The tech CEO found decapitated in his New York City apartment issued a passionate defense of his fledgling company just months before his grisly murder.
Fahim Saleh posted a YouTube clip in early February vowing to stand by his motorcycle ride-hailing app, Gokada, as it faced a crackdown from officials in its home base of Nigeria.
“I’m never gonna give up, because that’s the true attribute of an entrepreneur, never giving up,” Saleh said in the five-minute monologue, which Gokada later shared on its Twitter account. “Entrepreneurs are the ones that really change countries, that really change cities. They’re the ones who bring the vision, they’re the ones who bring the passion.”
The video was the last one Saleh’s YouTube account published before police discovered his dismembered body in his Lower East Side home on Tuesday afternoon. Cops identified him as the victim of the grisly murder Wednesday morning.
Saleh, who co-founded Gokada in December 2017, posted the video on Feb. 2, a day after the Nigerian city of Lagos banned the motorcycle taxis on which the company’s business relied. Officials at the time pointed to “scary” numbers of fatal accidents as a reason for the ban, according to Reuters.
But Gokada’s drivers had a strong safety record with just 250 “mostly minor” accidents out of 350,000 rides they’d provided since September 2019, Saleh said in the video. He said he hoped to promote some of those drivers into higher positions within Gokada, which had received funding from Saleh’s venture capital firm, Adventure Capital.
“Gokada is not just a business to me. It’s a mission,” Saleh said. “And every part of that mission was always being safe, providing jobs. We do things that nobody else did in the market at the time.”
Gokada pressed on despite the ban — it launched a package delivery service in Lagos less than three weeks after the policy took effect and has kept it going through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Lagos, if you want amazing things to happen, support your entrepreneurs,” Saleh said in the video. “Support these great innovative businesses that are seeking to change Lagos — if not for Gokada, for the next Gokada, and for the one after that.”
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