Kwame Sarfo, a Ghanaian-born American in New Jersey, made the headlines for his philanthropy, kick-ass workout routines, and the inspiring story of paying back his $60,000 college debt by age 23.
Sarfo, whose parents own ‘Original Kaneshie Market’, the biggest West African and Caribbean retailer in Central Jersey, shared on The Steve Harvey show, how he resorted to sleeping in his car because he had no place to call a home, after all his monies had been used to pay debtors.
Sarfo said on the show: “My parents bought a small business when I was 12, since then, I’ve been working all throughout college. When I was 23, a week after I graduated with my masters, I wrote a check of 60,000 dollars, paid off all my loans”.
“After I graduated with the first masters and paid off the loan completely, I went through a little rough spot. For some weeks I was living in and out of my car, hotels sometimes. It was a tough time but that’s when I realized that God puts us in situations that he knows we can overcome”.
I caught up with Sarfo at the New Jersey Innovation Institute for him to shed light on the homelessness situation he had mentioned on the Steve Harvey Show. “It was a temporary situation, “ he explained.
“Even when my story went on the Steve Harvey Show, they projected it in manner so it would resonate with a lot more people. It was a temporary homelessness because I was too prideful.
“Around 23, after I had paid off my debt, I went to Philadelphia to try and either get a fulltime job or pursue something better. It didn’t work out so I had to settle for an internship. And during that time, that was when I started to take my modeling seriously. The agency that I was talking to said they liked that I had the skills and look but I had to invest more money into building my brand.
“So in a sense, I took all the money in my bank account to push it towards a modeling career because I really felt that I would be fruitful in that field. Unfortunately the company went under and it didn’t work out.; and my money was basically gone! And my pride really wouldn’t let me go back home, I couldn’t ask for help.”
Sarfo has strong business acumen and with his dedication and hard working nature, he is surely destined for greatness. One of the great ideas he has, is his vision to build on his family business legacy that was established in 2005, with the goal of being a premier business that services the needs of West African and Caribbean customers in New Jersey and outer-lying states.
He shared the idea for his new business, Kaneshie Foods:
“ I am starting my next business called Kaneshie Food; separate from his family business. It will still cater to the West African and Caribbean market, but in the area cooked foods or fast food business. I have noticed that is something that is buzzing in America; people in my generation don’t cook as much. We want everything fast. I have noticed, that is a market that has not been touched for the West African and Caribbean community.
“I want to do a Kaneshie chain the same way that Patel Brothers have managed to do with the Indian or Asian market. So if there is anyone out there who wants to partner up with the funds or Knowledge, let’s link up.”
Watch the full inspiring interview with Kwame Sarfo below