You would have to be living under a rock, in a cave for the last 30 something years to not know who Oprah Winfrey is, the woman who takes the crown as the richest black woman in the world. She has been an instrumental part of Television since the 1980s and continues on as not just a media icon but a global phenomenon.
So, who’s the black woman that follows Oprah so closely in wealth?
That would be Angola’s Isabel dos Santos. According to Forbes, Isabel is north an estimated 2.2B as of this article’s publication. She is the oldest daughter of Angola’s longtime former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
Although Isabel’s source of wealth is categorized under “investments” on Forbes’ list, it is no secret that her father contributed greatly to her current financial status. He made her head of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil firm in 2016 and he “transferred to her stakes in several Angolan companies, including banks and a telecom firm.”
However, Isabel firmly denies that her family’s political status had anything to do with her success as a business woman. “When you work in a private environment like I do, it doesn’t really matter who your parents are, ” she told Marketplace Africa. “The question is, are you able to deliver a product or a service of quality and at the right price.”
Here are 9 more things to know about the second richest black woman in the world.
1. She studied electrical engineering at King’s college in London, where she met her husband, Sindika Dokolo.
He is an investor and a prominent African art collector from Democratic Republic of Congo.
2. She worked for a number of European companies in various management positions before joining her father to work in Angola in the 1990s.
Most of the companies she worked for were listed on European stock exchange. After arriving in Angola, her first position was a project manager engineer for Urbana 2000. Urbana is a company that won a contract to clean and disinfect the city. Isabel then moved on to setting up or having ownership in various companies in Angola, including a trucking business, a telecom business, and even a night club/restaurant.
The nightclub/restaurant she opened at the age of 24 is called Miami Beach and is located in Luanda, the capital city of Angola.
3. Isabel has made several investments in Portuguese companies.
Her investments there include telecom and cable TV firm Nos SGPS. She also has a 6% stake in oil and gas firm Galp Energia and a 19% stake in Banco BPI, Portugal’s fourth-largest bank. Portugal has a unique connection to Angola, having colonized Angola until the South Western African nation gained its independence in 1975.
4. BBC named Isabel one of the “100 Most Influential wWomen in the wWorld” in 2015.
5. She is nicknamed “the princess” in Angola for obvious reasons.
6. Isabel’s parents met while her father was studying in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Her mother is the Russian born Tatiana Kukanova.
7. She is Africa’s first woman billionaire. She reached that status at just 40.
8. The current President of Angola, Joao Lourenco, has removed dos Santos from her position has head of the state-owned oil company, Sonangol.
Since then, Angolan authorities have been probing her years as the chief of the company, alleging financial impropriety. She has denied any wrong doings.