5 Hidden Behaviour of Africa's Richest People
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Entrepreneurs - October 16, 2023

5 Hidden Behaviour of Africa’s Richest People

While the world often focuses on the visible signs of wealth – the luxury cars, opulent homes, and glamorous lifestyles – it’s the unseen behaviours that truly define Africa’s richest people. 

These subtle habits, cultivated over the years, are the backbone of their success.

Here’s an insight into the hidden behaviours that have propelled Africa’s elite to the pinnacle of prosperity.

Observe silently

Africa’s affluent elite often practice the art of silent observation. This allows them to absorb, understand, and analyse situations without immediate reaction. 

By quietly observing, they can make informed decisions, foresee market trends, and anticipate the needs of their businesses and communities.

Africa’s richest people pay attention to the minute details. By doing this, they take advantage of opportunities that others may overlook. Learn to talk less and listen more.

Consistent Self-evaluation

Regular introspection is a hallmark of many successful individuals. Africa’s richest people consistently evaluate their goals, achievements, and areas of improvement. 

They take time to understand their mistakes and acknowledge their wins. This will help them plan ahead and make concrete decisions. For example, Femi Otedola decided he was going to restructure the business after suffering a huge loss earlier in his business career.  

He said, “Experience is the best teacher. I didn’t have a proper structure, and I also blamed the banks for not advising me. All they were interested in was the profits. They were not interested in the sustainability of the business, they were short-sighted, and all they were interested in was throwing money at me. So they never advised me.”

This self-awareness ensures they remain grounded, focused, and always in pursuit of personal and professional growth.

They face challenges head-on

The journey to wealth and success is rarely smooth. Africa’s wealthiest individuals embody quiet persistence. They face challenges head-on, learning from failures and persisting in their endeavours. 

Their resilience is often rooted in a deep belief in their vision and a commitment to seeing it come to fruition.

Otedola once said the day he lost everything was the day he learned his biggest lesson. His loss taught him that he could overcome anything.

The Nigerian billionaire who lost over $480 million due to the plunge in oil prices, $258 million through the devaluation of the naira, a further $320 million due to accruing interest, and then finally $160 million bounced back to reclaim his place on the FORBES rich list.

They prioritise mentorship

Behind many successful individuals is a mentor who has guided, advised, and supported them. Africa’s richest often have mentors whose identities they keep private. 

This undisclosed mentorship allows them to receive unbiased advice, learn from others’ experiences, and navigate the complexities of their industries.

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, learnt the rudiments of business from his grandfather, who was a successful businessman in his time. 

They take calculated risks

Taking risks is inherent in business and investment. However, Africa’s richest people are known for their calculated risk-taking. 

They meticulously assess opportunities, weighing the potential rewards against the risks. Their decisions are informed, and strategic, and often lead to significant gains.

Nigerian entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu took the risk of picking up the pieces of Standard Trust Bank (STB). Elumelu and his team brought life back to the dying bank and turned it into one of the top five banks.

He went further to lead the largest merger in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa to acquire the United Bank for Africa (UBA).

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