Ibukun Awosika: Why I want to die empty

Ibukun Awosika, chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, says her biggest dream in life is to “die empty”.

Awosika, who described herself as a lover of adventure, added that it is her dream to exhaust every talent and gift that she has.

She stated this over the weekend at a private screening of the movie, ‘Citation’, directed by Kunle Afolayan.

The movie explores the theme of social ills in the educational sector, especially as it relates to sexual harassment involving students and lecturers.


“I am a very adventurous individual and my biggest dream in life is to die empty, which means, every talent or gift that I have, I must use,” she said.

“This was one that I could not have planned for but it had crossed my mind at some point in time remembering acting in secondary school, which was the last time that I acted by the way.”

Awosika, who recounted how at first she did not take the invitation to feature in the movie seriously, said she later accepted it after much persuasion from the director.


“The first time Kunle Afolayan approached me, I had a good laugh because I thought it was a joke. Then he did a good job of encircling me, my husband, Folake, everyone that was around me so at a point. I said ‘Okay, bring the script and let me know what this is all about,'” she said.

“I am a person that does everything deliberately for a reason and for me, this is a cause that is worth fighting for. Beyond talking about things, whenever I find the opportunity to do more than the talking, I will do it.”

Awosika noted that she had requested that her role in the movie be kept discreet until the production was completed.

“I know many people that would watch this movie because I am in it. I received a thousand and one phone calls and messages after they went public. I have to give applause to the team because one thing I learnt about the industry is the great discipline and understanding of confidentiality,” Awosika noted.


“We had a deal; nobody was meant to know that I am involved with the project until they go public with it, and even though there were over a hundred people on set, they made sure that rule was set because those were my conditions for taking part in it.

“I think of how many people and the discipline, because we took pictures and shared recorded messages but no one was meant to let anyone know that I was involved, so that there would be no distraction and there was not a single leak until Kunle sent out his message.

“That for me is extremely impressive but more so, is the greatness within the Nigerian movie industry, the shared division of labour, the amazing discipline with which they do their work, the order in the different segments; never judge a man till you get in his shoes, that is the one lesson I learnt. I doff my hat. I encourage everyone to give respect to Nigeria’s Nollywood.”

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