15 Black Billionaires and How They Made Their Money

15 Black Billionaires and How They Made Their Money
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Michael Jordan


As most of us know, February is the celebration of Black History Month in the United States.

We celebrate all the great and successful Black people from Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream to George Washington Carver. We celebrate the service of the Tuskegee Airmen that fought in World War II and the service of Harriet Tubman for the missions she made to free the enslaved. And we also reflect on the past, so that we don’t make the same mistakes now or in the future.

Today, we are going to celebrate the 15 black billionaires and learn how they got their money.



15. Orji Uzor Kalu $1 billion

New to the billionaires list year is Orji Uzor Kalu from Nigeria. As the founder and chairman of SLOK Holiding, this conglomerate includes: furniture companies, publishers, oils, a paper factory, an airline, and a bank. He’s also the chairman of the First International Bank Limited. Kalu is also involved with Nigerian politics and even served a term as a governor of Abia State, Nigeria. He affiliates with the Njiko Igbo Movement.



14. Tony Elumelu $1 billion

The Nigerian businessman, Tony Elumelu has recently made quite a name for himself, after making his debut as a billionaire in 2014. With a net worth of $1 billion, he got his start after acquiring Standard Trust Bank. Later, he led a major merger that turned a single bank into a company that would span across 19 African countries. Elumelu has been with Heir Holdings since 2010, with a large stake in controlling Transcorp, and real estate across Nigeria. Heir Holdings focus on investing in areas that will strategically stimulate Africa’s economy.



13. Michael Jordan $1 billion

We all know him as one of the greatest basketball players to ever live, but now he adds becoming a billionaire in 2014 to the resume. This makes him the first professional athlete to gain this title. His elevation is attributed with the recent increase in his stakes of his sports teams, the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers, and his recent sale of the Milwaukee Bucks.



12. Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim $1.1 billion

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim is a British-Sudanese billionaire. He is very active in the role of Africa learning how to better govern the country. With a background in electrical engineering and mobile communications, Ibrahim founded MSI, his own software company in 1989. After changing the name a few times, MSI is now Celtel, a mobile phone service provider in Africa. In 2011, Ibrahim had a net worth of $1.8 billion. He was said to be spending a lot of his money on improving his country. And it shows in his net worth, as it is now down to $1.1 billion.



11. Theophilus Danjuma $1.1 billion

Theophilus Danjuma was born into the farming community of Takum, Taraba State in Nigeria. He left college to join the Nigerian Army, where he became the Chief of the Army before retiring in 1979. After the army, he founded South Atlantic Petroleum, an oil company. Danjuma has also been very active in the world of Nigerian politics.



10. Miloud Chaabi & family $1.3 billion

This Moroccan businessmen and politician, Miloud Chaabi is the richest man in all of Morocco and runs the largest charity organization, the Miloud Chaabi Foundation. Chaabi has been working for himself, since he started his own construction company at 15 and ceramic company when he was 31. Chaabi kept fighting the odds that were against him, while trading in a predominantly Jewish and French market. Finally in 1985, a Frenchman went out of business and Chaabi was able to buy everything from this man’s business.



9. Michael Lee-Chin $1.9 billion

The Jamaican-born Chinese Canadian businessman, Michael Lee-Chin, made his first appearance on the list of billionaires in 2001. As one of the richest people in Canada, he’s the Executive Chairman of AIC Limited, a mutual fund company that specializes in financial services. While Lee–Chin may have fallen off the Forbes 400 list of billionaires, but has recently had a net worth of $1.9 billion in January of 2014. Hopefully, that should be able to get him back on the list sometime in 2015.



8. King Mohammed VI $2.5 billion

As the current King of Morocco, he will be celebrating the 16th year that he’s been King. Mohammed has served in the Royal Moroccan Army as Commander-in-Chief and earned a PhD in law. He inherited 41% of ownership of the Societe Nationale d’Investisse (SNI) a holding company with many businesses. Including banking, mining, tourism/real estate, telecommunications, cement, energy, and the leading agricultural producer in Morocco.



7. Folorunsho Alakija $2.5 billion

At one point in time, Folorunsho Alakija was the richest woman in Africa and the world. This business entrepreneur from Lagos State, Nigeria worked as an executive secretary before settling down at the First National Bank of Chicago. There she set up her company Supreme Stitches, which caught on fast in the world of fashion. She soon switched fields and wanted to explore the world of oil. She obtained an oil prospecting license and experienced even more success.



6. Oprah Winfrey $2.9 billion

Besides Michael Jordan, there probably isn’t a more familiar name on this list than Oprah Winfrey. Since her days on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, she has worked her way up her own ladder of success. From her famous interviews, to her movie appearances, to her magazine, to her new network, it seems like Oprah never stops working. The book club on her talk show had the power to make someone an overnight celebrity.



5. Patrice Motsepe $2.9 billion

Patrice Motsepe grew up learning about mining as a kid. It is no surprise that the South African transformed into one of the largest mining companies into the world. His companies focus on platinum, chrome, and nickel. He has held many titles including, owner of Mamelodi Sundowns football team, non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold a gold mining company, and founder of Ubunto-Botho Investments. Recently, the way that he got wealthy has been under fire. People think his political ties are giving him extra money. Especially since his sister recently married a man in political office.



4. Isabel dos Santos $3.7 billion

The title of richest woman in Africa and the world bounces back and forth between Isabel dos Santos and Folorunsho Alakija .Currently, dos Santos is in the lead for both titles. This multi-billionaire is the daughter of the president of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. She attended the super prestigious King’s College London. She is a very successful investor and known for having the Midas touch, making all her investments lucrative.



3. Mike Adenuga $4.6 billion

Mike Adenuga is the third richest Black man in the world, making his fortune in oil and telecommunications. There are others on the list that also found these industries financially lucrative, too. Adenuga obtained his drilling license in 1990, by 1991 he started his own company Consolidated Oil. He was fortunate enough to strike oil in shallow water off the coast of Nigeria. After his success with oil, he decided to start his telecomm company. His company, Globacom has become the second largest operator with over 24 million subscribers.



2. Mohammed Al-Amoudi $12.8 billion

Mohammed Al-Amoudi is the second richest Black person in the world and the second richest Saudi Arabian citizen. With an Ethopian and Saudi Arabian heritage, he’s made his wealth in agriculture, construction, and energy companies using oil. His initial riches came from construction and real estate. His companies Corral Petroleum Holdings and MIDROC, employ over 70,000 people. He also owns and manages both his companies. Al-Amoudi also invests in Ethopia and Sweden, making him the largest foreign investor.



1. Aliko Dangote $18.6 billion

And at the top of the list is Aliko Dangote hailing from Kano, Nigeria. Very few on the list of billionaires were born into wealthy families, but Dangote was. Once he graduated from college, he was able to get a large loan from his uncle to start his business at the age of 21. He’s the owner of Dangote Group. They dominate the supply of sugar to the Nigerian beverage companies and confectioners. They even diversified to telecommunications like many others on the list. Dangote is very passionate about putting money back into Nigeria.