“I Never Went To A University…So What Is Your Excuse?” – This Folorunsho Alakija’s Speech Will Get You Fired Up For 2016
Folorunsho Alakija is the richest self-made woman in Africa and one of just two female billionaires on the continent.
In an address to students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) during a United Nations' International Youths Day, the CEO of Famfa Oil challenged the students to dream big and work hard.
Below is her speech:
“I come from Ikorodu, Lagos state. I am married to a dashing young lawyer of 70 years of age and we have four grown up gentlemen and grandchildren. It has not been a rag to riches fairytale. It has not been an overnight phenomenon like some cases which you find here and there all over the world.
For as long as I can remember, I had always wanted my own business. Hard work…am trying to tell you how I got to where I am if you want those billions. Hard work, diligence, persistence… days where you nearly gave up, but I chose not to give up.
It would have been easy to compromise but I chose not to and I stayed focus. I could have stayed a secretary as my father desired according to his plan for me but I had bigger aspirations. I dreamt big. God strengthened me and gave me wisdom. I had a passion and burning desire to succeed. Being a secretary, a banker, a fashion icon, a cooperate promoter and printer, a real estate owner, an oil magnate, that I can assure you was no easy feat. Firm belief that what is worth doing is what doing well or not doing at all. I took charge of my life with the tools I have shared with you.
I chose to become born again at the age of 40. I chose to make a covenant with God that if he would bless me I would work for him all the days of my life. I chose to hold on to the cross and look up to him every step of the way. Today additional accomplishment includes a wife of almost 40 years, a mother, grandmother, ministry, counseling, outreach, NGO Rose of Sharon Foundation for widows and Author, writer, author of several inspirational books. All I say to the glory of God.
So I am 63 and I am not yet done. So what is your excuse? I never went to a University and I am proud to say so because I don't think I have done too badly. You do not have to have a University education to be able to make it so count yourselves privileged to have that education as part of the feather in your cap”