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11 Interesting things about Folorunsho Alakija



Business Mogul, Philanthropist Unionist and Fashion Expert Mrs. Alakija was born on July 15th, 1951 at Ikorodu, Lagos, South-western Nigeria to Chief and Mrs. L. A Ogbara, a wealthy polygamous family of 8 wives and 52 children. Folorunsho was the second child, while her mother was first wife. She attended Dinorben School for Girls Wales, UK (Primary education); Muslim High School Sagamu, Nigeria (Secondary education); Pitman’s Central College London, UK (Secretariat studies); American College London, UK (Fashion design) and Central School of Fashion (Fashion design). She is a strong businesswoman in Nigeria known to have owned very successful Oil, fashion and printing companies; these placed her topmost in 2012 Forbes’ List of Wealthiest Black-woman in Nigeria, Africa and the world. Forunsho wedded in 1976 to Modupe Alakija (a legal practitioner), the marriage is blessed with four kids and grandchildren. She is a devote Christian. Interesting things about Folorunsho Alakija:
  • In 1974, Folorunsho Alakija was employed as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises Lagos, Nigeria
  • She worked as a banker in the defunct First National Bank of Chicago (presently called FinBank) in the 1970s
  • By 1985, Folorunsho opened her fashion company called Supreme Stitches that later transformed to Sharon House of Fashion in Lagos, Nigeria. The fashion label provided clothing for high-network women such as Maryam Babangida (former Military President’s wife of Nigeria) etc.
  • Mrs. Alakija’s fame and notoriety came about early due to her fashion successes and later other business ventures such as Famfa Oil Ltd and Rose of Sharon Group. She won the National President and Lifelong Trustees of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) that brought Nigeria fashion lines to Africa and indeed to the world
  • Early 1993, Folorunsho ventured into Nigeria’s oil sector, when she sought for OPL 126 allocation in Agbami Field that was granted to her company, Famfa Ltd. Although, in late 1996 she transferred 40% of 100% share of Famfa Ltd to Star Deep Water Petroleum Ltd and obtained 40% share in a joint venture agreement with that subsidiary of Texaco.
  • Mrs. Alakija’s Star Deep 8% of OPL 216 is currently being owned by a Brazilian company, Petrobras, while she has about 60%
  • Folorunsho owns a foundation, Rose of Sharon Foundation (a philanthropic organization), which provides scholarships and business grants for many windows and orphans
  • In mid-2013, Mrs. Alakija was chosen as vice-chairman by Federal Government of Nigeria’s newly formed National Heritage Council and Endowment for Arts, in promoting and preserving the nation’s 100 heritage sites and assets
  • The Yoruba-born business icon is adjudged world’s richest black-woman by Ventures Africa (a pan-African magazine) in late 2013 with USD7.3 billion in assets/fortune.
  • Forbes magazine named her World’s richest black woman (2013) overtaking TV Show host, Opera Winfrey to second place.
  • In early 2012, Alakija won the petition at the supreme court of Nigeria against wrongful takeover and non-compensation for 50% share of her company in the year 2000
Indeed, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija may have conquered in many areas of human endeavours through hard work, fearlessness and determination, which has brought her National recognition locally and internationally. However, her next shot may be Nigeria’s political scene with very few women though owing to her unsullied character, enormous experience and wealth.   BY: Abraham Alfa

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