Folorunsho Alakija (born 15 July 1951) is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist.[1][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.


Folorunsho Alakija (born 15 July 1951) is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist.[1][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.[5]

Folorunso Alakija
Folorunso Alakija.jpg
Born (1951-07-15) 15 July 1951 (age 71)
Ikorodu, Southern Region, British Nigeria (now in Lagos State, Nigeria)
TitleManaging director, Rose of Sharon Group
Vice chairman, Famfa Oil
Modupe Alakija
(m. 1976)
RelativesDJ Xclusive (nephew)

Alakija also has a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development Company.[6][7] Folorunsho Alakija was ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $1 billion in 2020.[8][4][9] As of 2015, Alakija was listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[10]

Early life and education

Alakija was born on 15 July 1951 to an upper-middle-class family; her father was Chief L. A. Ogbara of Ikorodu, Lagos State. Her father married 8 wives and had 52 children and Folorunso's mother was the first.[11] Alakija attended her nursery education at Our Ladies of Apostles, Lagos from 1955 to 1958. At the age seven, Alakija travelled to the United Kingdom to continue her primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales between 1959 and 1963. On the completion of her primary education, Alakija attended Muslim High School in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. She then returned to England for her secretarial studies at Pitman's Central College, London.[12]


Alakija started her 12 year banking career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria shortly after completing a Secretarial Course at Pitman's Central College London. She moved to the former First National Bank of Chicago, which later became FinBank now acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank)[13] as the Executive Secretary to the managing director. She became the new Head of the Corporate Affairs Department of the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria (formerly First National Bank of Chicago), and later on became the Office Assistant to the Treasury Department.[14]

Alakija then studied fashion design at The American College in London and the Central School of Fashion.[15] She started a fashion label known as Supreme Stitches, which was later renamed The Rose Of Sharon House of Fashion in 1996.[4][16] She was the president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN).[3][17]

In May 1993, Alakija applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL).[18] 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, Alakija entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Texaco) transferring a 40 percent stake to Star Deep.[19][20]

After they struck oil, the Nigerian government claimed a 40% stake, followed by an additional 10%.[21] The government's argument was if Alakija and family were allowed to keep their bloc, they stood to make $10 million a day. Alakija disputed this claim and won.[22]


As of 2014, Alakija is listed as the 96th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[10] 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. She was 86th on the list.[23]

Alakija is #20 in 2020 Africa's Billionaires list Dropped off in 2021, #1941 Billionaires 2019 Dropped off in 2020 and #80 Power Women 2016 Dropped off in 2017.[24]

On 17 July 2021, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City gave her an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration. This was in recognition of her contribution to the business world.


Alakija established the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans through scholarships and business grants.[25] Alakija has donated a skills acquisition center to Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), a higher educational institution located in Lagos.[26][27][28]

Personal life

Alakija married lawyer Modupe Alakija of the Adeyemo Alakija family, in November 1976.[29][30] They reside in Lagos, Nigeria, with their four sons[31] and their grandchildren.[32] Her nephew is DJ Xclusive.[33] In June 2017, Folorunso's son, Folarin Alakija, married Iranian model Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar in a $6.4 million wedding at Blenheim Palace in England.[34]


  1. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (30 December 2014). "Here's She is the World's Richest Black woman in the world". Time. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Folorunso Alakija". Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  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 Falode, Kehinde (17 September 2011). "Fashion icon, Folorunso Alakija at 62". The Nation. Retrieved 20 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Folorunso Alakija". Folorunsho Alakija. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  6. ^ Adetutu Audu (31 January 2016). "Folorunso Alakija explores Real Estate". The Nation.
  7. ^ "From Energy to Real Estate…Folorunsho Alakija Spreads Wings to Property Sector". ThisDay. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Africa's 40 Richest". Forbes. November 2012.
  9. ^ "Folorunsho Alakija". Forbes. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  10. ^ a b "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Covenant I made with God at age 40 — Folorunsho Alakija". Punch Newspapers. 18 July 2021. Retrieved 20 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Folorunso Alakija". Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  13. ^ "FCMB".
  14. ^ Folorunso Alakija (2021). "Life In The Corporate World". Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  15. ^ Folorunsho, Alakija. "Success in the Fashion World". folorunshoalakija. Folorunsho Alakija. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Folorunsho Alakija". Forbes. November 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  17. ^ Gabriel, Gift (24 June 2012). "I moved out of the crowd to get it right – Mrs Alakija". Sunday Tribune. Nigeria.
  18. ^ "The Richest Black Woman in the World, Folorunsho Alakija". Ventures Africa. Lagos. 29 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Folorunso Alakija richest black woman on earth". PM News. 25 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Agbami Oilfield, Nigeria". offshore Nigeria.
  21. ^ "How Africa's second richest woman gained her fortune - CNBC Africa". CNBC Africa. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  22. ^ "5 Lessons Folorunsho Alakija Could Teach Christian Entrepreneurs -". 29 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  23. ^ Sotubo, Jola (27 May 2015). "Nigerians make Forbes' most powerful women list". Forbes. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Folorunsho Alakija". Forbes.
  25. ^ Folorunsho, Alakija. "Folorunsho Alakija Foundation". folorunshoalakija. Folorunsho Alakija. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  26. ^ Ellis, Jessica (16 February 2012). "Nigerian billionaire takes on cause of 'mistreated widows'". CNN.
  27. ^ Amos, Adaeze (26 May 2013). "My passion for widows and orphans –Folorunso Alakija". National Mirror. Nigeria.
  28. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong. "Nigeria's Richest Woman Folorunsho Alakija Donates Skills Acquisition Center To School". Forbes. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  29. ^ Allen Lee (9 October 2019). "Meet Folorunso Alakija: The Richest Woman in Africa". Money Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Folorunsho Alakija Biography: Age, Career, Net Worth, Family, Husband, Facts". DailyMedia. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  31. ^ Sessou, Ebun (9 September 2011). "My life is full of blissful moments – Folorunso Alakija". The Vanguard. Nigeria.
  32. ^ "Africa's Richest Woman Folorunsho Alakija: "It Has Not Been a Rag to Riches Fairytale"". Bella Naija. 29 August 2014.
  33. ^ ""I'm Not Folorunsho Alakija's Son" – DJ Xclusive". Silverbird Television. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  34. ^ Fitzmaurice, Rosie. "Step inside a Nigerian oil billionaire's son's incredibly lavish $6.4 million wedding at a British palace". Insider. Retrieved 14 April 2023.

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