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The Story of Folorunsho Alakija: The Richest Woman In Nigeria: Career : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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The Story of Folorunsho Alakija: The Richest Woman In Nigeria

By: princepoint |Time : September 18, 2019, 06:02:10 AM
Folorunsho Alakija 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.



She also has a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development Company.
Alakija as she is popularly known, is the Richest Woman in Nigeria and Second Richest Woman in Africa, after Isabel Dos Santos of Angola.



As at 2015, she was listed by Forbes Magazine as the Second Most Powerful Woman in Africa, after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th Most Powerful Woman in the World.


Like most billionaires, she wasn't born into stupendous wealth.
According to her..."It is only God who could have brought me from the back burner to the front burner."
Alakija was born in Ikorodu-Lagos, Nigeria on 15 July 1951 into a family of traders.


Her father, Chief L. A. Ogbara, having been married to eight wives had 52 children. Alakija was his second surviving child of her mother who was the second wife and who was a textile merchant.


“I come from a Muslim background and it was a polygamous lifestyle. My father had eight wives and 52 children. All the wives had to cooperate with each other. To them that was how life was, they cooperated with one another, they quarrelled and made up again, most of us were living under one roof in private bedrooms, I think about four floors of a building, in the heart of Lagos Island,”


She had her nursery school education at Our Ladies of Apostles Nursery School, after which her parents sent she and her elder sister, Doyin to the United Kingdom where they had their primary school education at Dinorben School for Girls, Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales between 1959-1963.
After four years, they returned to Nigeria at the request of their parents who did not want them to lose the African Values, Tradition and Culture.


Back in Nigeria, she continued her studies at Muslim High School, Sagamu in Ogun State before venturing abroad again; this time to Pitman’s Central College in London to pursue an education in Secretarial Studies.
After her studies in England which lasted for about a year, she returned to Nigeria in 1974, and started her career as an Executive Secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria.



But after about 18 months, she moved to First National Bank of Chicago, which later became FinBank before it was acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank).
After working for about 12 years in the corporate banking world, she decided to change her career path.
“I joined them as a secretary and I was there for about 12 years.


 I was promoted to other departments of the bank, including heading the Corporate Affairs Department. From there I moved into proper banking, working in the Treasury Department. I loved it because I was trading with the bank’s money to make money for the bank. Later on, the bank was expanding and they started putting extra cogs between the wheels to ensure that people did not get promoted too fast to get to top positions within the bank.


So I asked myself, ‘how long will it take me to get from a Treasury Officer to a General Manager?’”.
That was how she resigned from the banking industry in 1984 and went back to England to study Fashion Design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion.


Fashion Designing is something she had learned from her mother.
“My siblings and I used to help my mum in the store and that is where we learned a lot about textiles, textures, colours, patterns and merchandising. That is where I learned all the practical steps that I later on applied to my fashion business.”


After returning to Nigeria, Alakija established her fashion house, known as Supreme Stitches. Supreme Stitches was started in a three-bedroom apartment in Surulere, Lagos and within a year she became one of the best designers in Nigeria and got recognized for endorsing Nigerian culture through her works and clothing.


One of her high net worth customers, as a fashion designer included the wife of Former Military President, Maryam Ibrahim Babangida.


From fashion, she ventured into Oil and Gas where she got her big breakthrough after fighting for years.
Then...
"Suddenly, we became the plague."
Watch out for the Part II.


As usual, Be Inspired and Inspire Others
William Ikiabo | 2019

Re: The Story of Folorunsho Alakija: The Richest Woman In Nigeria

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : September 19, 2019, 01:06:26 PM
Her wealth didn't come only from the story written here, there is more to it.

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