Folorunso Alakija will turn 67 on July 15 and the drums will no doubt roll out to celebrate an amazon, who came from among her people to stand apart as a money women but with a heart.
Born July 15, 1951, the Nigerian businesswoman, one of the richest in Africa, and one of the richest black women in the world, according to Forbes magazine, is into fashion, oil and printing industries. The group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group consisting of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited, she is also the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
The Lagosian who was born here and lives here with her family started her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria, changed jobs into banking and worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches, which became a household name as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. As one whose stock in trade was promoting Nigeria’s fashion wherever she went, it was not only fitting for her to become national president of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) where she left an indelible mark and is today a lifelong trustee of the association.
In May 1993, she applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL) which was granted her and things went uphill from there culminating in her being listed among the world’s 100 most powerful women according to Forbes in 2015.