That 25-Year Old Furniture Maker is now the First Female Chairman of Nigeria’s Largest Bank


Ibukun Awosika is an inspiration. When you hear her or meet her; her passion shines through. She is an entrepreneur; with deep convictions and a deeper will to act. She is her message and all around the world there are hundreds of admirers, staff and mentees that can attest to this as well.

When I heard of her appointment as chairman of First Bank Plc, the exciting news for most was that she was the first female chairman of one of Africa’s most powerful banks but what stood out to me the most was how she started; she started by making great furniture.

Integrity. It is not just a human attribute; her leather, wood, cloth, steel and foam also have integrity. She makes such great products; her work can stand the test of time. Today, she is not the Minister for Works and Construction in her home country Nigeria (even though she would obviously make a darn good one!), she is the Chairman of a financial institution; yet she has never worked in a bank before.



Banking skills did not give her this; it was personal skills that did; not great accounting and analytic skills; it was just the fact that many of those who have met her were able to trust her. They trust her for great furniture; so many boards trust her for great vision, the country trusts her to improve national job creation and now she is trusted to chair the First Bank board.

So Mr great guy Business Man, with all your MBAs and special skills; it appears that on this evidence and so many others; trustworthiness is the name of the game. And you know that thing they say about a good name being better than riches; I think they have a solid point!


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