Starting by earning a shilling for every pair of shoe sold while still in secondary school, Sadaam has risen to be arguably one of the most sought-after creatives in Kenya and beyond, winning
one global recognition after the other.
Being forced to move from Marsabit due to ethnic clashes and not doing well in secondary school did not dampen his dreams of one day making it in life.
While just in Form Three, he got a part-time job with a retail outlet operating at Imenti House, Nairobi to sell shoes. He would spend his Saturdays and holidays working.
“It was like my degree. It taught me discipline,” says the co-founder of Dragonfly Limited – an advertising agency with 33 staff – which has in its portfolio of clients, big brands like LG Electronics, Kitui Flour Mills, Sanlam Insurance, Serero Group, Dairyland Ice Cream and Kericho Gold, among others.
Suleiman’s entry into the design world was by chance after meeting a friend, Jack Mwai, who was in the sector. He became Jack’s marketing sidekick, selling for him logos and business cards while still pursuing his diploma course.
His breakthrough came in 2012 when he was part of the team that designed and executed the hugely successful “Tissue si Tissue, Tissue ni Hanan” campaign.
“I got a client who wanted packaging design. That client was Hanan Tissue. We did a good job, the brand gave us an opportunity to do an advertising proposal, and that was my first ever advertising campaign. That was my breakthrough”.
Suleiman loves adventure, motorbikes and football. A lesson to the young generation: “Stop craving for instant success, it comes over time. Be ready to sacrifice, be patient,
persistent and be ready to start small.”