We are a family of teachers — Awosika
Winifred Awosika

…Winifred Awosika: Educationist par excellence

By Morenike Taire

BORN on February 13, 1940 to the illustrious Oshuporu Chieftaincy family of Owo, Ondo State, High Chief Dr. Mrs Winifred A. Awosika, OON, attended the Government Primary School, Owo before proceeding to St. Anne’s Girls Secondary School, Molete, Ibadan, where she obtained her West African School Certificate in 1958.

The young, Winifred proceeded to the Nigerian College of Arts, Enugu for Advanced/Intermediate studies and then the University College, Ibadan, (now University of Ibadan) in 1962, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1966.

In 1963, young Winifred married Dr. Victor Oloyede Awosika. Their union was formidable and blessed with children. From a very young age, Mrs. Awosika had began to nurse the ambition of being an educationist, an aspiration she kept close to her chest and diligently pursued. Clinching a post-graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Lagos, she went on to put her education into practice, teaching at reputable schools including Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos.

It was only a matter of time for the Chrisland Educational Organisation to be born, as it was in 1977; being an alias of her local community “Abule Onigbagbo”, the Yoruba words for Christian Land, and thereafter shortened to Chrisland. Awosika reportedly established Chrisland Nursery/Primary School with just five children in the Boys’ Quarters of her home at Ladipo. That mustard seed has grown into a mighty oak, under whose branches a great many have found learning, succour and livelihood.

Today, the institution consists of five nursery/primary schools, four secondary schools and a pre-degree college. Lekki, Victoria Garden City, Idimu, Festac, Abuja and the headquarters at Opebi, Lagos. In February 2015, Chrisland University was birthed, making Awosika the only Nigerian alive to own and run educational institutions from kindergarten to the tertiary levels.

She sits on the board of several companies including Holy Trinity Hospitals and State Clinic, Chemopharma Laboratories Ltd., a pharmaceutical Manufacturing company; C.C.I.E (City Commercial and Industrial Enterprises) Ltd., a construction/property management and development company in Lagos.

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She has been conferred with innumerable awards and recognitions, including a Doctorate degree in Management Technology (Honoris Causa) from the Federal University of Technology, Akure and honours from the Science and Mathematics Teachers Association of Nigeria. She is also a Fellow of the Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo and also a Fellow and member, Governing Council, Institute of Directors in Nigeria, I.O.D.

Chancellor/Chairman Board of Trustees, Chrisland University, Awosika is also the Charter President of Inner Wheel Club of Opebi, member, National Council of Women Societies, NCWS, where she once served as the Assistant National Secretary and Chairman Standing Committee on Education. She was at a time the Charter Treasurer, Zonta International Conferences on World Environment and Peace Matters.

In 2004, Awosika was conferred with the Nigeria National Merit Award as Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON; for her immense contribution to the development of education and service to the country. The Oshobiken of Owo and the Erelu of Okaland runs the Winifred Awosika Foundation, as well as the Victor and Winifred Awosika Foundation in honour of her beloved late husband.

In 2018, in conjunction with National Scrabble Federation, the Foundation sponsored the National Scrabble Championship for under 11. The Winifred Awosika Scrabble Tournament for Schools, WASTFS, has also been running for years. She continues to mentor several clubs and societies such as Busy Bees Society of Archbishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral, Ikeja.

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