Mbumwae Suba Smith, Founder

Mbumwae Suba has truly had a lifelong connection to Africa. She was born in Zambia in 1953 and the events of her childhood gave her a strong conviction that she should maintain her ties to Africa – particularly to help the women of the continent benefit from a system of support and education.

Mbumwae lost her father at a young age, so she and her older sister worked together to raise their five younger siblings. The two sisters set an expectation that the entire family would prosper through education, making sure that the siblings attended university.

Mbumwae began her career as a personal secretary after attending technical college. She went on to work at the University of Zambia and Philips Electronics, where she was promoted and praised for her commitment.

In 1985, Mbumwae’s move to the United States took her in a new direction. She began working with young children, studying Early Childhood Education at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Mbumwae continued her education with a degree in psychology. She’s now pursuing her masters degree and finds time to volunteer in the New York public school system. She turned her education and her love of children into her livelihood and has run a successful business in New York City since 1987.

An artist spirit with numerous talents, Mbumwae performs with bands as a dancer and designs contemporary African clothing. Music is one passion that has taken her all over the world. She loves to travel, learn how other people live and teach others about her own culture. By bringing people together, Mbumwae believes we can be united to make peace. She is extremely open-minded and fits in with all cultures comfortably. She has two daughters and two grandsons.

One of Mbumwae’s business ventures linked the cultures of the United States and Africa through fashion and design. Unfortunately, the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York led to the decline of her company’s major partner, and Mbumwae halted her business as a result.

The AIDS crisis in Africa has touched Mbumwae personally. She lost two of her siblings to AIDS in 1996. Her desire to help the people of Africa led her to Ghana, where she started her foundation. Although she saw a need in many African countries, she selected Ghana because of its travel connections, which allow her to visit regularly to oversee the foundation’s initiatives. The Subayo Foundation helps to elevate the standard of living for women in Africa by giving them the knowledge and skills to survive and prosper.

mbumwae at subayo.org