an experience that has shaped my life
THE INSPIRE AFRICA BUSINESS BOOT CAMP
I was experiencing my typical training session in the Inspire Africa project. Surrounded with cameras, yet another famed entrepreneur wholly captivated the east African cream in a business-minded tęte-ŕ-tęte; and occasionally lost me. I raised my hand up... again.
This was expected. I was among professionals, from a Rwandese CEO to a Kenyan consultant. Lessons of marketing or cost control were new to me and an occupation to them. A high school graduate at nineteen; I was "the spectacle". My success in the auditions dimmed. My confidence in waving the Tanzania underdogs' flag and my tourism business was crumpling. I was a weakening representative, watched by millions in a show similar to the Apprentice, with flair of local culture. Still, I wasn't deterred.
In delegation of roles, I chose risky, productive responsibilities. In the fruit selling task, it was negotiating. I plunged into the unfamiliar Owino open-air market. I squeezed between the sea of people to the fruit section. I chose a stand that displayed lush fruits coming into season. As the vendor briskly served her customers, I loudly complimented her dress. She gazed at me. I excitedly greeted "jebaleko nyabho". Evoking words from a guide, I bargained. With my amusing efforts I left with produce worth 82,000 less 48,000 Ugandan shillings. I'd mastered marketplace shopping, something so quintessentially Luganda. Since I recommended the cultural flavored brand, I lightly salted pineapples, as others packaged the fruits. Our group dynamics mirrored our sales. Gaston sang as I danced. We won by a 200% sale margin. I had engineered our success.
I tackled all projects, living the "Why" conundrum. Consequently, I made safe decisions. On the KCB bank task to create a loan-able proposal, I advised parking lots and big buses in Dar-es-salaam. We won owing to a stable security and solution to the transport problem. I also triumphed with unpopular decisions. Rwandair charged me to lead a route management consultancy. I chose Accra as the Sky interior's destination in the face of better cities. I relied on Ghana's security and our flight schedules in which departures molded into arriving times of air-traffic at Kigali and Kotoko airports.
Inspire Africa experience steeped me culturally. My teammates transformed me to an east African breed. Clairyce named me Ndagijimana in Rwandese and Ochanda taught me Luo. My experiences deepened with travel. In Kigali, a memorial centre transported me to genocide, opening the graves beneath me in films and displays of skulls. Still, my lesson was the daring spirit of a healing society through Omuganda- communal work. I led the Inspire Africa to join the Kimihurura residents in digging a trench. A spade struck down .The trench got deeper with my resolve to serve through service.
The exploration of careers has left me a better entrepreneur, and the unanswered questions, an interest in a business academic experience. I struggle my tongue around matoke with willingness to learn diversity. As the show airs I am a celebrated finalist representing hope of east African integration and gradual development of youth.