From Wheelbarrow Hustler to Millionaire: The Inspiring Journey of Fomba Trawally

In the bustling streets of Monrovia, Liberia, a remarkable entrepreneur emerged from humble beginnings. Fomba Trawally, born in 1971 to impoverished parents, defied adversity and transformed his life through sheer determination and resilience. His journey from a wheelbarrow hustler to the founder of a million-dollar company is a testament to the power of unwavering ambition.

Fomba’s childhood was marked by struggle. His mother, Kumba Beindu, toiled tirelessly to provide for her children. Despite financial constraints, she prioritized education, selling peppers and aubergines to pay for their schooling. Fomba attended Voinjama Public School and later the Kakata Islamic Training School. However, tragedy struck when his mother passed away, abruptly ending his dreams of becoming a college graduate.

As the eldest son, Fomba took on the responsibility of supporting his family. He sold shower slippers from a wheelbarrow, scraping together meager earnings. But fate dealt another blow—the Liberian civil war forced him and his family to flee to The Gambia as refugees in 1989.

In 1991, Fomba returned to Liberia with just $200 he had saved and borrowed during his time abroad. The war had left many walking barefoot, creating an opportunity. Fomba seized it, capitalizing on the urgent need for rubber flip-flops in Monrovia. He founded ‘Kumba Beindu and Sons’ naming it after his late mother – a tribute to her sacrifices.

With determination and resourcefulness, Fomba’s business flourished. His initial investment of $200 grew exponentially, reaching $3,000 within a year. Kumba Beindu and Sons became a trusted source for affordable flip-flops, meeting the essential footwear needs of the population.

Fomba’s entrepreneurial spirit knew no bounds. By 2005, he had expanded beyond flip-flops, establishing three retail stores in Liberia. His inventory included imported items like paper and cosmetics from countries such as China, the United States, Turkey, and Ivory Coast. Kumba Beindu and Sons became synonymous with quality and affordability.