Zilla Mary Arach the Overall Young Achiever and the Winner of the Young Achievers Award for Farming and Agro-Processing didn’t see it coming. From a background where agriculture is considered rudimentary and not uptown, everyone got pleasantly surprised and inspired. Akorion, her initiative which is an Agtech company she co-founded, is leveraging ICT to provide services to farmers.
Akorion currently employs 22 full time employees and 460 temporary employees as village agents, providing services to 60,000 small holder farmers in Uganda through ICT. Services like Value chain digitization, inputs sale and training and market linkages. Using a Network of young village agents equipped with smartphones, data is collected and then GPS mapping of the farmers’ gardens that are being used in business decision making.
Just like Zilla Mary, every winner had an outstanding story to share about their journey as enterprising young people. From these, we gathered five lessons on how you could get the best out of your potential, and we thought that we could share them with you. Who knows, this read could be your turning point.
Don’t give up!
A day will come, a light bulb moment will pop up and your biggest idea will cross your mind. Some of us have already experienced this. Then you will jump onto this idea with zeal but things may not work out as much as you’d like them to immediately, and you may feel that aggressiveness starting to wane. When that time comes, you need to hold onto your idea firmer than ever. Like Creative Arts (Film and Photography) category award winner Ian Akankwatsa aka Sasha Vybz says, “You stand for your idea. When you fail, you fail your brand”.
You will need to keep your focus high and put more work in during such times. The testimony of Sasha Vybz is proof that if you go through such times, you will most definitely achieve your goal.
Anyone can make it
Ricky Rapa Thompson was a security guard at a university hostel, before graduating to a boda boda (motorcycle) rider in Kampala. By society’s perception, that is graduation from a navy blue to a light blue-collar job. No one had ever thought he would be at the top of the entire boda boda transport chain someday! Today he is a cofounder at the award winning SafeBoda, an initiative professionalizing boda boda transport in Kampala, one on the verge of sealing an extension into Nairobi soon. Needless to say, it is the first of its kind. It is proof that success is achievable-by all. Let that sink in.
There is a famous English saying; “no man is an island”. When looking at attaining success in various fields of life, it is important to remember that you cannot achieve it alone, and the keyword is cannot. It is impossible. You need to find people who share your goals, visions and have an equal level of passion. Interestingly if you find those people and appreciate their role, together you will easily achieve a satisfactory level of success. When you call on the founder of Milege, the winners of the hotly contested Creative Arts (Music) award, you will not have one person step up. 3 or 4 people will instead, because Milege is a team that lives and works together to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. Keep your friends close, because victory tastes better when it is shared.
Do something you love
You cannot go wrong. When choosing an entrepreneurial path, love the venture you are going to do first. That passion alone can push you to the very edge of maximizing your potential. Exactly why Ronald Wandera was able to clinch the Media and Journalism Excellence award. His passion above all was for gospel music, and he went on to build an entire online library where you can play, learn, upload or download Ugandan gospel music. The passion itself is a drive; never forget that.
Identify the problem
Some of the best initiatives are born out of solving a challenge. Success shouldn’t be all about monetary gains. The entrepreneurs who seek success through solving challenges that affect their communities are some of the most remembered, for the positive social impact they create leaves a permanent mark in the lives of others. Mohammed Kisirisa aka Slum Ambassador through Action For Fundamental Change And Development (AFFCAD) made it his life’s goal to lobby for the improvement of lives of slum people, so that they can achieve their dreams. In a hotly contested Social Entrepreneurship category, his initiative was lauded for its noble foundation and this saw him clinch the award.
Gerald Otim with Ensibuuko had studied the banking system, and realised the queues and faulty machines at times tend to inconvenience people. His initiative was aimed at nearing banking services to people in the comfort of their homes, or cars or workplaces. One of the beneficiaries of Ensibuuko nominated him, because without doubt, his initiative had eased their banking-and finance needs. A problem was solved, and the solution was indeed an award winning one.
Capitalise on that talent you got!
Each of us has a talent. We have something we are physically or mentally excellent at. Find your talent and pursue it. It is easier to work towards success by basing on something you are naturally good at. Take a look at Jacob Kiplimo, the Outstanding Sports personality. He is a natural born athlete, his disciplined and determined performances saw him win Uganda a gold medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships earlier this year, and he is only 16!
However, remember talent has to be nurtured. If you sit back and you don’t work hard to perfect it, you sadly will put it to waste.
Appreciate and Learn from the works of others
The journey to success has no room for unhealthy competition. Rather, it is better and more exposing to appreciate the works of others where it is due, and to learn from them. On receiving the Creative Arts (Fashion and Design) category Award, Brian Ahumuza aka A Bryanz called up Anita Beryl of Beryl Couture with whom they had contested for the accolade. He identified Anita as one of the people who have held the Ugandan flag high through their works, and added that Anita “deserves this award as much as I do”. Successful people don’t hate, they relate.
Remember to keep the focus and hard work going. Hope you enjoyed #YAAwardsUg17. If you do it better from now on, you may be a winner at #YAAwardsUg18!