A signpost showing Mukuru’s restaurant
For many graduates, finishing University signifies a beginning of turmoil which is characterized by tiresome stints of job searching, this however this wasn’t the case for Herbert Mukuru alias Bobic a graduate at Uganda Christian University (UCU).
Fresh out of University, Mukuru, 25 was not about to hit the streets in search for a job as most of his colleagues were doing, he instead thought contrary by opting to start his own business and create himself a job by opening up a restaurant.
Prior to this, in his final year Mukuru had with the help of friends formed Upendo Mikono, a Civil Based Organization with the view of helping children with special needs and it appeared as though he would have to choose between pursuing a journalism career or concentrating on his organization, but the enterprising graduate brought in a new dimension into the picture, a restaurant.
Mukuru had graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communication that almost dictated that he pursue a career path in journalism , but he had opted otherwise.
With a little capital and help from a few qualified friends to provide labor, he opened up his self-titled Bobic’s Restaurant to the fast food craving community surrounding UCU.
On the 23rd January, at the very heart of the busy Wandegeya junction in Mukono, Bobic’s restaurant was opened for business targeting not only the student population but also the people of Wandegeya and other distant areas like Kauga and Bugujju who would get access to his confectioneries through boda boda delivery.
It was a chancy venture that would reunite him with the business field for the second time following a brief spell close to three years ago when in a time of crisis while challenged by financial problems that threatened his stay at University he had opened up a confectioneries shop at Bishop stage in Mukono selling cakes samosas, doughnuts and other pastries.
“Of course it was a big risk, but I had seen a big marketing gap and had to work on it” he recalls.
The first month proved more challenging than he had anticipated, his customer base was slowly growing and it didn’t help that the small-scale nature of the business meant he couldn’t offer certain confectioneries like pizza and cakes craved for by many students.
“It was quite difficult, it was like people kept on asking for mostly things we didn’t have on the menu” he says.
With persistence, Mukuru turned the situation around, bought more equipment and employed more qualified personnel emphasising quality as the main theme behind their work
The increase in quality was immediately recognized by his customers and the business automatically grew skyrocketing his sales as the risky venture he had undertaken finally paid off.
“The quality of his food was unbeatable, we just couldn’t help but go back” says Anita Nalubwama, a regular customer.
With the increase in customers Mukuru set up a contributions box at his restaurant to also support Upendo Mikono, by encouraging people to contribute to the cause of helping children with special needs.
With the donations box whose contents are emptied into the coffers of Bishop West Primary School, Mukono, a school which provides education to children with special needs, Mukuru has managed to also reach out to his community which has attracted tons of admiration for the young man.
“His generosity never ceases to amaze me, to support others when you also need support is a rare trait, we are grateful” commends Yusuf Tamale, a boda boda cyclist at Wandegeya stage.
Six months later with a popular business venture challenged every once in a while by the high costs of input and unreliable electricity, the sky seems to be the limit for Mukuru but still with the humility and commitment that has made his restaurant a viable business he insists it’s a long way up the hill of success as he dispenses a valuable last piece of advice.
“For whatever thing we do” he says, “We should never forget that there is a God who is master of everything.” He adds.