Alakija, one of the richest black women in the world, said this on Thursday at the Excellence in Leadership program, an annual event organised by Daystar Christian Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.
The founder of Rose of Sharon motivated the audience by saying that she never allowed a lack of university education to suppress her dreams and ambition.
“If I had the opportunity of going to the university, maybe I would have come out with a second class upper or lower but that didn’t happen; that wasn’t to be my destiny,” she said.
I would have loved to go to the university as we all know that university education is good but some of us who have not gone, it is not the end of the world.”
Alakija said she was able to attain her present position because she was determined and ready to pay the price that came with all the challenges she’s had to surmount.
“Having put my foot in the door, I decided I was not going to turn back”, she noted, revealing that when she had to file a lawsuit against the federal government for taking 50 out of her 60 percent equity, she remained determined.
The case which took 12 years to reach a conclusion was a matter of determination, she said. Alakija said she her person has been subjected to series of misconceptions due to the ignorance of people who don’t know her story.
The oil magnate noted that she is a product of hard work, sweat, tears, and tenacity, stressing that she’s not an overnight success.
“A lot of things have been said about me, some say I sold my way to the top; I remember that the headline of one of the national dailies in the country once said ‘Hairdresser given an oil block’. So I even became a hairdresser, one of the many names I was given.”
She encouraged participants at the conference to believe in themselves as it would be easier for others to believe in such people; she added that she believed in herself while moving from fashion designing to an unfamiliar terrain.