When you go to high school you are pushed to figure out which college you want to attend and what you would like to do with your life. They make college out to be something that you must do if you want to be successful. This is not always the case however. You can still be very successful in life without having a college degree under your belt. That is exactly what Folorunsho Alakija did. She is Nigeria’s wealthiest woman. She revealed recently that she never went to college but yet she has still managed to become a billionaire.
Forbes.com estimates that Alakija is worth $2.6 billion. She stresses that college is not the only way that you can be successful in life. She spoke to students at the University of Lagos at the 2014 U.N. International Youth Day and told them:
“So I am 63 and I am not yet done. So what is your excuse? I never went to a university, and I am proud to say so because I don’t think I have done too badly.”
She did let the students know that a college degree was something that could definitely help them to be successful and that it would help them to get a better job and possibly higher salaries, but it was not a requirement. She told them that they can still reach their dream goals with persistence and hard work. She said that these are the two critical components to becoming the person that you wish to be.
When she was younger Alakija studied fashion design and secretarial studies in London. When she went back to Nigeria she was a secretary at a bank. While she was working for the bank she founded Supreme Stitches; a clothing company. The company took off and she began to cater to high-end clientele like the former first lady of Nigeria. She then acquired a license in oil prospecting in 1993 and formed the company Famfa Oil which now has a 60% stake in the oil field. On top of these businesses she has founded a foundation that helps widows and orphans. The foundation is called The Rose of Sharon Foundation.