How Sugarcane Vending Changed the Life of a School Dropout

Written by: 
Elizabeth Kisakye


Mukasa Stuart is a sugarcane hawker who has been in the business for three years selling on the streets of Katwe, Kibuye and Munyonyo. He says he has no regrets, only praises for his business.

Coming from a humble background, Mukasa dropped out of school while in senior three due to financial hardships. This forced him to leave Kigalama his home village in Mityana district to come to Kampala to look for casual employment.

He says: "I came to the city in 2015 to find something to do for a living. Coming to the city, I had 60,000 shillings to start with as my capital, and I used that to start my business."

His job, however, has not been a smooth road. Mukasa explains that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) was one major challenge he faced and this forced him to start working on the streets of Katwe, Kibuye and Salaama.

"I now make good profits and in a day I make 40,000 shillings which is good enough for me since I am single," he says.

The twenty five-year-old says he has no reason to engage in dubious activities like robbery, pick-pocketing and gambling like some other youths of his age.

Kyewalabye Musa, a friend to Mukasa told Journalism@Mak that determination and focus, not necessarily education qualifications, are key for one to make it in life. "One does not necessarily need to go to school to become a responsible citizen, it is all about being focused and determined,” he noted.

He adds: "Some young men decide to steal instead of working hard, this puts their lives in danger mark you."

Nalweyiso Bettinah, who also dropped out of school, says, "As a school dropout, I have been through a similar situation but that did not stop me from working hard. It is a matter of self recollection and knowing what you want in life."

Mukasa says his next goal is to build a house on his plot of land in Kigalama in years to come. "Youths who go on gambling are just not serious because it will not take them anywhere," he warns.