Limbless Katamba earns a living from repairing electronics

Written by: 
Arthur Musinguzi Didan

As the saying goes that disability is not inability, katamba Edward unfolds its realty. After realizing the challenges he would face as person with disability, katamba decided to utilize every opportunity in order to succeed. He used Shs.200,000 meant for his graduation party and started up his own business. Katamba has a certificate in electric wiring, owns an electronic workshop as well as a famous electrician in kikoni a suburb in Kampala.

The broken electric kettle that had stayed in the client‘s store for several years was not only a hard task for katamba but also opened up success in his career. Katamba instantly took up the job from his client because he was so eager to exercise his skills. However, the kettle was so much broken this put tension on katamba whether he could fix it. Fortunately, using his skills he had got from the institution he managed to repair it. Katamba never gave up today and he is operating in his own work shop in kikoni.

“While mukibi was giving me his broken kettle, he said that I could hardly repair it because several electricians had failed to fix it. He was so surprised when he found his kettle working. He even prepared tea using his kettle and we took it together that evening. He went on telling people that am a professional electrician his remarks increased the number of customers and the income. This motivated me to strengthen my job and also work hard in order to expand,” says katamba.

Katamba never wanted to go on streets asking money from people like some individuals with disability do. This prompted him to read hard when he got a chance to go to school.  After completing school in 1995 the next difficult decision to take was where he could go next. There was nothing to do this seemed like the world had come to an end for katamba. 

In 1996, Katamba decided to repair electric appliances under a tree at their home in kikoni because he had never wanted to be idle. Since he had just started repairing few people could bring their electric appliances for repairing.  Shortly, his father had planned to arrange a graduation party for him. However, katamba persuaded his father that he was given technical training to be self-employed but he did not have enough capital. Luckily, His father gave him shs 200,000 that was meant for his graduation party. Katamba used it to buy more tools since he had got more customers hence his income increased and savings also improved. 

As person with disability, he could not work without a colleague given that the business had expanded. He asked his brother in law to give a hand. Earlier than, his in law was working as a Berber in a saloon, katamba also offered him training of electric wiring.

In 2008, katamba was already working with his colleague. After words, they planned on how to move to a better place since their business had expanded and they also had many clients. So his colleague contributed by getting a premise where they could set their workshop. Katamba used his saving to buy sand, cement, and doors also catered for other expenses.

By the end of 2008, they shifted from home to their workshop which was strategically located in kikoni. As time went on they started getting misunderstandings with his partner because they could not share money equally.  For that reason, katamba improved his saving so that he could start his own business. Firstly, he bought the container where he could operate from but he never let his colleague aware about his idea.

In 2011, katamba was independent. He adds that all the people he was serving while at the previous workplace followed him. Because they had already built trust in him. This strengthened the income of his infant business. Ever since then, katamba’s business has developed rendering him enough income. He says that is not scared of his business because it has put an elegant smile on his face.

Katamba believes that his background shaped him to work towards archiving his success. He was born in 1974. He is the fifth born out of eight children. He was the only disabled child.   Katamba lost his father when he was eight years.

Before his father’s death, Mr. Musazi William was an illiterate farmer at Katela village, Bukomelo Sub County in Kiboga district. The fact that their father was killed during the war in June 1982, this left the family insecure. At this point, the brother to kamba’s father took over the family. He paid transport for the coming of the entire family to Kampala.  He gave them house where they have stayed up today. He also supported katamba‘s education until he finished.

Following the liberation war in 1980s, katamba started school late. At ten years, he joined   Kiisa nursery school for primary one. He completed his primary seven from Wandegeya Salvation Army home of joy with fifteen points, a second grade. He adds that he was among the best performers. While in primary seven, he filled form x, this form could enable students join technical institutions. 

 Katamba’s father recommended him to join to a technical school.  He later joined Nkokojeru providence home. It had education support for people with disabilities only. The institution had sponsors from England. He adds that he put much emphasis in electric wiring while at the institution and he was a serious and creative student.

“While in my second year, I was given leadership of assistant principle. In the absence of the principle. I could teach my fellow students,” says Katamba.

In 1995, he graduated with a certificate in electric wiring. This is the point where he came up with the idea of self employment. Fortunately, he has achieved the best from his idea.

In 2003, katamba got married to Nakabugo Sarah. Right now they have four children one boy and three girls. He says that he paid dowry using money from his job. If it was not his job he would not have had recognized marriage. 

He bought a plot of land in hoima district out of his saving. He is also paying school fess for his children and able to meet all the domestic needs. He also started farming on his plot of land. He is   employing other people and he is able to pay them.

However, Katamba faces challenges, mostly transport. He has to use Shs 2000 every day for transport from home to work. His business is also seasonal, he gets customers when students from Makerere University are still studying once they leave for holidays business is at stand still. He can not afford the heavy taxation levied by KCCA. He is supposed to pay Shs 250,000 every year which is too much basing on the income of his business. He finds it hard meeting the cost of rent every month since the business is seasonal. He pays Shs 100,000 every month for the ground where he operates his business.

The fact that he has fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a successful electrician, katamba is working hard towards opening up another branch of his workshop. He also wants to set up a main house at their home village.

“I have a good attendance record at work.  It has served me well.  People with disabilities tend to have fewer responsibilities in life because there are some things they can't do.  So, once they have a job, they must go to work every day. I have done that all my life.  As the years passed, I decided that continuing to be self employed would be easier than asking money from people. I have been self employed for eighteen years”, katamba says.

He has achieved every thing he has in his career by determination and hard work. He believes people with disabilities must learn the value of hard work at everything they do than other people. They must work hard every day. He says People with disabilities and all people, should involve in any business, respect it, and make it work well for them.