The internet is a flutter this week with news that Folorunsho Alakija, has been announced as the richest black woman (reportedly pushing Oprah into 2nd place) in the world by Ventures Africa, a largely unknown monthly Pan-African business magazine. Ventures Africa describes her as a “billionaire oil tycoon, Fashion designer and philanthropist” and puts her net worth at “at least $3.3 billion, far above a recent Forbes Magazine ranking which pegs her net worth at only $600 million”. This is a seriously impressive amount of money, especially when you consider the fact that only 30 years ago Folorunsho Akakija was a well-known fashion designer with zero experience, expertise or investments in the oil industry. And no, she wasn’t worth anything near $3.3 billion dollars back then.
No doubt you’re curious as to how Folorunsho Akakija managed to earn $3.3 billion dollars in the first place. Well, Ventures Africa has the standard hagiographical account of Alakija’s improbable rise to richest black woman on Earth. Fittingly, the story begins in Nigeria, the only country on earth where anyone is able to become a ‘billionaire oil tycoon’ virtually overnight.
“Alakija, 61, was born into a wealthy, polygamous Nigerian family. She started out her professional career in the mid-70s as a secretary at the now defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the country’s earliest investment banks. In the early 80s, Alakija quit her job and went on to study Fashion design in England, returning to Nigeria shortly afterwards to start Supreme Stitches, a premium Nigerian fashion label which catered exclusively to upscale clientele. The business thrived, and Alakija quickly made a tidy fortune selling high-end Nigerian clothing to fashionable wives of military bigwigs and society women”.
One of those military bigwigs was one Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, whose wife, Maryam, soon became a major client of Alakija’s. In 1993, Ibrahim Babangida had become Nigeria’s military dictator and Head of State of Nigeria and was in the final year of his 8 year reign after overthrowing the government of General Muhammadu Buhari in 1985. His wife, Maryam was of course Nigeria’s First Lady at the time. Alakija had by then become the unofficial clothier to the now late Maryam Babangida, which is a pretty big deal in itself as Maryam Babangida had cultivated a reputation as a “celebrity and an icon of beauty, fashion and style’".
How did Alakija go from Babangida’s clothier to “billionaire oil tycoon” with an alleged net worth of $3.3 billion dollars? Well, that’s where Ventures Africa’s carefully written hagiography starts to break down.
Mrs. Zainab Kuchi, the Minister of State (power) informs us that Nigeria generated 6,443 mw of power in 2012. Not that the residents of Ajiwun Street, Bariga noticed. She added that power transmission peaked 4517.6 mw on the 23rd of December 2012. Ajiwun residents must not hear this. It just might confirm their worst fears: that evil spirits we're at work for the blackout they experienced for most of the festive period. Mrs. Zainab Kuchi, whose surname should never be mis-spelt, (ever! Put a 'c' instead of 'k' and some double 'o's and we're facing the recipe for journalistic mayhem) added that le Federal Government will continue in its pursuit of generating 10,000mw by December 2013. This uber-awesome (pipe) dream would be achieved by implementing various strategies including generating funds through private sector participation. At this rate, she might as well be referring to a masquerade program to be unveiled later this year called "One House, one Tiger Generator". She added that there were plans to incorporate renewable energy and increased rural electrification into the energy mix. Rural electrification sounds more like a "One Urban dweller, one Taser" plan to me. Let me go deliver the good news to the good people of Ajiwun Street... Via Vanguard Nigeria
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="330"] From: Vanguard Nigeria[/caption]
As you may already know, Nigerian business woman Folorunsho Alakija, was recently been announced as the richest black woman in the world by Ventures Africa - relegating Oprah Winfrey to second place, for now anyway. Here’s a brief profile of ‘New Richest Black Woman In The World, Richer Than Oprah’ or Mrs Alakija as most people annoyingly prefer to call her. She was born into a wealthy family, became a secretary, decided to start sewing for her wealthy friends and family, married a well-heeled man and along the way was allocated an oil prospecting license (OPL) by the government. The Nigerian government often gives out such licenses to people with no experience in the market, like former hairdressers to the First Lady, so don’t be alarmed. It's like party favours for the rich and well connected. Average everyday stuff. No big deal at all.
Along the way, the Nigerian government tried to take back her licence when they saw how profitable it was, but Mrs Alakija fought back. After years of battling the government in court, she won the case. The money from owning all that oil and selling all that oil bumped her into 1st place, dethroning talk show queen, Oprah and giving Nigerians the world over something new to talk about.
While the Daily Mail gives insights into how Mrs Alakija spends her money (think private jets and lavish unaffordable London apartments), Huffpost, did a little more digging into her life and stumbled on a well kept Nigerian secret. Here it is, fashion to the “mature” [read: older] Nigerian woman is alarmingly different from what it is to rest of the world. After going through some of the pictures they provided, I couldn’t agree more. Money and fashion don’t always deliver style.
Lets say congratulations Mrs Alakija! May this oil money continue to make you plenty more money.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="244"] Is there any sin in there?[/caption]
In these days of pastorpreneurs, private jets and questionably greasy episcopal coiffures (jerry curls went out in the 80s guys, being called by the Lord doth not excuse egregiously bad taste) it is easy to lose sight of real and important issues of Christian dogma and teaching, such as whether using body spray or perfume is a sin.
Stop sniggering. This is an important theological question. I can imagine you would be quite upset upon your death (likely at the ripe old age of 52) to discover that you have been damned to hell, not by your many more exotic sins, but by your liberal use of Old Spice, Sure, and Axe Body spray (the latter of which DOES NOT, it must be emphasised, work as advertised). Going to hell would bad enough but going to hell because you used deodorant? That would be downright embarrassing. Fortunately, nairaland poster Dibangoking has sought to settle this vexing issue of Christian theology for us all in this helpful Nairaland thread. Go read it now!!! If you’re too addicted to your sinful body spray and perfume then take heart, commenter evilbrain gives all deodorant users some hope of salvation :
“Wearing perfume is only a sin if it's the overpowering, obnoxious type that makes it difficult for other people to breathe. On the other hand deodorant is encouraged. In fact, it is a mortal sin to go out without wearing either roll-on, or spray deodorant. The Lord does not want to smell your funky armpits. And neither does anybody else.”
On Saturday, the 24th of November 2012, the annual Abuja Carnival, tagged ‘Carnival of Peace and Harmony’, was declared open by the Dame herself, Patience Faka Jonathan.
When the word carnival is used, what comes to mind are festivities, public parades & dancing, street parties & street food, months of preparation, elaborate costumes and even masquerades. Unfortunately, few of these words could have been used to describe the events surrounding this year’s Abuja Carnival. The Guardian described the preparations as “shrouded by unusual calmness,” peppered with the Nigerian staple of “late preparation due to late release of funds.” While one Abuja resident was quoted as saying “Publicity was zero. I’d given up, that it wasn’t happening this year...”, another observant resident noted that “...the arena is so empty and the participants are the ones filling the place because they go to seat [sic] after they parade.”
Children attending a funfair organised yesterday as part of the carnival were left wondering what the hell happened to the masquerades and parties their young naive minds expected to find at the 'carnival'. One rather patriotic child blamed it on the security challenges in the country, another attributed it to unpaid civil servant salaries and another to governmental policy to keep the event low-key. But one student’s explanation stood head and shoulders above all others; inadequate publicity.
In light of these statements, I decided to visit the event’s website, none existed. So I went to its Facebook page and it was last updated 9 months ago. No other words are needed to describe this year’s highly successful event. Perhaps it will end better than it started. Did you attend the Abuja carnival? Leave us a comment, we're dying to hear all about it.
Two escapees lions from the Nairobi National Park found their way on to a main road in Nairobi, Kenya and held traffic up while they rolled in buffalo shit. Mufasa & Simba out here playing in shit and my ass is late to work...that's just awesome.
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Photo Credit: Guardian (UK)[/caption]
Oscar Pistorius' track career was put on hold indefinitely on Sunday because of his murder charge, reinforcing the possibility that the double-amputee Olympian and disabled sports icon might never run again competitively on his famous carbon fiber blades.
[caption id="attachment_920" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Image provided by Premium Times[/caption]
Oba Pius Ademola,the Akamuja of Igburowo in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo state has been suspended from his duties for being an all round thug & bully.
Accused of committing crimes such as "fraud, forceful acquisition of land belonging to his subjects, frivolous litigation over property, non-performance of traditional rites, and assault of his chiefs and subjects", the Ondo State Government approved the suspension & warned the bully to stop referring to himself as the Akamuja of Igburowo. Former Oba Ademola has now been banned from his palace.
I applaud Ondo for nicely slapping ole boy on the wrists. Good one! That's one more for the Corruption Ghost Busters!
[caption id="attachment_917" align="aligncenter" width="594"] Image Credit: Information Nigeria[/caption]
In this week's edition of 'Hell Hath No Fury Like a Crazy B**ch' news, two sisters wreak havoc on their husband for kidnapping & marrying their baby sister. Yes. This is Pakistan's version of Sister Wives.
Tabassum & Tehmina were married to Adnan first but got upset when Adnan allegedly kidnapped baby sister Anum & forced her to marry him. Adnan got beat up so bad the police had to intervene & help him escape.
Bet he won't go messing with a bunch of sisters next time.