Danielle Dempsey is an ICS Volunteer and youth reporter who has recently finished her placement in Kitimbwa, Uganda where she met Denis.
“You need luck on your side to be successful as a young person in Kitimbwa. For me, things are going well. New customers are coming. They are interested in our services, peaceful location and relaxed atmosphere.”
Denis is a businessman who co-runs a bar with his friend. He started working at what used to be his mother’s bar with a friend in 2008. At the time he was still at school studying his 0-levels. When he graduated from University in 2016 he took over his mothers buisness.
“I started working with my mum in the holidays helping her in the bar. I loved it. I picked up business skills.”
Denis says this wasn’t always his plan, choosing to study fine art at university. “I loved it (fine art) and was more interested in painting, fabric making and pottery. I don’t have time to make now.”
The business supported him financially whilst he undertook his studies. “This business helped me a lot when I was at school. My parents paid for school fees and all other necessities were paid for by the business, i.e. rent, food and materials for art during university.”
“Once I graduated I had to make a decision to choose fine art, my passion, or the business. The business was already there, the house to start in and I was known here in Kitimbwa.”
“To do fine art, it was going to require me to move elsewhere and I had to look for rent and how I would survive. It is difficult to earn money as an artist and could take me some time to save enough to live.”
“Straight away with the business I can start working and make good money. With Art there is more risk, you have to make the art, and then wait for the customers.”
Denis is hopeful, “I may go back to art. Depending on how well the business is doing. I may start up a workshop for my art and invest in employees. This is my dream.”
Denis reveals his father, who owns the largest herbadashery shop in Kitimbwa, also had various businesses to enable him to get to where he is today.
Developing business skills inspires entrepreneurship, and gives young people the opportunity to take risks to pursue their passions.