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The Spirit of Bailor Barrie

24 November 2021 at 17:40 | 442 views

The Spirit of Bailor Barrie - A Tribute

Alhaji U. N’jai , Freetown, Sierra Leone

At the National Fulbhe (Fula) Cultural Festival in Freetown, I gave a tribute to late Businessman/Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Alhaji Mohamed Bailor Barrie aka Bailor Barrie and learnt a thing or two about a creative genius with little formal Western Education, but able to build a multi-million-dollar international industry that span automotive dealership, diamonds, rice, consumer goods import-export, hotel chains, and so on.

All of this from humble beginnings at Badembaia-Sokurala, Kabala, Koinadugu District. He was the first man to use helicopters as air taxis in Sierra Leone. The first Sierra Leonean to break into the European and Lebanese dominated car dealership and diamond export successfully establishing a store in Brussels, Belgium, which enable him to cut out the middleman and offer direct sales of diamonds to clients.

At a time when our intellectual and academic discourse is shifting towards entrepreneurship and leadership, Bailor Barrie may have just been 30 to 40 years ahead of his time.

Like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bailor Barrie exemplifies that academic success is not a prerequisite or sine qua non for entrepreneurial or innovative success. In other words, entrepreneurial success is not dependent on huge academic achievements. Despite the litany of business programs, academics has never been a prerequisite for entrepreneurship or innovation. Entrepreneurship is largely based on risk taking; Risk taking is the epistemology for innovation and entrepreneurship, and successful academics are less likely to take risk. So, the Spirit of Bailor Barrie is worth emulating to nurture young entrepreneurs, build our economies, and extricate us from morass of economic stagnation.

So, as we continue on the path of heavy academic education push, we must also nurture the little Bailor Barries in our midst. Yes, den say Bailor Barrie u say Davidson Nicol. Instead of this Bailor Barrie or Davidson Nicol adage, we must nurture both in our school systems and integrated them to create a new generation of forward thinkers and transformational citizens. We need academics with entrepreneurial or innovative minds to transform our society, in the same manner of nurturing entrepreneurs with an academic spirit to promote research, development and sustainability of the business.

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