Hustling to make an extra buck has never been a walk in the park. It is not only challenging but it requires hardwork, sweat, tears, setbacks, thoughts of giving up, overcoming obstacles and sacrifice.
In the end, it only becomes a rewarding experience only for those who are persistent and decide not to give up.
Josephine Nanyanzi’s dream of financial independence started during her second semester at university. Being the first born of five siblings, Nanyanzi’s family has always looked up to her.
This is what has kept her motivated to search for opportunities even when she was still a university student. However, even when she desired to have her hands onto something, at that time it was not possible, as commuting from Nsangi to Muteesa I Royal University was an expense she could not afford. After contemplating on how she would reduce her transport costs, Nanyanzi sought refuge at her uncle’s home.
While at her uncle’s home, Nanyanzi did the chores at home. “My uncle’s wife owned a chips stall, which was managed by someone else. Every evening, I would rush home to help out with either peeling of the Irish potatoes or the preparations.”
Nanyanzi says this continued until second year, when her aunt and the employee fell out due to mismanagement of finances. To Nanyanzi this was a blessing in disguise that later turned out to be a turning point.
“When the two fell out, my aunt asked if I would manage to run the stall and attend lectures. I knew this would come with challenges but I had always desired to have a job that would cater for my personal needs.”
Blessing in disguise
Nanyanzi did not think twice about operating a stall where every passerby would easily identify her, especially her coursemates. When she assumed the business role, her aunt did not give her capital in form of cash.
Instead she bought a sack of Irish potatoes, charcoal, 10 litre- jerrycan of cooking oil and handed the business over to her.
At this point, she had herself to blame if the business worked out or not. She was not just managing the business, her aunt gave her full responsibility and she did not expect anything in return.
One of the challenges she faced was to build trust of new clients. What kept her motivated was the fact that her mother was paying her tuition, even when it was never paid on time. Although she earned between Shs5, 000 and Shs10,000, she did not give up. “The first month was a disaster. I remember selling about five plates every evening and the rest would go to waste. However, this did not stop me from working because I hoped that someday, I would be able make money.”
Nanyanzi did not have time to hang around with friends. Her mind was focused on making money and making the business work. Selling a plate between Shs2, 000 and Shs3,000, she was able to save Shs600, 000.
After graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in education, Nanyanzi was a professional ICT teacher. However, she could not give up on her chips stall.
Teaching and business
Months later, she got a teaching job to teach Senior Five and Six students. Asked about her daily routine, Nanyanzi says: “I wake up at 4am and by 5am I am on my way to Nsangi, where I teach for three days in week. On Thursday and Friday I teach at another school in Nsangi.” Nanyanzi is at school by 7am and at 6pm, she heads home to be in time for her evening hustle- selling chips.
“I sell chips from 7pm until midnight. Unlike before, were I would sell a sack of Irish potatoes for one to two weeks, today a sack goes for two days and in a week, I save between Shs200, 000 to Shs250, 000 as profit.”
To Nanyanzi consistency is key, showing up every day, and hustling like her life depends on it. She keeps separate notes for covering expenses, profits and money to reinvest in the business. Nanyanzi’s stall has grown from strength to strength. From her chips stall, Nanyanzi has bought herself a piece land in Wakiso, renovated her monther’s house in the village and she pays school fees for her young sister.
Establishing your side hustle is one of the first steps to financial independence. A salaried job is not enough to cater for all our needs. I know that even if I was chased from work today, I would still pay my bills.