KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Sudan is mourning the most famous businessman Babikir Hamid Musa who died from diabetes complications early Saturday in hospital in Amman, Jordan, aged 65.
As child of a poor family, Musa, commonly known by his nickname ‘Waddajjabal’, had to work at an early age, thus missing the chance to go to school.
“I wish I would just open my eyes to find that I can read and write,” he used to say. “Still, in arithmetic no one can beat me,” he liked to boast.
Musa had acquired the nickname Waddajjabal from his home district ‘Jabal Awlia”. Literally wad means ‘who belongs to' and jabal means mountain. So, the full nickname could interpret ‘ the man from Awlia Mountain area’.
Musa started his business with a tiny capital of three piaster, selling lemon in the village. Collecting 15 piaster from the lemon trade, he bought a donkey, which he rode around peddling his small merchandise.” I bought and sold everything that could fetch money,” he used to say.
Turning to foreign exchange trade in the late 1970s, he made a big fortune that allowed him to launch his own foreign exchange office. But this business was interrupted by a government decision outlawing foreign exchange trade.
Musa had established his fame as a philanthropist, helping those in need and launching a lot of charity and services projects in dwelling neighborhoods.
“Whenever the need arises for charity work, I am the first person to come forward,” he once told the daily newspaper al-Entibaha.
He had launched a 250-bed hospital in his home village, schools and mosques. “Last week I sponsored a collective wedding party for 56 couples in the Jumooeyya district, and these collective weding parties will continue, God willing,” he said.
Every new couple gets clothes and perfumes in addition to a cash sum of 4000 Sudanese pounds, equally divided between the groom and his bride.
All through the Holy fasting month of Ramadan, he throws a daily collective breakfast party for the neighbors and the passersby.
The late Musa was characterized by his unusually huge turban. He was quite a social person, finding good company in sportsmen and artists, in particular.
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