Tom Ilube, entrepreneur Oct. 3, 2021

from Desert Island Discs· ·

Tom Ilube is an entrepreneur, known for his successful start-up companies, and a philanthropist. He recently took up the post of chairman of the Rugby Football Union. He was born in 1963 to a Nigerian father and a British mother, and grew up first in London, and then in Uganda, a stay cut short by the rise to power of Idi Amin. He began his teenage years back in the UK, enjoying rugby and ice-skating, before moving with his family to Nigeria, where he also attended university, studying Applied Physics and launching his first business selling flared trousers to fellow …



Tom Ilube is an entrepreneur, known for his successful start-up companies, and a philanthropist. He recently took up the post of chairman of the Rugby Football Union. He was born in 1963 to a Nigerian father and a British mother, and grew up first in London, and then in Uganda, a stay cut short by the rise to power of Idi Amin. He began his teenage years back in the UK, enjoying rugby and ice-skating, before moving with his family to Nigeria, where he also attended university, studying Applied Physics and launching his first business selling flared trousers to fellow students. He returned to London looking for work in information technology. After many unsuccessful job applications, British Airways gave him a break, and he later worked for the London Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs. In 1996, he founded his first company and has since been involved with several other start-ups – “thinking up ideas, raising venture capital, building companies, selling them and doing it all again,” he says. He is also involved with philanthropic projects in education, including founding a school for high-achieving but disadvantaged girls in Ghana with a focus on maths and science. In 2017 he topped the Powerlist, the annual list of the 100 most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage in Britain, and was appointed a CBE in 2018. He is married to Caron and has two grown-up children. DISC ONE: Doctor Who by BBC Radiophonic Workshop DISC TWO: Sweet Mother by Prince Nico Mbarga And Rocafil Jazz International DISC THREE: The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy DISC FOUR: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by Ladysmith Black Mambazo DISC FIVE: That's The Way Love Goes by Janet Jackson DISC SIX: Family Business by Kanye West DISC SEVEN: Mr Bojangles by Sammy Davis Jr DISC EIGHT: A Change is Gonna Come by Ayanna Witter-Johnson BOOK CHOICE: The Wormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson LUXURY ITEM: A solar- powered puzzle generator, designed by Tom. CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Mr Bojangles by Sammy Davis Jr Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor