Folorunsho Alakija, a fashion designer turned oil tycoon, is the richest woman in Nigeria and one of the richest women in Africa. With a net worth estimated at $2.1 billion, she made headlines when she surpassed Oprah Winfrey as the world’s richest black woman. Her businesses span fashion, oil, and printing, and she is the founder of Famfa Oil Limited, which is believed to earn at least $10 million in profit every day.
Apart from her business success, Folorunsho Alakija is also known for her philanthropic initiatives and is the founder of the Rose of Sharon Foundation, a non-governmental organization that empowers widows and orphans through scholarships and business incentives.
Early Life and Education
Folorunsho Alakija was born on July 15, 1951, in Lagos State, Nigeria, to the family of Chief L.A Ogbara. She was the 8th child in a family of 52 siblings. She attended Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall, Wales, for her primary education at the age of 7, and later returned to Nigeria to attend Muslim High School in Ogun state. At the age of 17, she pursued secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College in London, where she also studied fashion design at the American College.
Business Ventures and Success
Folorunsho Alakija’s first job was as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1974. She later worked at the First National Bank of Chicago. Her first personal business venture was in the fashion industry, where she founded Supreme Stitches, a fashion brand that catered to the demand and style of wealthy women in Nigeria. Her business quickly gained prominence, and she even had the wife of General Ibrahim Babangida as one of her customers. Folorunsho Alakija’s passion for promoting Nigerian fashion and style led her to become the National President and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN).
In May 1993, Folorunsho Alakija applied for an oil prospecting license, which was granted to her company, Famfa Oil Limited, by the Nigerian Government. This granted her the right to explore for oil in a 617,000-acre block, now known as OPL 216, located in the Agbami Field of the central Niger Delta. Famfa Oil Limited is believed to earn substantial profits, making Folorunsho Alakija one of the wealthiest women in Africa.
Apart from her business ventures, Folorunsho Alakija is also known for her philanthropic acts. She has a deep interest in education and provides scholarships to Nigerian students through the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship Scheme, which is sponsored by her company. She also founded The Rose of Sharon Foundation, a charitable organization that supports widows and orphans through business grants and scholarships. In addition, she has donated a skills acquisition center to the Yaba College of Technology, showcasing her commitment to empowering others through education and entrepreneurship.
Folorunsho Alakija’s net worth is estimated to be around $2.1 billion, making her the richest woman in Nigeria and one of the wealthiest women in Africa. However, she dropped off the billionaire Forbes list due to lower oil prices, but her business empire and philanthropic efforts continue to make her a prominent figure in Nigeria and beyond.
Alakija House, Cars, and Private Jet
Although Folorunsho Alakija is a wealthy and her house is elegantly designed with luxurious furnishings and state-of-the-art amenities. She also owns a magnificent mansion in Lagos, Nigeria, known as the Alakija House, which is a stunning display of opulence and grandeur.