DREAM BIG: Folorunsho Alakija Story
Do you think that the job you are currently involved in is to menial for you? Do you think that your lack of a university degree is responsible for the job you have and the life you are living. Folorunsho Alakija, yeah you know her, Nigeria’s and Africa’s richest woman revealed that she didn’t acquire a degree from any university, but that did not stop her from becoming who she is today.
Folorunsho was born in 1951 to the family of Chief L. A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State. At age seven, she travelled to the United Kingdom to begin a four year primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Llangernyw, Wales. After returning to Nigeria, she attended Muslim High School Sagamu, Ogun State, South west Nigeria.
Folorunsho Alakija, a mother of four, who is currently worth around 7.4 billion dollars started out as a secretary at a bank in the 1970s and then later quit her job to study fashion designing in London, before launching her own fashion line. Although her biggest break came when she ventured into oil, she said the road to riches was far from smooth.
While addressing students of the University of Lagos during the 2014 UN International Youths Day, the 63-year-old chairwoman of Famfa Oil and Africa’s richest women said that hard work and persistence was more valuable than a degree, even though a degree is important.
“I never went to a university and I am proud to say so because I don’t think I have done too badly,” the billionaire said.
“You do not have to have a university education to be able to make it so count yourselves privileged to have that education as part of the feather in your cap”.
“I could have stayed a secretary as my father desired according to his plan for me but I had bigger aspirations. I dreamt big. God strengthened me and gave me wisdom. I had a passion and burning desire to succeed.
“Being a secretary, a banker, a fashion icon, a cooperate promoter and printer, a real estate owner, an oil magnate, that I can assure you was no easy feat. It has not been a rag to riches fairytale”.
“Hard work… am trying to tell you how I got to where I am if you want those billions. Hard work, diligence, persistence…there were days where I nearly gave up but I chose not to give up.”
“So I am 63 and I am not yet done. So what is your excuse?”