Suleman Diaria: the fairytale of a new Italian. And of a born-entrepreneur.



You need willpower, tenacity, motivation to fight: but the sweat and the hard work always pay off, even when everything seems lost. The story of Suleman Diaria, a young entrepreneur class 1986, is exemplary: he left Mali in 2008 and after disembarking in Sicily illegally, he ended up picking tomatoes in Rosarno, Calabria, where he will be one of the migrants leading the 2010 uprising.

He then moved to Rome, but things there also didn’t go well. He slept rough in Termini train station and to get food he queued for a free meal at a Caritas outreach centre. A sequence of blows that would have broken anyone down. Suleman, however, didn’t give in.

Together with some friends he looked for a way to bounce back and they came up with a business idea. They started producing organic yogurt and selling it in the markets around the Capital. Slowly but steadily the business picked up and Barikamà was born, a micro revenue project led by Suleman himself which today employs six people and every week produces 200 litres of yogurt. An extremely successful project: to the degree that on June 5, 2014 it was submitted to FAO.

A great lesson on how to tackle our own everyday problems, no matter how big or small they might be. Well done Suleman!