Folorunso Alakija

Folorunso Alakija (born 15 July 1951) is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman.[2] She is involved in the fashion,[3] oil, real estate and printing industries.[4] She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited, Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.

Folorunso Alakija
Folorunso Alakija.jpg
Born (1951-07-15) 15 July 1951 (age 69)
Net worthUS$1.0 billion (January 2020)[1]
TitleManaging director, Rose of Sharon Group
Vice chairman, Famfa Oil
Modupe Alakija
(m. after 1976)

She also has a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development company.[5][6] Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $1 billion.[7][4] 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.[8]

Early life and educationEdit

Folorunsho was born on 15 July 1951 to the family of Chief L. A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She attended her Nursery education at Our Ladies of Apostles, Lagos from 1955–1958. At age seven, she travelled to the United Kingdom to continue her primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales between 1959–1963. On completion of her primary education, she attended "Muslim High School" in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. She then returned to England for her secretarial studies at Pitman's Central College, London. So, she educated at Europe.[9]


Alakija started her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria. She moved to the former First National Bank of Chicago, which later became FinBank now acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank)[10] where she worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. Within a few years, as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, it became a household name.[4][11] 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.[3][12]

In May 1993, Alakija applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL).[13] 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 approximately 350 kilometres (220 miles) southeast of Lagos and 110 kilometres (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.[14][15]

Once word got out they struck oil, the Nigerian government snatched a 40% stake. Later, they took an additional 10%.[16] For twelve years, she fought the government in court. The government argument was 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.[17]


As of 2014, she is listed as the 96th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[8] 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 86th on the list.[18]

Philanthropic interestsEdit

Folorunsho has a foundation called the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans through scholarships and business grants.[19][20] Alakija has donated a Skills Acquisition Center to Yaba College of Technology, a higher educational institution located in Lagos.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Folorunsho married a lawyer, Modupe Alakija of the Adeyemo Alakija family, in November 1976.[22][23] The couple resides in Lagos, Nigeria with their four sons[24] and their grandchildren.[25] Her nephew is DJ Xclusive.[26]


  1. ^ "Forbes profile: Folorunsho Alakija". Forbes. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  2. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (30 December 2014). "Here's She is the World's Richest Black woman in the world". TIME. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Julee (5 December 2012). "Richest Black Woman in the World, Folorunso Alakija, Was A Major Fashion Designer in Africa". The Huffington Post.
  4. ^ a b c Kehinde FALODE (17 September 2011). "Fashion icon, Folorunso Alakija at 62". The Nation. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  5. ^ Adetutu Audu (31 January 2016). "Folorunso Alakija explores Real Estate". The Nation.
  6. ^ "From Energy to Real Estate…Folorunsho Alakija Spreads Wings to Property Sector". ThisDay. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Africa's 40 Richest". Forbes. November 2012.
  8. ^ a b "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Folorunso Alakija". Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  10. ^ "FCMB".
  11. ^ "Folorunsho Alakija". Forbes. November 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  12. ^ Gabriel, Gift (24 June 2012). "I moved out of the crowd to get it right – Mrs Alakija". Sunday Tribune. Nigeria.
  13. ^ "The Richest Black Woman in the World, Folorunsho Alakija". Ventures Africa. Lagos. 29 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Folorunso Alakija richest black woman on earth". PM News. 25 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Agbami Oilfield, Nigeria". offshore Nigeria.
  16. ^ "How Africa's second richest woman gained her fortune - CNBC Africa". CNBC Africa. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  17. ^ "5 Lessons Folorunsho Alakija Could Teach Christian Entrepreneurs -". 29 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  18. ^ Sotubo, Jola (27 May 2015). "Nigerians make Forbes' most powerful women list". Forbes. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  19. ^ Ellis, Jessica (16 February 2012). "Nigerian billionaire takes on cause of 'mistreated widows'". CNN.
  20. ^ Amos, Adaeze (26 May 2013). "My passion for widows and orphans –Folorunso Alakija". National Mirror. Nigeria. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  21. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong. "Nigeria's Richest Woman Folorunsho Alakija Donates Skills Acquisition Center To School". Forbes. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  22. ^ Allen Lee (9 October 2019). "Meet Folorunso Alakija: The Richest Woman in Africa". Money Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Folorunsho Alakija Biography: Age, Career, Net Worth, Family, Husband, Facts". DailyMedia. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  24. ^ Sessou, Ebun (9 September 2011). "My life is full of blissful moments – Folorunso Alakija". The Vanguard. Nigeria.
  25. ^ "Africa's Richest Woman Folorunsho Alakija: "It Has Not Been a Rag to Riches Fairytale"". Bella Naija. 29 August 2014.
  26. ^ ""I'm Not Folorunsho Alakija's Son" – DJ Xclusive". Silverbird Television. Retrieved 14 November 2014.

External linksEdit

Richest Women In Nigeria