For some, turning 62 is no big deal. But that is not so in the case of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the man whose name is synonymous with success.
He was deservedly celebrated globally on Wednesday, April 10, when he turned 62. His life in entirety is a compelling study in determination, focus and ambition.
Like every creature, this amiable billionaire too has his own humble beginning. But his is one that will inspire any ambitious soul, any day and any time.
As a young man, he had a clear vision of what he wanted to do later in life and he pursued it with unwavering doggedness.
While growing up, the only thing that caught his fancy was business and he refused to be swayed by any other interest.
Though he started out as a trader at 21, he is today Africa’s leading businessman. His chain of companies is spread across 16 countries around the world and he has over 15,000 people in his employ.
As an entrepreneur, he always sees opportunities, while others are bogged down by morbid fear of failure. It is clear that he is a man born under a lucky star; it is also clear that he is endowed with the proverbial Midas touch. No wonder, he has always made a success of all that he has ventured into. From trading in commodity to sugar refining and from cement manufacturing to petroleum product refining, it is all a success story.
In the thinking of his traducers, he is no more but a beneficiary of government waiver and concession. But those who know him too well will attest to the fact that he is a hard-working shrewd businessman.
Dangote was born into a wealthy family in Kano. But rather than being pampered, he was given a chance to pursue his love for business. His uncle, Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata, eventually gave him a loan of N500, 000 that has today turned into mega fortune.
Today, the visionary businessman has built the largest sugar factory in the whole of Africa, largest cement factory in the continent, largest flour mill in the continent while his yet-to-be-completed refinery is said to be one of the largest in the world.
Apart from his business acumen, he is also a philanthropist of note. He has collaborated with the Bill Gates Foundation to invest in the provision of health, especially the eradication of polio in Africa and other parts of the world, where the disease is still prevalent.