Billionaire Shahbal: Why I Employed School Prefect Who Humiliated Me

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    Mombasa Billionaire Suleiman Shahbal
  • Mombasa billionaire Suleiman Shahbal recalled how he was kind-hearted enough to overlook the past and employ a High School prefect who humiliated him over thirty years ago.

    Sharing his memories (throwback Thursday -TBT) on Thursday, September 16, the tycoon narrated that he came from a humble background and struggled to purchase the full uniform requisite for a Form 1 student at the Nairobi School.

    Shahbal - who aspires to run for Mombasa Gubernatorial seat in 2022 - recounted that he had to improvise a blazer after failing to purchase a new school jacket.

    “I, therefore, got a second-hand blazer from my fellow student, put a new badge and yellow hand stripes on it,” he stated. 

    A youthful Suleiman Shahbal, Mombasa based-tycoon

    “The next day, I put on my self-made school jacket and stood at the parade where I was approached by a prefect. He called out my name and started making fun of me,” Shahbal recalled. 

    The tycoon added that the perfect inquired where he acquired the blazer, despite being aware that the Mombasa businessman was not privileged to purchase a new one. 

    “I was young and I felt humiliated as that was his intention. However, I put on a brave face and explained myself,” he added. 

    After completing his education, Shahbal became fortunate, amassing wealth, serving in various capacities in the business sector including owning a bank. 

    He worked across several countries, including Yemen and the Gulf countries - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE),  India, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. 

    He, later on, crossed paths with the prefect who was then a job seeker. 

    “Fast forward, 30 years later, that same prefect came to me asking for a job, and I gave him one. 

    “Moral of the story? It is not important where you come from, it is where you are going,” he advised. 

    Raila Odinga (left) with Suleiman Shahbal (right) in Mombasa County, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
    Raila Odinga (left) with Suleiman Shahbal (right) in Mombasa County, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020