Simba Sana’s story is one of accomplishment. Raised in Carver Terrace (Little Vietnam) in Northeast Washington, D.C., he overcame obstacles to graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emitsburg, Md., with a double major in accounting and business and finance. He also earned a master’s from Howard University in African Studies.
Sana was an auditor at Ernst and Young when he decided to join his friend Yao Glover, then COO of Karibu Books, in his entrepreneurship of a vending operation in 1992. The business was donned Karibu books in 1993 with the first locations being kiosks or pushcarts. With the assistance of Sana’s business background, the kiosks gradually morphed into the six-store retail chain of today. The chain was the largest Black owned chain of bookstores in the United States. The company’s philosophy is to “…empower and educate people by providing complete access to books by and about people of African descent.” The chain closed in 2008 (read more about the store’s closing).
Always community conscious, Karibu held free writers workshops through a partnership with the United Black Writers Association and has sponsored such events as the “Walk In Our Shoes Campaign” which recently sent over 1,000 pairs of shoes to people in Ghana.