Sserunkuuma makes a living from his obsession with smartness 

As a young boy growing up in Gayaza, Andrew Sserunkuuma, 27, was obsessed with being smart. Later at school, he embraced smartness and was constantly awarded the prize of being a smart student.

That, he says, is when he fell in love with fashion.

“I said to myself that when I grow up I want to be smart and do something related to fashion.

Today Sserunkuuma is a proud owner of a men’s boutique in Kyaliwajjala, Namugongo. It is called Sseru Fashion Wear.

“I deal in men’s clothes, shoes, belts, perfume and anything that makes a man look good,” he says.

 He buys many of his clothes from Turkey and Dubai.

“At first I used to travel physically to those countries but now I place most of my orders online,” he says.

The beginning was not easy, says Sseruunkuuma who holds a certificate in fashion design and tailoring.

“After my senior six, my parents did not have enough money to take me for a course at university. I told them I could do a course related to fashion because that is where my passion was,” he says.

Sserunkuuma says after the course, he worked for a fashion designer in Kampala where he acquired hands on skills in tailoring.

Unfortunately, he says, he realized that tailoring was not his thing.

“It takes a lot of time to become good at fashion design. I did not have that time,” he says.

Sserunkuuma says he got the initial capital to set up his boutique from his parents.

“They have been supportive. They gave me a total of Shs 3 million which I used to rent a place and buy the first stock,” he says.

At first he used to buy his stock from downtown Kampala. He however realized that if he continued this trend he would not be unique from other boutiques so he decided to mobilize money to go to Turkey. Here he got in touch with a number of sellers who had unique items.

Today his business has expanded and he now rents more spacious premises compared to the small room he started from in 2016. He also makes some good money.

“In a good month, I can make Shs 10 million but when the month is bad I make Shs 4 million. Usually the festive season is when I make good money,” he says.

From his earnings, he has bought a piece of land in Kira. He also pays tuition for his young daughter at a nearby kindergarten.


He says the fashion business has many challenges. First, the trends change constantly meaning that at times he makes losses when some of the things he stocked no longer have wide market.

“You have to follow trends closely otherwise you will miss out and your business will go down,” he says.

He says for one to earn profitably from the fashion business, they need to have a lot of capital, which remains a big challenge.

Another challenge Sserunkuuma has encountered is the proliferation of “imitation” designer clothes especially from China. This has affected the market for genuine clothes because many people can tell the difference between the two.


Sserunkuuma advises young people to be resilient in the face of challenges.

“Many young people give up when they encounter challenges but they should know that hurdles are part of life,” he says.

He says discipline, hard work and focus are key to success in life. Without the three, he says, one will not succeed.

He says: “A lot of young people have resorted to drugs. Others have become petty thieves. But these things will not give you the kind of life that you want.”

In two years’ time, Sserunkuuma says he wants to open at least four branches spread in different parts of Kampala and the neighboring areas. In the future, he wants to open a fashion label.

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