Alhassan Dantata : The First Richest Man In Nigeria, West Africa


Alhassan Dantata born in the year 1877 and died in 1955. Was a Northern Nigerian trader. He traded in kola nuts, ground nuts, beads, necklace and he was a distributor of European goods. He supplied large British trading companies (most especially the UK-based Royal Niger Company)with raw materials and also had business interests in the Gold Coast. He was the known richest man in Nigeria and West Africa at that time. He was a generous man, that took it upon himself to sponsor lots of people to Mecca yearly. 
Dantata was born into an Agalawa trading family in Bebeji, Kano Emirate. One of several children of Abdullahi and his wife Amarya. His parents were wealthy caravan leaders and traders. His father, Abdullahi, was a son of a prosperous merchant called Baba Talatin. Abdullahi died in Bebeji around 1885. Alhassan received his own share according to Islamic law. His mother left for Accra after her husband death, where she had business interests. Due to the long distance between Bebeji and Accra, she left her children in the care of an old lady called Tata. 
Tata raised the children up and because of Arkansas closeness to Tata, he got the name Dan-tata, which means “Son of Tata” in Hausa language.
Dantata was sent to a Qur’anic school (madrasah) in Bebeji. He spent is own share of his inheritance lavishly, due to his young age then, he find it difficult to cater for himself. 
During the Kano civil war, Dantata was affected due to the Agalawa support for Tukur the son of Emir Muhammad Bello. Him and his brothers were held with treat of slavery. There properties were confiscated. They later paid ransom for freedom. 
After a while, he left Bebeji to Accra to see his mother, with the hope of getting supporting from her. However, it did not come. He worked harder in Accra than in Bebeji.. He went back to Bebeji and started kola nuts business. He Developed a network of trading associates. He transported his goods to Ibadan, Lagos, Accra. Soon he ventured into European cloths, necklace, beads, groundnut. His business skills and contact with Europeans helped establish his wealth and future.
Alhassan Dantata was married to Umma Zaria, and Maimuna. They were blessed with children. At the time of his death, he was the richest man in Nigeria and West Africa.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here