The richest black women in the world have beaten all the odds stacked against their gender, especially their gender with their color, and they have excelled in life and in business; acquiring enough wealth to change not just their own lives, but to impact that of millions of people.
These real life super heroes have set the standards of capacity and achievement; they will be looked at as models by young black girls all over the world.
Some of them have overcome real challenges to achieve their status; it is on this basis that they are celebrated.
Top 10 Richest Black Women In The World
1. Oprah Winfrey
Net worth: -$2.5 Billion
Oprah Gail Winfrey, is an American talk show host, who later became an actress, television producer, media executive, and philanthropist. She rose to fame through her television talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran from 1986 to 2011, and was syndicated across all Television Channels in the United States; and is still been syndicated on the internet.
Her talk show highlighted the sufferings and challenges of people across all social and ethnic barriers, and she also celebrated the achievements and successes of people, especially when they passed through difficulties to achieve them.
Her talk show became so popular that she was dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, and ranked as the most influential woman in the world. Meanwhile, Oprah had negotiated ownership of her show, and that had made her a billionaire; she established OWN Network, and as the owner of the show she still earns from it through the website; and other public streaming services.
Oprah is still one of Black America’s most influential figures; her voice is one of the most powerful in social issues and one of the important in matters affecting the people.
2. Isabel dos Santos
Net worth: -$2.3 Billion
Isabel dos Santos is one of the richest and most powerful black women in the world; she is the eldest child of Angola’s former President José Eduardo dos Santos. He ran the affairs of that country for 38 years; from 1979 to 2017.
She had a privileged childhood, and as a young woman she had insider information about the state of the Angolan economy, and what sectors were most lucrative. Even though people have questioned the source of her seed capital as proceeds of possible corruption, it is impossible not to acknowledge her prowess as an investor, and manager of resources.
Her investment portfolio is very impressive; it includes 25% of Angolan mobile phone company Unitel, Nos SGPS, a Portuguese cable TV company, and a 25% stake in Angolan bank Banco BIC SA. She also owns about 20% of Banco BPI; one of Portugal’s largest publicly traded banks.
3. Mama Ngina Kenyatta
Net worth: -$2 billion
Ngina Kenyatta (often called Mama) was born in 1933. She is the wife of the Late Jomo Kenyatta; first president of Kenya. Her son Uhuru Kenyatta is also the immediate past president of Kenya.
Mama Kenyatta is wealthy beyond imagination; her husband amassed so much wealth when he was in power, and when he died, she inherited it.
Her wealth comes from land; it is said that most of the land in the Nairobi area belongs to her. She also owns real estate, farms, hotels, as well as shares in key areas of the economy such as banks, and communications companies.
Net worth: -$1.7 billion
Rihanna has transformed from the lanky girl singing about umbrellas back in 2007 to a business mogul. She is a Barbadian singer, actress, and businesswoman who rose to fame after she signed up for a singing audition.
She is a successful musician; she has sold over 250 million records worldwide, and has sold out some of the biggest arenas in the world. She has also won several prestigious awards and gained fame all over the world for her craft.
Rihanna has also proved her abilities as an actress; she has featured in a number of very successful movies.
As a businesswoman she launched her first fragrance in 2011. It was a commercial success; leading to the release of several other perfumes. She also established Fenty Fashion in 2019; with her products distributed by LVMH. However, that enterprise has been “put on hold.”
Rihanna then established Fenty Beauty; a cosmetics brand which is also sold by LVMH; and this time the venture is a massive success; bringing in billions of dollars in sales, and selling in 150 countries.
5. Folorunsho Alakija
Net worth: -$1.3 Billion
Folorunsho Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration and marketing company. She is one of the country’s most highly connected persons; she is a high society woman, and it was this good grace with people that facilitated her unprecedented rise into the circle of billionaires.
She studied in Lagos, and London, and had a twelve year career in the banking industry. Folorunsho Alakija then started a fashion company which became quite popular in the early 90’s. Her patron was Late Mrs. Mariam Babangida; wife of the President at the time
From there she established a printing company, and then an oil exploration company; and that is where she became a billionaire. She is also a big real estate investor.
Folorunsho Alakija is ranked as one of the most powerful women in Africa. She is also a philanthropist; her foundation- Rose of Sharon Foundation is focused on widows and orphans; providing them with scholarships and business grants.
6. Janice Bryant Howroyd
Net worth: $1.1 Billion
Janice Bryant Howroyd is one of the biggest black women in corporate world; she is the founder and CEO of ACT-1 Group; her company provides workforce solutions such as temporary staffing for corporate establishments.
The business has grown into a colossus; serving all kinds of businesses and enterprises across the country; it made a whopping $2.8 billion in revenues in 2017.
Janice Bryant Howroyd did not immediately become rich and famous; she started the company back in 1978 with just $1,500 plus an additional $900 which was a loan from her mother. The company is now an industry leader; it has over 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 19 different countries.
7. Sheila Johnson
Net worth: $750 million
Sheila Crump Johnson is an American businesswoman, she is known as the cofounder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). BET is the premier source of entrainment for America’s black community, and is also the pinnacle of entertainment for black people all over the world.
Sheila Johnson’s then husband Robert L Johnson was a lobbyist for a media organization, but then decided to establish his own network. He achieved this by taking a loan of $500,000 from a media executive.
With that money he established BET with his wife Sheila by his side. Although Sheila has since divorced him, and the company has been sold, she has actually become richer in the interim; since 2005 she has made huge investments in sports; she is owner or part owner of Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA), and the Washington Mystics (WNBA).
She is also the CEO of Salamander Hospitality, a company she founded in 2005, with various hotels and golf courses.
8. Haija Bola Shagaya
Net worth: -$700 million
Hajia Bola Shagaya is a Nigerian businesswoman and society person. She is known for her fashion sense; she is often the focus of attention whenever she attends an event.
She made her start in public service; she had a career with the audit department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and then, in 1983 she ventured into commerce with the import and distribution of photographic materials; she was the major distributor of the Konica brand of photographic materials in Nigeria and West Africa.
She is the founder of Bolmus Group International, a conglomerate with interests in banking, real estate, and petroleum.
Net worth: -$400 million
Beyonce is arguably the most popular woman in the world; that popularity comes from her powerful vocals- she is a prolific singer and actress. She is also the wife of the biggest and most successful rapper in the history of the business.
Beyoncé has released six studio albums, five live albums, five EPs, one soundtrack album, three compilation albums, one mixtape, two karaoke albums, and 62 singles. Altogether se has sold 75 million albums and over 118 million records.
She has also sold out every major performance arena, and recorded success as an actress as well.
10. Serena Williams
Net worth: $250
Serena Williams is the queen of the court; she has been the most dominant force in female tennis for the past 20 years; and has won the Grand slam 23 times. She is also the face of the sport, and the most prominent woman in sports advertising.
She has a net worth estimated to be around $250 Million, and the money has come from her earnings on the court, and from the billboards. She made a truckload of money from deals with Nike and Kraft Foods, and she has plenty of money invested in NFTs and crypto currencies.
The richest black women in the world are mostly based in America and the mother continent; with Nigeria claiming first position. As the African economy grows and more opportunities become available; there is no doubt that we will continue to see more high net worth black women, and that they too will improve the lives of people around them.