Africa is a country blessed with both natural and human resources. A lot of young people are inspired daily to be bigger and better than the predecessors. In this list, we analyze the rags to riches stories of Africa’s power moguls.
1. PATRICE MOTSEPE
Patrice Motsepe is a South African mining magnate. Born on the 28th of January, 1962, to a school teacher turn businessman, Augustine Motsepe, Patrice grew up learning a lot of his basic entrepreneurial knowledge from his father. After earning a bachelor of arts from the University of Swaziland and a law degree from the University of Witwatersrand, he became the first black person to rise to the position of partner in the law firm Bowman Gilfillan, in 1994.
At that time, his area of focus was in mining and business law, where he saw an opportunity, and so founded a mining services business to clean gold dust from inside mine shafts.
In 1997, with the price of gold low at the time, he purchased marginal gold mines at a favourable cost, and subsequently started a string of purchases by buying operating mines, which eventually led to his optimal wealth.
As of 2017, according to the Forbes billionaire list, Patrice’s net worth is estimated to be placed at about $1.81 billion U.S dollars.
2. FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA
Mrs Alakija is the wealthiest Nigerian woman, and also the second wealthiest African woman with a personal net worth of about $1.61 billion U.S dollars, according to the Forbes billionaire list 2017. She has investments in fashion, oil, and printing industries.
Alakija was born in 1951 to Chief L.A Ogbara in Lagos State, Nigeria. At the age of seven, she relocated to the United Kingdom to engage in a four-year primary school education program. After returning to Nigeria, she travelled yet again to London to study fashion.
When she was finally done with her fashion education, she returned to Nigeria and started working as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises. She later moved on to another company and worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. Her tailoring business got popular over the years, and subsequently, its in-house brand, Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name among the Nigerian elites.
In 1993, she applied for an oil prospecting license from the Nigerian government. The license was granted to her company, Famfa Oil, which is situated on a 617,000-acre block, now referred to as OPL 216.
Alakija’s success-story shows one who always takes advantages of opportunities at the right time. From the success of her fashion line, she was able to venture into the oil business and is today one of the most powerful women in the world.
3. KOOS BEKKER
Koos Bekker is the founder and chairman of the African media group, Naspers. The company is located in about 130 countries and is listed both on the London & South African stock exchange.
Koos was born in South Africa on December 14th, 1952. He got his bachelors degrees from Stellenbosch University in Law and Literature, and Wits University in Law. He later got an MBA from the Columbia Business School, and as a result of a project paper, he and some of his friends founded the first pay-tv service (M-Net, Multi-Choice, and more) outside of the United States. He’s also one of the founding directors of the largest telecommunication company in Africa, MTN.
According to the Forbes billionaire list 2017, Koos Bekker is estimated to be worth about $2.1 billion U.S dollars.