20 Richest Black Women in The World and their Net Worth

Several women of African and Afro-American descent have risen to the top in today’s world, leaving indelible marks in different areas of business, entertainment, and more. With hard work and determination, they have flourished in their passions, working their dream jobs. These richest black women in the world have pulled through to an enviable height which has proven that wealth does not recognize race, gender, or geography.

Not only have they created a trail on terrain where there was none, but have challenged the status quo. Though they cannot be compared to the world’s richest black men in terms of number, these leading women in the world have reshaped history, closing inequalities by pioneering new avenues of wealth creation and in turn, have developed their country’s economy.

Here are twenty women of African and Afro-American ancestry who have built massive empires and increased their wealth, as a result, they are considered the wealthiest in the world.

World’s 20 Richest Black Women

20. Whoopi Goldberg

Net Worth: $60 Million

Industry: Entertainment, Pharmaceutical

Source: Whoopi & Maya

Country of Residence: United States

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Multi-award-winning actress, author, and TV personality, Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the year 1955 in New York City. She is the 20th world’s richest black woman on our list, having attained an estimated fortune of $60 million. The Sister Act star began her acting career in 1982 with a minor role in Citizen: I’m Not Losing My Mind, I’m Giving It Away and has since become a force to be reckoned with in the film industry. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001 and has gone on to win numerous awards including a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and Golden Globe Award.

Aside from acting, the New Yorker has also made impressive waves as a talk show host, as she has been co-hosting the daytime talk show, The View since 2007 which has bagged her a Daytime Emmy Award. She has also written several children’s and non-fiction books over the years. They include “Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners” (2006) and “Is It Just Me? Or Is Nuts Out There?” (2010). The actress further serves as the founder of Whoopi & Maya which produces medical cannabis products that help to relieve women of menstrual cramps.

Did You Know?  

  • Whoopi Goldberg is the first African American woman to host an Oscar and also receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
  • The author is the only woman of color to have won the EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards.
  • Goldberg became the highest-paid actress in the early 1990s, after featuring in Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

19. Queen Latifah

Net Worth: $70 Million

Industry: Entertainment, Cosmetics

Source: CoverGirl Queen Collection 

Country of Residence: United States

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Born Dana Elaine Owens, Queen Latifah is a prominent singer who has also worked as an actress, rapper, and producer. After signing a record deal with Tommy Boy Record in the late ’80s, she released her first studio album, ‘All Hail the Queen’ and it spawned a successful single ‘ Ladies First’. She afterward launched her acting career by featuring in the TV series, Living Single (1993-1998). She has thus far starred in over 60 movies and TV series combined which have landed her numerous accolades such as Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award, NAACP Image Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

From 2013 to 2015, Latifah served as the host of The Queen Latifah Show, a daytime talk show that aired on CBS. She has also worked as a spokeswoman for several brands including Curvation ladies underwear, Jenny Craig, CoverGirl cosmetics, and Pizza Hut. She owns a cosmetics line called CoverGirl Queen Collection, as well as a fragrance line called Queen and Queen of Hearts. Additionally, Queen Latifah is the author of “Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman.”

Did You Know?  

  • As a music artist, Queen Latifah has sold more than two million records.
  • The actress received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, becoming the first hip-hop artist to achieve such a feat.

18. Sade

Net Worth: $70 Million

Industry: Music

Country of Residence: United Kingdom

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Sitting 18th on our list is British singer, songwriter, and actress, Sade. She was born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1959 and then moved to England at the age of 4. She began her career as a part-time model and fashion designer before gaining recognition as a member of the music band, Pride in the early ’80s. She subsequently formed her eponymous band, releasing her debut album,’ Diamond Life’ in 1984.

The album launched her music career to the stratosphere as it emerged as one of the best-selling albums of the era, as well as the best-selling debut album released by a British female singer. Having sold more than 110 million albums globally, the music sensation is regarded as the most successful solo female artist in the history of Britain. Some of her band’s best-known songs include ‘No Ordinary Love’, ‘Smooth Operator’, and ‘Soldier of Love’.

Did You Know?

  • Sade was listed among the 100 Greatest Women in Music by VH1 in 2012. She occupied the 30th position.
  • In 2002, following her contributions to music, Sade was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Later in 2017, she was promoted to the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

17. Michelle Obama

Net Worth: $70 Million

Industry: Legal Services, Politics, Publishing

Country of Residence: United States

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Regarded among the most influential women in the world, Michelle Obama served as the United States First Lady from 2009 to 2017. She is an alumna of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Thus, she works as a lawyer and author. Following graduation from Harvard, she practiced law for some years before taking up diverse roles in the Chicago city government. She served as the Mayor’s assistant, as well as the Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development in the year 1991.

Michelle Obama subsequently served as the University of Chicago’s Associate Dean of Student Services. She also got associated with the University of Chicago Medical Center and there, she worked as the vice president for Community and External Affairs. During her time as the first lady, Michelle advocated for poverty eradication, healthy eating, nutrition, art, and education. Over the years, she has written books such as “American Grown” published in 2012, and “Becoming” published in 2018.

Did You Know?  

  • Michelle Obama is the first African American woman to become the First Lady of the United States.
  • Michelle got acquainted with her future husband, Barack Obama in her early legal career days when she was working at Sidley & Austin law firm.
  • Michelle Obama has served on the board of TreeHouse Foods Inc. and also held the position of the board of directors at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

16. Naomi Campbell

Net Worth: $80 Million

Industry: Entertainment, Cosmetics

Source: Naomi Campbell Perfumes and Colognes

Country of Residence: United States

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Naomi Campbell is one of the world’s richest black women as she has amassed a net worth of $80 million from her successful endeavors as a model, actress, and businesswoman. In the late 1980s and 1990s, she was among the most in-demand models, as such, was widely considered a supermodel. At the peak of her modeling career, Campbell walked in fashion shows for many notable brands including Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Prada, Burberry, Hermès, Chanel, and Tommy Hilfiger.

She has appeared on the cover of over 500 magazines and also made appearances in ad campaigns for Thierry Mugler, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, and Victoria’s Secret. As an actress, Naomi Campbell has starred in films and TV series such as The Face (2013-2014), American Horror Story: Hotel (2015), Empire (2015-2016), Zoolander 2 (2016), and I Feel Pretty (2018). She penned her first beauty contract in 2019 with NARS Cosmetics and has also launched multiple signature fragrances.

Did You Know?

  • Noami Campbell is the first black model to grace the cover of British Vogue, French Vogue, and Time.
  • The English model was banned for life from British Airways after assaulting two police officers at London Heathrow Airport in 2008.
  • Campbell was awarded the Fashion Icon Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2019.
  • The supermodel gained a political appointment in January 2021 as she was made the Magical Kenya International Tourism Ambassador by Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

15. Tyra Banks

Net Worth: $90 Million

Industry: Entertainment, Cosmetics

Source: Tyra Beauty

Country of Residence: United States

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Another supermodel on our list of the 20 richest black women in the world is Tyra Banks. Beginning her modeling career at the age of 15, Banks has established herself in the modeling industry. She was ranked among the top-earning models in the world in the early 2000s. From 1997 to 2005, she worked as a Victoria’s Secret Angel and has featured in advertising campaigns for brands such as Nike, Versace, Escada, Pepsi, and Tommy Hilfiger. She has also walked the runways for Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Fendi, Christian Dior, and Oscar de la Renta.

The gorgeous model made her acting debut in 1993 when she starred alongside Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has additionally featured in several other movies and series such as Love Stinks (1999), Life Size (2000), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Gossip Girls (2009), and Glee (2013). Since 2003 Tyra Banks launched her reality TV series, America’s Next Top Model, she has been serving as the show’s creator and executive producer. She hosted her eponymous talk show for five years (2005-2010) and was recognized with two Daytime Emmy Awards. More so, she has served as the host of America’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars.

Did You Know?

  • Tyra Banks is the first black model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and GQ.
  • The supermodel’s first publication, “Modelland” (2010) is a New York Times Best Seller.
  • In August 2016, Banks was made a guest lecturer on personal branding at Stanford University.

14. Halle Berry

Net Worth: $90 Million

Industry: Entertainment

Country of Residence: United States

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Golden Globe-winning actress, Halle Berry has made impressive waves in the modeling and acting industries. After gaining her breakthrough role with Boomerang (1992), she has gone on to play memorable roles in commercially successful movies such as the X-Men franchise (2000-2014), Monster’s Ball (2001), Die Another Day (2002), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019). In the 2000s, Halle was ranked among the highest-paid actresses in the world.

For her role in the James Bond movie, Die Another Day, she pocketed a paycheck of $4 million. She was also paid a career-high of $14 million to feature in the rebooted Catwoman in 2004. Since then, the actress has been earning between $10 and $12 million for a major film role. In 1996, she signed a remunerative endorsement deal with Revlon which she renewed in the year 2004, and has continued to increase her net worth with millions of dollars she earns from the deal to date.

Did You Know?

  • Halle Berry is the only woman of color to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • The multi-award-winning actress won Miss Ohio USA in 1986. She also finished as the first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant, as well as sixth in the 1986 Miss World.
  • While attending Bedford High School, Halle was a cheerleader, school newspaper editor, and eventually a prom queen.

13. Venus Williams

Net Worth: $95 Million

Industry: Sport, Fashion

Source: EleVen

Country of Residence: United States

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Famously known for her exploits in the world of tennis, Venus Williams is one of the world’s richest black women. The professional tennis player is ranked among the all-time greats of women’s tennis along with her younger sister, Serena Williams. She is a former world No. 1 seed in both singles and doubles, having been ranked world No. 1 for a total of 11 weeks in singles and 8 weeks in doubles by the Women’s Tennis Association.

Alongside her sister, she has clinched 14 Grand Slam Women’s doubles titles and has a career total of 23 Grand Slam titles. She has also won four Olympic gold medals and a combined total of 73 Women’s Tennis Association titles. Venus has earned over $40 million in salary, and thus, sits behind her sister as the second highest-earning female tennis player in the world. Kicking off her entrepreneurial career in 2007, Venus launched a fashion line called EleVen. She also has a stake in Miami Dolphins.

Did You Know?

  • In 2002, Venus Williams emerged as the first African American woman to achieve the world No. 1 title since the initiation of computer rankings in 1975.
  • Williams is the second African American to have won the Wimbledon during the Open Era.
  • Venus and her sister have an unbeaten record in the Grand Slams doubles finals.

12. Janet Jackson

Net Worth: $190 Million

Industry: Entertainment

Source: Rhythm Nation

Country of Residence: United States

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Popularly known in the popular culture for her elaborate stage depictions and sexually provocative records, Janet Jackson has amassed an estimated fortune of $190 million from her plethora of careers. As such, she is one of the richest black women in the world. The talented singer-songwriter, actress, and record producer began her career in the early 1970s, featuring in several acting projects including the variety TV series, The Jacksons. She then ventured into music in 1982 and emerged as one of the highest-paid music artists after signing a record-breaking multi-million record with Virgin records in 1991.

She is now considered one of the best-selling recording artists in the world, having registered sales of over 100 million records. Jackson has won over 500 awards throughout her career. They include 5 Grammy Awards, 34 Billboard Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and 13 Soul Train Music Awards. In partnership with BMG Rights Management, she launched her record label, Rhythm Nation in 2015. As an actress, the songwriter has starred in Poetic Justice (1993), Why Did I Get Married? (2007), and Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010).

Did You Know?

  • Janet Jackson emerged as the most searched news story in internet history in 2004 when she suffered a wardrobe malfunction during a Super Bowl halftime show with Justin Timberlake.
  • The singer is the tenth and youngest child of the famous Jackson family of musicians and entertainers.

11. Serena Williams 

Net Worth: $225 Million

Industry: Sport, Fashion

Source: S by Serena

Country of Residence: United States

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American professional tennis player, Serena Williams has established several records since she began playing tennis at the age of four. She became world No. 1 for the first time in July 2002 and has held the ranking for a total of 319 weeks. She holds the record for the most titles won at the Australian Open in the Open Era, as well as the record for the most wins at major women’s singles matches (357). She additionally shares an all-time record of four Olympic gold medals with her sister, Venus.

Equally renowned for her business acumen, Serena founded a direct-to-a-consumer clothing line called S by Serena in the year 2018. Also, She is a stakeholder in UFC and Miami Dolphins. Through Serena Ventures, the famed athlete has made investments valued at over $10 million in more than fifty startups over the past years.

Did You Know?

  • Serena Williams has gathered over $90 million in career prize money, which is twice as much won by any other female tennis player.
  • Serena holds the record for the most Grand Slam singles title won by any female tennis player in the Open Era (a total of 23).
  • The skilled athlete was pregnant with her first child when she claimed her open record 23rd Grand Slam title in January 2017.
  • Serena was the 2016 highest-paid female athlete, having earned close to $29 million in prize money and endorsement.

10. Janice Bryant Howroyd

Net Worth: $285 Million

Industry: Staffing

Source: ActOne Group

Country of Residence: United States

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The 10th richest black woman in the world is Janice Bryant Howroyd. She serves as the founder and chief executive officer of ActOne Group that is worth over $900 million. The business which aims at providing workforce solutions including temporary staffing was launched in Los Angeles in 1978. The agency has employed over 2,600 staff in 19 countries since then and equally has over 17,000 clients that include Fortune 500 organizations and government agencies.

Some of her companies that offer personal and recruiting services include ACT-1 Personnel Services, AppleOne, At-Tech, and ACT-1Govt. Aside from being the CEO of ActOne Group, Janice holds key positions in multiple organizations. She is on the board of trustees for the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She is also a board member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the United States Department of Labor’s Workforce Initiative Board.

Did You Know?

  • In 2016, Janice Bryant Howroyd was appointed a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities by former US president, Barack Obama.
  • Janice opened her business with $1,500 and has moved on to become the first woman of African American descent to build and own a billion-dollar company.
  • The entrepreneur was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2015.

9. Beyoncé 

Net Worth: $420 Million

Industry: Entertainment, Fashion

Source: Parkwood Entertainment, Ivy Park

Country of Residence: United States

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Beyoncé is one of the best-selling recording artists in the world. She gained prominence in the music industry as the lead singer of one of the best-selling girls’ groups of all-time, Destiny’s Child. Since then she has evolved into one of the leading female singers in the United States. She has recorded sales of over 118 million records globally and some of her commercially successful singles include ‘Irreplaceable’, ‘Crazy in Love’, ‘If I Were a Boy’, and ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).’

She took to acting in the early 2000s and has featured in movies such as Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), The Fighting Temptations (2003), The Pink Panther (2006), Cadillac Records (2008), and The Lion King (2019). The latter emerged as the highest-grossing animated film of all-time after earning over $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office. As a businesswoman, the music superstar serves as the founder of the entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment and activewear clothing line, Ivy Park. She is additionally a co-owner of music streaming service, Tidal.

Did You Know?

  • For two years, Beyoncé sang in the choir as a soloist at St. John’s United Methodist Church before she rose to fame.
  • Queen Bey is the first African American woman to win the Songwriter of the Year Award in 2002 from the American Society of Composed, Authors, and Publishers.
  • In 2010, Beyoncé won six Grammy Awards, establishing the record for the most win in one night by a female artist.
  • The singer’s fragrance label, Heat is the best-selling celebrity fragrance line in the world, having made sales of more than $400 million.

8. Stella Chinyelu Okoli

Net Worth: $500 Million

Industry: Pharmaceutical

Source: Emzor Pharmaceutical

Country of Residence: Nigeria

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One of the richest women in Nigeria, Stella Chinyelu Okoli is a well-known pharmacist and entrepreneur. She serves as the founder and chief executive officer of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company – Emzor Pharmaceutical. After studying Pharmacy at the University of Bradford, Stella had working experience at a number of pharmaceutical agencies including Boots the Chemists Limited.

Establishing her pharmaceutical company as Emzor Chemists Limited in 1977, the entrepreneur has grown the company and it is now ranked among Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies. She has received numerous accolades for her contributions to the health sector in Nigeria including the ECOWAS International Gold Award. More so, Stella is the vice president of the Nigerian Association of Chamber and Commerce, as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

Did You Know?

  • Stella has been honored with the Member of the Order of the Niger Award by the Nigerian government.
  • In 1971, Stella Chinyelu Okoli bagged a Master of Science degree in Biopharmaceutical from the University of London, Chelsea College.

7. Rihanna

Net Worth: $600 Million

Industry: Music, Fashion, Cosmetics

Source: Fenty, Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty, Fenty Skin

Country of Residence: United States

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With a net worth of $600 million, Barbadian singer, actress, and entrepreneur, Rihanna is ranked among the richest black women in the world. She kicked off her music career in 2003 and has released several commercially successful albums that have spawned chart-topping singles. As a result, she has achieved fourteen No. 1 singles and thirty-one top 10 singles in the United States. Having sold over 250 million records worldwide, the talented singer is regarded as one of the best-selling music artists of all-time.

She made her acting debut in 2006 when she had a cameo role in Bring It On: All or Nothing. She has moved on to star in Battleship (2012), Home (2015), Ocean’s 8 (2018), and Guava Island (2019). Rihanna has additionally established herself in the business sector as she is a co-owner of Tidal, as well as the founder of fashion brand Fenty, cosmetics company Fenty Beauty, lingerie brand Savage X Fenty, and skincare brand Fenty Skin.

Did You Know?

  • Rihanna emerged as the richest female music artist in 2019 when she accrued an estimated fortune of $600 million.
  • Through her foundation, Clara Lionel Foundation, the Barbados native has donated over $8 million towards COVID-19 relief.
  • Rihanna is the first and only music artist to have achieved over 100 million gold and platinum singles certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

6. Hajia Bola Shagaya

Net Worth: $630 Million

Industry: Diversified businesses

Source: Bolmus Group International

Country of Residence: Nigeria

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Hajia Bola Shagaya is another richest woman in Nigeria as she has an estimated net worth of $630 million. After completing her higher education from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Armstrong College situated in California, the businesswoman and fashion enthusiast first worked at the Central Bank of Nigeria before venturing into entrepreneurship. She put a start to her business career by importing and distributing photographic materials, especially the Konica brand of photographic material in Nigeria, as well as West Africa.

She is currently serving as the managing director of one of Nigeria’s largest importers and distributors of base oil – Practoil Limited. Also, she is the patron of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) and has been on the board of Unity Bank Plc for more than eight years. Beyond having an interest in photographic materials, Hajia Bola is also a real estate investor who has acquired properties in major cities across Nigeria.

Did You Know?

  • Hajia Bola Shagaya is under investigation for money laundering by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
  • Hajia Bola was awarded Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by former president f Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in July 2010.

5. Sheila Johnson

Net Worth: $770 Million

Industry: Media, Hospitality

Source: Black Entertainment Network (BET), Salamander Hotels and Resorts

Country of Residence: United States

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Taking the fifth spot on our list is Sheila Johnson, the co-founder of cable TV channel, Black Entertainment Network (BET). She established the TV channel together with her then-husband, Robert L. Johnson in 1979 and they later sold it to Viacom in 2001 for $2.9 billion. She sold off her shares following her divorce from Robert in the next year and has since invested her money in the hospitality industry, serving as the chief executive officer of Salamander Hospitality. The company’s portfolio includes The Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Reunion Resort, and The Salamander Resort and Spa.

For over a decade and a half, Sheila has been serving as the governor, team president, and managing partner of WMBA’s franchise, Washington Mystics. In the past years, the University of Illinois graduate has been recognized with many awards including Lincoln Medal by the Ford’s Theatre Society, Billie Jean King Leadership Award by the Women’s Sports Foundation, and Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal.

Did You Know?

  • Sheila Johnson is the first woman of African American descent to own or partner with three professional sports franchises. They include the NBA franchise – Washington Wizards, NHL franchise – Washington Capital, and WNBA franchise – Washington Mystics.
  • Sheila is the first African American woman to achieve an estimated fortune of at least $1 billion.
  • The businesswoman is the producer of the critically acclaimed movie, The Butler (2013).

4. Ngina Kenyatta

Net Worth: $1 Billion

Industry: Diversified businesses

Country of Residence: Kenya

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The former first lady of Kenya, Ngina Kenyatta, famously known as Mama Ngina is the fourth richest black woman in the world. She is the mother of the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the widow of the late Kenyan president, Jomo Kenyatta. She has mostly amassed her wealth through imports, exports, manufacturing, banking, and real estate. As the matriarch of the Kenyatta family, she manages the enormous prime real estate collection which her late husband acquired during the British colonial government in the country and world bank sponsored settlement transfer fund scheme in the ’60s and ’70s.

Her family also has major stakes in the Commercial  Bank of Africa, Heritage Hotels, Media Max Company, and the largest dairy company in Kenya – Brookside Dairies.

Did You Know?

  • Although Mama Ngina got married to Jomo Kenyatta as the fourth wife, she became Kenya’s First Lady when her late husband was made the country’s president in the year 1963.
  • In 1965, Ngina Kenyatta was made the patron of Kenyan Guiding.

3. Folorunsho Alakija

Net Worth: $1 Billion

Industry: Diversified businesses

Source: The Rose of Sharon Group, Famfa Oil Limited

Country of Residence: Nigeria

Richest black women
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The group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group, Folorunsho Alakija is a billionaire businesswoman who is considered the richest woman in Nigeria. After attending Pitman’s Central College, London, Alakija worked at Sijuade Enterprises and First National Bank of Chicago (now known as First City Monument Bank) before making a name for herself in the fashion, real estate, oil, and printing industries.

Folorunsho first launched a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches which got renamed Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. She promoted Nigerian culture through fashion during her time as the national president and trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN). In addition to her exploits in the fashion industry, the prominent entrepreneur has a major stake in the DaySpring Property Development Company. She is the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited that has a 60 percent stake in Agbami Oilfield.

Did You Know?

  • Folorunsho Alakija was named by Forbes as Africa’s second Most Powerful Woman behind Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in the year 2015.
  • Alakija fought the Nigerian government in court for twelve years for snatching a fifty percent stake in her oil company when it first struck oil and she won the legal battle.

2. Isabel dos Santos

Net Worth: $1.7 Billion

Industry: Banking, Investment

Source: Unitel International Holdings, Trans Africa Investment Services, Santoro Finance

Country of Residence: United Arab Emirates

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The world’s second-richest black woman, Isabel dos Santos is equally ranked as the richest woman in Africa as she sits on a net worth of $1.7 billion. During her father’s long-term tenure as the president of Angola from 1979 through 2017, Isabel purchased stakes in several Angolan companies. She launched her first business, a night club and beach restaurant called Miami Beach Club in 1997. She then got associated with Ubana as a project manager engineer in the year 2000, having studied Electrical Engineering at King’s College, London.

The Angolan businesswoman has interests in telecommunications, retail, finance, and media, as such, she has established diverse holdings over the years. They include Unitel International Holdings, Santoro Finance, Esperaza Holding, Condis, and Trans Africa Investment Services. She has been appointed to varying key positions in multiple companies that have been named on European Stock Exchanges for over two decades. From 2016 to 2017, she served as the chairwoman of the Angolan state oil company, Sonangol and is a board member of Banco BIC Potuguês, an Angolan bank situated in Lisbon.

Did You Know?

  • Isabel dos Santos’ net worth exceeded $2 billion in the year 2013 and she was listed among the 100 Most Influential Women in the World by BBC in 2015.
  • Having been under investigation in Angola for corruption crimes, and equally, in Portugal, Isabel has since moved to the United Arab Emirates which is now her official country of residence.

1. Oprah Winfrey

Net Worth: $2.6 Billion

Industry: Media

Source: Oprah Winfrey Network, Harpo Productions

Country of Residence: United States

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The richest black woman in the world is none other than the Queen of All Media, Oprah Winfrey. Best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, the television producer, actress, talk show host, and author have conquered life difficulties, especially her childhood experiences to become one of the most influential women in the world. Her eponymous talk show was the highest-rated show in history and it went into syndication from 1986 to 2011, running for twenty-five years.

She launched Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011 and has been serving as the chairwoman, chief executive officer, as well as chief commercial officer since then. She is also the chairwoman and chief executive officer of Harpo Productions. As an actress, Winfrey has starred in The Color Purple (1985), The Butler (2013), and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017). She is a co-author of five books and an investor in Weight Watchers where she has over $400 million worth of shares.

Did You Know?

  • Oprah Winfrey is widely regarded as the greatest black philanthropist in the history of America. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 after making a donation of $12 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African History and Culture that year.
  • The media mogul is the first individual of African American descent to attain a multi-billion dollar net worth in North America.
  • Oprah is also the first black female news anchor to work at WLAC-TV (now WTVF-TV) situated in Nashville.

Summary/Recap of the World’s 20 Richest Black Women

1. Oprah Winfrey

2. Isabel dos Santos

3. Folorunsho Alakija

4. Ngina Kenyatta

5. Sheila Johnson

6. Haija Bola Shagaya

7. Rihanna

8. Stella Chinyelu Okoli

9. Beyoncé

10. Janice Bryant Howroyd

11. Serena Williams

12. Janet Jackson

13. Venus Williams

14. Halle Berry

15. Tyra Banks

16. Naomi Campbell

17. Michelle Obama

18. Sade

19. Queen Latifah

20. Whoopi Goldberg

Some of Africa’s Richest Women Worth Mentioning:

1. Charlize Theron

Net Worth: $160 Million

Industry: Entertainment

Source: Denver and Delilah Productions

Country of Residence: United States

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One of the highest-paid actresses in the world, Charlize Theron is among the world’s richest black women. The American actress was born in Benoni, South Africa in 1975 and has gone on to build a flourishing career in acting that has been decorated with numerous accolades including Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. Throughout her career that has spanned over two decades, Theron has featured in numerous box office hits.

They include The Italian Job (2003), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and The Old Guard (2020). She ventured into movie production in the early 2000s when she launched her film production company, Denver and Delilah Productions. She has produced several movies such as The Burning Plain (2008), Dark Places (2015), Long Shot (2019), and The Old Guard (2020). Working as an activist, the movie star launched The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project in 2007 and has been working as a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2008.

Did You Know?

  • Charlize Theron is the first South African to win an Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • Theron joined the Breitling Cinema Squad in 2018, working as a brand ambassador alongside Brad Pitt, Adam Driver, and Daniel Wu.
  • The film producer was the ninth highest-paid actress in the world in 2019 with earnings of $23 million.

2. Wendy Appelbaum

Net Worth: $152 Million

Industry: Wine

Source: Demorgenzon Wine Estate

Country of Residence: South Africa

Richest black women
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Wendy Appelbaum is the daughter of South African billionaire, Sir Donald Gordon that founded Liberty Group. After earning a degree in Psychology from the University of Witwatersrand, Wendy joined her father’s company and held the position of a director at Liberty Group Investors. She subsequently co-founded Women’s Investment Portfolio Holdings (WIPHOLD) and served as the Deputy Chairman of the organization.

She contributed to the growth of the firm as it got listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange during her time. Later in 2003, Appelbaum launched DeMorgenzon Estate, a 224 acres wine farm. Today, her wine company is among the top wine producers in South Africa, as such, Wendy is ranked as one of the richest and powerful women in the country.

Did You Know?

  • Wendy Appelbaum was at one time considered the richest woman in South Africa as she had an estimated net worth of over $250 million.
  • The dexterous businesswoman sells more than half a million bottles of her wine annually, of which 85% are exported to countries such as Sweden, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

3. Wendy Ackerman

Net Worth: $111.5 Million

Industry: Retail

Country of Residence: South Africa

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South African retail magnate, Wendy Ackerman has made huge wealth from serving as the non-executive director of the popular retail company, Pick N Pay Holdings Ltd that was founded by her husband, Raymond Ackerman in 1967. The company is South Africa’s second-largest supermarket chain store and it’s said to be worth over $3 billion. It has more than 1,600 locations across several African countries including Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

Did You Know?

  • Wendy Ackerman serves as a trustee of the Ackerman Family educational trust fund.
  • Ackerman is one of the richest women in South Africa.

4. Irene Charnley

Net Worth: $88 Million

Industry: Telecommunications

Source: Smiles Telecommunication

Country of Residence: South Africa

Richest black women
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South African businesswoman, Irene Charnley gained international recognition for her work as South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers negotiator. The former trade unionist then gathered massive wealth when she got associated with one of the largest telecommunication companies in Africa, MTN, working as the executive director. She contributed to the growth of the company as many African and Middle Eastern countries were granted operation licenses under her leadership.

Also, she led the establishment of the National Empowerment Consortium and further launched a Pan-African telecommunications group, Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd situated in Mauritius. Its business operations cover many African countries including Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda.

Did You Know?

  • Irene Charnley had an estimated fortune of about $150 million when she left MTN Group.
  • Charnley worked as a negotiator for the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa for thirteen years.

Chioma Uchenwoke
Apart from content writing in the area of entertainment, personal finance and celebrity net worth, Chioma’s main interests are movies, football, music and books. She has been writing professionally for about 2 years in these fields

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