Sunday 17 November 2013

Alakija's Rose of Sharon goes to Benue

Before she was declared the richest black woman in the world, Nigerian oil magnate and fashion designer, Folorunsho Alkija had been sharing her wealth with the less privileged, particularly the widows. 

Fashion designer and oil magnate, Folorunsho Alakija (left) and wife of Benue State Governor, Mrs Yemisi Dooshima Suswam during the former's visit

Alakija, who is of a prominent family in Ikorodu, Lagos State set up a Not-for-profit organisation, The Rose of Sharon Foundation (ROSF) in 2008.

Based in Lagos, Nigeria ROSF is a private, voluntary, non-profit, faith based, non-governmental Organisation. 

Mission sttatement:  "Our mission statement includes easing the burdens of existence for widows and orphans, which we do through our community network amongst others.

The foundation was formally launched with the special grace of God on the 23rd of May 2008 at the Grand hall of the Eko Hotels and Suites.  Over 350 distinguished ladies and gentlemen drawn from various sectors of our society attended the event and pledged their support to our projects".

According to Forbes rating of Alakija’s net worth, she hit $2.5 bn as of November 2013. Alakija, 62, started working as a secretary in a Nigerian merchant bank in the 1970s, She quit her job to study fashion design in England. She subsequently founded Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele, including Maryam Babangida, wife to Nigeria's former military president Ibrahim Babangida. 

Folorunsho Alakija was recently honoured with Fellow Designate by Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria, during the school's 28th Convocation. 

The President 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 then President Olusegun Obasanjo acquired a 50% interest in the block. Famfa Oil went to court to challenge the acquisition, and the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50% stake to Famfa Oil in May 2012.

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