Meet Alassane And Ousseini Kanazoe: Heirs To The Billionaire You Never Heard Of


With the way in which the "1 percent" of society has come to be perceived over the past few years, it's easy to assume the worst of the world's richest these days. They have it easy, they don't know what it means to care for others, they never have to work hard, and they're selfish. They are behind much of what's wrong with the world. After all, money is the root of all evil.

So when Alassane and Ousseini Kanazoe stroll out of a white Porsche Panamera in the middle of Manhattan, thousands of miles away from their home in Africa, it might be tempting to assume that they'd exude the same type of snobbery that some find quintessential of the world's youngest heirs.

But then again, you'd only have to speak to them for a couple of minutes to realize that those assumptions would be wrong.

It's the type of response that a few people might find surprising coming from two brothers who were born into one of their continent's richest families. Keep reading, though, and you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that those words are common for these two men, who have had a sense of moral responsibility ingrained in them.

The 23-year-old twins are the sons of Oumarou Kanazoe, founder of the enterprise known as Groupe Kanazoe and the man who was widely recognized as Burkina Faso's richest and most important figure until his death in 2011 at the age of 84.

The late Kanazoe began building his empire as a traveling salesman, buying various commodities from different markets and selling them for a profit in others, even if it meant traveling on foot across the borders of Mali and Ghana. On his way to the top, Kanazoe made money off of everything from the sale of peanuts and bicycles, as Alassane mentioned in our sit-down at the Elite Daily office, to the acquisitions of restaurants and trucks.

But while their father's success has provided great wealth for the brothers' family, the twins assert that his legacy and the reputation he built in Burkina Faso  inspires them to work harder, instead of sitting back and simply resting on their riches.

The two brothers are the youngest of thirteen siblings and came to New York City towards the end of 2009, at which point they began to learn English. Since then, they've studied and earned bachelor degrees in accounting and finance. With doubts over whether they'll pursue masters degrees, debating if they even need them, the twins have put a lot of thought into their objectives pertaining to Burkina Faso. Their main priority is to continue the good work their father began focused on improving the conditions of an impoverished country.

With each glimpse that the Kanazoe twins provide into their lives, their story becomes increasingly fascinating. They have, of course, enjoyed the big city life, as any young millionaires would.

Despite indulging a little, they never lose focus on want they want to accomplish as heirs to an empire and what they are expected to do as figures whom a nation idolizes, knowing that the esteemed family has come through for the citizens on so many occasions before. It's only natural for the brothers to always remember their roots and to keep the needs of others at the forefront of their agendas. After all, their father acted in the same way.

Just what exactly the Kanazoe twins do with the wealth they've inherited and the financial strides they make with their own work in the future remains to be seen. But whatever happens, it's safe to say they'll act with humility and steer clear of complacency.