These young offspring of fabulously wealthy African parents are not being widely talked about yet they are distinguishing themselves by demonstrating the same doggedness and risk-taking that has made their parents the most successful people on the continent. While most of them are corporate horses building their own legacies in corporations their parents have established, others are entrepreneurs who have decided to strike out on their own and write their own destinies.
Meet 10 of the most intriguing kids of Africa’s richest people:
Rajiv Ruparelia, Uganda
Director at Ruparelia Group
Rajiv Ruparelia, 25, is the only son of Sudhir Ruparelia, Uganda’s richest man. He holds a degree in banking and finance from Regents University London. The younger Ruparelia now calls the shots at the Ruparelia Group, the Ugandan conglomerate his father founded, which has interests in hotels, banking, agriculture and education. Sudhir Ruparelia made his son learn the ropes of business many years ago by employing him first as a porter, then as a construction worker, then as a bank teller, before moving him up the ladder and giving him managerial positions in the group. “I wanted him to learn humility and to understand the various businesses at the most basic level,” Sudhir Ruparelia told this reporter. Rajiv, a popular socialite in Kampala who is trying to shed his party boy image, heads strategy at the Ruparelia Group and helps negotiate large-ticket deals on his father’s behalf internationally.
Jide Adenuga, Nigeria
Jide Adenuga, 33, the eldest son of Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, previously served as a director in his father’s oil distribution company Conoil PLC, but struck out on his own a few years ago to seek his fortune in the alcohol business. He is the founder and CEO of 3 Inclusive Ltd, a company that is the exclusive importer and distributor of Montaudon champagne in Nigeria.
Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, Nigeria
Disc Jockey, Music Entrepreneur
Ifeoluwa Otedola goes by the moniker ‘DJ Cuppy’ and is one of Nigeria’s most recognizable disc jockeys and entertainers. In August she embarked on an eight-city tour across Africa. During the tour dubbed ‘Cuppy Takes Africa’. Femi Otedola’s daughter also performed at Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration dinner and has performed at gigs such as the 2014 Financial Times Summit and the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards. She is the founder of Red Velvet Music Group, an entertainment company that’s planning to evolve into a full-fledged record label and talent management company.
Jonathan Oppenheimer, South Africa
Director, E. Oppenheimer & Sons
Jonathan Oppenheimer, the 45 year-old son of South Africa’s richest man, Nicky Oppenheimer, previously served in various managerial positions at De Beers, the diamond mining company that his family controlled for decades before selling off to Anglo American in 2012. He now heads E. Oppenheimer & Sons, the South African investment company that manages the Oppenheimer family’s investments across the world. It invests in African companies through private equity funds such as Tana Capital, an Africa-focused private company founded by E. Oppenheimer & Son in partnership with Temasek of Singapore.
Vimal and Tarun Shah, Kenya
Executives at Bidco Oil
Vimal and Tarun Shah are the sons of Bhimji Depar Shah, the founder of Bidco Oil refineries. Bidco is one of Kenya’s largest manufacturing companies, with a 49% share of the edible oils market in the country. Their father now takes a back seat in running the business, while sons Vimal and Tarun, who serve as CEO and Executive Director, respectively, have led the company to more than $300 million in annual revenues and its products are manufactured, sold and distributed in 14 countries across Africa.
Mhamed Elalamy, Morocco
General Manager, Saham Finances
Mhamed Elalamy is the oldest son of Moulay Hafid Elalamy, the founder of Saham Group, a Moroccan conglomerate that owns insurance companies, call centers and medical clinics. The younger Elalamy has a degree in business and commerce from the University of British Columbia and currently serves as a General Manager for Saham Group.
Ahmed Indimi, Nigeria
Director/Head of Crude Marketing Department at Oriental Energy Resources
Indimi’s father, Mohammed Indimi, is the founder of Oriental Energy Resources (OER), one of Nigeria’s largest indigenous upstream oil companies. Ahmed, who has an MBA in Internet Security from the American InterContinental University, in Atlanta, Georgia (in the U.S.), is the head of Crude Oil Marketing at OER.
Sameer Merali, Kenya
Director, Sameer Group
Kenya’s third richest man, Naushad Merali, named his conglomerate, Sameer Group, after his only son, Sameer Merali. Sameer, who has an M.Sc. in Banking and International Finance and a BSc (Hons) in Management Sciences, has served as an Executive Director of the group for a long time and is currently a member of the board of directors of tire manufacturing company Sameer Africa.
Abubakar Bakhresa, Tanzania
Executive Director, Bakhresa Group
Easily the most popular son of Said Salim Bakhresa, Tanzania’s reclusive third richest man, the younger Bakhresa is primarily in charge of the wheat procurement and milling businesses of the Bakhresa Group. He has a degree in Finance from Georgetown University. U.S.A.
Theo Danjuma, Nigeria
Artist and art collector