It was on a busy Wednesday afternoon amid the crazy and loud hustle and bustle of the city of Lagos, Nigeria that I sat to have a quick chat with Edmund Galabe. He is the founder of African Rich, a lifestyle brand working to reinvent a modern approach to fashion while exhibiting the richness of Africa’s culture, values, ethnicity, music, fashion, art, foods, and natural resources.
Spotcovery Lens is a sit-and-talk with brilliant personalities from different walks of life all around Africa and beyond to understand their passions, struggles, and goals.
Hit that play button to listen to the entire conversation. You will hear my uncontained excitement when we conversed in the Pidgin language, you’ll pick up a few business lessons, and you’ll learn what a typical day looks like for African Rich’s founder, Edmund Galabe.
Meanwhile, I’d happily fill you in with a summary.
Meet Edmund Galabe
Edmund Galabe was born in Cameroon and schooled there until his high school education, after which he moved to the United States for his undergraduate and postgraduate studies. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Currently, he works for Oracle as a senior consultant.
Having two handsome boys, aged 8 and 5 years old, Edmund sports different hats (viz., being a dad, working a fantastic tech job, and growing the African Rich brand) almost effortlessly. He cites sports, exercise, travel, and staying at home to read books as his favorite pastimes.
His Journey With African Rich
When asked about what inspired his journey with African Rich, Edmund says, “The rich in African Rich refers to our rich culture, our values, our rich music, fashion, art, foods, natural resources, and just the different people. The continent is vast and rich in so many ways.”
He goes on to say that the concept came to him a few years back when he was looking for modern clothing designs that spoke to him and his African roots. Being quite conversant with renowned brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Tom Hills, and the likes that bear America’s flag and express her culture, he found it disappointing that he couldn’t find clothes that flaunted the richness of Africa in modern fashion.
All Edmund wanted was to find cool tees, hoodies, jackets, and other types of streetwear that allowed him to look trendy while still expressing his African-ness.
So in late 2019, he went ahead to create African Rich for himself and every person looking for quality modern fashion that encourages the free expression of the pride and joy of being African. Actually, he started it as a hobby, simply wanting to create fashionable clothes for himself, but he decided to grow the brand as soon as others began to praise his ingenuity.
African Rich started producing tees bearing the logo and colors thoughtfully picked by Edmund and soon expanded to making hoodies/sweatshirts, tank tops, hats, and jackets. Edmund says that the goal is to keep expanding and become the No. 1 brand for African-inspired merchandise. He is looking to start creating children’s clothes next.
Proof that the Africanrich brand is made by an African for Africans is that 5% of every sale goes to support orphanages in Africa. I don’t know about you, but I stan an entrepreneur who gives back to their community.
Three Words That Describe African Rich
Pride. Heritage. Balance.
Biggest Challenge(s) Faced on His Business Journey
As with many business owners, Edmund had to deal with the problem of insufficient capital. And being a particular person, he wasn’t considering settling for materials that weren’t the best quality available on the market. He trusted so much in his vision for the brand and decided it was worth every penny, so he continued to push all the money he could into it.
Unlike when he first started African Rich, Edmund now finds it easier to get funding and doesn’t struggle as much with capital. Now, he is looking at scaling and breaking into the African market, where the merchandise would be much appreciated.
Balancing A Fulltime Job With African Rich
I asked Edmund how he could dive head-on into building African Rich without fear of conflicts of interest that may arise since he also worked a full-time job. He says, “I always tell folks, when there’s a will, there’s a way. If you truly believe in something and you want to create it, make sure you want to do it, and you will do it.”
“There was always this saying that if you want something done, you give it to the most busy person. Don’t give it to the person that has a lot of free time,” he continued.
As I had never heard the saying before, I was confused and asked him to explain why the busiest person should get more work instead of the one with time on his hands. He explained, “Because the person that’s pretty busy knows how to discipline themselves. They know how to work with every single time they have, whereas a person with a lot of free time isn’t disciplined enough.”
Aside from having a will, Edmund mentions that being ready to prioritize activities and making time for the business is key to the growth African Rich has been experiencing. Speaking to prospective business owners, he says “If you aren’t confident then you better not do it, because you won’t be able to give it your 100%.”
You can find African Rich on:
Instagram – @african.rich
Facebook – @africanrich
YouTube – @africanrich
Tiktok – @african.rich
And that concludes this #SpotcoveryLens episode with Edmund Galabe. Who would you like us to speak with next? Let us know in the comments.
Once, I had a chat with the award-winning filmmaker, 3D animator, and game developer, Andrew Kaggia. He created Kenya’s first 3D video game Nairobi X and has his accolades sung in Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40. Check out the deets of our conversation here. And if you are interested in learning about the creator of the Electro Afro-Funk music genre, Kendrum Music, rush down here.