It was in Mbarara that life started taking shape. Armed with my Camera I turned my self into a mobile and freelance photographer. I chose to call it ORA Photography. I would move from house to house with my camera asking out people to smile and I take their photos. Later I would edit the photos, print them for 300Ugshs and sell them at 2000Ugshs per copy. Life started to change my hard work had paid and people would call me to cover their small parties at home. I hustled on and in a month I had covered 250,000Ugshs of the 750,000Ugshs debt I had. As God’s hand favored me, I was called and confirmed the Parish supervisor for my Parish, a job I accepted and worked with the Census team in Ibanda District.
On completion of Census I was able to pay more 250,000Ugshs of my debt, buy two goats, a hen and a piglet. To this day I look at those simple investments I made and ask myself, “Why did I take long to do this?”
With that achievement, I picked my Camera and set off back to Mbarara where I got a n opportunity to Volunteer with Must Research Collaboration under the International epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (I.e.D.E.A Project) as a Data Engineer.
Like many other Youth my hopes were high on getting a job but I did not give up photography, I juggled the two together. Life outside work wasn’t easy but all the same I managed to survive. In this life I have eaten the #Rolex (Chapatti flied with eggs), hot water without Sugar, Half cooked Katogo, many times slept on an empty stomach but I did not give up my dream.
At my new work place, I made sure I give my best and use every opportunity to learn. Four months down the road I decided enough is enough, my learning expectations had been achieved, I wrote to my supervisor and made him away of my intention to quit and he accepted. I presented my end of Volunteer report and left but something was telling me I would get a job.
Through various platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, I seized all the job opportunities I came across. @Jmakumbi and @tusiimesamson can bear me witness and many others as the extract from one of the mail shows.
Thanks for your interest in this opportunity. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
What do you do? What qualifications do you have and what are you looking for out of such an opportunity?
James S. K. Makumbi
Software Developer & Owner
The other one important thing I did not forget was keeping in touch with friends I had made in line with my profession. Some don’t know may be now they will know who I was like Mr. Azairwe Ronald @azronn, Florence Nakyeyune, @SarahKagingo, @Sarahmubest and many others. In my time of volunteering I made sure people know me as the most hardworking volunteer even if it meant helping co-employees with their work, sponsoring a drink I would. I remember very well a time I offered to take Azairwe Ronald for Lunch to a place of his choice yet I only had 20,000 Ugshs in my whole life.
Why all this? Last week I received a call from Hima Cement Limited confirming me as the IT Helpdesk support Engineer. I had worked hard to receive this!
What does my experience call the #YouthOfUganda to do? It calls them to think harder, worker harder, accept where they are and what they have so that they can start small, be creative, build and value professional relationships, exhaust options for success, never fear to start, volunteer if there is an opportunity and most importantly not give up their dreams.
Why did I write this? One youth in to Mr. Kaheru’s example that the youth sell those earphones they own and invest the money in agriculture responded with an excuse that its even unwise to start with such money. Do you realize 40,000Ugshs can buy you four hens and do you know how much can come from four hens after six months?
Let us face the reality! Long ago, it was easier to marry than it is today, should not marry and then blame the environment and situations that prevail? No. we can work hard, think smart if we think we are in a smart world, and think fast because the world we live in evolves at a very fast pace.
Regardless of the Unemployment levels which the government and concerned stakeholders should work hard to cut, we must not drop our dreams, be reduced to beggars, complainers, undeserving of attention but we should be resilient, focused, innovative and ready to engineer the change we desire in our country and the whole world.
In the end the choice is yours, you can be the Kaheru of today, a Mwine Edgar or a Pius.