Born to two extremely hardworking and proud Pan-African entrepreneurs hailing from Costa Rica (his father) and Jamaica (his mother) Osei moved to Liberia, as a very young child, with his parents who believed the African continent was the only place in which they could instill a true sense of freedom and pride in their children. Osei was raised on his parents’ three step equation for success: Learn. Comprehend. Master. An essential equation for their survival and success as Black entrepreneurs, an equation that was the very essence of survival for those of us within the African diaspora. As Osei puts it, it is the ability to quickly adapt (Learn), comprehend the lesson, and then master the lesson. That is precisely the mindset our ancestors had to develop as they came out of slavery.
It also was the mindset of his parents as they later had to escape the Liberian Civil War, leaving everything behind which included three retail stores and a clothing manufacturing company and return to the United States where they had to start with nothing in a new land. They were eventually able to own and operate the first mass-produced Black toy line, Huggy Bean doll. Ever since he was young, the importance of ownership as well as being able to produce and manufacture was instilled into Osei as he watched his parents work long, hard hours––day in and day out––to build their business. Having a hard work ethic was not Osei’s only life lesson; his parents also taught him the importance of staying connected to not only his Black heritage and culture but most importantly to his community.
During our discussion Rubie simply stated, “Black wealth is absolutely tied to Black empowerment, I am unaware of any movement that did not have an economic background.” In the earlier examples of our discussion, we can see how Africans, post slavery, were able to flourish economically which then in return allowed them to empower their communities.
The Osei Rubie Charitable Fund (oseirubiecharitablefund.com ) was launched last year as the philanthropic arm of Osei’s thriving business, National Standard Abstract (NSA), a family owned and Black-owned title insurance firm that in just four years has established themselves as a leader in the title insurance industry. Now in its fifth year, National Standard Abstract has become a vital hub for real estate industry professionals of African descent to connect, exchange ideas and generate new business. As a fifteen-year title insurance industry veteran, Osei has worked closely with real estate agents, brokers, and developers; faith-based leaders; lawyers; and lenders in the states of New York and New Jersey. He credits his entrepreneurial success to relationships that have evolved into partnerships. Every residential, commercial or faith-based development project undertaken is an investment into the Fund, creating new opportunities for the leaders of today and tomorrow to excel.
“Our greatest achievement in life is the inheritance that we leave behind for our children. Yet, our ancestors were stripped of their independence, identity, traditions and wealth. As a father, I wanted to create new pathways that would empower us as descendants of Africa to reclaim and rebuild what was lost in the past 400 years.”