My frankness earned me a job - Kalunda

Sunday May 02 2021

Derrick Kalunda. PHOTO/FILE

By Phoebe Masongole

Upclose: Derrick Kalunda is  manager at Awamo in eastern Uganda. The 28-year-old is also a student at Uganda Technology and Management University  (UTAMU) pursuing a master’s degree in Information Technology, Phoebe Masongole finds about his firsts

What time do you wake up?
At 6am.
And, the first thing you do in the morning…?
I pray, take a bath, take a cup of coffee and prepare for work.
The first thing you do when you reach office is… 
I check my email, calendar to see the appointments for the day and figure out where and how to begin.
Your first friend was… 
It is hard to remember because it has been a while but  my mother was my closest friend . In primary school, I had a friend  who was my namesake but I no longer hear from him.
Tell us about your first job… 
I was an administrator at Global Functions, my sister’s events business in Nansana during my Senior Six vacation. My sister was my boss.
Your first salary was…
While at my sister’s workshop I earned Shs40, 000 per month,  which was just enough because I was given accommodation and all meals.
What is your current job?
I am a manager at Awamo in eastern region.
What does it entail?
Awamo is a digital, mobile banking platform and credit bureau, especially designed for microfinance institutions. 
How long have you done this work?
Two years.
What was your first laptop?
It was a Dell which my father had promised to buy me if I scored 15 points at Senior Six. Luckily, I got 16 points.
Do you still have it?
No, I have upgraded to an HP.
Tell us about your first work experience. 
After university, I badly needed a job to earn a living. I  searched in vain. I later requested my friend to get me a job who promised to find me one. One day, he advised me to march to one of the offices I had interest in. One Monday, I stormed the Uganda Bureau of Statistics office at their ICT department. 

I interacted with the people I found there and offered to volunteer with them. When the boss came by, he asked who I was and I firmly answered that I needed a job and I had come to work. He called me aside and gave me assignments, I guess to test my abilities  and I did them perfectly. 
The following day, he called me early in the morning asking me to come and start work. That is how I scored myself a job. However,  five years later  I got a new job opportunity and left.
What first car  did you drive?
I drove a Toyota Landcruiser TX which belonged to my father.

Quick notes 
And your first car was?

A black Toyota Fielder, 2006  model. 

The most memorable book you read was…?
Steps to Christ by Ellen G.White, it was a gift from my neighbour. This book has made me love Christ as my personal saviour. Besides, I also read the Bible. 

Biggest regret in life… 
Losing my mother when I was in Primary Seven, I always thought of working hard to impress her, help and care for her.


Advice you have ever received from your father…
I used to sit and talk with my father during leisure but almost every time we talk he would always advise me not to focus on chasing women during my teenage years  but to work hard and be successful. They would chase me when I am successful and I should always say a prayer.