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Star of the Month: Lamin Suwareh

My Magazine 2023/07
5 min
Author: Elsemiek Franken
The Star of the month is a (young) Gambian entrepreneur, changemaker or peacemaker. Someone who uses his or her talents and network to help develop the Smiling Coast of Africa and his or her fellow sisters and brothers. Star of the Month is the podium to talk about their vision, experiences and dreams. Please note that this article was originally published in January 2021.

This month the Star of the month is Lamin Suwareh, born in New Jeshwang, The Gambia. At a young age, Lamin dreamt of becoming an artist. He was the eldest of five children and, from a young age, really close to his father. His father introduced him to his own creativity and walked with him on the first steps towards his creative dream.

What drives Lamin? Lamin shares with you as Star of the Month his vision, experiences and future plans for The Gambia.

Creativity continues within me

Since a young child, I felt a deep connection with my father. During my childhood, I always spent my afternoons after school at my father’s welding shop. My father made beautiful things. He really took the time to show me all aspects of the job. My father never called it a job. My father was an artist. He could make, from nothing, something useful. He taught me to be handy. To be handy is a big gift in life as you can do everything for yourself without waiting for somebody to do it for you. My father, my role model and my best friend, sadly died a couple of years ago. My father’s creativity continues within me. On my way to achieving my own dreams, I want to share all his creative ideas and products with the world.

"All the places I have worked, I saw it as a transit. It was never my destination. My destination is to develop my own company Creative360 into the biggest creative agency in The Gambia."

Transit after transit

As a young child, I dreamt of becoming an artist. After secondary school, I started working at my father’s welding shop. A customer of my dad's asked if he could teach me graphic design and printing. My father saw this as an opportunity for me. He told me to leave the welding shop and start working for his customer. At 15 years old, I felt a bit scared. It did not take long for me to understand why my father had sent me to work for his customer. My then-new boss opened the doors of graphic design for me. He taught me all the basics. He made me feel comfortable and always supported and motivated me. One day he told me that he had taught me everything he could. He arranged a new job for me. He told me the new job would give me more experience and exposure. In the beginning, I was sad about it. But I knew he had a great heart for me. The journey from working for him to starting my own company has not always been easy. The desire to do what I love for myself always pushed me forward. I have learned a lot from working for different employers and, of course, their clients. I both learned how I would love to treat my own employees as how I don’t want to treat them. Most of the bosses do not encourage or motivate you. The only interest they have is what they can get out of you for themselves in the shortest time. In all the places I have worked, I saw it as a transit. It was never my destination. My destination is to develop my own company into the biggest creative agency in The Gambia.

No man is an island

I am so grateful that I got the chance to learn at a young age about graphic design. I want to give young people the opportunity to use their creativity. Gambia counts many creative people who all have their own talents. Creativity brought me so much. I want to share my knowledge. At least if I can motivate a couple of the youngest, I believe that I can change their lives positively. My next step with the company is to grow a solid team with young creative people. As a famous verb says: ‘No man is an island’. I need people who want to help me grow this company into a success.

The smiles on my family’s faces

I believe I am not there yet. Every day I am setting bigger goals. I spend a lot of time improving my skills. I do research, read and watch a lot. I must work hard to become better. I really want to create new products for different markets. Products that tell a story to entertain, educate and connect people. I believe it is important to network with other people to help and empower each other. I am open to meeting new people, learning more and exploring. I am dedicated to helping others grow and to promote my beautiful homeland, The Gambia. All of this is important to me. But nothing is more important than the smiles on my family's faces. That is, in the end, why I work hard every day!

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