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In Africa, before this era, women were considered unimportant except in the kitchen and in the bedroom. They were seen only as properties to be kept for home use: as mothers, wives and care-givers. But this is changing so fast.
Some of these women are becoming liberated. Some have made their debut into various fields of endeavour and are very successful.
Today, some have gone from success to being celebrated worldwide. One such woman is Hajia Bola Shagaya. She is a renowned business woman who has one of the biggest photographic materials business in West Africa and also one of the largest importers and distributors of base oil in Nigeria.
She has investments in real estate and more. In this edition, we bring to you a woman, a mother, and a business woman who has a son aspiring to represent the people of Asa West, Kwara State, in the House of Representatives come 2015.
Hajia Bola Shagaya
Hajia Bola Shagaya is famous. According to Forbes, she is the 10th wealthiest woman in Africa. The socialite may not have been born into a wealthy home like most people are, so it is enough to say that her success story would not have been possible if she hasn’t struggled.
Hajia Bola Shagaya would be 55 years old on the 10th of October. She was born in the year 1959. She attended Queens School in Ilorin, Kwara state from where she hails.
The Socialite did her tertiary education at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and in a reputable University in California, where she studied economics and accountancy. Bola also attended Harvard Business School and a number of local and international seminars, including workshops.
Her career kicked off when she began working with the audit department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. After that, she ventured into some commercial activities in 1983.
Shagaya business experience became better when she started importing and distribution of photographic materials. Through one of her companies known as Bolmus International Limited, she became one of the first to import the Konica brand of photographic materials into Nigeria and West African markets.
She is married to Alhaji Ganiyu Shagaya, a Kwara State-based transporter; their union is blessed with four children. Her son Sheriff Shagaya, who got married in 2013 in an out of this world, expensive wedding ceremony is presently eyeing a political appointment come 2015.
She is currently one of the board members of Unity Bank, Nigeria Plc. Unity Bank was formerly known as Intercity Bank. Bola Shagaya has served in different capacity at that bank.
She is also a member of NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria. One major strategy that has worked for the famous Hajia all these years is the fact that she knows how to make good friends; this is evident in the friends she has kept and still keeping.
She was a friend to late Stella Obasanjo. Today, she is a very good friend to the incumbent President’s wife, Dame Patience Jonathan. It is no wonder that she is seen always in the corridors of power.
Bola Shagaya is indeed a wealthy woman as she is the owner of Fotofair Nigeria limited. She also opened a photo laboratory unit in Victoria Island which is no doubt one of the largest photo laboratories in Nigeria. The photo laboratory has a net base of over thirty branches located in different parts of the country and over 300 workers employed.
She is the managing director of Practoil Limited, one of the largest importers and distributors of base oil in Nigeria. Through her base oil importation, she is meeting the need of the local lubricant blending plants.
At the moment, Practoil is building its own plant at Kirikiri, Lagos state. When completed, it is expected to produce multi-grade oils and lubricants. Bola’s business empire includes huge investments in real estate cutting across major cities with over 300 employees. She also has investments in the oil and gas sector.
In recognition of the socialite’s achievements and outstanding virtues and service to the country, she was on July 22, 2010, awarded the prestigious national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger, MON, by the President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. As for fashion and the finer things of life, Hajia loves trendy wears as she loves to look good.
It is no wonder, therefore, that she is the patron of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, FADAN, as well as an art enthusiast. Hajia Bola is known for her very expensive clothings.
Bola has invested so much in real estate. So it is no news that she lives in state-of-the-art mansions in Lagos as well as in Abuja and even in her home town. Her state-of-the-art business property at Kirikiri is indeed a piece. Her cars are not left out as only the best can be driven by the famous Hajia Bola.