The biography project on the life and times of Samuel Olatunbosun Shonibare, international business man, technocrat, politician, statesman and founding member of the Action Group was written by award winning writers, Peju Akande and Toni Kan with a foreword by Otunba Subomi Balogun.
Commissioned by the Shonibare family to commemorate the 50th year anniversary of the death of their patriarch at 44 in 1964, the book is a comprehensive examination of Shonibare’s humble provenance, his ascent to the pinnacle of his career at UAC, his foray into politics as one of the seven founding members of the Action Group, alongside Obafemi Awolowo, his unique partnership with his wife and his emergence as the first international businessman Nigeria has ever seen.
He was a leading light and moving spirit as well as the financial strategist and back bone of the Action Group which was formed in 1950.
Described by those who knew him as kind, generous, forthright and flamboyant, Shonibare comes across as a man who exemplified the particular epoch in which he lived in but who was set apart by his prodigious business acumen, his intuitiveness and Midas touch.
In his foreword to the book, Otunba Subomi Balogun writes that “Chief Samuel Olatunbosun Shonibare was a meteoric icon whose amazing and stupendous accomplishments within a short span of 44 years made him a legend of all time.”
The Shonibare biography is, therefore, according to the authors, a book intent on rehabilitating the memory of Shonibare who they say “lived with an eye on the compass and not on the clock. His was a short life when measured in years but it was long on achievements. A newspaper man, who understood what news meant and how history is shaped by current events, he had an eye on history but history seemed intent on passing him by, until now.”
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