Samuel Fawehinmi

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Samuel Ibitayo Fawehinmi (1912) was a pioneering Nigerian furniture magnate. The son of trader, he was born in Ondo town. He attended Ondo Boys High School, Government College, Ibadan and the Yaba Higher College. He was originally interested in medicine, but the long wait for a pre-medical test and his gift in wood and metal work changed his occupational direction. As a student at Government College, Ibadan, he excelled in science and technical workshop activities. He later learned civil engineering at Yaba and became a qualified instructor in wood and metal work. He entered the government service as an instructor and was posted to the Government College, Umuahia, he was also a staff of King's College, Lagos. In 1946, he decided to under go further formal training in furniture, he traveled abroad and was educated at the Shoreditch Technical College. In England, he worked with furniture makers at Hoxton, the Harrods company and High Wycombe and also learned machine tools methods used for mass production of tables, cupboards and beds and old furniture making styles. After returning to Nigeria, with the help of his father and a loan from the Colony Development Board, he opened some furniture factories in Lagos. He was noted as one of the earliest magnates who focused on a single industry instead of the ubiquitous or octopodal group of companies. He was also notable for introducing modern techniques in furniture making.


  • Tom Forest, The Advance of African Capital:The Growth of Nigerian Private Enterprise. University of Virginia Press (August 1994). ISBN 0813915627