Coming from nothing and making it into the world is the ultimate American dream, based on the perennial rags-to-riches story. Yet becoming a billionaire does not only require persistence, ambition and talent, it also sometimes means access to opportunities and a good dash of luck.

Despite black people being few among the world’s billionaires, they are notable – including the amazing Michael Jordan, who became the world’s first billionaire athlete. Here are the top five richest black people alive today.

2. Mike Adenuga – $5.3 billion

Mike Adenuga, affectionately nicknamed the “Guru” within his vast professional and social network, is not only the second richest black man but a fellow Nigerian, too. He started off in the oil industry, before expanding into the telecom, real estate, banking, and construction industries. According to Forbes, the telecom company he built, Globacom, is the biggest contender to the country’s leading operator, MTN, providing services to over 30 million subscribers, while he owns more property than any other individual in Nigeria and Ghana. His journey is exciting: He made his first million at the age of 26, which is significantly lower than 32, the average age of winners according to’s research, and well before he had spent 13 years in his industry, which is the average time according to the same source. Before that, being the son of a businesswoman and a school teacher with limited means, Adenuga used to work as a taxi driver in New York to support himself during his MBA studies at Pace University.