Will The World’s Richest Black Woman Please Stand Up: Has Another Woman Taken Oprah’s Title?

December 4, 2012  |  


Move over Oprah. There may be a new financial queen of the hill.

According to Ventures Africa, a news and business publication on the continent, a Nigerian fashion designer and oil tycoon (what a combination!) named Folorunsho Alakija may well be the world’s richest black woman, a title Winfrey has held for years.

A press release on the San Francisco Chronicle‘s website outlining the story puts Alakija’s worth at an estimated $3.3 billion. At last count by Forbes magazine, Winfrey’s worth is estimated at $2.7 billion. That would make 61-year-old Alakija $500 million richer than the American media mogul. Alakija is the founder and owner of Famfa Oil. Famfa, reports Ventures, owns a 60 percent working interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field that pumps out 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

Douglas Imaralu, online editor of Ventures Africa, explained, “When we did the math… we came to the realization that Alakija’s stake is easily worth billions of dollars. At this point, we have no doubt that she is indeed, richer than Oprah.”

Forbes still lists Alakija as the richest women in Nigeria. “[Alakija’s] biggest break came in oil,” the magazine says.

“In 1993 Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida awarded her company, Famfa Oil, an oil prospecting license which went on to become OML 127, one of Nigeria’s most prolific oil blocks. Famfa Oil owned a 60% stake in the block until 2000 when the Nigerian government, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, unconstitutionally acquired a 50% interest in the block without duly compensating Alakija or her company.”

She fought the stake acquisition in court and won in May 2012 when the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50 percent stake to Famfa Oil.  Her fashion company, reports Forbes, is Supreme Stitches, which she founded in the 1980s to cater to upscale clientele.

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  • Sandra Malunda

    I just checked out the analysis on Ventures Africa. That Alakija lady is paid. Oprah, bow down.

    • Banno

      Oprah does not have to bow to anyone; she made her money with hard work and determination just like Alakija. Congrats to both women.

  • Addison

    Oprah is the richest black woman in America. Mrs Alakija, richest black woman in the World!!!!!! #naija

  • heyheynow

    see this is how shid get’s confused Black is a racial term that only Americans use..if this chick is from Nigeria that doesn’t make her black…so therefore Oprah will always be the richest black woman in America. If you want to say richest woman of African descent..there we go more confusion since we all stared in Africa anyway.ok I’m done

    • MISS UK

      You can not b this stupid

    • MISS UK

      You can not b this stupid

    • Black girl in the UK

      Your just wrong black is used more or less everywhere. Not just in America, that’s a real stupid comment. Therefore this black lady is richer than Oprah.

    • Addison

      Tsk tsk Tsk…I’m sure you actually believe what you wrote lmao. “Black is a racial term only Americans use”????? You must not travel nor have been to Africa

    • FashionOutlier

      WRONG. Black is a racial term used EVERYWHERE. The confusion comes in two ways. One, it is a socially constructed term with various definitions depending on what country you’re in. In Brazil for example, a black person=poor lower class person, no matter your skin shade. In the USA, black is still associated with the One Drop Rule–if you have any tint of brown in your skin and claim your African ancestral heritage, you are Black. Second, confusion occurs when you start calling all black people African American no matter what country or continent they’re from, because even in America, all the black people are not necessarily African OR American. Some are Jamaican, some are British, some are Hispanic (which is NOT a race, but a made up ethnicity by the American government to classify the diverse people’s of Central and South America–Hispanics are either
      Black, white, or Native American). In fact, it is probably more politically correct to refer to a black person as black, or a Black _____ (fill in nationality). As an American with African parents though, I will say that many West Africans (black West Africans….because there are white and asian West Africans, too) use the term Black to refer to Black Americans; however, they, too describe themselves as black when it comes to physical description. Since this article was written by and American for (presumably) other Americans, it has used the term correctly, non-offensively, and in a way that is understood. Lastly, the article clearly said WORLD’S richest black woman, not America’s. So again, is correct.
      I hope you gained some knowledge, my friend. Always a pleasure.

  • rita

    Eh, this isn’t a competition. There is enough room in this world for two successful blk businesswomen! Good on this woman.