In this article, you will find the full inspiring success story of Folorunsho Alakija – Nigeria’s richest woman, second richest woman in Africa and the third richest black woman in the world.
By reading this story to the end, you will be motivated to never give up on your dreams and to stick to it till you see it materialize. In a world where experience, knowledge and hardwork seem to be greatly underrated, you will learn the importance of these three virtues in guaranteeing success in whatever field a man find himself.
So Who Is Folorunsho Alakija And How Did She Become So Rich?
Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman, a fashion stylist and the third richest woman of African descent in the world.
Mrs. Alakija rose to fame and became rich by investing heavily in Oil and Fashion to the point that after Oprah Winfrey of USA and Isabel Dos Santos of Angola, she is the richest black woman on the planet earth.
Below is her complete profile and inspiring success story.
Her Early Life And Childhood
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija was born on the 15th of July, 1951 at Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Her father Chief L.A. Ogbara being a polygamous man, had a total number of 52 children of which Folorunsho happened to be the number 8th by birth.
Though he had many children, he knew the value of education and was very supportive of his children going to school.
Being a child who had a passion for education, young Folorunsho was sent outside the country where she had her primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Wales, United Kingdom.
Returning to the country after completing her primary education, she started her High school education at Muslim High School in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
While in this Secondary school, she developed interest in Law and would have proceeded to study Law in the University immediately after her graduation had her father not opposed the idea.
She went on to study Secretarial Studies (as suggested by her father) at Pitman’s Central College in the UK.
Her Career Life
In 1974, Folorunsho Alakija returned to Nigeria having successfully completed her education at Pitman’s Central College.
She immediately gained employment to work as the Executive Secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos.
After some time, she got another job to work at Fin Bank which is now known in Nigeria as First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
While working in the bank, she proved to be a very committed fellow and didn’t take long to rise to Head of Corporate Affairs. A position she held until when she resigned to venture fully into Fashion – something she has discovered she was more passionate about.
Knowing the importance of acquiring lots of proper knowledge before starting out as an entrepreneur, she went back to school to study Fashion Designing at the Central School of Fashion, London.
You will recall that in a previous post I made earlier this year, I highlighted lack of proper knowledge to be among the reasons so many young entrepreneurs fail in their first business attempt.
Before putting a dime in any business, it is very important you take some time and conduct simple researches concerning it. By doing just that, you will be saving yourself a lot of pain which may later arise as the business progresses.
(Let’s continue with the story)
Her Full Venture Into Business
In 1986, immediately after she returned to Nigeria from her study of Fashion Designing overseas, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija started her Fashion business called “Supreme Stitches”.
Haven being professionally trained and very talented when it comes to Fashion, she started making beautiful designs which attracted the high and mighty of her day – including Mariam Babangida, the wife of the former president of Nigeria.
Her expertise led to her receiving “Fashion Designer Of The Year” award just three weeks after starting her fashion house.
A woman with a Midas Touch, her success story didn’t just stop there. Her business kept prospering and prospering. This was actually due to strategic planning and a burning desire to make a lasting difference in the world of Fashion both within and outside Nigeria.
Her biggest break in business came when in 1993, her relationship with Babangida’s family paid off as her family’s Oil and Gas company, FAMFA Oil and Gas Ltd, of which she was the Vice Chairman, was awarded an Oil block (OPL 216) by the then President, Babangida.
During the exploration of the block, it was discovered the block had over one billion barrels of Oil in it.
Over the years, Mrs. Alakija invested in printing and founded The Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions Ltd. She even later rebranded her fashion house “Supreme Stitches” as “Rose of Sharon House of Fashion”.
Being the National President and Trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Folorunsho successfully promoted the Nigerian culture through Fashion and Style.
As time went on, she diversified into Real Estate and became the Vice Chairman of Dayspring Property Development Company Limited – a company that is currently building the biggest Tower in West Africa (Estimated to cost N60 Billion)
Her Philanthropy, Spirituality And Church
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija is a very spiritual woman who does not joke with her commitments to God.
According to her, the glory of God lifted her up and made her rich. So why wouldn’t she devote her time and all to serve Him?
In obedience to God’s leading, Mrs. Alakija alongside her husband Modupe Alakija, founded a church called Rose of Sharon Glorious Ministry where they both serve as Ministers.
When it comes to God and spiritual life, she is always known to say:
“Never mind those who tell you to leave God out of your business, your business is God’s business”
What a woman! A true role model for generations to come.
As a way of being a source of hope to many people, she started Rose of Sharon Foundation. A Foundation that influences her native land positively till today.
The number of widows and their families, orphans and helpless people the Foundation has empowered through educational programmes, scholarships and financial assistance is incredible.
Her Family Life
Folorunsho Alakija is married to Modupe Alakija. The couple got married in 1979 and has four children together.
Today she is not only a mother, she is also a grandmother and may even live to become a great grandmother as well.
Her 2018 Net Worth, Investments and Properties
Folorunsho Alakija is estimated to be worth $1.7 Billion as of 2018 – making her the richest woman in Nigeria and the third richest black woman in the world.
Some of her numerous properties includes:
- A Bombadier Global Jet worth $46 Million.
- Five apartments in London worth $123 Million
- FAMFA Oil and Gas Ltd
- Dayspring Property Development Company Ltd
- Rose of Sharon House of Fashion
- The Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions Ltd and Digital Reality Prints Ltd.
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija is one of Africa’s most successful women. Her success story is indeed a source of inspiration to so many young people all over Africa.
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