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Oprah Winfrey has lost her long-held title as the richest black woman in the world to a Nigerian oil tycoon, according to a report by an African business magazine.Edging out Oprah is Folorunsho Alakija, a 61-year-old woman from Nigeria who is reportedly worth at least $3.2 billion, or roughly $500 million more than Oprah’s $2.7 billion net worth, Ventures Africa reported.
Born into a wealthy Nigerian family, Alakija started out as a secretary in the mid 1970s at the now defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria.
Several years later, she quit her job and moved to London, where she studied fashion design. She later returned to Nigeria and launched her fashion line, Supreme Stitches, which caters to upscale, high-society women.
While she was building her name as a fashion designer, Alakija in 1993 applied for an Oil Prospecting License — an expensive permit that allows for oil exploration in a specified area.
Alakija is the founder and owner of Famfa Oil, which owns a 60 per cent interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field that produces roughly 200,000 barrels of oil per day and is worth an estimated $6.44 billion.
Also a fashion designer and philanthropist, Alakija is married and has four grown sons, as well as one grandchild. She owns at least $100 million in real estate and $46 million private jet, Ventures Africa reported.