Folorunsho Alakija: From a middle-class home to becoming Nigeria’s richest woman

Hardly would you find a list of Nigeria’s richest entrepreneurs without the name – Folorunsho Alakija popping up. Several rankings have acclaimed her to be the richest woman in Nigeria, and the 2020 list of Africa’s Billionaires places her at 20th position in Africa. Though most public knowledge attributes her wealth to her interests in the oil sector, Alakija also has interests in other sectors like fashion and real estate.

She was born on July 15, 1951, to Chief L.A. Ogbara, of Ikorodu, Lagos State. It was quite a large family and Folorunsho had lots of siblings.

She started her nursery schooling at Our Ladies of Apostles, Lagos from 1955 to 1958, and at the age of seven, she travelled to the United Kingdom to attend Dinorben School for Girls in Harfodunos Hall, Llangernyw, Wales. She returned to Nigeria in 1963 for her secondary education in Sagamu, Ogun state before returning again to London for her Secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College.

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