Princess Fifi Ejindu: Billionaire businesswoman who built a top-class Nigerian architectural firm from the ground up

Princess Fifi Ekanem Ejindu is a multi-faceted woman, each face being linked in one way or another to the others. She is a neo-traditional Nigerian architect – one of Nigeria’s leading female architects, a fashionista and an entrepreneur. Some may be familiar with her fashionista side of life, while others simply see her as a philanthropist. Some may still think she’s just a blood princess, but others know her as a queen of business, an empress of an empire she built from the ground up.

Offiong Ekanem Ejindu was born in Ibadan in 1962, with Professor Sylvester Joseph Una and Obonganwan Ekpa Una as parents. She is of royal line and her grandfather is King James Ekpo Bassey, an Efik monarch from the colonial era. (Due to her royal heritage, Princess Fifi socially uses the title HH The Obonganwan King James.) She spent her early years in Ibadan and received her primary education at the Senior Staff Primary School, University of Ibadan , before going to Lagos where she had her secondary education at Queens College, Yaba.

As the daughter of parents who both studied abroad, it was expected that at some point she would follow the same path in search of the best education. Ejindu attended Pratt Institute School of Architecture, a private design school in Brooklyn, New York, where she studied architecture and graduated in 1983. She became the first black African woman to receive a B.Arch . of the institute. She then took courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then worked with a private company in New York. Princess Fifi also attended the University of North Carolina, (UNC) Charlotte.

After a few years, Ejindu returned to earn a master’s degree in urban planning, still at the Pratt Institute. It was after this milestone that Fifi Ejindu decided it was time to return to Nigeria.

Build your empire

In 1995, she started Starcrest, a real estate business that would later become the Starcrest group of companies. Subsidiaries include Starcrest Investment Ltd., Starcrest Associates Ltd. and Starcrest Industries Ltd, and its businesses expand to include oil and gas, property management, building construction, project management, youth empowerment and investment opportunities.

Starcrest Associates specializes in the design and construction of residential villas as well as estates. Starcrest Associates has designed and built several projects for individuals, government and businesses. The Spanish Ambassador’s apartment in Maitama, Abuja was one of Starcrest’s job highlights that became the basis for several referrals. Ejindu sits as the group’s chairman and senior partner.

Princess Fifi Ejindu launched an investment forum in the United Arab Emirates, which would later become a base for attracting foreign investors to Nigeria. Using Starcrest Investments as a vehicle, the initiative brought in prominent UAE business owners to invest in different sectors under the administration of Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Princess Fifi Ejindu is the CEO of Building Support Systems. She is also the founder of the African Arts and Fashion Initiative, launched in 2013 at the Dorchester Hotel in London. This has grown to become a platform to showcase Africa’s cultural heritage and talent to the world and create opportunities for young Africans.

She is the grand godmother of the Prestigious Icons Club in Dubai.

Awards and Recognition

Fifi Ekanem Ejindu has quite a profile, especially in business circles. Thanks to her many noble achievements, Princess Fifi Ekanem Ejindu has received numerous awards and accolades. In 2013, she received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the African Achievers Awards. She also received the Nobel Prize for the African Child in 2014, as well as the “Award of Excellence of the Diaspora” in 2015.

Ejindu was recommended by the House of Representatives of Georgia, America, for her achievements. In 2013, she received the “African Female Economic Champion” award. In the same year, she was also ranked among the top 20 influential women in Africa in 2013 and enlisted in the Global Women Leaders Hall of Fame – African Chapter. She was declared the winner of the “Nigerian Professional Golden Book Icon Award” in 2015. In 2018, Ejindu was featured in Famous African Women Architect magazine by People Maven.

Princess Fifi Ejindu is a member of the Nigerian National Heritage Board. She was also one of eleven members of the technical committees set up by the Akwa Ibom State Government to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the state.

She received the Patriotic Women of Integrity International award in 2004. She holds an Honorary Patron Membership from the elite Dubai Icons Club.

There is no publicly verified source to determine her net worth, but with the group of businesses she has started and controlled and her investments around the world, it is safe to say that her net worth is growing. amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars.

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