Homes and Property
How I built my home: Friends helped me complete my home
Posted Wednesday, February 6 2013 at 02:00
When Susan Okel, ran out of funds midway through her building project, a few generous friends were there to give a helping hand.
My name is Susan Okel, a widow and mother of eight. I am also the head pastor and founder of First Fruit ministries. My house is Kawanda Kaayi, Nabweru county Wakiso district. Owning my own house was never my intension because I had laid that burden on my late husband.
We used to live in Upper Kololo residing in the government homes since he was a doctor at Mulago and at the I was a nurse. We lived there for about a decade or even more until 2000 when my husband handed me Shs1.2m and told me to buy land and think of building a house. I was excited, which woman wouldn’t and I had more reason to be evicted if anything happened to him since he was a polygamist.
Weeks later, I started surveying where I thought would be the haven for my husband, our children plus my grandchildren. God led me to Kawanda through a friend who is a land broker. Land by that time was cheap so I bought half an acre including all costs for the land title with only Shs1.2m.
Soon we started the foundation until the window level for the next two years. To reach that level I was given Shs4m which I put to good use. I strictly monitored the development of my house even though I was not well versed with the whole idea of putting bricks together to make a house. At the site my trust was in the engineer whom I paid Shs800,000 only for the whole project. I don’t know how he even accepted that little sum of money; it was just the grace of God.
Death of my husband and continuation
Alas in 2002, my better half kicked the bucket. This put me in a state of dilemma so the project came to a stand still. No sooner had he passed on than the officials from government told us to vacate the place we called home. I went and rented in Kanyanya where I found solace in the hands of God. Indeed he did not desert me; I got a chance to go to the United States of America for the Bible conference. There Jesus, brothers and sisters all over the world with whom I pastor with looked at my widow status and homelessness, and had pity on me so they solicited funds to help me build the house at least to a stage where I could settle in.
The pains of renting
Apart from the helping hand friends had stretched towards me, I was also tired of renting yet I had only done that for only a year. The way the land lord’s behaved was also inconveniencing especially for an old lady like me. Owing to such pressures I resumed my home project with greater vigor than I had ever done before. This took about a year, my friend’s aid did not stop, they continued financing the project. After completing the interior I relaxed and took the rest step by step. Instead I started working on my garden and compound. I started plastering the outer wall then put tiles.
Later I put up the perimeter wall and as I said Iam going step by step I am yet to get a gate I first want to make a nice concrete path way through my compound and also better parking space.
I however discovered later that the wall instead attracted thieves, so I decided to but got dogs to help with the problem.
As told to Joash Yose