Annette Nakalema Kironde as we commonly called her was laid to rest in Masaka on Thursday last week. Hundreds of people of all tribes drove from Kampala to see her off.
Her cancer intensified last year and she briefly returned to Kampala from her US base in December.
I called up my friend Andrew Kasirye and we planned on visiting while she was in Kampala but somehow became busy with work and by the time we were ready, she had returned to the US.
Kasirye and I had known her for very many years mainly because of her business Afrique Voyages Ltd which does an air ticketing plus a few tours to our national parks.
I actually got to know many people including bwana Kasirye because I worked for Afrique Voyages Ltd as my last place of employment.
I quit in March, 2001 because I wanted to nurture my dream – bringing tourists to Uganda. I registered Great Lakes Safaris ltd in April, 2001 and began the lonely journey of entrepreneurship which has turned up good now.
Annette Kironde was one of the best people to work for and she clearly had Gods’ favour in her life because she attracted lots of people around her.
Annette lived her life to the fullest and loved her children with all her heart and I can attest to that.
I was inspired to be patient before getting children because I also wanted to give my children great memories partly because of her. Like I have said before, our responsibility as parents is to create as many memories as possible for children and they choose what memories to use when grown up.
It is our responsibility to instil confidence in our children. The more children get to discover their competences the more confident they get.
The less confident people in society are those that never got a chance to discover their competences.
Kironde helped her children discover their competencies something am trying to do with my own children. She cared about what they did, who their friends were and made sure they travelled around both their country and the rest of world. Kironde was a world traveller herself.
I remember once having a conversation with her and during that chat, she said, as you getter old remember never to bite off the hand that feeds you.
I went home and thought about that statement and started valuing everything that gave me a chance to survive including Afrique Voyages Ltd. Today I value anything that gives me a chance to feed including Great Lakes Safaris and Uganda Lodges.
I have learnt never to bite off the hand that feeds me. Lots of us do not value the hands that feed us and because of that, we do not go far in our dreams.
If you have a job that feeds you, please value it no matter how much you earn.
Afrique Voyages Ltd paid me my highest pay which was Shs150,000 per month and I have discovered that my pay never bothered while I worked for people.
I appreciated and kept learning more. I do not remember ever complaining about my pay and I only talk about it in passing now.
I remember picking lessons from people I worked for and those lessons have contributed to the person I am today.
In my book, all my four employers will have a chapter including the lessons I picked from them and how I have applied them.
People such as Kironde unfortunately worked in an environment where there were no mentors then like we do today.
Many entrepreneurs of her time lost everything because they were not taught how businesses operated.
Kironde never shouted at any of her employees including myself and yes, I do not shout at any of my workmates.
If I feel you do not fit in our business, we simply part company and that is okay. I have to keep sane for the business to survive because it feeds many others.
The writer is an investment expert
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