The Old Giants, Tamale’s Entrepreneurs Of The Nineteenth Century
Truly living the catch phrase “Not all super heroes wear capes”, These Alpha entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century Tamale are the definition of legends, the old dogs who came before us!
That’s right, I am talking about the grey hairs, call them the ‘ancient of days’ , make mention of real businesses, talk about risk, think of investment and these the guys leading the pack with most of them still dubbing the business frontier forward in the Tamale Metropolis.
Once upon a time when investing in trade or commerce was something new to our part of the world, when putting money into a small enterprise and diligently shepherding it to growth wasn’t a skill we knew, these guys stuck their necks out. Starting with the little they had and over the years have evolved into moguls who serve as role models and mentors to many other young men and women growing up in Tamale.
They have won the admiration of many who have longed to be like them. Drawing from decades of experience, connections and leans, failures, they have had gotten better with age surging on to prove beyond all reasonable doubts that age is just but a number. Not giving the credit due them, it’s about damn time we put some respect on their names!
Alhaji PK ( CEO, PeeKay GOMBILLA PHARMACY )
Not the first time hearing his name, PK is a man and a half!!!! Alhaji PK Gombilla is a healthcare entrepreneur who sought out to provide medications to the sick, at crazily affordable rates. He set out as an Over-The-Counter Medicine seller, sourcing medications/drugs at wholesale prices and retailing them at minor profit margins. As a man who has always had a philanthropic heart, he put value before money, working hard and overseeing the operations of the organization seeking to address the undeniable vital need for medicines. While staying out of the limelight he has built a good name for the store so much that the name PK sends a resounding yes! Whenever it is mentioned.
And if you have been around for some time, you agree with me that everyone at some point has purchased drugs from him. His pharmacy has grown in leaps and bounds, because of his passion and preparedness to go to heavens and above for his patients. Its pure hustle for those who might be Tempted to think that it’s a bed full of roses to work from the counter of a drug store to a fully licensed Pharmacy. Challenges aside, Pk has weathered the storms and legitimately secured a seat at the table of passionate healers in the city. He is the Goliath that cannot be taken down!!
FORSMUEL ( FORSMUEL SHOPPING CENTRE )
And yet after all this while if you do not know Forsmuel Shopping Centre, then you’ve got to be kidding me!!! . One Hundred percent sure everybody in the city has gone by Forsmuel for shopping. Forsmuel took a huge leap of faith in a city of numerous retail stalls to set up a shopping center which would later become a heaven for retail shoppers. Comes with sleepless nights figuring out how to cost, restock and appeal to consumers in the face of fierce competition and an unstable economy. Notwithstanding all that, the Forsmuel shopping Center offered customers variety of products in categories, such as staple foods, toiletries fruits, vegetables, consumer electronics, health and beauty products and many more at affordable prices all under one major roof.
For decades, they had been delivering and you could not go wrong shopping from them, until an unfortunate managerial crisis threatened to shut the once great empire down, but from the ashes, they are rising again.
ALHAJI YAMUSAH ( CEO, Yamusah Trading and Merchandise )
Notwithstanding the fact that he was exposed to the business life at an early age, Yamusah managed to play with the big boys of his time, took big risks and was rewarded big as well. He has been and will always be the prime example of the French saying “petit a petit le fait son nid”, little by little he built his nest of businesses from strength to strength. Facing hurdles and perilous times, he is still unarguably an old giant and even after all these years, his presence is still felt in the business realms of tamale.
He ventured into the building materials business when people were buying materials from Kumasi and Techiman to come and build, he provided a shorter acquisition path for people, accepting partial deposits from those who could not afford bulk cash to buy materials until they had paid their worth. Alhaji Yamusah is a risk taker for better or for worse one genius of man almost the “Aliko Dangote “ of Tamale dealing in all kinds of building materials and no! it’s not just about business, it’s about everything… obviously his name will last through the ages.
Call them the proverbial old men sitting under the Iroko tree, they could see beyond the boundaries when many were scared to look. Having charted the path for many young entrepreneurs to follow, it is the right time ever to pay homage to the Old Giants. . Zaabuni Digital media salutes them and several others unmentioned.