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When it comes to billionaires splurging on toys, Africa’s richest are not as ostentatious as their foreign counterparts- the likes of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud or Roman Abramovich who’ll easily fling hundreds of millions of dollars on mega yachts or flying palaces without batting an eyelid. Africa’s richest folks are a bit more modest in their flamboyance, but they’re coming along pretty well, nevertheless. These days, Africans with nine-figure fortunes indulge themselves with private jets, rare antique cars, Renaissance art, private game reserves and the occasional soccer club.
Here’s a look at a few toys owned by seven of the 14 billionaires that Forbes has found in Africa.
Aliko Dangote, Nigeria
Net Worth: $13.8 billion
Source: Cement, Sugar, Flour
Toys: Bombardier Jets
In Nigeria, Dangote has earned a reputation as a modest spender. He even admitted it recently during an MTV interview, saying, “I don’t spend money frivolously.” Nevertheless, Africa’s richest man threw prudence and modesty to the wind last year when he acquired a $45 million Bombardier Global Express XRS jet as a gift to himself on his 53rd birthday. He reportedly spent a further $5 million on fittings and furnishing for what is now his most expensive toy. Beforehand, the Cement King already owned a Bombardier Challenger jet.
Nicky Oppenheimer, South Africa
Net worth: $7 billion
Source: De Beers
Toy: Private Game Reserve
Along with his family, the 66 year-old Chairman of De Beers group owns Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, a 100,000-hectare (247,000-acre) private game park which is the largest in South Africa. The park is home to over 240 different bird species, 50 species of reptiles and 80 different mammals. The property is located in the Kalahari Desert and has an eco-lodge with suites overlooking a water hole.
Johann Rupert, South Africa
Net worth: $4.8 billion
Source: Luxury Goods
Toys: Antique car collection, Vineyards, Boeing Business Jet
The head of Swiss luxury-goods company Richemont owns two of South Africa’s best-known vineyards, Rupert & Rothschild and L’Ormarins. He also owns one of the country’s most exclusive golf clubs. Real passion: Cars. The automobile enthusiast established the Franschhoek Motor Museum which houses his personal collection of over 200 antique vehicles including a 63 Ferrari Lusso GT.
Patrice Motsepe, South Africa
Net worth: $3.3 billion
Source: Mineral Resources
Toy: Mamelodi Sundowns Club
The venerable mining magnate and South Africa’s first black billionaire owns the Mamelodi Sundowns Club, a modestly successful South African football club which plays in the South African Premier Soccer league. Motsepe acquired a 51% stake in the club in 2003 and subsequently acquired total control in 2004. Ever since the acquisition, Motsepe has reportedly spent over $10 million in acquiring some of South Africa’s most talented footballers and hiring some of the country’s most celebrated coaches.
Mike Adenuga, Nigeria
Net worth: $2 billion
Source: Telecom, Oil Exploration
Toys: Bombardier Global Express XRS, Bombardier Global Express (VP-CNA), Helicopter, Mercedes G55 AMG
The reclusive chairman of Nigerian telecom company Globacom also owns a Bombardier Global Express XRS jet. Very keen on security, the “Guru” as he is fondly called in Nigerian circles is regularly chauffeured around in a bullet-proof Mercedes G55 SUV, complete with a convoy of armed bodyguards and mobile policemen. And when the Lagos traffic becomes unbearable, he moves around by helicopter.
Youssef Mansour, Egypt
Net worth: $1.8 billion
Toys: Louis XIV furniture and Renaissance paintings
Youssef, 65, was instrumental in building the largest supermarket chain in Egypt, Metro. Along with his wife, the Egyptian real estate billionaire collects Louis XIV furniture and Renaissance paintings.
Mohammed Al-Fayed, Egypt
Net worth: $1.2 billion
Toys: Fulham Football Club
The flamboyant Egyptian billionaire and former Harrods boss owns the Fulham Football club. In April 2011, Al-Fayed unveiled a giant Michael Jackson statue at Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium. In the wake of widespread criticism of the statue from fans, he remarked, “If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift this guy gave to the world they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans.” Fulham is the oldest professional football team in London; founded in 1879. Al-Fayed also owns a castle in Scotland.
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Article by Mfonobong Nsehe