By now you may have heard of Tony Elumelu, the Nigerian business leader and multimillionaire philanthropist who famously took over a distressed Nigerian commercial bank in the late 1990s and transformed it into the UBA Group – one of Africa’s largest financial services providers, spanning 20 African countries with over $12 billion in assets and over 10,000 employees. (Read more about Tony Elumelu here).
Elumelu is now chairman of Heirs Holdings, a holding company that gobbles up controlling stakes in African companies engaged in key sectors of the economy. He also founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an influential non-profit that aims to promote excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa.
Elumelu, who is tech-conscious and social media-savvy. keeps active Twitter and Facebook accounts through which he connects with his mentees and shares his thoughts on everything from African economics to philanthropy, Africa’s economy and Africapitalism – an economic philosophy he came up with that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth.
His Twitter handle is @TonyOElumelu. Sometime ago on his Twitter page, Elumelu outlined 7 books that have had the most impact on his business and personal success. Each of them is worth a read:
- Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer– The book tells the story of the rivalry between William Kane (a brilliant son of a wealthy banking dynasty) and Abel Rosnovski. According to Elumelu, “This is the book that, very early on, opened my eyes to the value of creating a stellar legacy that shines long after one is no longer around.”
- Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer
- Shall We Tell The President by Jeffrey Archer– These are the sequels to Kane & Abel. They focus on the character Florentyna who later becomes the first female president of the United States when the President dies in office.
- How much Land does a man need? by Leo Tolstoy – The book teaches the importance of contentment through the story of a man who lost everything in his insatiable lust for land.
- Outliers: The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – A book about poeple who have stuck out from others in their field, people who have been extraordinary. “The book lays emphasis on hard work and excellence- two of my most treasured values,” Elumelu says.
- Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellenceby Ben Carson –“Dr. Carson’s story affirms my belief that no challenge is insurmountable once one has the right attitude.”
- The Creation of Wealth: The Tatas From 19th to 21st Century by R.M. Lala– This epic book is on the Tata Group in India and the group’s focus on ensuring the economic and social development of India. “This book helped fuel my desire to build economic prosperity whilst creating the social wealth that accrues to the larger society in the long term,” says Elumelu.