• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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With $1.8bn net worth, Folorunsho Alakija makes Forbes world billionaire’s list


Folorunsho Alakija has just been listed 949 on Forbes Billionares list 2015 with a net worth of $1.8billion. She is also 12th in Forbes Africa’s 50 richest, and 96th in The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

She was the keynote speaker at our 2014 Inspiring Woman Series (5th Edition) themed: Yes she can! And important quotes from her speech that I can’t forget are “Mentoring is another area we cannot neglect; neither can we look down on the importance of networking, parental upbringing and identifying the right career amongst others. These are ways to inspire women and also ways to bring about the desired change.”

“Organisations and groups should be formed to mentor women and young school girls even before the start of their careers. My parents were very instrumental to where I am today therefore; we cannot overemphasize the importance of proper upbringing.”

Folorunso Alakija is a businesswoman who has forayed into uncharted territories. She is a philanthropist with a sincere desire to help the needy, a fashion icon with an infallible sense of style, a loving wife, a caring mother and doting grandmother, a friend in deed. Educated in Europe, she first embarked on a career in office administration, then she went into banking where she remained, until she took a leap of faith and followed her heart and creative calling to establish her own business in the Nigerian fashion industry. Her fashion house “Supreme Stitches” rose to prominence and fame within a few years, and later, as “Rose of Sharon House of Fashion”, became a household name.

Folorunsho Alakija

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. Ever the entrepreneur, Alakija has set up related businesses: The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions which specializes in monogramming, heat/picture transfer and screen printing for promotional and gift items, and Digital Reality Print Ltd which specializes in highly technical digital large format printing. She remains the only female in that industry in Nigeria to date. She included a direct imaging paper printing press to coincide with her 60th birthday in July 2011. She oversees the Rose of Sharon Group as the Group Managing Director and she is also the Executive Vice Chairman of her family’s oil exploration and production business, FAMFA Oil Limited, seeing to its strategic planning and day to day administration. In addition to these, Folorunso is the Executive Vice

Chairman of Dayspring Property Development Company Limited, a real estate company with investments in different parts of the world.

When reflecting on her achievements, Folorunso’s foremost reaction is always to give glory to God and to share the secrets of her success. A born again Christian since 1991, she draws her strength from her unfaltering belief in the power and glory of God. With a sincere desire to give to those in need in the name of the Lord, her philanthropic endeavours, such as the Rose of Sharon Foundation, continue to influence her native land positively by empowering widows and their families, as well as orphans, to be successful through educational programmes and scholarships. In obedience to the word of God and working according to His will and purpose, Folorunso and her husband founded a house fellowship which has grown to become a full-fledged Christian Ministry known as the Rose of Sharon Glorious Ministry International. She has authored several books including, “University of Marriage”, “Alone with God”, (a free Christian Devotional) her autobiography,

“Growing with the Hand that Gives the Rose”, and “The Cry of Widows and Orphans”.

At 64, Alakija oversees her businesses and philanthropic enterprises working tirelessly and with boundless energy. She follows her evangelical calling with unbridled devotion, hoping to inspire the public, most especially the youth and women from all walks of life by sharing her values and her motto: “whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well” through motivational talks and speeches. In her speeches, as an encouragement to others, she reveals and introduces her covenant keeping God.

She accepts many invitations to speak and is acclaimed, nationally and internationally, in recognition of all her philanthropic work and endeavours.

She lives in Lagos, Nigeria with Modupe Alakija her beloved husband of almost four decades, their four sons and grandchildren.

Kemi Ajumobi