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Iroko TV Founder, Jason Njoku & CEO of Bakrie Delano Africa, Ladi Delano make Forbes Magazine’s ‘Ten Young African Millionaires To Watch’ List



Two Nigerians, Ladi Delano, the restless 30 year-old founder and CEO of Bakrie Delano Africa, a $1 billion investment vehicle committed to making acquisitions in Nigeria’s mining, energy and agriculture sectors; and Jason Njoku, the 31 year-old founder and CEO of Iroko TV have made the recently released Forbes Magazine ‘Ten Young African Millionaires To Watch’ list.

According to Mfonobong Nsehe, a Forbes Magazine contributor who compiled the list, it consists of a handful of young Africans in their 20s and 30s who have built businesses and amassed enviable million-dollar fortunes. While some are corporate animals; others are empire builders.

There are thousands of young and immensely successful entrepreneurs across the African continent. There’s a growing number of Africans aged 40 and under who are legitimately amassing multi-million dollar fortunes. They don’t inherit stuff; they build it themselves.

The list comprised of:

  • Mark Shuttleworth, 38, South African, Founder, Knife Capital
  • Ashish Thakkar, 29, Ugandan, Co-Founder and CEO, Mara Group
  • Ladi Delano, 30Nigerian, Founder and CEO, Bakrie Delano Africa
  • Justin Stanford, 28, South African, Founder & CEO, 4Di Group
  • Magatte Wade, 36, Senegalese, Founder, Adina World Beat Beverages & Tiossan
  • Mike Macharia, 36Kenyan, Founder & CEO, Seven Seas Technologies
  • Vinny Lingham, 33, South African, Founder, Yola Inc
  • Kamal Budhabatti, 36, Kenyan, CEO, Craft Silicon
  • Yolanda Cuba, 35, South African, Executive Director, South African Breweries
  • Jason Njoku, 31Nigerian, Founder & CEO Iroko TV

Here’s what Forbes had to say about the two Nigerians on the list:

Ladi Delano
The jet-setting Nigerian serial entrepreneur made his first millions as a liquor entrepreneur while living in China. In 2004, at age 22, he founded Solidarnosc Asia, a Chinese alcoholic beverage company that made Solid XS, a premium brand of vodka. Solid XS went on to achieve over 50% market share in China and was distributed across over 30 cities in China, and pulled in $20 million in annual revenue. Delano subsequently sold the company to a rival liquor company for over $15 million and ploughed his funds into his next venture-The Delano Reid Group, a real estate investment holding company focused on mainland China. Today, Delano is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bakrie Delano Africa (BDA) – a $1 billion joint venture with the $15 billion (market cap) Bakrie Group of Indonesia. Bakrie Delano Africa serves as the investment partner of the Bakrie Group in Nigeria. The Indonesian conglomerate has provided over $900 million worth of funds to invest in Nigeria and Bakrie Delano Africa is responsible for identifying investment opportunities in mining, agriculture and oil & gas and executing them.


Jason Njoku
The maverick Nigerian Internet entrepreneur is founder of Iroko TV, the world’s largest digital distributor of African movies. Iroko TV has been dubbed the ‘Netflix of Africa’. Earlier this year, Iroko TV raised $8 million in venture capital from Tiger Global Management, a New York-based private equity and hedge fund run by billionaire Chase Coleman. IrokoTV enjoys lucrative content distribution deals with Dailymotion, iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. Njoku is unwilling to divulge figures, but analysts believe IrokoTV could be worth as much as $30 million. Njoku is the company’s largest individual shareholder.

Only two woman made the list, Magatte Wade of Adina World Beat Beverages & Tiossan and Yolanda Cuba. Yolanda was 29 when she was appointed CEO of Mvelaphanda Holdings, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed investment holding company.

What do you think about the entire list and the Nigerians that made it on the list?


Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. LPS

    July 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Watch out peeps, I’m coming out on that list soon.
    Congrats to them all!

    • Truth

      July 13, 2012 at 2:46 am

      How? Have you got a plan? They did.

    • olayemi

      July 27, 2012 at 10:49 am

      if he does not have plan he would not have had that dream, i know he can.

    • Princess of Zion

      July 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      AMEN! I pray that more and more of us will use our God given gifts to make a career and bless the world. May we feature on Forbes in the future! I actually covered a post on using your gifts! Let’s do that more! I’m sure we all have dreams and big visions of where we’re going, what we want to do. No matter how things may seem right now, like Joseph, never let go of the vision. Keep pressing on and God will surely see us through. AMEN.

  2. birdieblue

    July 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Nice to see ambitious young men and women making it inspires me to do better in my own field !!!

  3. nuga

    July 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Clever nigerians doing clever things, I have an Aunty who is a successful entrepreneur, she has invested and amassed her fortune by investment. Just made her outing 2 yrs ago in nigeria, investing in youths with entrepreneural skills, people look at her an ask, are you into fashion or arts but there is much more than that to her business we have brilliant nigerians doing brilliant things, she is only going to clock 40 this yr, I hope I can be as savvy as that when I reach that age. naijas that have a clue do have a clue! there are more out there.

  4. deedee

    July 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Is this ladi delano married?(wide grin)

    • iya oloja

      July 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Wondering the same thing…unfortunately his left hand is ‘cropped off’ in the pic…hehehe

    • Bedazzled

      July 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      I dont think he is. I happen to have met him once, at a work thing, and I was blown away by the power he exudes. Its very tempting, like moth to flame, you just have to snap yourself out of it, and see clearly.Lol. Because the ultimate question is, are you woman enough, to keep the attentions of such a driven man? Its not easy being a millionaire’s wife. Except you are satisifed with living the high life, and he can do as he well pleases, including abandoning you for weeks on end, dont even get me started on the endless mistresses, and women continously throwing themselves at him. You have to be a whole lotta woman, to keep such a man not just faithful but committed to your relationship and spending time together, because to such men, marriage and family, is just something on their list to achieve. You’ll have to battle with not being second fiddle to his business, and the minute you come across as whiny, and nagging, you’ll be confirmed to the second home on the upper East Side in New York, or Beverly Hills while he lives from his Private Jet, and you dont just suffer emotional abandonment, but your kids dont get to experience having a dad. My 2 cents before you start dreaming of how Delano will suit well with your first name. Lol

    • Blossom

      July 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Was just about to type that question oh, my sister!

    • Naveah

      July 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      probably to keep people from knowing his marital status

    • Ab

      July 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      I feel you girl

  5. Tikka Masala

    July 12, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Now this is what I’m talking about!

  6. sunshine

    July 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    ‘”There’s a growing number of Africans aged 40 and under who are legitimately amassing multi-million dollar fortunes. They don’t inherit stuff; they build it themselves” My people work hard!!

  7. Myhairmybeauty

    July 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Wow. Impressive

  8. honey

    July 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    im so proud of them, its so amazing; seeing young guys thinking and delivering. I know so many others have ground breaking ideas but they cant execute due to chance; I pray they find this chance; I pray I find my chance too. PS: BN, there is an error in you text, last paragraph reads: “Only two woman made the list, Magatte Wade of Adina World Beat Beverages & Tiossan and Yolanda Cuba. Yolanda was 29” I believe you intend; two women..

  9. Ginika

    July 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I’ve found the secret, it is beverages or beer… hehe


    • Focus

      July 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      my dear you are right oo.. That’s what i said after i read it!

  10. HappyChiq

    July 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Impressive. I will make that list someday!…..(that’s what Obama said about becoming president)

  11. faith

    July 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    good for dem

  12. pynk

    July 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    lol @ those asking if Ladi is single. Doncha wanna know. Good to see young folks doing it.

  13. TTG

    July 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    This is really nice and inspiring. Young people making it big! Good job!

  14. Deep

    July 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    @deedee u slay me lmfaoooooo @bedazzaled my only question to ur superstory is all men cheat bet @least ladi can buy me diamonds after in the words of deedee wide grin hehe

  15. sweet mama

    July 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    eeei congrats to them. whn I get on tht list. na God make am

  16. Kikky!!

    July 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Bakrie website not yet up…. un-impressed… :p

  17. Anonymous

    July 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Are you the Kiki, from the BN Prose Together Again article? If so, you are like e-slime, smearing your nonsense from page to page

    • Kikky!!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      nope sorry to disappoint u, im not Kiki… im KIKKY

  18. i no send

    July 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    bedazzled you are soooo right

    • Truth

      July 13, 2012 at 2:55 am

      No, she isn’t. Women who get treated like that are those who spend too much time, brushing up their exterior to attract men, and not enough time brushing up their interior to keep them intellectually challenged. What can you discuss with a man who has built a business in a country where his first language isn’t spoken? How do you engage him? How do you push him? How do you motivate him? Do you have ideas to offer him? Or are the only ideas you have between your legs? My fellow Nigerian women, wake up! Forget Loubou-things and wake the feck up!

    • sassycassie

      July 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

      If this aint the Truth! (pun intended)

    • Ziggy

      July 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm


    • lilly johnson

      March 22, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      so so true

  19. @ajiriavae

    July 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I like hearing about young dynamic people running thins and not letting things run them. When I was growing up, it was almost unheard of to hear of a 20 something/ 30 something doing these kinds of things, making making these kinds of figures. I’m sure 10-15 year from now, we’ll have 25 year old billionaires.

    • Truth

      July 13, 2012 at 2:48 am

      Amen o

  20. Pikes

    July 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    My name is out for me in the legal practice.I will soon come out in Forbes as having made it as a billionaire in the legal practise.

  21. okemini otum

    July 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Kool,can’t wait to joIN the list

  22. Forbes most extraordinary out soon IJN amen :-)

    July 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Very Impressive! That young and could tackle a unique market like China! Remarkable. I would commit funds in that vehicle too without hesitating as an investor. However, except there’s a typo (which I think there is)I am not sure how a company with $20m annual revenues, sells for a equity/entreprise value of $15m, perhaps a zero is in the miss, not logical in anyway even if it was bankrupt. I watch Imovies on roko and I have always thought what an innovative idea, to think it expanded into capturing big investors of that magnitude. I like great thinking men, not cheapskates who think fine face and body is all. To touch on the “woman enough” comment, I am not one for societal norms, marry your type. Such men should marry equally high achieving women who understand the game, even if she was poor let her have a vision too. Must a rich man be always married to a trophy wife or housewife( THAT HE WOULDN’T EVEN CARRY AROUND ON THE NUMEROUS TRIPS IN THE PJ)? A wife isn’t a nanny, she is your partner. As for me and my household, my husband, the father shall be great and so shall I, the wife, the mother be tremendously successful in Jesus name. Proverbs 31 woman( housewife as the Bible defines it ; not society) is not a beans woman at all.

  23. Chim

    July 13, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Truly inspiring. Any idea what his (Ladi) educational background(University and course) is? Not like it determines ones success but it will be interesting to know more about his journey!

  24. efya

    July 13, 2012 at 7:52 am

    look i dont know hat forbes considers young, but 18-35 is what most people say and nothing beyond proud of my nigeria, but i bet all you thieving politicians children have more money in their banks, but i am happy that young men’s like this is showing nigerias true potential and i know there are many more to come. I always tell people make use of all the talents God gave you, so that you too will amass all the wealth available to you. Dont limit yourself. When you invest in others and their ingenuity it gives birth to an enjoyable peace and wealth. Believe me, investing in other people is also a talent.Am glad i invested in iroko, ghollywood and nollywood all day. good job ladi and mr.njoku(i refuse to call u jason because ur native name fine pass).By the way is ladi married:) ( see me getting my gold-digging on) dont hate ladies let him share what the lord has given him.

  25. MMV2686

    July 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

    That’s a spectacular news.By the GRACE of GOD ALMIGHTY I wld surface that list preety soon.AMEN•••

  26. iya oloja

    July 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Yup…same here…

  27. Feedback

    July 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I think you missed the point bedazzled was trying to make. “Such men should marry equally high achieving women who understand the game, even if she was poor let her have a vision too. Must a rich man be always married to a trophy wife or housewife( THAT HE WOULDN’T EVEN CARRY AROUND ON THE NUMEROUS TRIPS IN THE PJ)? A wife isn’t a nanny, she is your partner”. Story. “What can you discuss with a man who has built a business in a country where his first language isn’t spoken? How do you engage him? How do you push him? How do you motivate him? Do you have ideas to offer him?” Such women usually serve as employees, and not wives. Have you ever wondered why most rich men marry trophy wives. Usually, they want to keep the wife in her role as wife, and not someone who will challenge him or contribute to the business. With a good number of men in such positions, they have achieved what they have on their own steam, and they have larger than life egos, they sure dont want the woman that Truth described. Such a woman can be a valuable employee, vice rpesident of something something, but wife. HELL NO. That’s the sad truth. If they start out with a woman like that, good example Donald Trump and Ivana. She basically was there at the beginning of the business, helping him with the business, and being a wife and mother at the same time. Even when he lost his fortune, the first time, she was there, and supported him and championed him to succeed again. What happened when he made the money back, and was financially healthy, splitsville. He picked his second wife, and she was a trophy type. He is on wife number 3 now, and Melania, cannot hold a candle to Ivana. So, it is the way of the world with rich men. Another example, Ted Turner and his wife. I can name, many many more marriages like that.

  28. Feedback

    July 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Ted Turner and his first wife

  29. babious

    July 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Dats what we are talking about! @truth,tell ’em gurl! u ladies should stop waiting for men to put food on your table and buy you the best clothes. stop asking if these men are married and start thinking big and be creative! no dream is too big or too small,you are entitled to your dream,no one charges you for that. find whatever you are good at , work on it and start taking steps then maybe this millionaires/billionaires would just start crawling at your feet. And incase you are wondering, by HIS GRACE i’m going to be the first and youngest female in Nigeira to be in forbes top list of billionaires.

  30. Nok10

    July 15, 2012 at 5:19 am

    @ Feedback: Not all wealthy guys want a trophy wife. A naija example would be Fela and Tara Durotoye. They are both successful entrepreneurs. You can’t just lump all wealthy men into a box, it all depends on the individual and what he wants in spouse. Some wealthy men want their women to be full time homemakers whilst others want them to be successful career women/ part-time homemakers.

  31. Nok10

    July 15, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Sorry meant ‘wants in a spouse’.

  32. Bukunola

    July 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @Nok10, I agree with @Feedback. The Fela and Tara Durotoye example is not valid. Fela and Tara were already an item before they became well known as successful entrepreneurs. Here, we are talking about an already successful single man getting married to an intelligent lady that can contribute to his business, i.e. not a trophy wife.

  33. Candy

    July 16, 2012 at 9:43 am

    please i need this ladi delano in my life ooo….and yes! i am a successful young woman so I am equal to the

  34. jules

    July 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    nice ….. am inspred..

  35. Tade

    July 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Correct. Fela and Tara, were already an item before all the money and success came< and dont go the Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla route too, they had been dating longer than most marriages last. Like Bukunola and Feedback said, what are the chances? Lets stay tuned and see who he marrries, or has married. I agree with bedazzled too, my dear, it sounded as if you were really bedazzled. Deer in the headlights effect. Such men can have such an effect on you, trust me I almost married one. When i refused to be boxed up into the woman in his life, where he can do as he pleases with, i took to my heels. That one no even get money and success reach Ladi o.

  36. Nok10

    July 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Can’t think of a good example but smart wealthy men usually want to marry women from wealthy backgrounds. They don’t want golddiggers, so you all need to backoff, lol! I can assure you he’s going to marry a wife from an extremely wealthy background (if he’s not already married).

  37. Objective

    July 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Wealthy background, doesn’t equate to smart, independent, driven, ambitious. She can be very well educated based on the wealth her family has, and may never have worked a day in her life, despite the education. Enter Kate Middleton. Not that technically, she is a trophy wife, but no one expected William to marry some business savvy, city lawyer or banker, even if she was from a wealthy background. Same with a lot of men in Ladi’s position. She may have the pedigree, but not exactly the brain of lets say the highest ranked female employee on his team. They tend not to marry such women, but can screw them silly in between board meetings. No one here said he will marry a gold digger. You would expect a man who has worked hard to get where he is, should be wise enough not to marry a gold digger. A woman from a wealthy background CAN also be a trophy wife.

  38. Janded

    July 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    @bedazzled, you have watched too many movies. LOL. You are so on point though.

  39. sleepy

    July 17, 2012 at 3:29 am

    men like delano don’t need women with superior intellect who will motivate them and blah, blah, blah…they just need women with superb bodies, beautiful faces and lovely coochies who will look gorgeous on their arms, spend the black card in harrods and f*** their brains out in the bedroom and every room in their huge mansions. women who will stroke their EGO’s and give them beautiful babies…so gold diggers werk it!…. na ur type they like! when he tries to make you sign a pre-nup, use the hand cuffs and blind fold….trust me he won’t even remember his name not to mention a pre-nup….now don’t you go worry your pretty little heads about typos….just keep on digging until you hit the gold and if you haven’t started…..SMH!

  40. Nok10

    July 17, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Yeah and if his ass gets broke because of a bad business deal then you’ll be onto the next sucker right? Lol! Thats exactly what happened to one of my friends. I can see the dollar bills in your greedy eyes. Yeah, you all work it golddiggers and hope the smart guys can sniff you from a mile away, lol!

    • sleepy

      July 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      yes honey…i will be on to the next guy! and why not? if he gets broke, its called bad business so i have to go and invest somewhere where i will get sound frustrated and broke…if you are a guy SMH bet u don’t get to date beautiful girls. and if you are a girl…if you cant beat em join em if you are too fat, lose weight…after all each to their own…

  41. Nok10

    July 17, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Sorry meant dollar signs not dollars bills:)

  42. Denny

    July 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I actually cringe when I read these comments.

    The article started off about celebrating young self made african entrepreneurs but I trust my fellow naija girls, they just had to start talking about marraige, golddigging, trophy wives blah blah blah.

    Ladi, if you happen to read these comments I would like to apologise on behalf of these my silly naija sisters – not every nigerian girl is jobless, materialistic and preoccupied with marraige etc. Wishing you all the best with all your business endevours and the same to Jason Njoku.

  43. ATM2012

    July 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    @ Denny: Please try to keep up with the thread. If you scroll up, people already made comments on their accomplishments and then we moved on to other topics. Errr thats how people converse in real life, unless you’re socially awkward. Please we come to BN for intellectual discussions and ‘gist’. Wouldn’t it be boring if there were over 100 comments stating the same thing, please thats not what we come here for o. Please my people, any more interesting comments? Bring it on, lol!

    By the way I bet Ladi will be cracking up if he gets to read these comments. Bet the guy has a sense of humour and he’ll brace himself the golddiggers, lol!

  44. ATM2012

    July 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    *brace himself for the golddiggers*

  45. Peaches

    July 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    wow…. Ladi Delano.. Well done to you bro. Your family must be extremely proud of you. God bless you all the way. How time flies soo quick….

    Jason Njoku… very down to earth brother and also a charismatic fella. Your speech at the New Year, New Chapter Event was inspiring. Well done to you too.

    And Ladies oohing and aahing of these fellas, do something and be on the list too. We need more women who will stand and be enterpreneurs too. So no excuses….

  46. Johnson Abiodun

    August 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Those who made it to the list have actually done their home work… so, DO YOUR OWN HOME WORK, and you will make it to the TOP.

    Thanks and God bless Nigeria!

  47. Dele

    September 19, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Jason saw a gap in nollywood and filled it. African youths can compete well with their western counterparts. The African political leaders are the problem of Africa.

  48. phowoby

    September 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Am the next on list watch out……… Young Engr ….. @ lancourty Nig ltd

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