Woman Crush Wednesday: Ibukun Awosika

by Duchess Magazine

Nigerian businesswoman, motivational speaker, and author Ibukunoluwa Abiodun Awosika was born Bilkisu Abiodun Motunrayo Omobolanle Adekola onon December 24, 1962. She served as First Bank of Nigeria’s former chairman. In September 2022, she was chosen to join the global advisory board for Binance.

Ibukun was born in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, the third of seven children. She attended St. Paul’s African Church Primary School in Lagos for her primary education and Methodist Girls’ High School in Yaba for her secondary education before moving on to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), where she eventually earned a BSc in Chemistry despite her initial desire to major in architecture.

She graduated from a number of business programs at the Lagos Business School and the IESE Business School – University of Navarra, earning both a postgraduate degree and an MBA.

Ibukun Awosika worked as an audit trainee at Akintola Williams & Co., which later changed its name to Deloitte, during her mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service in Kano State, but she returned home after the service and started working as the showroom manager for a furniture company called Alibert Nigeria Ltd. She started a furniture manufacturing business called Quebees Limited in 1989 as part of her independence drive. It later changed its name to The Chair Centre Limited and, in 2004, it merged with SOKOA S.A. and Guaranty Trust Bank to become SOKOA Chair Centre Limited.

IESE’s International Advisory Board includes Ibukun Awosika (IAB).

She is a member of the boards of Cadbury Nig Plc and Digital Jewel Limited as well.

Ibukun Awosika is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, a board member of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund, and the former chair of the Board of Trustees of Women in Management, Business, and Public Service. She was a founding member of the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre, which was formed in 2011 as a career center to combat Nigeria’s high unemployment rate.

Following the resignation of Prince Ajibola Afonja on September 7, 2015, Ibukun was named First Bank of Nigeria’s first female chairman.

IESE’s International Advisory Board includes Ibukun Awosika (IAB). She is a member of the boards of Cadbury Nig Plc and Digital Jewel Limited as well.

Ibukun Awosika was one of five business owners from Nigeria that participated in the first African Dragon’s Den in 2008.

Additionally, she is the host of the TV show “Business His Way.”

She and Temi Otedola starred in Kunle Afolayan’s production of the 2020 Citation.

There are three kids between Ibukun Awosika and her husband, Abiodun Awosika.


She won 2006 FATE Foundation Awards FATE Model Entrepreneur Award of the Year

Won 2007 International Women Society Award Golden Heart Award

Won 2008 International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award

Won 2020 Africa Forbes Woman Awards under the category of 2020 Forbes Woman Africa Chairperson Award

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