If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to become one of the wealthiest and most successful in your country and continent, Chris Bishop’s latest book Africa’s Billionaires is a must-read!
Written by the founder of Forbes Africa, this is a masterclass on how the brightest and most successful entrepreneurs across Africa made their fortunes, as well as a timely look at how the work of entrepreneurs can influence lives in Africa and create the jobs that governments can no longer provide.
In Africa’s Billionaires, Chris Bishop tells the stories of Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and how they thrived to get where they are today. You are exposed to household names in South Africa from the likes of Christo Wiese, the owner of PEP stores, to the Nigerian “guerrilla entrepreneur” Aliko Dangote from the Dangote Group. In this book, you’ll not only get to know how these billionaires worked their way up the corporate ladder, but also how they faced and overcame poor socio-economic issues.
Africa’s Billionaires is a break from your typical get-rich-quick business books. It doesn’t focus on one particular field but instead contains stories of Africa’s business moguls from property, banking, mining and even loss-making football clubs.
My favourite stories were those of Sudhir Ruparelia and Wendy Appelbaum. Hoping to get into the property market myself, the story of Sudhir Ruparelia really stood out for his disciplined approach to taking on the property market in London and Uganda while also capitalising on the banking sector. Wendy Appelbaum’s no-nonsense, feminist, detailed approach to business has taken her quite far despite not being able to study medicine due to strict gender quotas. Ever since, Wendy’s made significant inroads in the world for women in their studies and business.
Another story that stood out was that of the Three Wise Men: Mustaq Brey, Fred Robertson and Lawrie Brozin. Their story with Brimstone Investment highlighted the importance of digging down in the trenches to get funding and to weather the storm, whether it be a financial crisis or political upheavel.
Overall, Africa’s Billionaires is a truly inspirational book with lessons on life, business and what it takes to succeed in a continent that so many have disregarded. This book is a simple, easy-to-read peek into the lives of Africa’s wealthiest people.
I’d definitely recommend this book to any aspiring entrepreneur or anyone interested in the who’s who in the business world in Africa.
Also check out the suggested Reading: 5 Great Books for Young South African Investors.