A day in life of Isabirye, a chapatti maker

Isabirye Wahabu has been making chapattis for the last seven years.

Born in Iganga district in Eastern Uganda, Isabirye, 26, says he is satisfied with what he has achieved so far and hopes to open more chapatti stalls in the surrounding areas in the near future.

He says the chapatti business has its own dynamics which one must master if you are to succeed.

“You have to be time conscious, clean and love what you do,” says the father of two.

“You must also know how to mix the ingredients well because that is what differentiates you from the competition.”

A senior two drop-out, Isabirye says his day starts at 4.00 am when he wakes up to make preparations.

“Before I sleep, I make sure I have bought all the major ingredients like baking flour, cooking oil, tomatoes, onions, green pepper and others,” he says.

On average, he uses one carton of baking flour per day. A carton has 12 packets of 2kg each.

Since he lives less than a kilometer when where he works, he says he is usually at the stall by 5.00 am.

“At 5.00 am I start mixing the flour with the help of one worker, a young brother. I usually mix six packets of flour in the morning and six in the evening,” he says

Isabirye says in 30 minutes, he is ready to make the first set of chapattis.

“One 2kg packet of flour can give me between 20 and 22 chapattis. So six packets of flour give me like 120 chapattis,” he says. Therefore 12 packets give him roughly 240 chapattis.

Each of his chapattis costs Shs 1000 meaning that on average after selling all the 12 packets, he makes at least Shs 240,000 a day.

He says when you remove the cost of ingredients like flour and oil, he remains with a net profit of like Shs 50,000 every day or Shs 1.5 million per month.

“I have so many customers and some restaurants book orders. So on any given day, I sell all my chapattis,” he says.

Business slows down at about 11 am and he takes a break.

“I normally take a nap for one hour because during mid-morning, there are no customers,” he says.

He says business resumes starting at 1 pm because some people eat chapattis for lunch.

At 3.00 PM, Isabirye makes the last round of chapattis targeting people who are heading home from work.

“I continue selling up to about 10 PM when I retire home to prepare for the next day,” he says.

From the chapatti business, Isabirye has so far bought two motorcycles and a small piece of land in his village in Iganga.

“My dream is to expand this business and open more stalls,” he says.


The biggest challenge is the persistent rise in the price of key ingredients like flour and cooking oil.

“The price of baking flour has significantly increased. When I started in 2016, a carton was Shs 52,000. Now it is Shs 88,000. A litre of cooking oil was Shs 3500 now it is Shs 7500. This affects us because we can’t increase the price of chapattis otherwise customers will go,” he says.

Secondly since he works in an outdoor setting, he says whenever it rains, business comes to a standstill.

Advice to young people

I always tell young people not to despise any kind of job if they are to succeed in life.

“There are some friends of mine who used to laugh at me but now I am far better off than them because I have been consistent at what I do,” he says.

He says with the right focus and discipline, one can succeed at anything.

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