Poor beginnings never defines the future of any man or woman. It only shows the reality of their starting point, highlights the type of efforts they’d need to put in, and shows them, through the story of others likewise, that a man or woman’s life accomplishments not only lies in his or her decision to try, but in their ability to position their minds for success, no matter what setbacks they face.
This is the success story of Fomba Trawally, a Liberian who lost his parents, traded in a wheel barrow, fled his country because of a war, came back years later, started a petty business with just $200, and ended up building a million dollar company in the process.
The Early Life And Education Of Fomba Trawally
Fomba Trawally was born in 1971 to poor parents in Liberia. Growing up, he attended the Voinjama Public School in 1975 and subsequently the Kakata Islamic Training School in 1981.
In a bid to successfully have a formal education, his mother, Kumba Beindu, toiled day and night to sell peppers and aubergines, so she could feed her children and try the little she could to pay for their education.
His dreams of someday becoming a college graduate came crashing when his mother died sometime in the 1980s. Fomba Trawally, devastated and confused, had no choice but to drop out of school. Being the eldest son, he had to fend for the family by selling shower slippers in a wheelbarrow.
Another travail struck again, but this time it was a civil war, and he and his family had no choice but to flee Liberia for The Gambia as refugees in the year 1989.
The Start And Growth Of Kumba Beindu And Sons
After living and hustling in The Gambia for two years, Fomba Trawally returned to Liberia in the year 1991. He arrived his home country with $200 he had partly saved, and borrowed during his time in Liberia.
Upon his return, Fomba Trawally realised there was an urgent need for rubber flip-flops in the capital city, Monrovia, because a lot of people largely walked barefooted since the war had passed. Immediately, he capitalised on this business opportunity and started selling affordable flip-flops to the populace.
He used the $200 he had gotten to start a business called Kumba Beindu and Sons, which he named after his late mother who did everything she could to see her children have a better life before passing away.
In one year, his business grew exponentially from $200 to $3,000 dollars, which was a substantial sum at the time.
Fomba Trawally grew his revenues steadily, and by the year 2005, he had three retail stores in Liberia selling items like paper and cosmetics imported from various countries around the world like China, The United States, Turkey, and Ivory Coast.
His Business Today
Today, Kumba Beindu and Sons has a factory called National Toiletries Incorporated, which is Liberia’s first paper and toiletry products manufacturing factory.
His factory supplies products to over 1,500 businesses within Liberia, exports to neighbouring countries like Guinea and Sierra Leone, and rakes in an excess of $600,000 yearly in revenues.
To Sum It All Up
In a country of about just 4 million people, Fomba Trawally’s success is remarkable. His accomplishments despite the poor upbringing he had and the travails he faced through his life, is a sign that anyone going through any form of disappointments or challenges in life can find success if they’re smart, hardworking, and prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.