Take it or leave it, but Africa’s wealthiest individuals have a bank of tips on getting rich, and managing wealth. From Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, the continent’s wealthiest man, to Mohammed Dewji, its youngest billionaire, many have toiled their way to the top, accumulating a store of experiences that can serve as useful advice for budding entrepreneurs.
Below are just a few of those:
1. ALIKO DANGOTE, NIGERIA
Dangote is Africa’s richest man, with a net worth of $25.7 billion, having founded and developed a diverse commodities empire.
“It took me 30 years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.”
2. MO IBRAHIM, SUDAN
A telecommunications magnate and noted philanthropist, Ibrahim’s bank balance is estimated at $1.4 billion but his real power arguably lies in leadership on the continent.
Q: What has being rich taught you?
A: “That not everyone smiling at me is in love with me. More people smile at me now I’m richer. It can be a challenge.”
3. MONICA MUSONDA, ZAMBIA
Part of Africa’s magnates-in-the-making crowd, Musonda started under the mentorship of Aliko Dangote and now runs processing company, Java Foods.
“If you asked me five years ago where I would see myself today, I would most probably have said something like, ‘I will be a partner in a pan-African law firm’. That was my dream …
But then I moved to Nigeria to work for Aliko Dangote in 2008 and everything changed for me. It opened my eyes to business, to the different opportunities that our continent offers and to a new thinking.”
4. JOHANN RUPERT, SOUTH AFRICA
Chairman of Richemont and Remgro and patriarch of the Rupert dynasty, boasting a fortune of around $7.8 billion.
“It is not just disposable income but whether people feel good about their immediate future that drives sales. It is this feel-good factor that drives the purchases more and more than mere economic wealth.”
5. ISABEL DOS SANTOS, ANGOLA
Dos Santos is Africa’s youngest billionaire – and daughter of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the country since 1979. Dos Santos’s fortune is estimated at $3.5 billion.
“My father cooks. He likes fish. We never got a sense of the grandiose. I walked to school.”
6. MOHAMMED DEWJI, TANZANIA
With a net worth of $2 billion, Dewji works hard to balance his dual responsibilities as a politician and head of commodities trader, the METL Group.
“People in Tanzania look at my wealth and think I must be sunbathing and playing golf all day. But I work really hard. I put in a hundred hours a week. It’s a never-stopped game.
You can never say I’ve worked hard enough now”.