Folorunsho Alakija Bio
Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman, one of the richest African women, and one of the richest black women in the world. In 2014, she temporarily unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world.
She is involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries. She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. As of 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Folorunsho Alakija Age
Folorunsho Alakija was born on 15 July 1951 in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She is 68 years as of 2019 August 20th.
Folorunsho Alakija Family
Folorunsho was born on 15 July 1951 to the family of Chief L. A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State. Folorunsho married a lawyer, Modupe Alakija in November 1976. The couple resides in Lagos, Nigeria with their four sons and grandchildren. Her nephew is Nigerian, DJ Xclusive.
Folorunsho Alakija Husband
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija got married to Modupe Alakija in 1976. This marriage is an example of tremendous fortitude and affection. They have been together for over 40 years and are still going strong.
Folorunsho Alakija Children
They have 4 adult sons in their family. 3 of them are already married. these are Folarin Alakija, Rotimi Alakija, Ladi Alakija, Dele Alakija.
Folorunsho Alakija Early life and education
At age seven, she traveled to the United Kingdom to begin a four-year primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales.
After returning to Nigeria, she attended Muslim High School Sagamu Ogun State, Nigeria.
Afterward, she returned abroad for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College, London. She also studied fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion.
Folorunsho Alakija Career
Folorunsho started her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria.
She moved on to the former First National Bank of Chicago, now FinBank now acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank) where she worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches.
It rose to prominence and fame within a few years, and as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name. As a national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), she left an indelible mark, promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style.
In May 1993, Folorunsho applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL). The license to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block—now referred to as OPL 216—was granted to Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited. The block is located approximately 220 miles southeast of Lagos and 70 miles offshore of Nigeria in the Agbami Field of the central Niger Delta.
In September 1996, she entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Texaco) and appointed the company as a technical adviser for the exploration of the license, transferring 40 percent of her 100 percent stake to Star Deep.
Once word got out they struck oil the unthinkable happened: the Nigerian government snatched a 40% stake! Later, they took an additional 10%. According to her:
We felt like it was unfair. We had taken the sole risk and invested everything we had in the business. It had become a family business. We spent six years as a family to ensure this worked out and now that it was bearing fruit, they just stepped in and took away everything we had struggled and worked extremely hard for. I said to myself, ‘Folorunsho Alakija does not give up, my husband does not give up and my children do not give up.’
She took them to court. For 12 years she fought the government in court. The stakes were high. The government argued if Alakija and family were allowed to keep their bloc they stood to make $10 million a day! Still she persisted and in the end, she won.
Subsequently, Star Deep sold off 8 percent of its stake in OPL 216 to Petrobras, a Brazilian company. On 9 March 2016, Nigeria had its first female chancellor as she became the chancellor of Osun State University.
As of 2014, she is listed as the 96th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In May 2015 two Nigerian women, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Alakija were listed among the world’s 100 most powerful women according to Forbes. Alakija was 87th on the list.
Folorunsho has a foundation called the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants. Her company is also a major sponsor of the Agbami medical and engineering scholarship scheme, one of the most reliable scholarship schemes in Nigeria with over a thousand people yearly as beneficiaries.
Mrs. Alakija is a fervent supporter of education in Nigeria; for example in 2014 she donated a substantial amount of money to Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai, the Niger State University. The money was used to complete the construction of a 350 Seat Lecture Theater, which was named after her.
On 1 July 2013, the federal government of Nigeria inaugurated the National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts and appointed Alakija as vice-chairman of the body.
While inaugurating the council, Nigeria’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke, said Nigeria had identified 100 new heritage sites, which “are unique and uncommon assets that we intend to preserve and promote.” He charged the council, which is headed by Igho Sanomi, to “ensure the protection and conservation of places and objects of heritage significance and the registration of such places and objects.
She serves as the Chief Matron of Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs.
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9 facts about Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija Author
The richest woman in Nigeria is the 65-year-old Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija. She is a business tycoon who has her hands in oil and printing industries.
They say what a man can do, a woman can do better and Mrs. Alakija has proven that as she has succeeded in the oil industry, broken records and managed to amass more wealth than most Nigerian men can ever comprehend. Here are nine amazing facts about Mrs. Alakija along with quotes from her to inspire you to aim higher and do better with your life:
1. She is worth $1.87 billion and is ranked one of the most powerful women on earth and has a lengthy profile on Forbes website.
“Money has nothing to do with love. Love comes from within. Money is something you acquire along the line. Only love keeps people together. From the time that we started courting, it has been like that, and we thank God that to His glory, we’ve known one another for 40 years. I pray also that God continues to unite us. I believe that if love is the foundation of a union, God will prove Himself faithful.
2. Her father was Chief L. A. Ogbara and the Ogbaras are a prominent and wealthy family in Lagos.
Her father had eight wives and 52 children in his lifetime (now left with 46). Her mother was his first wife. Folorunsho and her sister “It was a happy childhood, I enjoyed growing up. I learned a lot from my guardian (Mrs. Coker), which was a totally different set-up for my mums. She taught us etiquette, how to sit at a table, went through our homework with us and it was from there actually that I left for England at 7.”
3. She schooled in the UK. She first went to study Secretarial Studies at Central College, Pitman but ended up at American College London and then Central School of Fashion to study Fashion Design.
“I am a very proud Nigerian. I have traveled far. I have traveled the world over, I have been traveling since the age of seven. I started off as a secretary to a bank’s managing director but that was not what I wanted. It was my father that set me along that path.”
4. By 1974, her fashion influence was so great she became the National President of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN). Today, she remains the Permanent Trustee of the organization
5. By 1993, she applied for an allocation for an Oil Prospecting License (OPL), which was her first move into the oil industry, and got the license by August 1993. Her company, Famfa Limited is now unstoppable.
6. In 1976, she got married to the love of her life, Modupe Alakija and eventually involved he and her four sons in Famfa Oil.
Her husband is the Chairperson of Famfa Oil and she is the Executive Vice President. Folorunsho with her husband and children “My husband is my best friend, biggest adviser, and supporter. We’ve known each other for 40 years and have been married for 37 years now with four boys.
Even though we work in the same office, I always ensure that we kiss twice in a day, morning and night.” “I also prepare his special vegetable dish, do his manicure and pedicure regularly. I also go to the airport to pick him whenever he is returning from foreign trips. No marriage survives without love, respect and support from the couple.
7. She is from a Muslim background but settled for Christianity in her adult life.
“I don’t see any reason why anyone shouldn’t successfully combine his or her faith with affluence. As far as I’m concerned, wherever we get to in life is not because of what we have done, but because of what God has done through us. If God does not approve our success, we can never get there but can only try
8. She has her autobiography which is called: Growing with the Hand That Gives The Rose.
“I’m grateful to God for making me who I am, and the way I am. I always look back and remember that nothing is as a result of what I have done but for what He’s done through me.
9. She has a Rose of Sharon Foundation, a faith-based, non-profit organization that focuses on assisting the most vulnerable people in the society, including widows and orphans.
“We try our best to bring hope back into their lives…the foundation has been able to fend for 2,751 widows and 963 widows’ children, 66 orphans and actually 11 widows at university through the foundation.
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