Wisdom, Experience and Anna Komakech, Uganda Business Entrepreneur

Anna Komakech, Successful Uganda Business Entrepreneur

Meet Anna Komakech, a Jinja beader and Uganda business entrepreneur. She’s 57 years old. She had eight children but one died. She has six grandchildren.  Her business is selling silverfish. Her last husband died in 2011.

Anna Komakech a Jinja woman beader

Anna Komakech, experienced entrepreneur in Jinja Uganda

Through her business, she supports 11 others in her household. Anna has been a Uganda business entrepreneur for many years.  When I think of Anna, I think of two words: wisdom and experience. Of all 210 women we work with, she reminds me most of the quote below that epitomizes the life of all poor who work in Uganda whether they be men or women. This comes from an age where ‘man’ refers to humankind.

‘What is the price of Experience? do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children.
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy,
And in the wither’d field where the farmer plows for bread in vain.
                          –William Blake in the poem “The Four Zoas”

Glimpses of a Uganda Business Entrepreneur in Action

I have many stories to tell about Anna.  Stories from when I first met her at the Masese Port on Lake Victoria where she sells her silverfish or more accurately where she has been selling her silverfish for more than 10 years.  I remember the time, when I along with other volunteers were supposed to visit her home in 2011.  She was so excited but at the end, time ran out.  We had to go without visiting her and she was so disappointed.  But then the next year, she was so happy when she was one of the first ladies we visited with the next set of volunteers.  By then her husband had died.  Anna was fortunate to have access to micro loans through her group’s revolving loan fund.  At least her business wasn’t in jeopardy because of her husband’s death. We were excited to meet many children and grandchildren.
Why do I tell you all this?  I tell this because through all these years, and through many difficulties and through many joys, Anna has persevered in raising her family including her grandchildren, in growing her business so that it can support the 11 others in her household, in being strong and standing for what is just and right even when other friends might have been encouraging her to do wrong.  Thank you Anna for letting Outreach Uganda be part of your journey as an entrepreneur.

Business Climate Makes Life Difficult for Uganda Business Entrepreneurs

 It’s no secret that there’s much corruption in Uganda and throughout Africa.  This makes it even more difficult for businesses, whether small or large, to grow and thrive in Africa. As a business owner, you are continually faced with adversity resulting from corruption and lack of integrity.  Customers do not pay you and there’s no one to adequately enforce business contracts and agreements. Neighbors and even supposed friends may want to steal from your business.  That is why we admire Anna and other business women even more.  All we can say is, “Be strong. Don’t compromise your values.”

 

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