When you talk African cities, Kampala is one that will never skip a mention. It is the city that doesn’t sleep. Day and night Kampala is active. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, with business and entrepreneurship as one of its core activities. For this article, let’s talk the business and entrepreneurship side of the pearl of Africa’s capital. It is a place very reach in entrepreneurship given that fact that several businesses are born every single day. They come in all types; small, big, formal, or informal.
I call the business men and women of Kampala the real entrepreneurs of Africa. These guys beat the odd of Uganda as a landlocked country could suffer international trade challenges and prosper. They are so creative and bestow amidst so many barriers both internally and in the economy in general.
Here are my heroes from Kampala;
- Hawkers. These boys, girls, men and women come from all corners of Uganda. They do general trade and are involved in all kinds of petty businesses like selling Nsenene (grasshoppers), fruits, jewelries, shoes and clothes. You may think they belong to a corporation or a big company because they work day in day out.
- Chapatti boys. They invented a delicious meal call “rolex”, not the watch, just ask for it and you will feel it. They are the best providers of fast food in the world. Just place an order and you’ll have your meal ready in less than a minute the way you want it. Rain or sunshine, the chapatti boys are on.
- Brick layers. The city is expanding so fast and building materials are in high demand. Thank God the brick layers are available. They are in charge of housing in Kampala. They provide bricks throughout the year no matter the weather and a man can only fail to build because of shortage in his wallet.
- Metal fabricators. These men and women are genius designers. They form all shapes and kinds of metal. Schools survive on them for beds. Chapatti boys need them for stoves, and restaurants need them for dining tables. Everyone in Uganda at least needs a metal product from big roller gates to small BBQ stoves, and the metal fabricators are the engineers in all these.
- Rental owners. Majority of the city dwellers live in buzigo, and the middle class take up better apartments and estates in the nearby fast developing centers. These people provide ready customers for whoever builds a house for rent. Putting up structures for rent in Kampala not only give accommodation but also bring in cash.
- Art and craft boys. If you have been to the American embassy in Uganda then you have seen them. And they are not only in Nsambya. They are all over Kampala and the work of beautifying people’s living room is their business. Some have even evolved and use modern day technology to ease their job, but whether hard or easy, one thing is certain; these guys get paid.
- Print guys. I call them “the future millionaires” and Nasser road is their home. They deal in all kinds of paper work and documentations, from making brochures and flyers to publishing books. These guys defy all odds and make it, yet they operate in a very competitive environment. To them the sun rise means business, and yes they shoulder on every day.
- Kampala escorts. These are modern day prostitutes who offer services beyond the old fashion prostitution. Their clientele mostly consist of visitors and corporate Ugandans who can afford their tax. Religion and culture may deem them as sinners, but here we are only talking business.
- Travel agents. They have put it upon themselves to market Uganda. These guys know the entire corners of the country and sell our tourism industry to the entire world. We normally get great feedback from visitors in terms of hospitality because of the travel agents.
- Night clubs. Kampala can best be described as “the city of sin”. Nights are active from Monday to Monday. The city never sleeps. No wonder neighbors from Rwanda flock Kampala every weekend to enjoy the beauty of African music, Nyama-choma, and the lovely welcoming Ugandan men and women.
- Musicians. These fellows entertain us and our guests 365 days a year, January to January. They have the best voices in Africa and are the best in playing instruments like the big drums. They range from all sects; cultural, traditional, modern, and up-town.
- Ad gurus. These guys make all kinds of events possible. They run advertisements in all forms from videos, billboards to banners. Even the government and international diplomatic bodies use them. Thinking of putting up an event in Kampala, or doing a documentary in Uganda. Worry not. These guys got you covered.
- Tech gurus. They run the ICT world. Websites and software developments have been made easy by these Ugandans. They are now even exporting to the Far East and the entire African continent. You think of taking your business global. Think no further, my Kampala tech gurus got you covered. Just pay them a visit.
- Boda Bodas. The fastest means of transport in Kampala is the boda boda ride. These guys know the entire city. If you really want to explore Kampala, just take a boda boda ride. The open air journey is also good for your mental and psychological health. Try these guys and you won’t regret because they offer value for many.
- Taxis men. These offer the safest and most reliable means of transport in Kampala. They are on, Monday to Monday, day or night, because they never go to sleep. These guys run the transportation industry, and make a living from enabling people reach their destinations safe and sound.
- Mechanics. Our population is big because of them. They make sure taxis and boda bodas are in good mechanical conditions. No wonder Kampala has very few cases of motor accidents. We are 100% safe on the road because our mechanics do their job with high integrity.
Everyone has a hero in his or her life. Presented above, are my heroes from the pearl of Africa’s capital; Kampala. Stay smart, and feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.