A day in the life of John Bosco Kitamireke, a hawker

John Bosco Kitamirike,32, is a hawker of general merchandise. From combs to handkerchiefs to children’s toys to shades, Kitamirike has it all. He has been hawking goods for the last eight years and like he told Youth Blitz, the job has more challenges than rewards since hawking is outlawed in some jurisdictions in the city. Here is how his typical day is like

Kitamirike, who vends his wares in the areas of Kyaliwajjala, Kira, Namugongo and Kireka, says he wake up every day at 6.00 am and prepare to go to town to buy items for hawking.

“I have to make sure that I am in town by 7.00 am such that at 9.00 am I am back to Kyaliwajjala”

He says since he normally buys the items from different shops so that requires him to make adequate preparations and to be well organized.

From the look of things, his capital ranges between Shs 250,000 and Shs 300,000.

After purchasing the items, he sorts them and arranges them on a cardboard, which he carries around.

He says his best-selling items are handkerchiefs, cheap perfumes and combs.

“Women are my biggest customers, that is why I concentrate so much on items that they love like things perfumes and I sell many of them,” he says.

Kitamirike dropped out of school twelve years ago while in senior five.

He says his guardian, an uncle, lost his job and therefore could not afford to pay school fees.

He then moved to the city in 2015 where lived with a village mate in a one-roomed house.

It is the village mate who introduced him to hawking and since then he has not looked back.

“On a typical day I make a profit of like 30,000 per day. That is when business is a little bit slow. On a good day I can even make a profit of Shs 80,000,” he says.

With this money, he has been able to look after his small family back in the village in Kamuli, Busoga sub region. He says he has two children.

He has also been able to buy a small piece of land in a growing trading centre in Kamuli where he plans to construct a commercial building.

“Five years from now, I will be done with hawking. I plan to open a wholesale shop in my village,” he says.


The biggest challenge is law enforcement enforcers who confiscate our things saying that hawking is illegal.

“Many times we have to give them something or else you lose your capital,” he says.

The other challenge is unpredictable weather which makes his movement difficult.

“When it rains very heavily, you can’t move anywhere because roads are impassable. When it is so hot, you have to restrict your movement otherwise you sweat so much,” Kitamirike says.

He says there are customers who are rude and don’t want to pay the agreed amount and these make his work hard.


Kitamirike advices young people to be innovative, hardworking and to stop despising any kind of work.

“When you are a hawker, some people despise you. They see you as a lowly person. But as long as I make an honest living, I don’t care what other people say,” Kitamirike says.

He calls upon government to offer soft loans to people who engage in petty trade like him. This, he says, will uplift many youth out of poverty.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button