There are a lot of wealthy women in Nigeria but a certain woman stands out amongst them all. She is not only the richest woman in Nigeria but the richest woman in Africa and one of the richest black women in the world according to Forbes Magazine. She is worth over USD 2.5 billion dollars and she is Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija.
Folorunsho Alakija was born in 1951 in Ikorodu, Lagos stateof Nigeria to the family of Chief L.A Ogbara.
She started her elementary education in the United Kingdom at Dinorben School for Girls, Hafodunos Hall, Llangernyw, Wales. Shortly after completingher elementary education, she returned to Nigeria where she completed her secondary School education at the Muslim High school, Sagamu, Ogun State.
She returned to the United Kingdom where she bagged a diploma in Secretarial Studies from Pittman’s Central College.
At some point in her life, she decided that she was interested in fashion business and this led her to study fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion.
In 1974, Folorunsho returned to Nigeria to start her career as an Executive Secretary. She worked with Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos and First National Bank of Chicago also in Lagos.
She quit her job at First National Bank of Chicago, Lagos to follow her dream of investing in the fashion industry. She established Supreme Stiches, a tailoring company which eventually became Rose of Sharon House of Fashion.
May 1993 was when fortune finally decided to smile on her for good. She was one of the few Nigerians who were lucky enough to win a bid for the allocation of Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPL). She won the bid for allocation of an OPL to her company, Famfa Limited.
In 1996, she appointed Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited to act as technical advisor for the exploration of the OPL and transferred 40% of her stake to Star Deep Limited.
In 2013, Folorunsho Alakija was appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts by the Federal Government of Nigeria. She and other appointees on the board which include several other wealthy Nigerians like Igho Sanomi are to oversee the protection and conservation of all places and objects of heritage significance in Nigerian.
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija is happily married to Mr. Modupe Alakija and the couple is happily blessed with four sons and two grandchildren including Ladi Alakija who got married to Lolade in August 2012 and Rotimi Alakija who also got married recently. Her sons assist her in managing her numerous businesses.
Mrs Alakija has an impressive portfolio of investments and assets, one that would make anyone green with envy. She has houses in some of the choicest areas in London, United States and in The Middle East.
She runs a charity foundation known as The Rose of Sharon Foundation with which she helps to take care of widows and orphans; empowering them through scholarships and business grants.
She is really one woman that can be said to have it all.