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YEP Beneficiary: Joseph Semayengo, Earning A Living From Brickmaking Despite His IT Degree

Joseph Semayengo, a graduate of Information Technology (IT) earning from brick making took part in MTN for Good competition in which he graciously came second after Douglas Smith.

In another article, we briefly profile another winner of the MTN for Good campaign and now a beneficiary of the MTN Uganda Foundation youth empowerment program (YEP).

When MTN Uganda launched the MTN for Good campaign in February 2020, the telco intended to awaken the youth to the fact that their dreams are just some actions away if they dared to pursue them. What came out of the entries was the fact that there are young people out there are already stepping out of the comfort zones and daring to dream big.

The telco decided that the winners of the campaign [MTN for Good] would be the first beneficiaries of the MTN Uganda Foundation youth empowerment program. The beneficiaries are; Douglas Smith, Joseph Semayengo, Julius Tusingwire, Brian Maw and Tony Ayebare and PC Tech Magazine has already profiled two of the winners; Douglas Smith and Julius Tusingwire. In our third profile, we look at Joseph Semayengo, a graduate of Information Technology (IT) earning from brick making who took part in the competition in which he graciously came second after Douglas Smith.

While many us youths shun blue collar jobs in favor of white collar jobs, Semayengo decided to get his hands and all him dirty by taking up brick making despite his degree in Information Technology, something that endeared him to the voters who found his modesty likeable and realistic.

It was no surprise that he garnered the second highest votes, after Douglas Smith, Chief Executive and Founder of Sportrise —beating hundreds of other applicants.

“I hate comfort zones. That is why I decided to take up this form of employment without minding what my peers would say,” says Semayengo.

Semayengo started his own startup company, thanks to support from MTN and like all startup entrepreneurs, he has big dreams for his company. At his young age, he is employing five youths —and with the fast growing real estate and housing sector in Uganda, Semayengo says he is already getting good business.

“Ten years from now, I see my company producing a whole range of clay construction materials such as bricks, max pans and roofing tiles among others,” he briefly explains.

Like any other business, difficulties/problems are inevitable. Pointing out the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Semayengo said, “Our biggest challenge was the lack of a company car. So most of us could not move during the lock down despite being in the essential services sector.”

Despite the brief set back by the pandemic, Semayengo is positive that he will offset all these once things go back to normal. However, like everyone else, he is fighting to keep his business afloat.

Joseph Semayengo has also ventured into farming and poultry. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Joseph Semayengo has also ventured into farming and poultry. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Asides from bricklaying, the young entrepreneur has also ventured into farming and poultry. He grows, cabbages, maize and other crops and for poultry farming, he is raising local chicken which he sells off in the local markets.

Choosing to take one day at a time and looking for all possible sources to support his business,

As a winner of the For Good campaign, Semayengo is receiving support from MTN —among which include; MTN Mobile money to seed into his business, monthly data for six months, as well as a comprehensive business mentorship program that covers a wide area of business essentials needed to manage his company in a professional manner.

Semayengo is already undergoing an intensive MTN sponsored mentorship program that will help him manage his business better.

The ‘Youth Empowerment Program (YEP)’ was launched through MTN’s foundation arm, MTN Foundation, that the telco could skill 100 youths, equipping them with the right practical knowledge and skills that will enable them to provide innovative ICT solutions to solve community problems amidst the evolving digital world.

In an interview with MTN Uganda General Manager Corporate Services, Ms. Enid Edroma, said; “YEP is an initiative by MTN Foundation Uganda to invest in the country’s biggest social capital that is the youth to enable them not only to contribute positively to the growth and development of this country but to also enable them to create employment through equipping them with the necessary job skills.”

The selected 100 youth plus the winners of the MTN for Good competition, will receive technology training in the key thematic areas of: Agriculture, Education, Health, Technology and Youth Empowerment .

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