Ibukun Awosika, one of Nigeria’s astute businesswomen and chairman of a bank’s board of directors, has revealed the two principles she anchored her life on when she ventured into business at the age of 25.
Speaking at the BPI entrepreneurship and innovation conference in Paris recently, Awosika said at 25, she vowed that as she charts her path in business, she will never give bribe and will never sleep with a man for an opportunity. According to her, many people thought she will never go far having such an ideology but 30 years down the line, she has made a name for herself.
In her words
In life, we all have different things that we believe in but our ability to have the courage to fight for the things that we believe in in a way that no matter what is changing around us, we can stand and keep standing, is what is key. In the world that we live in today, there is so much confusion as to who we should be, as to what we should believe, as to what we can defend. We are all struggling with wether to follow the crowd, to be part of the crowd or to have the audacity to stand for what we believe.
As a young woman of 25, when I was starting my first business, I made up my mind that two things were going to be critical to me. I am from Nigeria and there are many things that my country is struggling with in many ways but we are a great country of a great people.
I made up my mind on two things. I was never going to pay bribe in order to succeed in my business nor was I ever going to sleep with a man in order to take an opportunity. Everyone thought I was an idealistic young woman that wasn’t going to go too far holding on to those principles.
Well, its 30 years after and I have built a successful manufacturing group. On top of that, my country got to a point where they needed”