Kisekka was once homeless. Now he runs a thriving furniture business

When he left his ancestral village in Luweero for Kampala seven years ago, Edward Kisekka did not know what life had in store for him.

Now 29 years of age, Kisekka has managed to eke a comfortable living out of a small but thriving carpentry workshop that he set up in 2017.

The journey, he says, has been full of hurdles.

“When I came to Kampala, I first stayed at my brother’s place in Luzira but it was a small house. Later, after a quarrel, he asked me to leave and go and look for what to do,” he said.

There were days when he used to go hungry or sleep in incomplete houses because he had no one to turn to. There were days he regretted leaving the village, where life although uncomfortable, was bearable.

Those days are long gone.

Kisekka is the sole proprietor of Kisekka Carpentry Works located along Kyaliwajjala-Kira Road in Wakiso.

“When I was struggling, someone helped me teach me basic carpentry works. I worked day and night to perfect my skills. Customers came to appreciate my work and later I started to start my workshop,” he said wiping sweat off his face.

He makes all sorts of furniture – beds, cupboards, tables, office furniture, school furniture among other items.

Yet the most fulfilling aspect from his work, he says, is the fact that he has been able to train several youths in carpentry and employ a few.

Currently, he employs five youths on full time basis, but this number goes up when he gets a lot of work.

From his workshop, he has managed to buy a plot of land and build rental houses, which provide him with a steady flow of income.

“Now I want to buy a pickup to save on the costs of transporting my materials and finished products,” he told me.

Kisekka said his small workshop operates on certain values like integrity, timeliness and hard work.

These, he said, are important values that have enabled his business to win the trust of customers.

“When l tell a customer that his or her work will be delivered within one week, I ensure that I finish it in one week even if it means working day and night,” he said.

Kisekka said integrity is important because the carpentry business is full of people who are not honest.

There are many people in this business who think the shortcut to success is cheating people. I am not one of them,” he said.

Advice to youth

Kisekka said young people should not expect government to give them free money. They should work hard and have integrity.

“My suffering taught me that nothing comes freely in this world. Nothing. You just have to work extra hard and remain focused,” he said.

Five years from now he wants his business to occupy bigger premises and to spread his wings outside Uganda.

He also plans to market his business aggressively on various social media platforms to get more customers.

For now, it back to business for Kisekka.

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