FULL NAME: Folorunsho Alakija
NET WORTH: $2.1 billion [ Forbes recent estimate ]
DATE OF BIRTH/AGE: Born July 15, 1951[she is currently 66 years old]
OCCUPATION: Business tycoon
MARITAL STATUS: Married
HUSBAND: Modupe Alakija
CHILDREN: She has four sons
PARENTS: Chief L. A. Ogbara
INVESTMENTS: She is heavily involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries
Nigerian Oil Billionaire Folorunsho Alakija Profile
Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman, one of the richest African women and also one of the richest black women in the world. She recently beat Isabel dos Santos and Oprah Winfrey to secure the position of the richest African woman. Nigerian Oil Billionaire Folorunsho Alakija is a popular business tycoon with many years of experience involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries. The top Nigerian businesswoman is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
Folorunso Alakija estimated net worth was put at $2.1 billion in the recent Forbes list of the richest woman in Nigeria. She unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest black women in Africa and was listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. This ranking was posited in 2015.
Early Life, Background And Education
Folorunsho Alakija was born on the 15th of July 1951 in Lagos Nigeria to the family of Chief L. A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State according to her profile. The female billionaire is from a large family that consist of her dad, his 8 wives and 52 children. She is the 2nd born of her father and her mum the first wife in the polygamous family . When she was seven years old, she travelled to the United Kingdom to begin a four-year primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales. Their class mates found it very challenging when pronouncing their names , they abbreviated it – Flo for Folorunsho and Doyle for Doyin.
After schooling there for four years, they returned back to Nigeria at the age of eleven at the request of their parents who didn’t want them to lose their African values, culture and tradition. Getting to Nigeria, they enrolled at Muslim High School Sagamu Ogun State, Nigeria. After some years, she travelled back to the UK for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College, London. Thereafter, she studied fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion.
Her mother was a fabric merchant in those days and she used to help out, and through that she learnt a lot in that area. She got married to her husband in 1976 and their union have produced have 4 kids, (all boys). A years after graduating from fashion school, she came back to Nigeria and started her fashion house – “Supreme Stitches” at a 3-Bedroom apartment in Surulere, Lagos. Only a year into her fashion business, she bettered other people in the business and emerged as best designer in the country in 1986.
Career, Rise to Fame And Recognition
The Nigerian business tycoon launched her career 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria. She has a stint at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria before moving on to former First National Bank of Chicago, now FinBank now acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank). She stayed with this bank for couple of years before establishing her tailoring company called “Supreme Stitches”. Her company grew quite fast and soon became a household name, she even received patronage from Nigeria’s elite women. Folorunsho became the national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), and was recognised for her good work in promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style.
Folorunsho applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL) in May 1993. This request was aimed at exploring oil on a 617,000-acre block—now referred to as OPL 216—was granted to Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited. A block situated at approximately 220 miles south east of Lagos and 70 miles offshore of Nigeria in the Agbami Field of the central Niger Delta. She added another feather to her business by signing a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Texaco) and appointed the company as a technical adviser for the exploration of the license, transferring 40 percent of her 100 percent stake to Star Deep. Afterward, the company(Star Deep) sold off 8 percent of its stake in OPL 216 to Petrobras, a Brazilian company. She was appointed as the first female Chancellor (Osun State University) in Nigeria on 9 March 2016.
Folorunso Alakija is one of the most influential women in Nigerian and she is widely known for wealth and riches. She was ranked the 96th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes 2014 ranking. In May 2015, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Alakija were ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women according to Forbes. She secured the 87th spot on the list.
Folorunsho is also well known for her philanthropic interests in the society, she founded a foundation called the “Rose of Sharon Foundation” that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants. Her company is behind the sponsoring of the Agbami medical and engineering scholarship scheme, which is one of the most reputable and reliable scholarship scheme in the country today. She is also doing everything possible in making sure that thousands of people get the best education in the country, this can be seen in the donation she made to Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai, the Niger State University. It was alleged that the money was used in construction of a 350 Seat Lecture Theater.
On 1 July 2013, the federal government of Nigeria set up a body known as the “National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts” and Alakija was appointed as vice-chairman of the body. She also served as the Chief Matron of Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs.
Personal Life : Husband And Children
Nigerian oil Billionaire Folorunsho, married a lawyer, Modupe Alakija in November 1976. They now have four children together (all Boys) and they reside in Lagos, Nigeria with their children and grandchildren . Some time ago, rumor was going round that DJ Xclusive is her son , the DJ has cleared the air that Folorunsho is his aunty not mother.
DJ Xclusive has denied reports that he is the biological son of Africa’s richest woman. The Empire Mates Entertainment disc jockey has reacted to a report by International commerce magazine, Business Insider, which listed him amongst the world’s hottest billionaire offsprings. They reported that DJ Xclusive (Real name Rotimi Alakija) is an offspring of Folorunsho Alakija.
DJ Xclusive’s “rep” denied the reports. “It’s all a mix up. DJ Xclusive is not Folorunsho Alakija’s son, Folorunsho is his aunty.” It was further disclosed that Folorunsho Alakija also has a son named Rotimi who is often mistaken for DJ Xclusive .
Folorunsho Alakija Revealed The Secrets Behind Her Success
Do not accept ‘’No” for an answer – Many doors were shut in my face but I refused to give up and kept going back and it paid off; see where I am today.
Be determined to succeed as there is always a way where there seems to be no way. Only the persistent and diligent find it.
Time is money, use it wisely.
Say “no” to corruption
Find mentors for practical guidance in your chosen career.
Find out God’s purpose for your life and embark on it.
Exercise patience and have courage. Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
Always remember, that anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.
Don’t sit on the fence but come to Nigeria’s defence. Proffer solutions and follow through.