Forbes' Richest Lists 2017 — The Black People Edition

Beyoncé and husband Jay Z made headlines this week following revelations that they are officially a billion-dollar couple, according to Forbes. But there is more to the 2017 Forbes list than just the billionaire black couple alert!

The singer who is pregnant with twins made Forbes’ list of ‘America’s Wealthiest Self-Made Women’, with a personal fortune of $350million. Her husband's rounded up networth amounts to $810 million. That brings the couple to a combined net worth of $1.16 billion and counting.

Looking at all the lists released by Forbes; America's Richest Self-Made Women, World's Richest, Hip-Hop Rich List, etc, it is important that I see myself reflected in these platforms. Yes, I mean by race. As a black person, seeing people who look like me in these lists is very important. 

In 2017, of the 2,043 people who made it to the 2017 FORBES list of the World’s Billionaires, 10 of them are black, down from 12 a year ago. Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote is still the richest black person in the world, with a fortune estimated at $12.2 billion. He is followed by Saudi-Ethiopian construction magnate Mohammed Al-Amoudi, who is worth $8.4 billion.

Oprah Winfrey is still the richest black person in the entertainment industry with $2.9billion, down from her $3.1Billion in June 2016. She is the third richest self-made female billionaire in America and the richest black woman in the world ahead of Nigeria's Folorunso Alakija. 

South Africa’s six billionaires are worth a combined $22.7 billion. The richest South African billionaire and the continent’s second richest person is diamond magnate Nicky Oppenheimer, who sold his family’s stake in diamond giant DeBeers to Anglo American. 

With $2.1Billion [That's about R29Billion], Patrice Motsepe is the richest black person in South Africa and the 6th richest person in Africa. He also holds the distinction of being the only black South African billionaire to ever make the Forbes list. 

Folorunso Alakija

Only two females in Africa made the Forbes 400 billionaires: Angola's  Isabel dos Santos  -Africa’s richest woman with a $3.2 billion fortune, and Nigeria’s Folorunso Alakija, who is the vice chair of Nigerian oil exploration company, Famfa Oil.

Thirteen out of Africa’s 21 billionaires have self-made fortunes, while the other eight inherited their fortunes. That is very impressive. 

Hip-Hop Rich List 2017

1. Diddy – $820 million
2. Jay Z – $810 million
3. Dr. Dre – $740 million
4. Birdman – $110 million
5. Drake – $90 million 


Hard to even fathom it, but it is possible for some to be valued at billion one year and zero the next. One thing to keep in mind is that a person's valued networth does not necessarily mean that is the amount of money they have in their bank account. The networth on these lists is an estimate of their personal and asset holdings worth.

With that, a person's networth can fluctuate based on their company shares' worth ... and that brings us to Elizabeth Holmes who made her debut on The Forbes 400 in 2014 with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion. 

At the time she was just 30 years old, and ranked 110 wealthiest among all Americans.  She was also the richest self-made woman in America. In 2015, Forbes listed her with the same net worth, holding the same title. 

That figure was based entirely on her 50% stake in Theranos, the blood-testing company she founded at age 19 in 2003. Cut to 2017 and her company's $9Billion valuation has been rescinded and reduced to $800million following all sorts of allegations that the company's were inaccurate, and it was under investigation from federal agencies. 

Because as the founder, Holmes owns common shares and the investors own preferred shares, investors will be the first to get their money back, should the company liquidate or get sold, her networth had to be cut to zero. 

Of course that does not mean Elizabeth Holmes will shopping at Spar like the rest of us, ever! But it just gives perspective on the whole networth thing. 

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