Occupation: Entrepreneur and Community Organizer
Country of Birth: Kenya
Current: St. Cloud, MN
Haji was born in Garissa, a village fueled by community in Northern Kenya. Many of the people in this region were ethnic minorities, often facing systemic targeting from their government due to the region’s desire to leave Kenya and instead join Somalia. The government did not treat this issue lightly, and one morning when he was young, he found himself, his sister, and mother taken by the Kenyan army to a field to be beaten. On account of his father’s political connections, his family was rescued from the field, and he remembers the sadness knowing many families were not so lucky.
As he was planning for the future, Haji was accepted at a school in Florida, and he headed off to the United States to see what kind of opportunities may lay ahead of him. Although he faced some challenges in Florida, he had family in Minnesota, and eventually made his way to Minneapolis to begin working. He shifted through jobs at Home Depot, the MSP airport, and even credit card collections until he eventually made his way to St. Cloud. St. Cloud continued to provide him with opportunities to grow and connect with his community, and he has since began not only two small businesses: Orange Oak Media and Home Health Care, but he also co-founded the community organization Unite Cloud. Unite Cloud is an organization dedicated to uniting people of all backgrounds together and creating community conversations to develop connection throughout St. Cloud.
Haji is passionate about bringing people together, and this funnels his entrepreneurial spirit: being able to provide services to all customers regardless of any differences they may have. He believes in the power of hard work and honest communication, and he continues working as a staple within his St. Cloud community.