Shokas, popular Ijebu Socialite, lace merchant dies at 88

Foremost industrialist and fashion buff, Alhaji Chief Shakirudeen Olanrewaju Kassim, the Bobagunwa of Ijebuland, is dead.

The founder of Sociable Stores at Gbagi in Ibadan and co-owner of Shokas Lace Industry in Ijebu Igbo passed on this morning, aged 88 years.

Chief Kassim was a long standing ally of the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona and was widely respected in Ibadan where he rose from being a tailor to establishing a major fabric materials importation outfit known as Sociable Stores in the 70s. He was also renowned for his philanthropic acts in Ijebuland in his life time.

He later teamed up with his close friend, Alhaji Shote to establish a massive lace manufacturing company known as Shokas Lace Industries in Ijebu Igbo.

A flamboyant socialite, he had a popular long playing record waxed in his honour by King Sunny Ade in which his sprawling residential estate christened Bobagunwa Castle in Ijebu Igbo was highlighted.

That estate is one of the biggest in the whole of Ijebuland, established long before late Chief Bayo Kuku and late Otunba Subomi Balogun created their own eye-popping Castles in Ijebu Ode.

He will be buried inside his palatial estate in Odorashoyin, Ijebu Igbo this afternoon.
-Bayo Osiyemi

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