The Forbes Magazine named Mrs Folorunsho Alakija as the richest woman in Africa according to its November 2012 edition while Wikipedia described her as the richest Black woman on earth with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion.
She is a business tycoon 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.
She attended Muslim High School Sagamu Ogun State, Nigeria. Afterwards, 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 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, 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 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.
It all became milk and honey when Alakija really paved a path to prosperity for herself by applying for an oil prospecting license in 1993 for her company Famfa Limited. The license permits oil exploration in a designated area. The Nigerian government allowed Alakija to explore 617,000 acres of land for oil. Three years later, Alakija’s company entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a Texaco subsidiary.
Alakija has a foundation called the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants. The Rose of Sharon Foundation (ROSF) is a private, voluntary, non-profit, faith based, non-governmental Organisation based in Lagos state, Nigeria. Their mission statement includes easing the burdens of existence for widows and orphans, which they do through their community network amongst others.
“The foundation was formally launched with the special grace of God on the 23rd of May 2008 at the Grand hall of the Eko hotels and suites. Over 350 distinguished ladies and gentlemen drawn from various sectors of our society attended the event and pledged their support to our projects”. ROSF
She owns a private jet and a mansion in London worth millions. We honor Ms Folo for taking up the highest rank and putting Africa on the wealth map