Oprah Winfrey has been unseated as the world’s richest black woman by a Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon named Folorunsho Alakija. Folorunsho is also a fashion designer and philanthropist who is worth at least $3.3 billion, $500 million richer than the big O whose wealth Forbes magazine estimated at $2.7 billion in September.
According to a report by Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service, Alakija,61,was born into a wealthy Nigerian family. She started out her professional career in the mid 70s as a secretary at the now defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the country’s earliest investment banks. In the early 80s, Alakija quit her job and went on to study Fashion design in England, returning to Nigeria shortly afterwards to start Supreme Stitches, a premium Nigerian fashion label which catered exclusively to upscale clientele.
The business thrived, and Alakija quickly made a tidy fortune selling high-end Nigerian clothing to fashionable wives of military bigwigs and society women.
Folorunsho Alakija is also the founder and owner of Famfa oil, a Nigerian oil company which owns a 60% working interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field which produces 200,000 barrels of oil per day.