Youth unemployment is one of the biggest problems government is grappling with. In 2012, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics revealed that the share of unemployed youth (national definition, 18 to 30 years) among the total unemployed persons in the country was 64 per cent.
This has propelled many people, especially the youth to go abroad, thinking that they will get high paying jobs after failing to get jobs in Uganda.
However, Ssekimpi Lawrence aka Sir Lawrence, says there are many opportunities in Uganda and there is no reason as to why people should go abroad searching for jobs.
Ssekimpi, a renowned cinematographer who ventured in film production in 2010, says there are very many business opportunities in Uganda if someone is creative.
In order to pass his message well, especially to the youth as well as changing people’s perception about working abroad, Ssekimpi is working on a documentary titled ‘Home is Best’ which informs people of how good it is to work in Uganda other than thinking of going abroad.
The documentary, according to him, features prominent people who once worked abroad and are now back in Uganda.
“All these people I interviewed in this documentary said working abroad is not easy and advises people to be creative and come up with projects in Uganda,” he says.
Ssekimpi says he did this documentary because of the love he has towards Uganda and believes that lack of patriotism is the major reason why Uganda has failed to develop.
“You find that the youth who have gone abroad to countries such as Dubai, Qatar and USA are struggling financially compared to those left here. We have lost many skilled and professional people like engineers, doctors, teachers who could have contributed much to the development of this country,” Ssekimpi says.
He adds: “If you go abroad, you will find that a qualified teacher, for example, is in Dubai driving commuter taxis. As the country, we are losing such people but many people do not understand it and that is what I’m trying to teach them through this documentary.”
Ssekimpi advises youth to stop lamenting about unemployment and instead come up with ideas which they can use to start businesses.
“Jobs are here in Uganda. There are many opportunities in this country but people have failed to discover them. Some opportunities just need someone to be creative. Not everyone will be employed but we need to be creative. Personally, I joined filming, it is my creative and currently employing about 10 people. Film work needs a team, if I had gone abroad, maybe I wouldn’t be doing these projects,” he adds.
Home is best is one of the projects that Ssekimpi under his company known as A.L Majic Films in Nyanama is doing.
On top of producing documentaries and local movies, Ssekimpi who was inspired by his elder brother who also used to do the same job is known for producing music videos for some of the leading artistes in Uganda.
“I started producing music videos for big local artistes in 2013. I started with songs such as Ye Kikyo by Hilderman and Nze Nawe by Hilderman and Iryn Namubiru.
He has also produced videos for other big artistes such as Catherine Kusaasira, Bobi Wine, Mesach Semakula, and Haruna Mubiru.
Some of the music videos that Ssekimpi says has produced include Bobi Wine’s Ndi Munnayuganda, Specioza, Njagala Obuto, Time Bomb, Ronald Mayinja’s Bizzemu, Gunjula Omwana, among others.
He advises people not to focus much on capital but what they want to achieve.
“Personally, I started with one computer but now I have a studio. Actually business that start with a lot of capital tend to fail but most of the successful business people started from zero while others started small. You only need to be focused, capital is not everything. If you wait to get enough capital, you won’t start business,” he advises.
Ssekimpi says he is also one of the few people in Uganda who introduced drone cameras in the country as a way of improving and modernizing the filming industry in Uganda.
“I used to wonder how white people do aerial shoots, so I researched on Internet and found out that there are cameras known as drones.
In the 2016 presidential campaigns, Ssekimpi was part of President Museveni’s press team and it is because of his drone camera skills that led him to this achievement.