Karugaba studied business administration but art is in his DNA

If you love art, then you can’t help but fall in love with Jefferson Karugaba’s work.

The son to the late Nathan Bakamukunda of Kebisoni in Rukungiri district is a graduate of business administration, majoring in International Business from Makerere University.

He speaks of art as part of his DNA that after failure to get jobs in the course he studied at university, art came in handy.

“After graduation and looking for jobs in Kampala within my profession in vain I realized I could use my art talent to earn some living for survival. I had stopped doing art at A level but I had passed it well with an A at the final exams,” Karugaba says.

“With all that said, it is in my DNA right from my late dad and almost all my siblings,” he says.

He says that with art being in his DNA, it was easy for him to reawaken this talent after failure to land jobs.

Journey begins

Karugaba says he then started withdrawing random people’s portraits and posting on his  Facebook page and this prompted interest from a few of his friends, including those with whom he had studied at university , most of whom didn’t know he was a good artist.

“ My first client was my course mate ,Becky who gave me photo and paid me Shs 50,000. Since that, I got more other friends and referrals mainly from my Facebook posts and WhatsApp groups.”

He says he later took advice from a one Arnold, a fellow artist, to set up official pages on various social media platforms to increase his presence so as to enable him to get more customers.

This paid off and he is happy to have started, JeffArt Creations.

“My clients are mainly friends, former workmates, OBs, OGs, referrals and my followers on various social media platforms. I mainly use social media for marketing and it has played a very big role,” Karugaba says.

He says he deals mostly in pencil portraits but is quick to reveal that he is planning to start coloured convass paintings and interior décor, especially in established commercial premises.

Karugaba says he is happy to have drawn inspiration from his brother, Collins, friends and workmates who always encourage him to follow his passion and not necessarily his profession.

Proud artist

The proprietor of JeffArt Creations says he is proud to have worked with several organizations but also still doing art as a side hustle.

He says this has helped him gain more clients but also market his art works.

“I am so proud of myself and I am really so grateful to God for having given me an extra skill that enables me to stand out. Not many can do what I do. I can earn myself a living without lining up to look for jobs. Jobs rather find me,” Karugaba says.

He says that whereas he is not where he wants to be, he is not where he used to be, a few years ago, thanks to art.

“I wouldn’t say I have achieved much yet but I am so hopeful that I’ll be one the greatest Visual Artists Uganda has ever had. I don’t have a physical show room yet but hoping to have one soon I am still putting my resources together.”

He says art has helped him make more friends, meet with prominent personalities in this country, bought a piece of land but above all, art has enabled him earn a living .


Just like any job, Karugaba says art is not without challenges.

“I lack of enough capital to set up my own gallery. I get paid less when some clients realize I am not yet established with a physical show room but I am working on this,” he says.

He says he is also torn between pursuing a career in business administration and continuing with art.

Karugaba has a piece of advice for fellow youths who he says can succeed in whatever they are doing.

“My advice to fellow youth is that it’s not too late to start up your own income generating business. For the working class, salary has never been enough to lead you to financial independence. Have something aside and grow it until it is self-sustainable,” he says.

“Whatever you do, have love for it, give it all, do it with the best of your knowledge. Give the most priority to your passion because then, work will never feel like a burden. Be passionate, have patience and above all, pray to God and be persistent,” he says.

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