Once again we have another female black role model – She’s smart, super rich and oh yeah – Nigerian.
Right now Nigerians are dominating the African forbe list with Aliko Dangote being the Richest man in Nigeria and Africa,.
Now the richest woman in Africa is Nigerian too – Her name is Mrs Folorunsho Alakij.
If you are Nigerian you’ve probably heard and if you haven’t for some reason; well here is a quick bio ..
Mrs Folorunsho Alakij was born in 1951 into a large polygamous family, her dad was said to have 8 wives and 52 children in his lifetime. At the age of 7, she was sent to a private school in wales along with her younger sister Doyin. Because the “oyinbo” kids couldn’t pronounce their names properly, they coined the name FLO for folorunsho and DOLYE for Doyin.
After 4 years at age 11 she and her younger sister finally moved back to Nigeria.
She started her career in the mid 1970s as a secretary at the now-defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the West African nation’s earliest investment banks., Met her husband in 1976 and they have 4 children together. In the 1980s, after studying fashion design in England, she founded Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele.
A friend she met whilst she was still in the fashion industry introduced her to the Oil business; they got allocated an Oil block that one wanted. They were approached in late 1996 by the then oil giant Texaco who were sure the block had potentials and after negotiations that spanned 3 months terms were agreed and the rest like they say is history.
Later Texaco became Chevron and they struck oil in commercial quantity it was then that they found out the oil had been collecting in that field for 17 million years. We consider ourselves lucky that we were allocated that particular oil field. That’s the early history of FAMFA OIL.
In 1993 Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida awarded her company, Famfa Oil, 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 the Nigerian government, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, unconstitutionally acquired a 50% interest in the block without duly compensating Alakija or her company. Famfa Oil went to court to challenge the acquisition, and in May this year, the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50% stake to Famfa Oil. Chevron owns the remaining 40%. Through her charity, the Rose of Sharon Foundation, Alakija supports widows throughout Nigeria.