Nigeria

Folorunsho Alakija: the richest Black woman of the world

Folorunso-AlakijaThe Nigerian, Folorunsho Alakija stays the richest Black woman in the world with a fortune estimated at 3.2 billion dollars. She outstrips for the second consecutive year the American presenter, Oprah Winfrey.

Folorunsho Alakija is 62 year old. She always lives in an environment where money does not cause any problem. And her fortune is estimated today at 3,2 billion dollars or about 2,5 billion euros, what makes of her the richest woman on the African continent in front of Isabel Dos Santos.

Folorunsho Alakija owes her fortune to oil. Her Famfa oil Limited Company that she created in 1993 and that she continues managing is a gold mine. This company holds 60 % of shares of OML 127, an offshore oil-field that produces about 200 000 oil barrels daily.

Folorunsho Alakija is from a well-to-do polygamous family of eight women and 52 children. Before making fortune in petroleum industry, Folorunsho Alakija began in quite a different domain: fashion industry.

In 1980s, she studied fashion and design in England. Folorunsho Alakija even created her own brand of clothes, Supreme Stitches which products were worn by high class African women.

Very soon, she became the creator number one of clothes in West African countries. She is sometimes called “one of the pioneers of the Nigerian fashion”. She is still member of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.

After this experience in fashion, she explored another sector: bank and finance! She was executive secretary for the managing director of the First National Bank of Chicago, and then she became director of the corporate business of International Merchant Bank of Nigeria Limited (IMB).

Folorunsho Alakija does not forget at all her family life which she refuses to sacrifice. She is married and mother of four children, four boys. “Money has nothing to do with love. Love comes from inside. Money is something that we acquire over time. Love is all that unites us from the beginning of our relation, and it is 40 years since my husband and I we are together.”

Satisfied woman, her favorite toy remains her private jet estimated at 46 million dollars. She also possesses a property at Hyde Park in London estimated at 102 million dollars.

But be aware that she knows how to “stay simple”: “I always manage time to go to kitchen. Just yesterday, I cooked some beans for the members of my church and I always cook for my husband. With cooks, it’s not the same, it is necessary to add one’s personal touch”, she declared on an occasion.

 

Original text by: Roger ADZAFO

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