Kaahwa Jean Rwamukaga, just a simple guy with strange ideas.Current Location:Kampala
Managing Director, Africa Agribusiness Services Limited which is a consultancy company.
Manager Shalom Fish Farm Limited were we supply fish fingerlings, offer pond and cage construction services, and market linkages.
I also run an organisation called Youth in Agriculture Africa which engages in the promotion of agriculture in our generation through providing information online and creating practical opportunities for young people to engage in agribusiness.
Current computer(s)? Why this one?
Dell. It gets the job done.
Current mobile device(s)? Why this one?
TECNO-C8. I felt I should try a new brand and I am impressed so far.
One word that best describes how you work:
I try to work smart as opposed to hard and always try to put a bit of innovation in whatever I do.
Are there any career decisions/life choices/failures’ that were fundamental in making you the person you are now, doing what you are doing now?
Yes, I took a leap of faith and started a fish farm, Shalom Fish Farm, as a full-time job. I have never looked back since then.
What were you doing before the fish farm and why did you zero in on fish farming?
I am a marketer by profession and worked at GAPCO Uganda Limited and Airtel Uganda when it was still called Zain. I had been engaged in farm related work for some time because my family owned a farm. But it was more like having that girl around that you’ve never really noticed only to realize you have a deep love for her. I honestly don’t know why I chose fish farming but like any other young man in their early 20s, I envisioned it as my path to wealth.
How did you end up in consultancy?
Being in the agribusiness sector I started getting knowledge dissemination opportunities and so I decided to start a consultancy company so Africa Agribusiness Services Limited was created. We do business plans, feasibility studies, farm investment plans, research studies, capital linkages, farmer trainings and advisory services.
Any stories of some of the struggles/sacrifices you’ve had to make to see this dream come to life?
Yes, we started Youth in Agriculture Africa to empower fellow young people to engage in agribusiness, it was years of self-sacrifice but it eventually paid off when I was selected to be the AGCO Africa Ambassador 2015.
AGCO is one of the World’s largest agriculture equipment manufacturers producing world re-known brands like Massey Ferguson Tractors. Every year they run a competition to find a young African engaged in agribusiness related work to become the African Ambassador. In 2015, by God’s grace, I was chosen as the Ambassador.
Is your startup (or whatever applies here) able to fully support you or do you have side gigs to sustain you as it grows?
Yes, it is, but there are always supplementary opportunities like making presentations or panel appearances.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Whatsapp. There are so many farming groups and it’s like reading a constantly updated manual with a wealth of relevant knowledge.
What’s your workspace like?
It is an office setting on a farm really. Nothing spectacular except the possibility of a refreshing farm tour on a whim.
How big is the team of people you work with and what’s your formula for managing them?
We are 4 permanent staff and the technical team expands to 8 depending on the work requirements.
What’s your best time-saving trick/life hack?
Have online meetings and only meet if you really have to.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
I am not really a gadget person but I think that would be my car. It gets me wherever I need to be ASAP.
What everyday thing are you better at than most?
I always find an easier way of achieving what we set out to do.
How do you recharge?
I always have quiet time and pray. A time to speak to my God and evaluate myself.
What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to gospel, country and Tyler Himself, my brother. He is called Kaahwa Tyler Rumanyoha and, if you don’t mind me plugging, his music can be found on Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Youtube. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What are you currently reading? What usually leads you to buy a book? Books you’ve read recently that have impacted on you deeply? What kind of impact did they have?
I actually do not read books save for the bible. The bible is a book that makes you change your decisions every day, it is interesting and power packed.
I would only consider buying a book if it had farming related content or perspectives that would improve my outlook and knowledge base.
Any mentors/role models that you are working with/have inspired you and what lessons have you managed to learn from them?
Mrs. Florence Kata. I learnt a lot from her about business and self-presentation.
Mr. Musinguzi Garuga from whom I learnt what it takes to empower communities through farming schemes.
Mr. Stive Masiyiwa. He is an embodiment of commitment to Africa’s development.
H.E Joachim Chisanno. I had a brief inspiring encounter with him where he told me it is time for our generation to stand up for Africa.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
What’s your sleep routine like?
I sleep early by 10 pm and wake up early by 5 am.
How do you strike a balance between work, family, friends and other social obligations?
Lol, there are overlaps here. Part of my technical team are family members who sometimes double as friends. But weekdays is work, a few evenings for friends and Sunday is family time.
Who would you love to see answer these same questions?
Tyler Rumanyoha (Tyler Himself)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never give up!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Never quit, always keep your head held up high. And as a message to all, agriculture is no longer the sweating with a hoe in the field at midday we grew up witnessing. Today it is smart agribusiness. It is about eyeing opportunities in the value chain and other agribusiness-related opportunities. Let’s build our country, do agriculture.
If you have any additional questions for Kaahwa, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. He will try and answer those he can. Click here to read other Hustle Tales
The Hustle Tales (adapted from LifeHackers, How I Work series) asks people that are doing epic things how they go through their daily routines to make sure whatever is needed to get the job accomplished is done. If you are interested in doing one these interviews or know someone you think should do one, inbox us with the details and we’ll see if we can make it happen.