Nigerian business tycoon, Folorunsho Alakija, has said going to the university was not her destiny as she was able to achieve her dreams without a degree.

Alakija, one of the richest black women in the world, said this on Thursday at the Excellence in Leadership program, an annual event organised by Daystar Christian Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.

The founder of Rose of Sharon motivated the audience by saying that she never allowed a lack of university education to suppress her dreams and ambition.

“If I had the opportunity of going to the university, maybe I would have come out with a second class upper or lower but that didn’t happen; that wasn’t to be my destiny,” she said.

I would have loved to go to the university as we all know that university education is good but some of us who have not gone, it is not the end of the world.”

Alakija said she was able to attain her present position because she was determined and ready to pay the price that came with all the challenges she’s had to surmount.

Having put my foot in the door, I decided I was not going to turn back”, she noted, revealing that when she had to file a lawsuit against the federal government for taking 50 out of her 60 percent equity, she remained determined.

The case which took 12 years to reach a conclusion was a matter of determination, she said. Alakija said she her person has been subjected to series of misconceptions due to the ignorance of people who don’t know her story.

The oil magnate noted that she is a product of hard work, sweat, tears, and tenacity, stressing that she’s not an overnight success.

“A lot of things have been said about me, some say I sold my way to the top; I remember that the headline of one of the national dailies in the country once said ‘Hairdresser given an oil block’. So I even became a hairdresser, one of the many names I was given.”

She encouraged participants at the conference to believe in themselves as it would be easier for others to believe in such people; she added that she believed in herself while moving from fashion designing to an unfamiliar terrain.


  1. anyone still depending on kpali is still dreaming’ by the time he wakes up he will be working under his friend who’s a school drop out” be ambitious and have a scale of preferences in planning ur life! #handworkpays

    • I’m not against education but depending solely on your degree without an alternative is what am against” by the way you can’t compare these wealthy kids to an average graduate on the street cos their parents already has their lives plan out even before they were born’ if wee must beat them we need to double our efforts” this my message

  2. School is very important…. Don’t be deceive, u have to be educated.. No matter what you want to be come in life, Der re some places, some people u can’t meet with been fully educated!!!!.. If u have d opportunity plz go!!!!

  3. How can you convince a child to go to school when we have rich criminals and poor graduates in the society???…
    The certificate is jst a figure head the main thing is God’s grace(for the poor) and connection (for the rich)…thats just it.

  4. U can still go back to school. Don’t underestimate the importance of education. Being a literate person is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone cause it’s not all about reading and writing but manner and character. Buhari is a president, does that make him fulfilled?

  5. I will always say it. Certificate have nothing to do with success. Certificate can take u to anywhere but what you have upstairs retain you there. Go to school but have focus. Be a goal setter/getter. Have a dream but don’t dream rather face reality finally above all put God at first.

  6. I thank the God almighty for you with all your achievement. But one question please. How meny poor family have you touched there life or remove sorrow. If you do, please try more.

  7. Education OR NO Education what’s matter is DAT one succeed in life everything na mind set. Hard work pays.u are studying another persons theory . for me whatever u specialized on dat pays you big simply mean u are educated in DAT field.

  8. Well it may work for you and may not work for another person

    Remenber some will not go to school but can speak fluent english

    Why some graduates cant defend them self

    So i say if Education is for you go for it if business is for you gran it

    Evry thing we do depends on how we hustle for it

    So i say eny thing you are doin keep calm run your race

    And never do that others are doin


  9. Do you need degree to own oil block ??
    They want to motivate … Do it the right way Biko …
    Is it not Nigeria again ???
    We know now ….
    Even president no get degree join …
    Every second billionaire is into oil … Unna no dey produce groundnut ?? Shea butter ??
    Motivation 101

  10. To make it in life not by University degree…. Isaac Newton,Bill Gate,Aliko Dangote,Albert Eistein are all school drop outs… Lack of degree doesn’t make u an illiterate,millions of ppl av dat degree and are as good as bus conductore (I mean confirm ”agberos”)

  11. Alakija was born with a silver spoon. She had everything she wanted. If she needed a degree like me to get a good job, save up to start a business, she will get one. On a second thought, Why did she send her children to school?

  12. Nah school them the use deceive us here..gone are the days when certificate is well appreciated.most ppl who didn’t go to school are actually the great thinkers of creativities..

  13. Just remember dat even sale requires, @lest SSC & computer literate . Even some big business establishment go for only degree holder,.. Lol… So don’t cry if Der is totally nothing, no place for uneducated people on planet Earth!!!!!

  14. Lucky you ma but things were easier then.
    There were fewer politicians wt greed then.
    The oil blocks were shared by the military dat led us then.
    But now there are tighter roads to get things done.
    Many pple are jostling for fewer resources and dis make education a fair deal for people without rich parents or husbands/ military/ political connections.

  15. After giving obasanjo bugati he stated giving u oil block I worch yr interview on AIT u sed u stody in abroad and u sed u make money without certificate time all tell ooo alakija

  16. It is the gift of a man that will make a room for him and not his certificate. The purpose of going to school is to develop discovered gift or talent, school does not give talent or help identity it,because it is a personal responsibility. Talent could be used raw or after development, it all depend on individual.

  17. just do something u know to make u rich in dis life if u educated if u ar not av money its nothing if a person nt educated if he get money some of peoples educated do slave in he under education is means make u civilization is just civilize

  18. For the fact that someone made it without a degree, does not mean degrees are of no use, there is no way Goodluck Jonathan would hve been president of Nigeria if he heard primary six leaving “degree” certificate, so if u hve one already , be of good courage , there is hope u will make it.

  19. Education is not the yardstick of wealth, but a mental liberation which will furnish your life in all ramifications. Formal education and financial education(Financial liberty) are two different concepts, but people always mix them up.Formal education deals with acquisition of knowledge while Financial education (Financial Liberty) deals with acquisition of wealth.Assuming you are earning #200,000 as monthly salary,you will make a total sum of #84,000,000 in 35 years, but a business mogul can make such as his own net profit in four months.Being a graduate with a first class is not the yardstick of the acquisition of wealth,being a professor of economics is not the yardstick of the world’s billionaires list,lol how many professors can even turn 2 kobos to 4 kobos in business?Dropout (Bill Gates) is the world richest man today,Certificate alone is not enough to liberate a man from the shackle of poverty, as you are acquiring formal education, also try to acquire financial liberty alongside it.Nigeria of yesterday is totally different from Nigeria of today, graduates are increasing in geometric progression on daily basis while job vacancies are in arithmetic progression. Certificate may disappoint you ,if you are waiting for the value that certificate can add to your life.No man is jobless, except he choose to be idle.Get something doing instead of lingering for white collar job at home doing nothing.Time is fair to everybody, 24 hours is given to everybody per day,it is our personal decision to use it wisely or foolishly.Success is an end result of efforts, don’t be relented in your endeavour, one day success will surely smile on you.It is not formal education that liberated Bill Gates,Amancio Ortega,Warren Buffett,Mark Zuckerberg,Larry Ellison,Aliko Dangote,Folorunsho Alakija,Mike Adenuga etc. I am not saying that formal education is bad or a waste of time,note everybody must be educated but we shouldn’t limit our success to our certificate.Talent, gift ,skill and ability must be nurtured for our survival B.A Michael

  20. I’m sure that was possible when a woman’s place was in the kitchen not on this modernized and computerized age. The last time I checked her age I saw 60’s to 70years so don’t fool us.

  21. Obasanjo has already told us the secret of your succeess. He made you a billionaire. If he could not assist his own daughter-in-law without the other room conditions, we already know yours is not different.

  22. CONGRATULATIONS ma,i rejoice with you .degree is alright and added advantage what is more important is to be honest and hard working in life other things shall be added to it by the power of all mighty ,congrats ma .

  23. But ur parents left u a good inheritance n u make use of it well, everybody has their own Destiny at hand, Education is good and is another way of succeeding too. May God help us to find our way of success.

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