Art by Tracy Crump

An artist out of Chicago, IL drew me as a project for her art collection.

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Female Billionaires

Of the 2,043 people who made it to the 2018 FORBES list of the World’s Billionaires, 11 of them are black. Three of them are black women. Only one of them is a self-made billionaire.

1) Isabel Dos Santos, $2.6 billion

Angolan, Investments

Africa’s richest woman has had better days: Her father was President and she was Chairperson of Sonangol, the state-owned oil company. In November last year, Angola’s new President João Lourenço removed her from the role. Angolan authorities are now probing her tenure as chief of the oil giant and alleging financial impropriety. She denies the allegations. Isabel dos Santos owns a lucrative stake in Unitel, the country’s largest mobile phone network, and a stake in Banco BIC. Outside Angola, she owns nearly 6% of oil and gas firm Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim), and nearly 19% of Banco BPI, the country’s fourth-largest bank. She is also a controlling shareholder of Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos SGPS (formerly called Zon).

2) Folorunsho Alakija, $1.7 billion

Nigerian, Oil

Nigeria’s richest woman is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company than owns a stake in Agbami oil field, a prolific offshore asset. Alakija started off as a secretary in a Nigerian merchant bank in the 1970s, then quit her job to study fashion design in England. Upon her return, she founded a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele, including Maryam Babangida, wife to Nigeria’s former military president Ibrahim Babangida.

3) Oprah Winfrey, $2.7 billion

American, Television

Oprah is no longer the richest African American. The former queen of daytime TV will begin work as a special contributor on 60 Minutes in the fall of 2017. Her once struggling cable channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) is now cash flow positive and is enjoying soaring ratings on the back of a series of successful sitcom and drama collaborations. She owns a 10% stake in Weight Watchers and acts as a brand ambassador. @businessinfluencermj

Do What You Love

The best thing about doing what you love is waking up happy. As CEO of Direct Consultants, I’ve had my share of ups and downs, because that is part of having a thriving career, but I never lose my happiness in the mist of running my own company. Success begins with a goal and the rest is taking risks, even when you are not sure where it may lead. To do so, caring less about what others think is the number one way. There comes a time in your life when you have to live life passing by all that distract you, only staying focused on what you want for you. That is called happiness. Never forget to live your life. Be YOU! Give more; care less. ~ MJ #melaninpoppin #melanin #beautifulwomen #

Sacrifice

Since starting my company at 17, I’ve had to sacrifice lots of things. Discovering what you want to do in life at an early age is a blessing. However, you live a different lifestyle than your peers because of the mindset you develop at such a young age. As a woman of color who grew up in poverty and motherless, I had to sacrifice more than most and to be frank, I just couldn’t do what others could. So, I challenged all that energy to growing my business. As a result, I am successful and I am able to talk to others about the things I’ve gone through and the sacrifices I had to make to get to where I am today. Advice: If you don’t have a goal, career, or idea to challenge your energy, then now is the time to create one. Begin to build your life. It’s never to late to begin again. No matter how early you start or how late, what’s yours is yours. Be great. ~ MJ #entrepreneur #motivation #inspiration #striveforgreatness

Forbes 30 Under 30 Nomination 2019

Thanks Forbes for nominating me for Forbes Under 30 for a second year in a row. I’m so grateful for this nomination. This means the world to me. So much so, I had to repost a status I posted last year: At the beginning of my career, I was broke, living in poverty, and motherless. At age 17, I was determined to be successful by starting my own company and being a CEO. On April 7th, 2007 (while still in high school) I hosted my first event and it was a success. From then until now, I earned three degrees, I served my country as a U.S. Marine Corps, I modeled for major companies such asBETBelkDillard’sKia Motors WorldwideESPN and I modeled overseas in Japan. I wrote my first book at age 22. I was accepted into Harvard University in 2017. I now manage a company that operates in four states, Greenville, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, and Charlotte, North Carolina. We were nominated for Forbes Under 30 in 2017 and will recently opened a second office in Charlotte, NC. My journey didn’t start off good, but it is good now. You must trust the process. No matter what happens along the journey, what’s meant to be will be. Believe in yourself and don’t allow anyone to take anything away from you. YOU GOT THIS.
Follow my work @ www.myekajohnson.com Direct Consultants, LLC MJ’sMyeka Johnson – MJ

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