Three years ago, Moris Wankulu identified a bushy plot of land around Kikoni B that would one day turn into a source of income to help him sustain his family. At that time, he was riding a motorcycle (boda-boda) and he barely received a penny per day he worked. On one fateful day, Wankulu was dropping off one of his customers at Makerere Modern Secondary School located at Kikoni B, Kawempe Division, a Kampala suburb when he saw his present day washing bay.
After dropping off a passenger who was going to the same vicinity, he sacrificed 20 minutes of his time to sit around in what he called business research. As minutes passed, he saw that more than 10 motorcycles had crossed the same valley where he was sitting. When he rode back to Kampala city via Makerere Business Institute (MBI), he noticed that there were about motor-vehicle garages around the area, upon seeing that, he made a conclusion of his idea to set up a motor washing bay.
“When I used to ride a motorcycle, I was paid 5,000/= by the owner of the motorcycle. I have a family and my first born child was about the age of starting school. I had to do something else.” Said Mukasa.
Wankulu states that having identified the area, he decided to go and look for the owner of the plot and asked if he could buy his (Mukasa’s) idea of setting up an enterprise at the place. The good news to him is that the owner of the plot (Mr Kakonge Israel) bought his idea, however, the conditions that he (Kakonge) set for Mukasa were worrying.
“At first, he told me that I should pay 300.000/= per month for rent, secondly, I had not to bring any company of friends to work with me, a reason he claimed that it would invite thugs to his home.” He added.
After a long discussion, they arrived at a conclusion that he (Mukasa) pays t150.000/= for renting the place where the washing bay is situated, and he is permitted to employ more people to work with him, with a condition that he includes Kakonge in vetting the employees.
“After we made a final agreement, I now employ 9 other people who are happy at work.” MuKasa said.
Employees Speak out
One of Mukasa’s employees, Gerald Twijukye aged 30, says washing cars at the bay is one of the second jobs he is doing.
“When I do not have a customer for special hire, I prefer to come and wash cars with Wankulu.” Twijukye said.
Twijukye owns a car that he uses as a special hire in Kampala city and he says sometimes he runs short of customers who need taxis for special hire, so instead of sitting to wait, he prefers to join Wankulu meanwhile his telephone is on for any emergency deals.
Another employer, Abaas Wilson, a senior three school dropout says ever since he left school in 2017, staying at home made him think of himself as a burden to his parents who could not even manage to pay his school fees.
“There was no way I could stay at home and look at them struggling to cater for me. Instead of joining a bad group of boys, I came here last year and asked my boss if I could also do the job.” He narrates.
According to the statistics released by the trending economics Uganda, Unemployment Rate in the country increased to 2.10 percent in 2017 from 2 percent in 2016. Currently, Unemployment Rate in Uganda averaged 2.38 percent from 1991 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 3.50 percent in 2002 and a record low of 0.94 percent in 1991.
On the other hand, institutions of higher learning continue to graduate hundreds of thousands of jobseekers with no projected job opportunities for the professional graduates. In a way to combat the problem, government and other influential concerned citizens are advocating for prioritization of vocational education that can equip learners with technical skills for job creation instead of job seeking.
Story by Noah Omuya