The now trending song of Nigeria’s Burna boy says and I quote;

“Dangote, Dangote, Dangote still dey find money o. I no dey, I no dey, I no dey sleep on the money o, Who I be? Who I be? Wey make I no go find money o, I no dey send anybody o.. Me I dey hustle gan gan”.

For those who do not understand pidgin, this simply means “Dangote is still looking for money, so who am I not to look for money. I will thus not sleep but continue to hustle for money and not care about what anyone thinks.” This song is not just entertainment but indeed educational, inspirational and motivating. It reminds us that there is no room to be lazy. If Dangote still wakes up to work daily, why should we sleep. Dangote has not only inspired Nigeria but the entire Africa. He is not just the richest man in Nigeria, but in Africa and interestingly, not from oil.

For many reasons Africa loves Dangote. He is loved for being a source of inspiration to the continent and providing jobs to the populace. He has shown Africa that we can go as far if we put in the work and believe. As said on Dangote’s website “Dangote industries is the “largest indigenous industrial conglomerate in sub-saharan Africa”. From a quick browse on the Dangote website, you’ll find that the company deals with flour and semolina, salt, pasta, cement, sugar and several other things [1]. One interesting fact is that Dangote has shown that Nigeria can be great without leaning alone on petroleum.

His early days

Aliko Dangote was born with a silver spoon on the 10th of April 1957. He is the son of Mohammed Dangote and Mariya Sanusi Dantata. He is also the grandchild of the then business tycoon Sanusi Dantata, who was a director in the Nigerian branch of Shell b.p and founder of Sanusi Dantata&sons limited. At the death of his father, Mohammed Dangote, he came under the guardianship of his grandfather, Sanusi Dantata.

Whilst most of us knew little about making money in primary school, Dangote always had a spirit for the business world and money making.
He stated “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time” [2]. Being a primary school kid once myself, that statement is tremendous to hear knowing how we all were at that stage in life when it came to sweets and biscuits. We can now say that his penchant for money making at that age, was a foreshadow of his empire, work and accomplishments now.

Birth of a company

Dangote furthered his education studying Business Studies and Administration in the prestigious Al-Azhar University, Egypt [3]. After graduating from university, Aliko Dangote, obtained a sum of $3000 from his uncle kickstarting his business hustle. Dangote utilised the money borrowed from his uncle to import goods and resell them locally [4]. Apparently, Dangote was able to repay his uncle in just three months (3) and still have much more money left in his pocket. Dangote’s business continue to sky rocket and grow.

Growth and Expansion of Dangote

Dangote’s business continued to grow as he provided and supplied flour, salt, pasta and sugar. However, it was not until his diving into self-production, did he evolve into a billionaire. In 1997, Dangote seized to be just a middle man but became a producer building his own production plant [4]. His fortune grew further after he obtained a former government-owned cement company in 2000, which he further built and established [5] . In 2005, Dangote established a multi-million-dollar manufacturing plant financed by him-self and a loan obtained from the International Finance Corporation [6]. Dangote has now obtained an oil refinery at Lekki Lagos with the hopes to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on foreign processing of oil. It is set to produce about $11,000,000 annually [7] and produce about 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil on its completion in 2022 [8]. The said refinery will also be a blessing to the nation as it will produce about “100,000 indirect jobs, 26,716 filling stations and 129 depots in Nigeria” [9]. 


Dangote is such an inspiration to Nigeria. We’ve become a nation addicted to consumption instead of production. He has become a beam of light amongst many in Nigeria that we, the youth, must emulate. He has shown that with the right capital, hard work and zeal, Nigeria can be number one in the world.

If Dangote, with all these accomplishments, still wakes up every morning to go to work, as said by Burna boy, I see no reason why Nigeria should sleep. The future is bright and not made for only a few but for all. I dream of a Nigeria where everyone would be able to live comfortably in. A Nigeria where every state in the nation will be a sight to behold and not just the capital and known economic centers of the nation. A Nigeria where beggars seen on the road every morning will become a thing of the past and this starts from you and I. We are the future Dangote’s of Nigeria.

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