun Awosika, are what distinguishes a Nigerian entrepreneur from all others.
Knowledge and Character: Possessing one and lacking the other won’t suffice for you. You need both the required knowledge and the right heart posture to make sustainable impact.
Entrepreneurship and Morality: Business isn’t right until it provides the avenue to enforce the right conduct.
Science and Humanity: No kind of invention that causes harm to a fellow human being is permitted or encouraged.
What counts at the end of the day is impact and influence made on people.
The first thing in a relationship is having a sense of identity. Except your life has a direction and definiteness of purpose, dreams and aspirations, you have no business considering marriage.
Marriage is one of the biggest decisions of your life. You shouldn’t make this decision solely based on emotions. Your choice of a spouse is based on the largest form of your vision you have been able to glimpse, and have hope to evolve into.
When you meet a person, ask questions to reveal the intents and desires of their hearts. Find a person whose heart desires synchronize with yours, and you are sure of his/her full support; such that you both become the best version of yourselves. Your partner is not a legitimate or acceptable excuse for your failure in life; and vice versa.
Don’t give up yourself, and lose your identity because of a desperate desire to be married. You will always know when you are not with a right choice of partner. Don’t do away with the impressions of the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Ibukun Awosika has always been keen about legacy and impact. No one puts it as beautifully as she does.
We are all authors, writing a book on the story of our lives. I hope at the end of our lives, we get to like the stories we have written.
Your children will read the book. The question is, would you be proud with what you get to write down? If people were gathered at your wake keep, what would you like to be said about you?
Life is simply the gift of time. It is actually useless to bother about what age a person dies. You cannot actually verify if a person dies before his time or not. You have no control over life and death. You only have control over how you utilize the time given to you. Tie the decisions you make daily to your life’s goal.
Don’t be in a hurry. Learn to retain resources for the future of your business. Your first earnings are not for luxury. Don’t build for personal ambition; all the things you desire would eventually come to you as you focus on Purpose.
What one thing inspires you the most about Ibukun Awosika? We can’t wait to hear from you!