The Fishman’s fairytale …How Ebenezer Kakaku made abandoned family business profitable

The Fishman’s fairytale …How Ebenezer Kakaku made abandoned family business profitable

 It has now become a common thing hearing stories about how entrepreneurs with smaller begin­nings manage to turn their fortunes around.

And,the story of a young man who stood against all odds, ventured into a business considered areserve for women with little or no capital, is no exception.

This man is known as Ebenezer Deladem Kakaku, the Fishman.

After an unsuccessful attempt to secure a ‘quick loan’ to survive,a frustrated Kakaku focused his attention on an abandoned fami­ly business and turned it into the biggest fish selling brand in Ghana, Fish&Food Arena, operating in Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

After the loan disqualification, Fishman wondered in frustration where his next meal would come from.

Then came what looked like a miracle in disguise. He encountered a fish seller who he patronised in the past.

Then,as he nursed the idea of starting a similar business, he was hit by another reality check – lack of money to start.

So, he shared those ideas with the fish seller who had in his pos ­session GH¢300 worth of tilapia (wild catch). After convincing the fish seller, The Fishman took a bold step and what he felt was a risk by taking the tilapia on credit, promis­ing to pay after selling.

Gladly, the woman (fish seller) also gambled and gave away her fish. That turned out to be the breakthrough and the beginning of Fish& Food Arena and ‘Fishman’.

Fishman posted the fish on social media platform Facebook in his search for buyers and to his sur­prise, he got a number of custom­ers.

The new customers included a doctor who made the first purchase of GH¢200 for half of the fish and a friend who came for the other half for another GH¢200;making a total of GH¢400 for the fish he ‘bought’ for GH¢300.

From that transaction, the Junior High School (JHS) graduate secured an initial capital of GH¢100 to re ­vive the fish selling business which was abandoned by his mother in 2006.

“I immediately made a profit of GH¢100 which was a very good start for me. I decided to go for another fish worth GH¢100 which I sold and made some profits. That was how the business started,” he stated.

After training as an Electrical Engineer, Deladem always wanted to do something else to make ends meet but never gathered the cour­age to go into any business.

“It was until I became very broke and was refused a loan that I thought I really needed to start doing something else apart from my regular job,” he said.

“Initially, people thought I was joking with my posts on social media but somehow, others got in touch and made purchases.”

“My business actually took off from Facebook. I later decided to start proper branding after a couple of months for people to attach some seriousness to what I was doing,” he noted.

Master Deladem got a shop in Kasserh, Ada to have a physical presence and added fried fish to the fresh fish to entice other markets.

But he encountered a challenge. Although the business was located in Ada, most of the customers were stationed in Accra and other regions.

He, however, found a way around it and subsequently, gained attention from people outside the country. That marked the begin­ning of fish export to Europe and other parts of the world.

“I met a gentleman on Facebook by name, Mr Agbeko Kumodzi who stays in the United States of America. He came down to Ghana and I decided to surprise him with some fish. He was impressed and began posting on social media, attracting other customers from the US, Canada, UK, Italy and Australia,” he recount­ed.

“It was a huge boost for me as I began to send fish to people in those countries on regu­lar basis through DHL.”

The business, according to Mas­ter Deladem, started in February 2022 and has currently employed three people with the hope of get­ting more people involved as the business expands.

“The beginning was interesting as many people were surprised to see a man selling fish but they were happy to buy from me,” he said.

From that small beginning, the Fishman can now boast of a busi­ness capital of between GH¢40,000 to GH¢50,000 with hopes of opening branches in Accra, Ho, Aflao and subsequently all regions of Ghana.

He advised young people who wished to start their own business­es to conduct thorough research and be certain on which area to in­vest and be passionate about what they do.

“You could build on family busi­ness. One must also be patient because it takes time for businesses to succeed,” he stated.

“Customer care must also be a priority, be consistent and build the business on trust at all times while making branding significant,” he added.

Discipline, sacrificing and deny­ing oneself some luxuries of life he said, would also ensure a successful business.

“I always knew that school was not my thing. And one could make a decent living without going to school,” he added.


“I lost my father but was very close to my mother and six other siblings who are also doing well in their various professions,” he stated.

The 36-year-old Fishman said he was looking forward to settling down and have his own family soon.

“We grew up at Sokpoe near Sogakope in the Volta Region but I moved to Ada with my sister in 2005,” he said.


The Fishman had over the years supported the less privileged in his community and beyond with dona­tions of food and clothing.

“There are many island commu­nities in Ada and the Volta region with a lot of children who lack basic needs like food and water. I recently donated clothes and fed over 100 children in those areas,” he disclosed.

“Though I did not have education to the highest level, I am willing to support needy but brilliant children to go to school,” he added.

He said, he was willing to col­laborate with corporate entities and individuals to support the less privileged in society.

By Michael D. Abayateye

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