12 THINGS ISABEL DOS SANTOS HAS THAT YOU DO NOT


Let’s start by listing the one thing she has and that you will never have, which has allowed her to have everything else on this list. Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of a president, the first known female billionaire on the African continent, and she has a lifetime membership in the so-called cryptocracy, or shadow government, where real economic-political power resides. She can have anything she wants — even if she professes to have a humble lifestyle. Here are 12 things Isabel dos Santos has that you do not, bearing in mind that best things in life are usually not even things.

1. A doting father

Maybe your dad got you a job in the mail room. Isabel’s father is Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos. His term has lasted 33 years so far. He aided his daughter in amassing her estimated $3.7-billion fortune, according to Forbes.com. They achieved this in less than a decade.

2. Guaranteed nightlife

At 24, maybe you go to the bar down on the beach with your buddies. Isabel at 24 had a partnership in a popular Luanda bar named Miami Beach, lending the weight of her name and little investment to the deal. It was a valuable lesson in investing. Still open today, the bar serves mediocre fare with slow service and loud music.

3. Breaking news at her fingertips

You read the newspaper and get your fingers blackened with ink. Isabel owns a $500-million (70-percent) stake in the Portuguese Zon Multimedia, which controls all media in Angola. Her hands don’t have ink stains.

4. Limitless bling

Maybe your boyfriend bought you a little diamond ring. Isabel dos Santos is the main beneficiary of Angola’s diamond trade. With her husband, Sindiki Dokolo and their Victoria Holding Ltd., they acquired 72.5-percent ownership of the Swiss jeweler, de Grisogono, adding to their monopoly on the flourishing diamond trade in Angola — the fourth-largest in the world.

5.  Direct dial

You download apps on your smartphone to pass time. Isabel and her father download money to their accounts from their 25-percent stakes (each) of Unitel, the Angolan mobile telephone operator on a continent that has been revolutionized by mobile. Annual revenue streams hit around $2 billion, making it the largest privately held company in Angola.

6.  A built-in DIY

You shop at Home Depot for a DIY long-weekend project. Isabel owns an 89-percent stake in the only cement-producing factory in Angola. It’s owned by the company Nova Cimangola. An Angolan ministers’ resolution approved the $74-million buyout in 2006, and the company is holding strong.

7.  Shopping savvy

When you are out of groceries, you head to the grocery store or market. Isabel owns the markets. Her company, Condis, partnered with Portugal’s largest retailer, Sonae, for a 51-percent share. Scheduled for completion and opening in 2015 in Luanda are five new hypermarkets with an alleged $107-million investment.

8. Event planning know-how

You celebrate your anniversary by hiring a babysitter and hitting the local oyster house. Isabel commemorated her 10th wedding anniversary to Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo by jetting in guests from as far away as Germany and Brazil to join hundreds of guests for a weekend extravaganza. It included a night at the Fortress of São Miguel  in the capital city of Luanda and a Sunday brunch on the beach of fashionable Mussulo Peninsula.

9.  Celebrities on speed dial

You and your pals chip in and hire a clown for your office party. As chairwoman of the Angolan Red Cross, Isabel allegedly paid $1 million for American singer Mariah Carey to appear at a December 2013 charity fundraising gala. Mariah’s notes hit high on the list of singing for dictators. She performed on a previous occasion for former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

10.  Boss-manship

Unemployment in Angola is 25-to-36 percent of the country’s 21.47 million people. Isabel, who owns major shares in mining, oil, cement, media and banking, is said to have employed close to 4000 of the estimated 5.7 million Angolans looking for work.

11.  A positive outlook

If you have a job, you probably earn more than the $6 a day that most of Angolans live on. Isabel has a positive vision of Angola’s growing middle class, one which many living in a shadow economy do not share. Angola is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. Its gross domestic product is up 11.6 percent, oil production increased from .09 million to 1.8-million barrels a day, and the government budget is $69 billion. However most Angolans live on $2,040 a year.

12.  A swank crib

Isabel has her main residence in Luanda, the most expensive city in the world. For two years running, Luanda ranked No. 1 for most expensive cities on the cost of living index, according to the Mercer survey. Luanda does not, however, make the cut for quality of living.

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