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Biography of Folorunso ALAKIDJA

Nigeria > Business : Folorunso ALAKIDJA

Folorunso ALAKIDJA
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Born on 15/07/1951 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Folorunsho Alakija born July 15, 1952, is a Nigerian philanthropist  billionaire oil tycoon.  She is the woman who dethroned the super rich talk-show host Oprah Winfrey as the world richest black woman. The business tycoon draws her fortune from the fashion, oil and printing industries.

 She was born into a wealthy, polygamous Nigerian family. She originates from a large family: her dad, Chief L. A. Ogbara, had 8 wives and 52 children in his lifetime. She was the second surviving child, her mom was the first wife.

She and her younger sister were sent to school abroad when she was 7 years old. They went to a school in Wales, a private school for girls in Northern Wales, and they were the only coloured (black) girls in the school. And because their fellow mates couldn't pronounce their names, they coined them names - Flo for Folorunsho and Doyle for Doyin.

She worked as a secretary in a Nigerian merchant bank in the 1970s and later left to study fashion design in England. She subsequently founded Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label that catered for upscale clientele, including Miriam Babangida, wife of Nigeria's former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida.

It was during the reign of Babangida that her company Famfa Oil got an oil prospecting license which went on to become OML 127, one of Nigeria's most prolific oil blocks. Famfa Oil owned a 60% stake in the block until 2000, when then President Olusegun Obasanjo acquired a 50% interest in the block. Famfa Oil went to court to challenge the acquisition, and the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50% stake to Famfa Oil in May 2012.

Her 60 per cent stake in the block is currently valued at around $7.3 billion, Ventures Africa reported.




She is a popular philanthropist who takes up the cause of the defenceless in Nigerian society, widowed women, young and orphaned children. Alakija recognised that for many women in parts of Nigeria:

Once they lose their husbands, the society turns their backs on them, their in-laws begin to mistreat them, they become depressed, they don’t know where to turn, they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

She created the Rose of Sharon Foundation in 2008, with the support of 350 illustrious men and women to ease the burdens of this vulnerable group. Three years after starting, Rose of Sharon had empowered 2,760 widows, providing them with workshops to connect with other widows and share their testimonies. These women also received monetary support, scholarships for their children and interest free loans to start up small businesses. Folorunsho Alakija believes there is no greater reward for her faith and hard work than to see the smiles and successes of these women who ‘simply need a shoulder to lean on’.


 Quotes:"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." " (Folorunso Alakidja)

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Last update : 06/12/2016

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