How This African Who Was Expelled From The 8th Grade Made Over $200 Million Dollars
On the road to success, many get knocked down a lot, 97% of them give up, and the 3% that tag on till the end go on to build the companies the 97% end up working for. While roadblocks, disappointments, and discouragements are a major part of a success story, the degree to which each individual is tested is entirely different. Some find life a lot easier, while the experiences faced by another sect may seem like the worst things to happen to anyone.
This is the success story of Tribert Rujugiro Ayabata, an African who lost his mother at a tender age, got expelled from the 8th grade, and went on to build Africa’s largest tobacco company worth over $200 million dollars.
Here’s how he did it:
The Early Life And Education Of Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa was born in 1940 in Rwanda. Having experienced a tough childhood, it got even worse when he lost his mother and was later expelled from school at the age of 13—from the 8th grade—by the colonial authorities who controlled Rwanda’s educational system and kept the country ethnically divided.
With the abrupt end of his education, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa went on to obtain a certificate as a clerk and typist in a bid to get a job. Despite this effort, he was faced with another round of ethnic discrimination, which eventually forced him to run off to Burundi at the age of 19 to try his luck.
In Burundi, he got a job as a clerk, and after most work hours, he would spend his evenings at Alliance Francaise, where he studied French, the official language of the country.
His fluency helped him go on to teach other Rwandans living in Burundi, French, and this taught him the very essence of selfless service and solidarity.
The Start Of His Business Journey And The Establishment of The Pan African Tobacco Group
Since getting a job in the public sector in Rwanda, was a challenge because of ethnic issues, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa forged towards the private sector, and landed a job in a petroleum storage company. His boss was mostly not available, and so, he was given the mantra of managing the facility. This caused him to learn highly valuable managerial skills, giving him the opportunity to make executive entrepreneurial decisions for the first time.
At the age of 29, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa ventured into the bakery business. While doing this, he saw another business opportunity and began importing wheat, flour, and salt. His business acumen and growth caused him to get an exclusive salt-trading license from the government, making him to single-handedly put an end to the country’s salt shortage and getting the title: “The King of Salt”.
By 1974, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa spotted another business opportunity and ventured into the importation of cigarettes to Burundi from Tanzania. Four years later in the year 1978, his business had grown remarkably, so much that he started manufacturing cigarettes locally in Burundi, and further expanded his operations across at least 27 African countries including but not limited to Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo and Sao Tome. His brands are also sold in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
His Business Today
Today, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa’s businesses span through brewery, tea plantations, cement, snacks, furniture, housing, shoe manufacturing, shopping malls, printing, cattle farming, and transportation amongst others, and employees over 26,000 people.
His businesses haven’t just created jobs, strengthened communities, and changed lives across the countries he operates in, but have also helped him build a personal net worth of over $200 million dollars in his lifetime.
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, having retired in the year 2012, now spends most of his days on charitable works. He has invested in community development projects like providing about 100 homes for refugees after the Rwandan genocide, providing electricity to about 500 families near the Nshili Kivu tea plantation in Rwanda, awarding scholarships, and several other charitable works
To Sum It Up
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa is a man who’s at the forefront of any opportunity he spots early on. He takes advantage of them as he identifies a trend, and doing this throughout his entire life has caused him to become one of the wealthiest people in Africa.
What are your thoughts on this success story of Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa? Let me know by leaving a comment below.