In the world today, there are lots of rich and influential women who have earned their wealth through hardwood, dedication, and consistency. These women do not get enough of the accolades they deserve being that the billionaires’ index is dominated by men. Every woman who is rich enough to be talked about today has done that by putting in a lot of effort and time. While Africa boasts of a lot of rich people, the richest women on the continent deserve a mention too. In this article, we look at the life of Folorunsho Alakija, her net worth, what she does for a living, and how she managed to make so much money and become the richest woman in Africa as of 2022.
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Who is Folorunsho Alakija?
Born on the 15th of July 1951, Folorunsho Alakija, the popular Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist was born to the family of late Chief L.A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, a town in Lagos, Nigeria. She attended Our Lady of Apostles nursery and primary school for her nursery education before proceeding to Dinorben School for Girls in Llangernyw, Wales to complete her primary education. Upon completion of her primary education, Folorunsho returned to Nigeria to have her secondary education at the Muslim High School in Shagamu, Ogun State.
She would later move to England for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College in London. The 71-year-old business tycoon got married to Modupe Alakija in 1976, a marriage that produced four wonderful children. Today, Folorunsho Alakija lives her life as the managing director of Rose of Sharon Group, and the vice chairperson of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil company. Now that you are familiar with her person, let us proceed to analyze the ventures that set Folorunsho on her path to billions.
The Nascent Of An Empire: Famfa Oil And Gas
Born in an upper-middle-class family, it can be said that Folorunsho was born into comfort and had it good all through her childhood. Perhaps, this laid a foundation for her as she has never stopped striving to remain relevant in the business world and as a woman who knows her onions. In September 1991, Folorunsho and her husband, Modupe Alakija’s family oil exploration and production business that they both founded was incorporated. Almost 2 years after the business was incorporated, it was awarded the leasehold rights to OPL 216 and would months after, be assigned a 40% participating interest after entering into a deed of agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum.
In February 1996, the business name was changed to Famfa Oil Limited. Famfa Oil Limited was established with a vision to take the lead among indigenous oil and gas exploration companies in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Today, the oil company has grown into a multibillion-dollar business with room to grow bigger than it already is with Folorunsho as the Vice Chairperson who oversees strategic planning and administration.
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Alakija’s Business Portfolio
Way before the oil, Folorunsho Alakija was an astute manager and administrator. She started her career as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos. This was after completing her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College. She would later leave Sijuade Enterprises to become the executive secretary of the former First National Bank of Chicago, now acquired by First City Monument Bank. Her brilliance and excellence at the job later earned her the position of managing director.
Moving forward, she left that role to become the head of corporate affairs at the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria. Not long after, she became the Office Assistant in the treasury department. After a 12-year career in banking, she left Nigeria to study fashion design at the American College in London and the Central School of Fashion. Upon completion of her studies, she returned to Nigeria and established Supreme Stitches. She renamed Supreme Stitches to The Rose of Sharon House of Fashion in 1996. Aside from Famfa Oil which is the family business, Folorunsho Alakija has excelled at a host of other ventures.
Being a dynamic entrepreneur, she holds a majority stake and is the Vice Chairman of Dayspring Property Development Company Limited, a real estate development company that invests in properties in Africa and around the world. That’s not all, Folorunsho Alakija is also the Vice Chairman of Digital Reality Print Ltd., an ever-growing, world-class printing business that has been able to spread its tentacles beyond the shores of Nigeria and Africa.
Investments, Honors, And Awards
Away from business, Folorunsho Alakija has also served the Nigerian public by being a member of several committees and governing bodies. She is a seasoned orator and is actually the first woman to be appointed as the chancellor of a public university in Africa. Folorunsho Alakija has also authored many books including her own autobiography. Isn’t that impressive?
Well, there’s more! Folorunsho is a board member of the Commonwealth Business Forum and in 2020, she was ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Africa with a billion-dollar net worth. As of 2015, she was ranked as the second most powerful woman in Africa with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a fellow Nigerian ranked as the most powerful woman at that time. Today, Folorunsho Alakija remains one of the richest women in the world with over $1 billion dollars net worth and still remains the richest woman in Africa.
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Sources: Forbes, Celebrity Net Worth
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