Just How Rich Was Dangote’s Legendary Grand Uncle?

L-R: Late Alhaji Alhassan Dantata and grand nephew, Dangote
In history, you are bound to read about some myths that keep you
wondering whether the lead character was indeed human. This much can be said
about the great exploits of legendary
Alhaji Alhassan Dantata
, the maternal grand uncle to Africa’s richest man and Seriki
, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Even the prolific writer cum historian, Dare Babarinsa has this much to say about him in his column, “Dangote
Too Needs A Birthday Gift.”
When Dangote was born in 1957, the city was still dominated
by the myths of his grand uncle, the Alhaji Alhassan Dantata. By the time Nigeria was amalgamated in 1914,
Dantata was already an experienced international merchant, sending many caravans of goods across the Sahara.
When the British came, he became a factor for the dominant
Royal Niger Company, creating the famous
Kano groundnut pyramids
and dabbling into international trade across the
Atlantic. When the British Bank of West
opened its first branch in Kano in 1929, Dantata opened his first
account there by depositing 20 camel
loads of silver coins
L-R: Dangote and Chukwuemeka Obi, MD of PharmacyPlus at a recent holiday resort
Like his grand uncle, Dangote has risen to the status of myth
in his own right. He has his primary and secondary education in Kano before
proceeding to Cairo, Egypt for a degree course at the Al-Azhar University.
However, his real education that was to dominate his life and
affect the destiny of our nation, was the one acquired about the merchandising
skill of his parents, Muhammed Dangote
and his wife, Mariya Sanusi Dantata.
Dangote worked briefly with his uncle who loaned him the princely sum of
N500,000 in 1975 for the young man to dabble into merchandising.
The rest is a history that is still unfolding before our very
Today, Dangote still brimming with the entrepreneurial traits
of his maternal uncle has a larger than life image that depicts him as richer
than 10 Africa countries put together.

As Babarinsa succinctly puts it, he is indeed “Africa’s richest man, the
continent most important industrialist, Nigeria’s most prolific exporter,
Kano’s most famous indigene and Lagos City greatest private employer.”
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