While speaking in an exclusive interview with PUNCH Newspaper, Nigerian billionaire businesswoman, and second richest African women, Folorunsho Alakija, spoke on her philanthropy, family and meeting the current richest woman in Africa and more.
When asked if her passion for women and girls empowernemnt was fuelled by the fact that she don’t have a girl child, she said:
“No. The passion I have about women comes first from the fact that God has called me to help widows and orphan children. The other area is because of my entrepreneurial mentality. I realised that the world could be a better place to live in if everybody has money. I was born into a family of entrepreneurs. Right from a tender age, I have been seeing how people trade and are making money.
“How can the world leave out over 50 per cent of its population – women – in the scheme of things? When all hands are on deck, then we can achieve our goals. That is the idea of my philanthropic activities. I would love to see a better world where women are being given the opportunity to make the world a better place.”
When asked if she would decided today to become Nigeria’s first female President, she said:
“God has not called me to politics. I know that I am not the only one around. There are those who would be interested in that area. For now, it is not my calling. I would certainly not object to people with such aspirations. In whatever way I can support, I would but if it is something that would bring me into the limelight, I would take a step back.”
When asked if she has met the current richest african woman, Isabel do Santos, who just dethroned her, she said: “Yes, I met her at a conference in South Africa about five years ago. I went up to her to introduce myself. Unfortunately, she did not have her complimentary card on her at the time. I have not seen her since then.”
When asked what she would you consider her biggest regret, she said: “I would have said I would have loved to have a female child. But I can’t say that now because God has been merciful. We have two female grandchildren already. They made up for it.”
When asked of the biggest decision she ever made, she said: “Giving my life to Christ. At the time I did, I wondered what took me so long and why I did not know him before that. That was 27 years ago. I give him all the glory.”