To New Roads & New Challenges

They say time flies when you’re in the place you’re meant to be. I can’t believe that I was at Africa Broadcasting for over a year, It seems just like yesterday (as cliche as it may sound) that I got into the Marketing office!

Handling NTV and Spark TV, which are two very unique and powerful brands in the region was one of the key milestones in my life. I stumbled a number of times, fell, cried and cursed (myself and few other people) a couple of times but it was all worth it at the end of the day.

I still remember the day I got a phone call from Aggie (the Managing Director), the interview and then my day one! Walking into the office without anyone to handover to me! I was literally thrown in the deep end… But thanks to the always available support from Aggie and the whole team, I was able to get up to speed and find my footing.

Then there was Jackie who was the Brand Manager at the time, one of the most hard working individuals I have had the opportunity to work with. It is no surprise that she is now a brand custodian of one of the biggest hospitality brands in the region. I am positive she will kick a$$ and take names.

The whole of NTV and Spark TV team, all the way from the Sales team (I can’t even list names because it is the whole team – every one of them!), the production team, Newsroom (Maurice – Always available whenever I needed your support), Creative (Xena – I shall miss our fights. I absolutely admire your drive and passion) and technical… the digital team, Patra, Bonny and Emma, you guys are an awesome team, that is eager to learn and be the best. Like Steve Jobs said, Stay hungry. Stay foolish!  – ABUL has one of the best minds and individuals this country has to offer.

The different clients, suppliers and partners that I worked with or interacted with, my apologies where I came short – one thing I can assure you is, I was trying my best :)

In short, this is to say, thank you all, and I am glad our paths crossed :)


Life is all about new challenges… As I take on my next challenge, I hope our paths shall cross again.


SIM Registration – Is there anything to debate about it?!

There has been a lot of noise about this issue from bodies like; ICTAU, ULS and the like.. Yes they do raise a number of legit issues but lets face it, we are simply being lazy and raising excuses like we always do. Here are some things to take note of;

  1. There was a claim by a one Andrew Karamagi, I quote “For a population of over thirty five million, with only four million two hundred thousand National IDs collected… [skip skip], how are you going to re-register twenty two million phone users in the period you have provided?” –
    1. News flash, there are ONLY twenty two million SIM cards in use in Uganda – that is according to UCC.
    2. In 4 days out of the 7 days, MTN has communicated that eight million of MTN’s eleven million customers have re-registered their SIM cards.
      – Knowing the culture of Ugandans (as much as we like to deny it) we always do things last minute, the last two days will see a number of people re-register their SIMs more than those that did on day 1 and 2. If you do not believe this, send out invitation for an event and ask them to RSVP. Only 20% will confirm and an extra 90% will show up for the event – including the 10% that just got wind of the event. What does this tell you about Ugandans?
  2. There were claims about why the School IDs, Work IDs, Voter’s Cards, Driving Permits and Birth Certificates are not allowed documents. Here are my thoughts
    1. School IDs – these can be forged for a low as 5,000 UGX in any shop on Nasser or Nkrumah road. Plus they can’t be verified with ease. Imagine if you had 1,000,000 School IDs from over 1,000 schools, what sort of resources would be spent on verifying them?
    2. Same applies to Work IDs
    3. Voter’s cards – there are a number of people of that lied about their details just to get onto the registers, plus if the last elections are anything to go by, how many people did not have their details in the register? How many people had their details wrong?!
    4. Driving permits – Actually these I would support. With Face Technology, one is required to have their finger prints on file. If you lie about your name(s) or other details, that will be the person attached to your finger prints which can not be altered or forged, hence you shall permanently become that person.
    5. Birth Certificate – these are also easily forged for cheap.
      – With almost all those document not qualifying, this why the National ID is legit;

      1. there is one database that can easily be referenced with ease
      2. The details of this information are stored by one National body – NIRA, which makes them secure and dependable.
  3. There are claims that many people do not have the National IDs.
    1. Latest statistics shared by the NITA’s ED (as shared by NIRA) there are Seventeen Million registered citizens above 16 years with National ID and ONLY One million five two hundred thousand National IDs have not been picked. Hence, 15.5 15.8 Million Ugandan’s have/had National IDs

With that cleared, next question is, do you as an individual think it is necessary to have your SIM re-registered or confirmed? If you think/know that it is necessary then stop the complaining and get off your bu** and get the process done.

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 08.55.18

This is a process that will take you only a couple of seconds.

Lessons from Startup TV Series

StartUp_Channel_800x1200-683x1024If you have known me for awhile or read anything about me, then you know about my startup hustle and some of the projects that I worked on in the past years.

Obviously there are many lessons I learnt, some of which I wished I learnt them before reality hit me in the face. The other day  I watched this TV Series called Startup – Plot summary

Miami – A desperate banker needs to conceal stolen money. A Haitian-American gang lord wants to go legit. A Cuban-American hacker has an idea that will revolutionize the very future of money itself. Forced to work together, they unwittingly create their version of the American dream – organized crime 2.0.

It starts off slow but it is a good watch. Here are scenes I watched the brought back some of the lessons I too learned the hard way – just  like they did.

  1. When building a startup, there is nothing more important that getting the right team. In the movie, they team was setup under strange situation but it actually turned up to work perfectly for them
  2. To scale or sometimes to get the startup off the ground, you need funding. Funding NEVER comes easy. In the TV series, they had some money that they had started with and then the lost it and had to look for more startup capital which did not come up easily at all.
  3. Times will get HARD but do not lose focus. In the TV Series, after they had secured an addition 1.5M USD, they were hacked and all the money stolen.  They were obviously broken. Izzy lost it, it was Andy who was pushing her and giving her hope until Ronald came in with an idea of an office that got them back on track.
  4. The devil is in the detail. When Izzy finally got a meeting with an investor who agreed to fully fund the startup, she was offered a contract that cut out the other two guys that she started the business with. Her passion to get GenCoin off the ground got her signing the contract without taking it to her lawyers to proof read it. Later on, she was actually kicked out of the company she started in parents garage. A company the almost lost her life for.
  5. Never forget the people that stood by you. Izzy was so desperate to get GenCoin off the ground that when she was presented with a contract that cut out Andy and Ronald she signed it. Fast forward, when she was kicked out of her own company, it is the same two people that she came crying to. Imagine, if they were not forgiving?!

Here is a list of other entrepreneurship movies to look out for;

Silicon Valley

Although you fell in love with Martyn Burke’s Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), that’s not the one we’re talking about here. Silicon Valley, a TV series released in 2014 that is fast approaching the limelight is a comedy series that showcases the inner workings of life in the Silicon Valley. The show revolves around six young men who co-found a startup company amidst the heavy competition in the Mecca of the Business World. Three seasons of this invigorating series are out while the fourth is set to air in 2017.


This series, starring Adam Brody and Martin Freeman, is set to be released later this year, and just its cast is enough to excite anyone! It’s unique and interesting concept makes it stands out from its contemporaries. In this show, a banker from Brooklyn, a Haitian gang lord and a Cuban hacker put their heads together to raise a potential multi-billion dollar business on ‘digital currency’, that could revolutionise the future of money itself. Can’t wait? Neither can we!

How I made my Millions

A CNBC original, this show leads you to the greenroom of the business world, where after the curtain fall, the biggest businessmen and women reveal how they took ordinary ideas and turned them into extraordinary businesses. Most of these center around businesses that have crossed the $1 million mark. Aired in 2011, How I made my millions showcases the typical ‘American Dream’ and tries to show that if you have the idea, the resources and the willpower, you can make things happen.

The Profit

This much-watched series shows that being a successful entrepreneur isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It broadcasts the raw, challenging and often ugly side of starting your own business. The show revolves real-life businessman Marcus Lemonis, one of the biggest sharks of the business world and his decision to invest money into struggling companies and turn them into highly profitable entities in returns for a percentage of both business and profit. It is a great in-depth lesson for all entrepreneurs, as the first part of the show a tutorial of sorts where they show you what NOT to do as an entrepreneur. The motto of the show emphasises the three P’s – People, Process and Product – the triangular mantra of success for any startup founder and members.

This was one of my favorites

This list was originally posted on YourStory

Who else thinks this Mandatory Vehicle Inspection isn’t what it should be?

Before I even get into this post, let me make this clear. I have NOTHING against vehicle inspection or any measures that are put in place to ensure #RoadSafety. I have been in three road accidents myself and I can tell you Road Safety is nothing to take lightly.

Ok, with that out of the way, If you own a vehicle or a bike in Uganda, then you have probably heard about the Mandatory vehicle inspection that was passed as a regulation in 2016. If you haven’t heard about it, newsflash! All vehicles MUST be taken to SGS Inspection Centers where they will be tested for roadworthiness. There is a deadline too.. June 2017 – so you basically have less than 4 months to get there. Eng. Ronald Amanyire, the Secretary, National Road Safety Council – ‎Ministry of Works and Transport confirmed that in June, Government will start to enforce the inspection NOT the deadline for the Inspection.

The Mandatory Inspection is not free or even cheap! – Well, Cheap is relative. Take a look at the costs

Classification of Motor Vehicles

(Section 11 of the Act)

Group of Motor Vehicles for Purpose this Regulation

 Uganda Shillings

Motorcycles Motor cycles


Motorcars and dual purpose vehicles excluding light goods vehicles Car and Dual purpose vehicles


Light omnibuses


Passenger Vehicles of more than 7 passengers not exceeding 20 passengers


Medium omnibuses Passenger Vehicles of more than 20 passengers not exceeding 60 passengers


Light goods vehicles Goods vehicles of less than 3.5 tons


Medium Goods Vehicles Goods vehicle of 3.5 tons and less than 10 tons


Heavy Goods Vehicles Goods vehicle of more than 10 tons


Trailers and Semi-Trailers Trailer of two axles


Not Applicable Each extra axle on a trailer


Subsequent Fees Payable as a Percentage of Initial Inspection Fee

Inspection Service Required

Percentage of Original Fee

Re-inspections within 30 days after initial failure without use of lane

Free (0%)

Re-inspections within 30 days after initial failure with use of lane


Re-inspections after 30 days of initial failure


Payment for Duplicate Certificate of Fitness


Payment for appeal against results of Inspection


Inspection after accident/crash and repairs


Inspection required by Police Officer for a Vehicle with valid Certificate of Fitness


Inspection required by Police Officer for a Vehicle without valid Certificate of Fitness


I need some clarity on what exactly is checked. If you have taken your vehicle there, please share your experience with me. Tweet me @cmugume and lets have a chat.

From their website, here is what you need to check for yourself before you get there;

Before bringing your vehicle in for inspection, there are a few things you can check to maximise your chances to pass.
– Lights
  • Ensure all your headlights are working and that none are damaged in any way
  • Headlights, indicator lights, hazard warning lights, rear lights, brake lights, number-plate lights and reversing lights must all be in proper working order.
  • Check that all reflectors are working properly.
  • Always have a spare set of bulbs in the car.
– Brakes
  • If your vehicle pulls slightly to one side when you brake, this may be a sign that your brakes are not working correctly, or that there is a brake imbalance. Have them checked and, if necessary, replaced before your roadworthy test.
  • Check your brake fluid. Low brake-fluid levels may indicate a leak in the brake line, which will need repair.
– Tyres
  • Check for tyre wear and tyre pressure. If your tyres are worn or deformed (bulges), change them.
  • If you see excessive wear on one side of the tyre, this means your vehicle has steering-geometry problems and/or worn suspension components, which must be corrected.
  • Current legislation states that tyre tread depth should be at least 1.6 mm across the entire breadth of the tyre.
– Vehicle registration plates
  • Ensure that your license plates are securely fitted and are not damaged, cracked or discoloured.
– Outside checks
  • Make sure there are no oil stains on the ground in the place where you normally park.
  • The glasses of your vehicle must comply with the legislation.
  • Doors and windows must open and close properly.
  • There should be no sharp edges on the vehicle’s bodywork.
  • Make sure that your windscreen wipers and wing mirrors are correctly attached to the vehicle.
– Inside checks
  • Ensure that the locking/release mechanisms for all seatbelts are working properly and that no seatbelt is torn or damaged.
  • Check that the car horn is operating correctly.
  • Ensure that all seats are properly secured and in good condition

This is pretty much the checklist that is done almost every time I take my vehicle for service, what am I paying the 110,212 UGX for? Is it for the sticker?

Car service for a Toyota will cost you just about that much – so basically one pays the cost of service only be told what his/her vehicle is missing! Why not put some of that money on replacing some of those items then one can get value for money?

Additionally, so I have brought my vehicle for inspection and it passed, after 30 days I bring it back and it passes again. On route home, I hit a pothole (Which you can’t miss in this Kampala) and BOOM!!– suspensions gone, then… side indicator lights are stolen while I parked at the supermarket to get milk for my son. What will the inspection have achieved? Right there and then as my vehicle is no longer roadworthy. It has dead suspensions, missing side indicator lights… Yet, has a PASSED INSPECTION sticker right there on the windscreen.

What’s the point? Will the inspection have achieved anything?

You do not carry out one time inspection for a problem that could happen any day and any time. What you need are regular inspections on different routes where drivers with vehicles that are not roadworthy are given tickets to have their vehicles repaired in a set timeline or they pay a fine.

What can be done about the current Inspection system?
Simple, Inspect the car and if it does not pass, give the owner a timeline within which to fix it and if they don’t get it fixed, they pay the 110,212UGX as a fine.

Here is the biggest benefit for this car inspection that many people are missing, the data collected! Right now as it stands, if you wanted to get good data about vehicles in Uganda, you would have to reference information from three sources, URA which registers private cars, Chief Mechanical Engineer that registers Government cars and the Ministry of defense. If you are looking for details about accident cars/written off vehicles, then you go to the Inspector of Vehicles.

Now, take a second and imagine what it means if SGS is able to collect all this information about all the vehicles on the road in Uganda. This is data that will be very useful to parastatals like UNRA, KCCA and the rest in planning both for things like public transportation and road networks.

I see all this value and recommend it, but my question is should the private car owners that pay HEAVY taxes to own vehicles be the ones to meet the cost of collecting this data – since reducing the vehicle accidents on the road cannot be the primary reason?

Lets put this money into perspective; Here are the rough figures of vehicle numbers in Uganda calculated from the last data collected from National Transport Master Plan, there is an average growth of 11% annually and 50% of these vehicles are in great Kampala metropolitan area.


2014 2015 2016 SGS Charge Total UGX
Motor Cars 168,792 187,359 207,968 110,212 22,920,569,216
Light Goods Vehicles 116,265 129,054 143,250 122,012 17,478,219,000
Minibuses 82,008 91,029 101,042 59,000 5,961,478,000
Trucks 48,375 53,696 59,602 147,500 8,791,295,000
Motorcycles 366,442 406,751 451,494 54,752 24,720,199,488

With the current accidents and condition of the cars imported in Uganda, you can say 20% of these cars are already written off. That gives you 63,897,408,563 UGX. Lets further assume that only 50% of all the vehicles will be inspected, that gives you 31,948,704,281 UGX as the money that will be collected by SGS.

Here is another scenario that can be considered:

Right now, we are at UBA …C series. Every letter series has 1,000 Vehicles, and all letters of the alphabet are used except “o” and “i”. Simple math, UAA …A to Z, minus o and i, gives you 24,000 Vehicles. Now do the math for UAB – UAZ, that will give you 576,000 vehicles. With the earlier accidents and condition of the cars imported in Uganda assumption,  20% of the cars mostly from the UAA – UAG models are already written off. That give you about 460,800 vehicles. This is not including the tax exempted cars and duty free vehicles (That is the vehicles with white numbers on red or blue background plates). Using an average of 94,670 UGX (Which is the average of the SGS costs shown earlier) it would be 43,623,936,000 UGX to inspect all the vehicles. Well this is the best case scenario. Lets assume that only 50% of all the vehicles will be inspected, that still give you 21,811,968,000 UGX. Question is, where is this money going? If it is to facilitate SGS to carry out this inspection service, is it fair for the car owner to be the one to incur this cost?

I leave it to you.