Family, friends and mentees have unveiled the newly built ‘Ibukun Awosika Sports Centre’ at the Methodist Girls high school Lagos, in honour of Ibukun Awosika, renowned African entrepreneur, international leader, businesswoman, Chairman & Founder of the Chair Centre Group, former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and author on her 60th birthday.
This eponymous gift which also came as a surprise to the celebrant was commissioned and unveiled at its location on the grounds of the Methodist Girls High School (MGHS), Yaba. The ‘Ibukun Awosika Sports Centre’ is purpose-built by her mentees and family for her alma mater in order to integrate sports into the lives of young girls and foster qualities such as optimism, leadership, resilience, dedication, commitment, teamwork, practice, respect, among others. As part of the gift, a 12-month mentoring programme for 30 girls at the MGHS was also announced and will kick off in 2023.
Giving the keynote address during the event, Executive Coach, Leadership Expert, Global Speaker and Founder/CEO GEMSTONE Group, Fela Durotoye said, “We are grateful for the depth of Mrs. Awosika’s wisdom. I am delighted that we are flagging off the commissioning of this beautiful sports centre with a relay race, which symbolises how Mrs. Awosika has prepared the next generation for a greater run. I am also proud of the women she has mentored. Mrs. Awosika has been fruitful and has empowered the next generation. We can’t but express our gratitude for the gift of Mrs. Awosika to our generation.”
Speaking at the event, Managing Director, What’s On Media, Chichi Nwoko on behalf of all stated, “It’s a privilege to be celebrating Mrs. Awosika today. To honour her as she marks her 60th birthday, we – her family, friends and mentees decided to join resources as a group and we have successfully used the resources to build a sports centre at the Methodist Girls High School, Yaba in her name.
“Just like Mrs. Awosika who was also an athlete as a student at MGHS, we believe that this initiative will enable young girls to build confidence and the spirit of sportsmanship to lead the future generation. We are truly delighted to honour her life and her positive contributions to the communities around her through the gift of impact.”
In appreciation of the special gift, Ibukun Awosika enthused, “I am beyond enthralled that my friends, family and mentees who know how much my alma mater means to me went all out to give in my name, this is the ultimate honour. I also appreciate my sisters for always being there for me.
“All I ever wanted was to live a fulfilling life and make it easier for the next generation to walk through the path that I walked and do greater things than I have done. I am grateful for passing through this school which taught me a lot of things and for the relationships I built here. I am in awe of this gift and I am making a commitment to ensure that I make available whatever is required to keep this facility running for the future generation.”
Among her mentees who were in attendance to celebrate her 60th birthday and contributed to the building are many of whom have participated in some of her leadership development programme such as the International Women’s Leadership Conference (IWLC) in Dubai, the 360 Leadership mentorship program and the Life Series program which has been run severally in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean Islands of the Bahamas and virtually across the world.