In the last year, the collective wealth of Africa’s 19 billionaires stands at an estimated $81.5 billion, reflecting a decline from the previous year’s $84.9 billion, attributed in part to the performance of their business empires according to Forbes.
While the spotlight emphasizes on the wealth and business lifestyles of these prominent individuals, the women who stand beside them remain somewhat obscure in the public eye, despite playing pivotal roles.
This phenomenon underscores the enduring truth that behind every successful man there is a high probability of an industrious woman.
Though these women have successfully carved out niches for themselves beyond their roles as spouses to these influential men, they often find themselves overshadowed by their husbands’ societal influence.
Without further delay, see the profiles of six spouses of some of Africa’s wealthiest individuals. These women not only contribute to the success of their families but have also established their presence, either by serving on company boards as directors or leading personal business courses across diverse industries.
6. Sherine Magar
Sherine Magar is the wife of Egypt’s richest man, Nasseff Sawiris who is worth $6.8 billion according to Forbes. Although not much is known about her, reports show that she serves as an ambassador for the London-based charity Chain of Hope, which works to provide cardiac care to children around the world.
Her experience includes serving on the acquisition committee at Tate Modern, London, for several years. She is also a member of the board of trustees of The American School in London, which is chaired by David Novak, assisted by Erin Roth.
5. Tsitsi Masiyiwa
Tsitsi Masiyiwa, spouse of Zimbabwe’s wealthiest individual, Strive Masiyiwa, who founded Econet, is a prominent figure in Zimbabwe’s human capital development.
Recognized as an African social entrepreneur and philanthropist, she co-founded the Higherlife Foundation, dedicated to investing in human capital for vibrant individuals, communities, and sustainable livelihoods.
As the founder of Delta Philanthropies, Tsitsi drives impact investing and grant-making, fostering innovative poverty elimination solutions through strategic partnerships.
In 2022, she initiated the Africa Gender Initiative, aiming to raise $50 million from African philanthropists to support Co-Impact’s $1 billion gender fund. Tsitsi, a global philanthropic leader, has been a Giving Pledge signatory since 2014 and holds key roles in numerous international advisory boards and initiatives.
4. Gaynor Rupert
Gaynor Rupert, spouse of Africa’s second wealthiest individual, Johann Rupert, is a racehorse breeder and manager of their renowned Drakenstein Stud Farm.
Spanning 130 hectares on the lower slopes of the L’Ormarins Wine Estate, her Stud Farm is a dominant force in South African racing.
Notably, Gaynor has bred three of South Africa’s current top four horses, including Jet Dark, Safe Passage, and Rain in Holland.
Transitioning from a horse-lover to an owner in 1986, Gaynor rapidly ascended to become a breeder of champion racehorses and a prominent figure in the industry.
3. Nana Otedola
Nana Otedola, the wife of Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola, is a woman of diverse talents and interests. In 1999, she founded Garment Care, a prominent laundry and dry-cleaning service provider with six branches in Lagos, Nigeria.
Her company extends its services to major entities, including hotels and corporations. Previously, Nana served as a Petroleum Consultant at Fineshade Energy (UK) Limited before her retirement.
Beyond her business pursuits, Nana serves as a board member at the Zeebah Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing essential support and tools, such as inclusive education and intervention, for children with Autism.
2. Awele Vivian Elumelu
Dr. Awele Elumelu stands as a prominent figure in African healthcare, holding the position of Chairperson at Avon Healthcare Limited, Nigeria’s premier health insurance provider.
Additionally, as the Founder and CEO of Avon Medical Practice, a burgeoning network of comprehensive clinics and on-site facilities catering to corporate institutions, her focus is on enhancing healthcare accessibility in Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation.
Married to billionaire investor Tony Elumelu, Dr. Elumelu was appointed as a Private Sector Champion for Immunization in Africa by Gavi in January 2018, utilizes her corporate networks to advocate for vaccination and immunization, addressing the critical issue of millions of unimmunized children in Africa. Serving as a Director on Heirs Holdings’ Board and a Trustee of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, she holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Benin.
1. Precious Moloi-Motsepe
Precious Moloi, is a fashion entrepreneur, who founded African Fashion International in 2007, dedicated to propelling pan-African designers onto global stages and championing the African fashion industry as a catalyst for economic empowerment, particularly for young individuals and women.
Currently serving as the Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, she is the wife of Africa’s first black billionaire, as recognized by Forbes.
With a background as a medical practitioner, Precious established a women’s health clinic in Rivonia, Johannesburg, specializing in children’s and women’s health.
Notably, she held the position of President of the Cancer Association of South Africa from 2002 to 2007. As a philanthropist, she co-founded the Motsepe Foundation with her husband, aiming to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions for the disadvantaged in South Africa, Africa, and globally.
Acknowledged among Forbes Magazine Africa’s 50 most powerful women, Precious Moloi and her husband became signatories to the Giving Pledge in 2013.