Oprah Winfrey Eclipsed as World’s Richest Black Woman
You thought Oprah’s billion dollar empire cemented her in history as the world’s richest black woman, right? Meet Nigerian entrepreneur, Folorunsho Alakija. According to Ventures Africa, multi-media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, has been eclipsed by Alakija as the world’s richest black woman. The Pan-African business magazine reports that an extremely conservative estimate of Folorunsho Alakija’s net worth hovers around $3.3 billion, at least $500 million more than Oprah’s reportedly $2.7 billion net worth.
Alakija, born to a wealthy Nigerian family, started out as a secretary for a major investment bank. However, in the 80s, she left Nigeria to study fashion in London and then returned to launch Supreme Stitch, her fashion company. Despite being regarded as one of Nigeria’s fashion pioneers, she entered the oil business and founded Famfa Oil. After being granted an oil prospecting license by the Nigerian government in 1993, Alakija struck it big after discovering her 617,000 acre property contained in excess of one billion barrels of oil. However, when the government realized the find in 2000, they wrongfully acquired all but 10% of the property. Fast-forward to 2012 and Nigeria’s High Court reverses the government’s acquisition and Alakija is now in control of 60% of her company, making her the world’s richest black woman.
Aside from her multiple business ventures, Folorunsho Alakija is also a philanthropist and founder of the Rose of Sharon foundation that aids widows and children.