The executive vice-chairman of Famfa oil, Folorunsho Alakija takes us through her life’s journey and some fascinating details of her social and personal life as she graces the cover of Media Room Hub August 2021 issue.
Africa is known to be the home of many great men and women, relatively. One of such women in Africa is the C.E.O of The Rose of Sharon group Apostle Folorunsho Alakija who has continued to expend her horizon in the business world.
The fabulous mom and grandma is making a mark and creating long-lasting legacies in a patriarchal world, proving once again to African women that they too, can achieve, grow and break new ground just like the men.
As an apostle, she is known to have a strong Christian background- as a result, she shares the experience of her walk with God and the many benefit she has gotten from her submission to God’s will in her life.
Read excerpts from the interview:
During your early days as a fashion designer, you were one of the people that dressed the late Mrs Miriam Babangida. She would always mention your name (Rose of Sharon by Folorunsho Alakija) as her designer, how was it working with her and what memories of her do you have?
A: She was extremely fashion conscious. She had a good eye for quality. She knew what she wanted. She would be preparing to attend important events and she would place orders with a lot of different designers that she uses and then she lays the clothes on the table and picks the one that suits her for the occasion. She knew what she wanted. She was just a natural power dresser.
As a mother and a Christian, how do you feel when you come on videos showing women twerk and half-naked on social media?
A: I just say that the world has changed and a lot of things are going to the dogs in the sense that Satan seems to be wining in some areas and that’s not the will of God. It also shows that Christians aren’t evangelizing enough and so we need to double up as Christians.
In your body, mind and spirit, how do you feel as you turn 70?
A: In my body, I feel very good. In my mind, I feel like am 40 or 50. In my spirit, I want to go!go!go!
Your life revolves around hard work and service to humanity. What would you say has been your greatest challenge on the road to your success?
A: You will always find those who believe that women should not be seen in male dominating sectors of industries or business. As a result, you would always have to double up by going the extra mile to proof that yes, you can do this. Once they see that you can and have done this, they will back down.
What advice do you have for the young women who look up to you as a mentor?
A: My advice to them is that they must be focused. They must be levelheaded. They must know what they want out of life and be willing to face the challenges that come with it because nothing comes easy; nothing ever gets dropped on any body’s laps.
You have to go the extra mile all the time. You have to ensure that you keep your eyes where you want to go- see a light at the end of the tunnel and work towards that light. They should not be copy cats. They should get advice where and when it is needed.
They should draw a plan and work towards those plans. They should make sure that they are not misled by friends they don’t share the same vision with. They need to ensure that they are getting involved in what they want in life rather than what life throws at them. With that, they can become great achievers.
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Photo credit: @oluwatobbie