Homes and Property
I built my home on the acre I farmed on
Posted Wednesday, February 13 2013 at 02:00
Angel Baguma says he came to Kampala about 20 years ago, strictly to work and make money. He did not plan to stay. But fate had other plans.
My name is Baguma Angel, my home is in Bukoto just a few blocks from the northern bypass. I came to Kampala strictly to make money, that was around 1982. I was the Principal Catering Officer at Mulago Hospital by then. I used to live at the Bukoto White Flats because at that time it was trendy and also for security reasons.
Building a home in Kampala was another issue because we people from the West used to think of that idea as a curse to settle in other lands but nevertheless I bought land in Bukoto which by then was a bush and thieves haven.
I bought land at Shs1m
I bought an acre at almost Shs1m purely for farming which is my hobby and also for food supplements at home. Shs1m was a lot of money so I paid it up in installments till the land was fully mine. Here on this plot I built a shelter where I would rest and store some of the harvest when a came to dig.
One time I invited a friend of mine who was a traffic officer to my farm to pick some produce and also witness my progress. He was so excited about how big the land was and how I utilised it. Soon he gave me the idea of building a home for my family, after i would leave the flats because we often talked about the future. I laughed it off as I told him I did not have the money for such a project. Well he said he would support me by giving me free transport.
How I started
I got engrossed in thinking about what I needed to have to build a house, things like the bricks, sand and others. So I listed them down and the next question was “Where am I going to get these things?” For the bricks, my salvation was a certain old lady from Luzira whose daughter I had employed, she told me she had bricks for sale. She sold to me a pile of bricks locally known as “tanuulu” at Shs15,000.
The next were stones and sand which I bought from Naalya. I ferried these material with my friend’s lorry and in two days the plot had a lot of materials.
I went back to my home town in Rukungiri and came back with six boys who worked at the parish. The slept at the shelter and started the work as soon as they got there. I didn’t spend much on building except for buying cement, feeding and paying the workers. I did not have much knowledge in building at all.
I told the workers I wanted something like the houses I saw in town. I showed them the sketches and thank goodness they understood me. In six months they reached the ring beam but that was a stuggle especially because water was a problem. I used my pickup to fetch water early in the morning, break time, lunch and also in the evening.
At the ring beam things came to halt. Now my problem was the iron sheets and timber I asked myself were I would get them. I went asking friends until I came across the son of the then permanent secretary of Ministry of Education. This boy was a pastor, he sold to me the excess iron sheets which were for roofing the church. Someone else had ferried timber from Kalangala which I hurriedly bought because it was quite cheap though I cannot remember how much.
An old lady from Luzira came to my rescue again with bricks and also recommended someone to roof. I also gave this worker a picture of how I wanted my roof to look like which he also understood. I had the structure up using my savings and other supplements. In 1992 I was going to the UK for studies. Someone offered me goodwill of Shs3m for the White Flats which I received.
I also sold my house in Kahihi, land in Kanongo and my car to some lecturer from Gulu though we agreed I would give it to him only when I was almost living the country.
Me and my cooperative wife decided to concentrate our efforts on one room. We installed electricity for the children to watch TV and the rest followed. The windows were covered with papyrus; I guess you can imagine what I lived in. This transition from the flats to the bushes was challenging for my family to an extent that when a friend visited me he said I was suicidal. How could I put my family in such a house? I did not mind him, soon I left the country and there I did some “Kyeyo” (odd jobs) abroad. I sent my wife money to continue the project and she constantly gave me updates on the progress made.
In 1996, I came back home with some money. I was also fully equipped with the art of an exotic home which I wanted. I bought tiles from the different sites in town which had overstock because it was cheaper. If you look closely my tiles are of different colours.
I completed my house that year. But again the land was big so I built rentals to supplement my salary. I planted flowers around my compound and also a Christmas tree hedge around my house. Now I am planning to adjust to a wall fence though I like the natural fence.