Nakalema juggles journalism and baking cakes

Having studied and started working as a journalist, Harriet Nakalema didn’t want to throw away her passion for baking.

“I am that kind of person who loves and is passionate about baking. I usually call myself a chef because I loved cooking good food,” she begins her story.

She says that whereas her other passion and love was being a watchdog in society about ills through journalism, she was not about to give up on her dream of baking.

Despite having the love for baking, it was not until 2018 when she learnt baking skills and as time went on, she kept learning more.

She adds that her sister kept teaching her a thing or two about baking and that when she got married and had no one to help her out, Nakalema had to give it a try by herself.

“My sole journey started in 2019 when I bought a small oven for shs300,000.  It all happened when my sister went for honeymoon for over a month and during that time, some orders for cakes came in. I had to use some of her equipment and gave it a try. I never looked back.”

Nakalema says since then, she has been able to grow by leaps and bounds in the cake business.

“The business has grown that I now have my own equipment including a bigger,” she says, adding that she gets customers through referrals and friends that she studied with at secondary and university.


Just like any other business, Nakalema says hers is not without challenges.

“There is a lot of competition in this business and because there are many people doing baking, many customers take this to their advantage by asking for free cakes after threatening to abandon you for your competitors.”

“The ingredients and equipment used in baking are quite expensive but also their prices keep on fluctuating  and this means I have to increase prices for cakes every now and then. However, it is hard to convince customers if case of any price change for cakes.”

She says customers who make orders but change their minds at the last minute are always a problem as they force them into loss making.

Future is bright

Nakalema is optimistic that in a few years to come her baking business will grow further.

“In the next five year, I am looking at being  one of the known bakers in Uganda and the top supplier of bakery materials.”

Nakalema also has a piece of advice for fellow youths.

“Define what you want to achieve in various aspects of your life, whether it’s academics, career, personal development, or relationships. Always be eager to learn and explore new ideas, skills, and perspectives. Curiosity fuels growth and innovation. Don’t be afraid to fail. Instead, see failures as opportunities to learn and grow stronger. It’s often through setbacks that we gain valuable insights and resilience,” she says.

“Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Practice self-care habits like exercise, proper nutrition, mindfulness, and seeking support when needed. Learn to balance your commitments and prioritize tasks effectively. Time management skills are crucial for success in both personal and professional endeavors.”

She urges fellow youths to cultivate meaningful connections with family, friends, mentors, and peers. Surround yourself with positive influences who support and inspire you but also stay open to new experiences, diverse perspectives, and opportunities.

“Embrace change and adaptability as essential skills in today’s dynamic world. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you; actively seek them out. Whether it’s starting a project, applying for a job, or pursuing a passion, taking initiative can lead to great outcomes. Life is full of challenges and setbacks. Cultivate resilience by staying optimistic, problem-solving, and bouncing back from adversity.”

“Find ways to give back and make a positive impact in your community. Whether through volunteering, advocacy, or supporting local initiatives, contributing to the common good is fulfilling and enriching. Remember, your journey is unique, so trust yourself, trust in God, stay true to your values, and keep striving for growth and fulfillment,” she advises.

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