Nigeria is one of the most powerful and emerging countries in Africa and the world. As for the country’s success, it is full of natural resources like oil and gas that play an important part in a country’s progress. Being the richest person in the country like Nigeria is no less than a blessing. Combine that with the possibility of being one of the women, and it becomes more surprising. For the people wondering who is the richest woman in Nigeria, the answer is obvious and consistent for years. The richest woman in Nigeria is one and only Folorunsho Alakija with a staggering net worth of billions of dollars.
She is not only the richest woman in Nigeria but is also considered as the second most powerful woman in Africa.
She has also been featured in world-famous magazines.
And websites like Forbes is include in the top 100 most powerful women in the world, interested to know about her?
Let’s have a deep dive into her life.
Personal biodata and net worth of Folorunsho Alakija
Nigeria was blessed with the birth of Folorunsho Alakija in 1951.
Her biodata has been mentioned below for ease of reading.
- Date of Birth: July 15, 1951
- Place of Birth: Lagos State, Nigeria
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Father’s Name: L. A. Ogbara
- Husband Name: Modupe Alakija
- Date of Marriage: November 1976
- Children: 4
- Number of Sons: 4
- Number of Daughters: None
- Total of Grandchildren: 2
- Most Prominent Relative: Rotimi Alakija. Nephew (also known as DJ Xclusive)
- Net Worth: $2.5 billion
The life story of Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunsho Alakija is a blend of many things.
At par, she is a billionaire businesswoman and the richest woman in Nigeria with a huge net worth.
Apart from her financial net worth, she is a fashionista, a philanthropist, a Christian preacher, an author, and a motivational public speaker.
She has been involved in a variety of professions.
She is best known for her involvement in the fashion, oil and print businesses in Nigeria.
Apart from that, she also has her stakes in the real estate industry.
Her journey to being one of the richest women in Nigeria is no less than an inspiration.
Go through the ups and downs she had been through her life, and you will fall in love with her efforts.
Childhood of Folorunsho Alakija
Folorunsho Alakija was among 62 children of her father.
Presumably, she did not have a very good relationship with her father and managed to survive within her siblings.
She used to work in stores along with her mother to help her buy, maintain, and organize the clothes, fabric, and textile products.
According to her, she got the basic business sense from her childhood efforts of helping out her mother.
Maybe it was the time when she dreamed of becoming the richest girl in Nigeria, aiming for a huge net worth to support her family.
Early education of Folorunsho Alakija
After getting the early stages of her primary education from Lagos, she went to the United Kingdom in 1958 for completing her primary education.
She had to come back upon her family’s request after completing her primary education from the UK.
She went back to London for her professional education in secretarial studies later on.
Schools and colleges attended by Folorunsho Alakija
We have specifically mentioned the schools and colleges attended by Folorunsho Alakija in the section below:
Schools attended by Folorunsho Alakija:
- Our Ladies of Apostles, Lagos, Nigeria
- Dinorben School for Girls, Wales, United Kingdom
- Muslim High School, Ogun State, Nigeria
Colleges attended by Folorunsho Alakija:
- Pitman’s Central College, London, United Kingdom
Fashion Designing Degree Colleges:
- American College in London, United Kingdom
- Central School of Fashion, United Kingdom
Folorunsho Alakija’s early professional career
Folorunsho Alakija is one of the self-made billionaires in the world.
As she was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth and did not inherit much of her father’s wealth that could support her in being the business tycoon.
She started her career as the Executive Secretary at Sijuade Enterprises in her hometown after her studies in 1974.
She made use of her typing and data entry skills and kept working there for about 12 years.
And joined the banking sector after her first job and remained employed in the National Bank of Chicago currently known as First City Monument Bank.
Turning point of Folorunsho Alakija’s career
It is widely believe that Folorunsho Alakija realise that her life meant way more than just regular jobs.
Moreover, these jobs were not adding much to her net worth.
She left the banking job due to the slow promotions and went to the United Kingdom once again in 1984.
And went to study fashion, designing this time and earned a professional degree in the same.
Hence studied fashion from American College in London and the Central School of Fashion.
After the degree, she came back to Nigeria and established a fashion house in Lagos named “Supreme Stitches”.
This proved to be her successful experiment, and her brand became one of the most popular and high in demand fashion brands in Nigeria.
Her unique clothes became the name of Nigerian culture, and she got noticed all over the country within no time.
This business of Supreme Stitches proved to be the turning point of her life and contributed widely towards making her one of the richest women in Nigeria.
Later, she changed its name from “Supreme Stitches” to “Rose of Sharon House of Fashion” due to her divine thoughts, dreams, and her commitment towards God.
Mrs Alakija stepped into the business venture from this project and never looked back since then.
This paved her way to becoming the richest woman in Nigeria.
Folorunsho Alakija enters printing industry
After earning enough name in the fashion industry, she got bored with it and decided to expand her interests.
She entered the printing industry and founded Rose of Sharon Prints and Promotions.
The business became so flourished that she added another printing business named Digital Reality Prints in her portfolio.
Her printing business was booming days and nights when the Nigerian government decided to curtail the printing boards that were engulfing the sky with their abundance.
Folorunsho Alakija’s entry into oil business
Her meeting inspired her entry into oil exploration with her friend, who wanted her to help in lifting crude oil from her country.
She asked the relevant minister who denied to lift the oil from Nigeria and told her that he intended to put a stop on exporting oil from Nigeria to other countries.
He wanted someone from his soil to make use of the natural resources Nigeria had.
This, in turn, inspired Folorunsho Alakija to enter the oil business.
She started by applying to various business prospects, including freight services for oil in Nigeria but had to face rejection.
In 1993, Folorunsho Alakija finally decided to enter the oil exploration industry and applied for the Oil Prospecting License (OPL).
This was a bold step for an African Lady to be looking forward to becoming an oil explorer.
This was not a straight arrow for her, though.
Folorunsho Alakija faced many hardships for getting a proper license, and finally, she became successful.
She established a company named Famfa Limited.
Also, took yet another bold step to join hands with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited to help her expand her oil business by giving away up to 40% shares of her company to Star Deep.
This eventually contributed to her stellar net worth and making her the richest woman in Nigeria.
Folorunsho Alakija’s fight with the Nigerian government
Folorunsho Alakija’s business life has not always been a bed of roses.
She faced many hardships out of which, her fight with her government is quite notable.
The Nigerian government deprived her of her major shares in the company because she was making millions of dollars per day.
She moved the court against the whole government and kept fighting tirelessly for 12 years with a hope for justice to be served.
In the end, she was successful and finally won the case against the government.
Folorunsho Alakija’s current life
Folorunsho Alakija serves as an inspiration to many people, including men and women all around the globe as the richest woman in Nigeria.
Even as a person with such a whopping net worth, she is an ordinary woman down in her heart with a lot of courage and hopes to excel in every part of life.
The highlights from her current life have been summarise below:
Folorunsho Alakija’s businesses and designations
Folorunsho Alakija is serving as the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group.
The group owns various companies including The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited.
Additionally, she is serving as the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
In real estate, she is a major partner in a real estate company named DaySpring Property Development.
She is the first African female to be appointed as the chancellor in a public university.
She also serves as the board member of the Commonwealth Business Forum.
Her official website is www.Folorunshoalakija.com
Folorunsho Alakija’s current personal life
Folorunsho Alakija has been happily married to her husband for the last 44 years.
Although having been born in a Muslim family, she found herself to be a practising Christian.
She is a strong believer and preacher of God.
Even more she is widely seen promoting women to do their own business and prove their mettle in every field.
She is a motivational speaker, a philanthropist, and a writer too.
Folorunsho Alakija as a philanthropist
As a person of her caliber and net worth, Folorunsho Alakija is widely regarded as one of the most charitable women in Nigeria.
Her non-profit organization named Rose of Sharon Foundation is responsible for providing financial support to the needy and poor.
It also provides health facilities to sick people.
It takes special care in providing scholarships to support orphans in their studies.
Folorunsho Alakija as a christianity minister
Being one of the richest women in Nigeria, her net worth could not stop her from preaching her religion.
She took out time to be the minister of Christianity and founded Rose of Sharon Glorious Ministry International for Cathedral Church of Christ.
Folorunsho Alakija as an author
The world is fortunate enough to get some of the books authored by Folorunsho Alakija.
She is the richest woman in the world Nigeria ever had who also spared time to write books so that the readers might develop a virtual rapport with her and share her views.
After reading her books, you will conclude that her net worth is nothing short of her intellectual abilities.
The list of books written by her is mentioned below.
- Growing with the hand that gives the rose
- Fashion: The African Connection
- University of Marriage
- The cry of widows and orphans
- Folorunsho Alakija Speaks
- His Name is…
- Scriptures for Husbands
- Alone with God
- Scriptures for Parents
- Scriptures for Wives
- Window Shop for your Spouse
Folorunsho Alakija’s recipe to success
As Folorunsho Alakija is widely considered as one of the most successful women who rose from the ashes to reach the top horizons of success.
We found it pertinent to mention her recipe of success as described by herself on various platforms.
1. Always ask God for success
Folorunsho Alakija is of the view that people should always ask for help from God.
They must refrain from following others.
“Follow what God wants you to do.
Maybe it is even better.”
She keeps telling that those who did not believe in God stopped her from pursuing her court case vs whole government.
It took 12 years, but she won the case with only a firm belief in God.
She keeps saying that God and business are inseparable.
2. Pursue the Excellence
Don’t just rely on God and expect everything to be done from His side.
Do your part.
Strive for what He has planned for you.
Don’t expect miracles to just fall in for you.
Build your net worth in your special ways.
3. Follow your passion
“If you don’t enjoy what you do, you are in the wrong kind of business.”
If you are not excited to go to work every morning, change your work.
Follow what your passion is.
4. Family Support
“My husband was always there for me.”
There were times when she went back home crying, and he was always there to encourage her.
He always supported her financially and morally.
So always seek help from your loved ones.
5. Never Give up
She never took no for an answer.
She always loved to take challenges.
“Always go the extra mile to go to the logical conclusion”.
During her career in oil exploration, the door to success was continuously shut 3 times for her.
She never gave up and started that all over again until she was successful.
6. Find the key to the shut door
You must strive for finding the key to the door that is shut.
According to her views, the key is always there, you just need to look deep.
And you will eventually find success as compared to someone else who has given up.
7. Accept the challenge
By the time Folorunsho Alakija entered the oil exploration field, she went to see the minister in Nigeria for the approvals and paperwork.
She took it as a challenge and proved to the world that she could still make her place while being at the competition with the multinational energy giants all over the world.
8. Be hardworking
“I am hard working.
I am very, very hard working.
I would be sick If I do work.”
This is what she said in one of her speeches that she would even get sick while working hard.
9. Get rid of the stoppers
“If I am married a husband who didn’t allow me to work, we would have been divorced long ago.
That’s the truth”.
So, she was very clear to get rid of the people who stop you from excelling in your life.
Surround yourself with optimists.
10. Women need more effort for recognition
“It is easy for the men just to do something effortlessly and get the recognition for it.
But for women to be able to get recognise, you have to put in triple effort into what the men are putting in.
It is only then that you get noticed just because there are so many odds against the women.
Just because the world believes that women are supposed to be in the kitchen.”
11. Be a perfectionist
Whatever you do in your life, just don’t do it half-heartedly.
Either don’t do it or do it with perfection.
12. Be creative
Think out of the box to bring the solutions out of your creative mind.
13. Be innovative
To climb the ladder of success, you always need to be innovative in your ideas and bring in the best of your abilities to confront the issues.
14. Seek counseling
Ask for tips from the people who have succeeded in the line of business you are striving to establish.
Talk to them and get some tips.
Maybe they have gone through some kind of hardships and challenges in the early stages.
You don’t have to repeat those mistakes.
Always ask for help and save your time.
15. Be inquisitive
“I am inquisitive. I have always had a curious mind ever since I have known myself.”
16. Make tough decisions
“As a leader, you need to make tough and difficult decisions”.
While facing the crisis in her oil business, selling the license was never an option for her.
Although a lot of people kept advising her to sell the license, she made a tough decision and stood by it firmly.
Folorunsho Alakija’s recipe to success summary
There are quite a few richest women in Nigeria who are the centre of everyone’s attention.
Out of all the richest women in Nigeria after Folorunsho Alakija, including Bola Shagaya (Net worth $2 billion), Daisy Danjuma (Net worth $1.7 billion), and Fifi Ejindu (Net worth $850 million), Folorunsho Alakija is most influential and worth an inspiration.
With all her successes and struggles described in the article above, there is no second thought towards taking Mrs Alakija as one gem of a success story.
Being the richest woman in Nigeria with a net worth of billions is not a dream every girl can accomplish.
She is rightly consider as a role model out of all the richest women in Nigeria.