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Many consider them to be the most brilliant and enterprising people who are able to come out with ideal and fast ways to make some billions despite some of the political attacks they face due to their backgrounds.

It’s true that some of them might have certain advantages such as being born into a rich family or a country with a good education and an enabling environment.

Nevertheless, they largely strive on their own to strike it big. Scores of young people who have an interest in starting their own businesses and growing their wealth look up to them for inspiration.

This year, these highly successful people once more made money while touching the lives of others positively. Here are those that made the cut for the top 10 black billionaires for 2018.

Aliko Dangote

The Nigerian businessman is the richest black person in the world and Africa’s richest person, with a fortune estimated at $14.1 billion, according to Forbes. The cement and commodities tycoon has invested in a fertilizer production company and a large oil refinery which will start operations by 2019. He also owns sugar, salt and four milling businesses that are all listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Mike Adenuga

The Nigerian business magnate who has built a fortune in telecom and oil production is the second richest black man in the world with a fortune estimated at $5.3 billion. Adenuga launched Globacom mobile phone network in 2006, which has reached about 37 million subscribers and continues to expand to other West African countries. Growing up, he made friends with people in the Nigerian military, whom he cornered to help him get state construction contracts. Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s former president awarded Adenuga an oil prospecting license. Adenuga used that to build Conoil, becoming the first Nigerian to strike oil in commercial quantities.

Robert Smith

With a fortune estimated at $4.4 billion, the former Goldman Sachs executive is the third richest black person in the world. In 2000, he started Texas-based private equity and venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners which now has over $30 billion in assets under management. It is also one of the world’s most successful hedge funds. In 2017, he offered to sponsor the education of Nigeria’s 21 Chibok girls who were released the previous year.

Oprah Winfrey

The Media mogul and billionaire is the fourth richest black person with a fortune estimated at $2.7 billion. This June, she appeared on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as the first black female entrepreneur to rank among the world’s 500 richest people. Her fortune had then hit a record $4 billion thanks to the performance of Weight Watchers International Inc., with which she partnered in 2015. The weight-loss company increased her fortune by $427 million this year. Winfrey owns other businesses including The Oprah Winfrey Show and the cable network OWN. She recently partnered with Apple to produce original content and programming for the tech company.

Isabel Dos Santos

Having a fortune estimated at $2.6 billion, the oldest daughter of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos has built a vast empire in the country’s capital, Luanda with businesses ranging from banks, telecommunications, to sports and satellite TV. Africa’s richest woman also owns Candando, the country’s first supermarket and has stakes in BIC and BFA banks and in the cement company Nova Cimangola. Her father made her head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm, in June 2016, but Angola’s new president removed her from that role in November 2017.

Patrice Motsepe

The South African mogul is the founder of African Rainbow Minerals, one of the largest mining companies in South Africa. He is also the founder of African Rainbow Capital, an investment firm that acquires stakes in financial services companies. The sixth richest black person has a fortune estimated at $2.5 billion. Growing up, it was from his father’s Spaza shop (informal retail shop common among miners in South Africa) that Patrice acquired his entrepreneurial skills.

Folorunsho Alakija

The 67-year-old was born into a wealthy, polygamous Nigerian family. After being a secretary at the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, she quit her job in the early 80s and proceeded to study Fashion design in England. When she returned to Nigeria, she started Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label which had customers including the wife of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida. With her closeness to power, Alakija acquired an oil prospecting license, which has been the foundation of her wealth today. Africa’s second richest woman who has a fortune estimated at $1.7 billion, is the vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami oil field, a prolific offshore asset.

Michael Jordan

The NBA’s greatest player of all time has an estimated net worth of $1.65 billion thanks to lucrative deals and the value of the Jordan Brand, a $1 billion (sales) sportswear partnership with Nike. Jordan is the majority shareholder of Charlotte Bobcats and has other deals with the likes of Upper Deck, Gatorade and Hanes. Since retiring 15 years ago, the NBA legend has made a name for himself as one of the richest black people, owning magnificent houses, custom planes and his own golf course.

Strive Masiyiwa

Zimbabwe’s first billionaire is the founder and chair of the Econet Group, a Zimbabwe-listed mobile phone company. On Masiyiwa’s wealth and assets, Forbes notes:
He owns just over 50% of the publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is one part of his larger Econet Group.

His other assets include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa. The 57-year-old philanthropist has a fortune estimated at $1.39 billion making him the 9th richest black person.

Michael Lee-Chin

With a fortune estimated at $1.19 billion, the Canadian businessman of Jamaican origin owns a 65% stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica.
He serves as the Chairman and CEO of Portland Holdings Inc., a privately-held investment holding company headquartered in Ontario, Canada. The 67-year-old philanthropist has also made several large donations in Canada to the Royal Ontario Museum in 2003, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, as well as, other universities and foundations.

Credit: Face2faceafrica