From runaways in Milan to military fields, Mr. Chadi Hage Ali has taken a detour into the Feminine hygiene with Faytex Sanitary. Today, he opens up to me about his family, career and passion for life.
NY: What’s the story behind your business choice (with specific reference to Faytex Sanitary pad)?
CHA: I came into the business as someone who saw the future of the girls and women in Ghana as one of crucial importance. If those that were going to bring forth future leaders and caring for the lives of those individuals were not in a healthy state or in the capacity of handing down crucial knowledge to their children, the future was going to be a bleak one. Much too often, information that we feel everyone knows is unfortunately far from common. The founder of the company, Mrs Sarah Galloway, my mother, set out to provide each and every woman with access to a safe and affordable sanitary pad. This was initiated over 40 years ago and as such Faytex has become a household name. I naturally transitioned into being a torch bearer for such a crucial cause. The health of our girls and women should never be underestimated as a priority.
NY: How long has Faytex Sanitary been in existence? And how many countries can the product be found?
CHA: The company Fay International Ltd, manufacturers of Faytex, has been in existence since 1989. It’s generally found all over Ghana and can also be found in our neighboring countries directly from the company. Independent stockists may also buy to supply in surrounding countries.
NY: [Smiles] that’s very impressive…
CHA: Thank you
NY: Being a Man in a field which focuses on women, what are you doing or have done differently to make your Faytex brand stand out?
CHA: Being a man in a field which is not a typical one that comes to mind when thinking of men in their respective fields [almost giggling] has presented me with a new set of eyes so to speak. What I do differently is engage all genders to understand the importance of providing healthy alternatives to our female counterparts. I say all genders because it is crucial for men to understand the importance of a menstrual cycle and more so the positive health that a woman must have to ensure not only a vibrant and joyful life but also a happy household.
NY: Aside from generating wealth and introducing new initiatives, how has your job added value to your life?
CHA: I see more closely the challenges which women face daily and monthly and I have learnt to appreciate the struggle of our women and also the privilege that we as men enjoy without recognizing it as such.
NY: I’ve only known you as Chadi… what’s your full name and where do you originally hail from?
CHA: Aha! you’re right [eyeslightensup, sits upright] My name is Chadi Hage-Ali and I am 1/4 Ghanaian 1/4 Scottish from my mother and French Lebanese from my father.
NY: Who was Chadi before the business?
CHA: Chadi I can say was and is to some extent an adventurous soul. I have been on the catwalks in Milan and have also served in the army as a decorated officer and generally someone who has a zest for life. I have also recently found a passion for gardening. One who loves travelling and experiencing new things. My thoughts are we never cease to learn and each moment can provide us with a wonderful lesson if we are so inclined to pay attention.
NY: Is your family supportive of your business choice?
CHA: My family is a major part of my business choice and as such we all support each other in making a positive change on the lives of women and girls in Ghana.
NY: What was your very first career ambition as a child?
CHA: As a child, I wanted to be a scientist as I love chemistry. As time went on, choices changed and as such ended up as a business owner in the medical devices field. However, a zest for life has always been at the fore of my being and passions.
NY: Tell us about your Cocoshi Brand and the latest “Revive oil essentials” you have on the market and their composition?
CHA: CocoShi is a Made in Ghana cosmetic line which uses only natural elements. In Ghana, we are blessed in an abundance of healthy natural resources. Our core ingredients are shea butter, coconut, shea and baobab oils. Revive beard oil is also a product in our line which has a lot of positive reviews. The composition is a precise mix of shea and baobab oils specifically proportioned and combined with natural essential oils that care for and condition the hair. It cannot be claimed as a miracle grow as no such product exists otherwise, I would have claimed a cure for baldness and that would make me have a full head of hair. Which isn’t the case lol. All in all, our users are very pleased with all our products from body butters to skin oils.
NY: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
CHA: I’m most proud of seeing my niece and nephew grow up to be done young humans. There are many things in life that one can be happy with but for me, it goes to something more than materialism. It is about leaving a positive mark in this life and a legacy.
NY: What motivates you to do what you do?
CHA: I am motivated by my upbringing. I have always been made to see the benefit that one can create by critical thinking, keeping ego checked and realizing that we as humans are no better than anyone else. And the greatest lesson of all is that love transcends everything.
NY: You’ve been interviewed so many times, obviously – What’s the one question you wished someone would have asked you, but never did? And what would be your response to that question?
CHA: Hmmm…I would like to be asked if there was one thing I could do every day what would it be. My answer would be to be able to live life in hindsight. We all wish we were able to see things before we did them, and then say if only this or that. With hindsight as a permanent view, a lot of hurt or mistakes would have been avoided. And in turn, a lot of joy and happiness would have been created.
NY: Thanks for speaking to me Chadi.
CHA: The pleasure is all mine!
Story by Nana Yaa Asabea