Nigerian oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija, 66, is the richest black woman in the world with an estimated fortune of $2.1 billion
Starting her career as a secretary in a bank in the mid 1970s, Alakija, 62, then studied fashion in London and returned to Nigeria to start a label, Supreme Stitches. But her biggest break came in oil.
In 1993, her company, Famfa Oil, was awarded an oil prospecting license, which later became OML 127, one of the country’s most prolific oil blocks, by then-president Ibrahim Babangida.
The company owned a 60 per cent stake in the block until 2000 when the Nigerian government unconstitutionally acquired a 50 per cent interest without duly compensating Alakija or Famda Oil.
In May 2012, Alakija, a married mother-of-four, challenged the acquisition and the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50 per cent stake to her company.
She also has a charity called the Rose of Sharon foundation that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarships and business grants.
In 2014, she knocked Oprah Winfrey off her post as the richest woman of African descent in the world.
Forbes rank her as the 14th richest woman in Africa and she is number 80 on its Power Women list.
Folarin is the son of Folorunsho Alakija’s, pictured, left, with her husband. In 2014, she knocked Oprah Winfrey off her post as the richest woman of African descent in the world
credit: Daily Mail