Nigerian billionaire and woman of faith, Apostle Folorunsho Alakija has extolled the virtues of prayers, kindness and love at the public presentation of her first autobiography titled “Blossoming with the Hand that Gives the Rose.”
The event, which is one in a series to mark her 70th birthday, was held at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi on July 12. It was a roll-call of women of substance including the First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, fmr. Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Singer Onyeka Onwenu, fmr. Bank Chief and motivational speaker, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika and Aisha Babangida.
In his review of the book, Sonny Iroche, an investment banker and convener, Abia League of Professional Initiatives observed that the author understands the importance of passing down values to younger generations. He added that the book is loaded with issue-specific prayers.
“Apostle Alakija is an epitome of simplicity and this reflects in the book,” he said. Whilst drawing attention to the author’s use of language in the book, he noted the she appropriates some self-made coinages to articulate her views. Iroche pointed out expressions such as ‘Out-laws’ to describe in-laws that are destructive elements in a marriage. While the author used “in-love” instead of “in-law” to suggest “family members” without hopes of being dragged to court someday.
The book reading session was a mixture of tributes, comments and actual reading of some sections from the book. On her part, Mrs Awosika spoke glowingly about the author’s leadership streak and her Junior Chamber International (JCI) connections where she had the rare opportunity of being a speaker twice.
On her part, Onwenu read from the section titled “Fashion My Passion” and recounted how Alakija’s fashion statements had impacted on her persona even at international functions.
In a question and answer session, Alakija encouraged everyone to cultivate the spirit of giving adding: “If you have items in your home that you have not used for two years, there is someone out there who is in dire need of it. Money is not always the answer to our problems. Money cannot buy happiness.”
The book also contains the details of her close shave with death along Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos. Other four books presented at the event include ‘The Master Key: The Power of Prayers,’ ‘Mysteries of Marriage Unveiled,’ ‘Answers to Marital Hiccup’ and ‘Lamp Unto My Feet.’
Named by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $1 billion in 2020, Alakija’s first company was a fashion label whose customers included late Maryam Babangida, the wife of former Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida. Alakija is also the Vice Chair, Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset. She is married with four children. Folorunsho is the Director, The Rose of Sharon Group.