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VIDEO FAB: MTV Base Meets The Richest Man in Africa Aliko Dangote, Brah Hugh Masekela & Alicia Keys

Hi honey’s!


Me like this MTV Base series….

Over the last 8 weeks, “MTV Base Meets….with MTN“, MTV Base‘s groundbreaking TV series and youth empowerment initiative has been bringing African youth face to face with the continent’s elite, facilitating meaningful dialogue between potential African leaders of the future including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President Paul Kagame, Ben-Murray Bruce, Aliko Dangote, Hugh Masekela and Sir Richard Branson.

Alicia Keys:

Key take away’s from Alicia Keys:

I grew up, right here in New York City. I grew up in an area that was really kinda dark….I saw early, so many dark things, drugs, prostitution. That I saw early what I did not want my life to be….

First, the most important thing is to remove the negative people in your life. You have to believe in yourself first.

In all of ourselves, we have to check in with ourselves and ask “how are you doing?” I learnt about the power of human beings. We can imagine anything and we can create it. The power that it has. And the possibilities that it has [on naming son, Egypt]

The smarter you are, the smarter you can be. The more that you know, the less that people can take advantage of you…I had the privilege to meet President Obama. Just hearing him speak, that an educated man…

Continue to be your beautiful self. Remain curious. And remain innocent like a child in terms of the possibilities in your mind…

According to the 2011 Forbes Billionaire list, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote with a net worth of $13.8 billion is the richest Black person in the world.

The other Black billionaires on the 2011 list are South African gold magnate Patrice Motsepe with $3.3 billion, American Oprah Winfrey at $2.7 billion and Nigeria’s Mike Adenuga with $2 billion.

Aliko Dangote started the Dangote empire straight out of college….and now ranks 51st on the Forbes list of billionaires…not bad…not bad at all!

And now meet Africa’s own Donald Trump, Alhaji Aliko Dangote:

Key take away’s from Aliko Dangote:

I never really thought I would make it to the Forbes list. But I am grateful to God that I am there. But it is tough to be there. When you are there, you really, really have to make sure you do not get thrown out of the list.

[Key secret to success] is hard work. I believe that we are very focused. We are a very focused company. We don’t really go into things we don’t understand. Any business that I don’t understand well I don’t it at all.

First of all, I don’t really work 12 hours a day. I work at least 18 hours a day. On weekends, I do not work at all…

Most what you have on Africa is just perception of people. Some of them are too lazy to find out if Africa is really good or bad. But things have actually changed. We are the only continent that has been growing at about 5% of GDP. So the area where you need to go in and invest and make money is definitely Africa.

Problem of our younger generation is that they want to jump and see themselves up there, overnight. What you need to do, is to be very, very focused as a person and be dedicated to whatever you are doing. I think you need to be very, very focused in what you are doing. You must not take your business or your job as something that you must do. You must take it as part of your hobby, then you do it better….

Corruption was part of not creating middle class [in Nigeria]. Power alone at create alot of middle class in Nigeria. If the Govt fixes power in the next one or two years, you will quiet alot of people coming from the poor segment to the middle class segment.

Dangote does not have monopoly. We are a company that believes in Nigeria. And because we believe in Nigeria, we invest heavily. Whereas other people are watching. It looks like monopoly if you do not invest.

If you want to be the next Dangote, you have to have a very big heart. Take calculated risk. You have to be honest. Your name is very important, that is the most valuable asset you have. You must make sure you have a very good name. Say that “nothing is impossible” and this means that you can meet that target. Good luck. Hard work is key.

Money is something that is really very funny. You can have money today and it might not be there tomorrow. You must have respect [for money]. You just don’t spend it anyhow.

The most expensive toy I have ever bought, is my aircraft. It cost me US$50 million….

Brah Hugh Masekela:

Key take away’s from Brah Hugh Masekela

What was most important was my quest. I was prepared to go through anything to achieve the kind of schooling I needed in music. I thought I could advance the gift I had. Also to get enough information and come back home and impart that knowledge. But I am afraid to say that I stayed [overseas] 26 years longer than I had planned….

The first time I dreamnt in English, I woke up crying.

I take a chance [in speaking] in 20 languages. Where-ever I am, I immerse myself in the people.

My biggest problem was that by the time I was 15, 16, I was an alcoholic. But in South Africa, Africans were not allowed to drink until 1961. So when I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s drinking was part of township culture. I was born in a shebeen, in my grandmother’s shebeen. People were respected for drinking. I could out-drink everybody. And so I was respected for drinking. But I did not realize what a deep hole I was in….We took LSD for breakfast. So addiction was a major, major obstacle. I could have gone much further had I not had that monkey on my back. I finally kicked it here at home when I came back….

If you go into a field because you want to be famous, then you are already on the wrong track. If you love anything, then you love the craft. Try to be the best at it. If you are playing instruments, then be great at it….Practice, practice, work at your craft.

I was restless from the time I was a child….Follow your own muse. The best advice I got was from Sydney Poitier, was “be cool”…be yourself, don’t try to be someone else…..

The main thing is that we have to stop being afraid of our past. We should be curious and proud of our history. We should have a social will….

We have to stop believing in the borders that were only put there in 1886….


Totally. Inspired. Proudly. African!




farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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  • Ludwig Williams

    Awesome….very inspirational