By Edward Nimusiima
I spent my evening with Aga Sekalala, the ED Ugachick, founder Radio Simba and a chain of other businesses.
He spoke at #FoundersLab at Innovation Village, Ntinda. He had reached out to me earlier to curate his talk (which was a big deal to me. Stop clapping). And I was there an hour before to make sure that my phone is fully charged and to prepare for the talk.
He sauntered in the room that was packed with these hungry young lads who were here in pursuit for an antidote to making it in life. In their eyes, in their voices, I could hear and see their burning hunger to make it. These are budding techprenuers. These are small business owners. They have startups. They have hopes. They have no money, but determination. They have dreams.
And Aga sat there and unwrapped this meal.
His story is mind blowing. He took us on his entrepreneurial journey. On how he, together with his friends, started Club Silk and revolutionized the entertainment game. He spoke about Ugachick, on how he didn’t chicken out and how it came into existence and the phases it has gone through.
He spoke about Radio Simba. On how they started 6 radio stations in Kenya and later sold them to Standard Group and concentrated in Uganda. He spoke about investors, on young people pitching for business, on success. That success, to him, is seeing his four children happy, well fed and educated. That business is not success, to him. That it’s a going concern, instead. These words hanged heavy in the room, together with his pricey cologne.
And I learnt. I took notes. I scribbled down things, because I am a budding entrepreneur myself. And I found his story relatable, especially at the start. He went to Harvard University, I went to, well…a pretty decent University in Wandegeya (not YMCA, duh). His start wasn’t easy. And it’s never easy.
He spoke with unmatched eloquence. He spoke like he’s been here for long. And, indeed, he has. He’s been working for the past 30 years. He spoke with experience. He spoke with authority. He spoke to me, to many young lads trying to find a grip onto this thing called life. He spoke slowly, calculated. He spoke sense. He spoke about how he reads a lot. He spoke business. He spoke money. He spoke words that will stay with me for a really long time.