How A Poor African Farm Boy Built A Business Worth Over $100 Million Dollars
Rising from nothing to something has happened several times over by history’s most respected and celebrated men. Their stories continue to shed a light in the tunnel of disappointments, failures, poverty, and struggle that many people find themselves in, causing their triumphs and successes to inspire the next generation of people who’d make a great impact in their societies.
This is the success story of Samuel Adedoyin. A man who was born into poverty, refused to accept that as his life’s calling, hustled his way to the top, and is now celebrated as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest men.
Here’s how he started:
The Early Life Of Samuel Adedoyin
Samuel Adedoyin was born in Lagos in the year 1935, to Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Adedoyin Olaosebikan and Rachel Oni, who were both farmers, while his mother was also an aso-oke weaver. After his birth, Samuel Adedoyin was taken back to Agbamu in Kwara state, where he had is primary school education at Saint Paul Primary School, Agbamu.
After ending his primary school education at primary four because his father couldn’t afford to further pay for his education, he went on to learn palm wine tapping, before he moved back to Lagos to live with his father at Ebute Metta—where he mostly slept in his father’s store in Enu Owa.
Samuel Adedoyin, a determined and motivated individual, wanted to become well-read, and in the process, tried to travel to England in a stowaway ship, but was arrested at Takoradi in Ghana, where he was going to be sent back to Lagos.
In a bid to avoid this and go back to square one, Samuel Adedoyin begged an immigration officer to let him stay and work with him, so he could raise some money. The officer agreed and made him his houseboy.
After having worked for the immigration officer for a while, he begged him to let him go, as he could no longer cope. After his boss eventually agreed, he left him with about £2, which Samuel Adedoyin used to start a roadside petty trade in Accra, Ghana, where he sold padlocks and door hinges, despite having nowhere to sleep.
While running his business, he met a vendor who sold the Ashanti Pioneer newspaper. The vendor introduced him to the publisher’s daughter, who went on to give him a place to sleep and also made him a distributor for the newspaper.
After running the newspaper business for about 3 to 4 months with little to no success, Samuel Adedoyin went back to selling padlocks, since it was a far more profitable business for him.
At this point, it was 1949 and he had spent about 13 months in Ghana, during which he saved up about £48.
Now when he returned to Nigeria, he found out his mother had spent about £50 of borrowed money in a bid to look for him. Remorseful and sad, Samuel Adedoyin gave her all he had saved up, so she could repay her debts, leaving him with nothing to return to Ghana with.
The Start Of The Doyin Group
In Lagos, Samuel Adedoyin started a business at number 49, Dosunmu Street, where he sold umbrellas, imported holiday bags, and ball-point pens from Italy. He was able to make £9,600 from a surge of buyers, which shocked every trader around him. From the revenue generated, he bought the space at 49, Dosunmu Street for £9,000.
As he spread his product offerings, he bought another property about 3 years later, and further acquired 9 houses in the Idumota area of Lagos, before eventually building a house for himself at the Rummens Road area of Ikoyi.
After running his trade for a couple of years and building on his successes, Samuel Adedoyin officially launched the Doyin Group in 1968, which was a business into the manufacturing of leather bags and shoes.
His Business Today
Today, the Doyin Group has over 14 subsidiaries, a workforce of over 5,000 people, and has grown to encompass a wide range of investments across different industries like real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, food and beverages, soaps and detergents, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and a whole lot more.
To Sum It Up
Samuel Adedoyin is an entrepreneur who started from nothing, remained level-headed despite the unfortunate circumstances that surrounded his childhood, but still turned out successful in the end. He focuses on businesses where he could directly solve the problems of the masses and stays best away from anything that requires acute government involvement.
His story is an inspiration to many who think nothing great can still come out of their conditions, and his triumph has shown that no matter what you face, you have to keep chasing your dreams for as long or as hard as it would take you to achieve them.
What are your thoughts on this success story of Samuel Adedoyin? Let me know by leaving a comment below.