Creativity starts with the decisions we make about how our future should look like and the path we pursue to achieve it. Those are the words Joseph Kabanda’s grandfather Simon Nyanzi Biranju of Bikandima and Partners Quality Surveyors, told him at a tender age.
The words were to remain in the mind of Kabanda, a resident of Ssaza, Masaka municipality and were to later inform his decision to join a technical institute after his Senior Four.
“I used to admire my grandfather. Every time I could pay a visit to his home in Kisota, Kisaasi in Kampala, I would see him signing contracts at home, as he only inspected and gave instructions something that inspired me to take the same route,” Kabanda says.
The 24-year-old was born on January 15, 1994 at Kalagala in then Rakai District to Josephine Nakabuye and Gonzaga Kabanda, and scored a first grade in Primary Leaving Examination at Unique Nursery and Primary School in 2005.
He joined Matale Church of Uganda Senior Secondary School in Kyotera District from 2006 to 2009and scored a second grade before enrolling at Kamengo Technical Institute in Rakai from 2010 to 2011 for a course in Brick Laying and Concrete Practice with Carpentry as an additional short course.
“I was advised by my sister to join A-Level and after enrol for a university degree but I was interested in studying a course where I would do more practicals than theories. I thus chose to join a technical school. It sounded weird to them but when I insisted they had no choice,” Kabanda explains.
During his stay at the institute, he says he championed the campaign of encouraging students forced by their parents to join technical education to embrace it. Some, he claims were there because they had performed poorly while others felt marginalised to be in a vocational institute.
“Many at the age I joined had been misguided about vocational education such as calling it an option for failures yet others saw it like the only option to success more especially the low income earners.”
Kabanda says he become self-sustaining after his first year when he started real construction earning between Shs10, 000 and Shs20, 000 daily. After his second year, he started working as a foreman doing the real instruction, inspecting paper to ground work and making reports.
“After completing a two-year certificate, my family friend connected me to a job which I declined in favour of my own contracts. I received my first contract which was to build a 4-roomed house at Kyotera where I negotiated for a service fee of Shs1.6 million. Upon completion, I had saved Shs500, 000,” Kabanda recounts.
It may appear a small amount but coupled with the support of my mother it empowered him to join St Kizito Technical School in Nyendo, Masaka in 2012 for an Advanced Certificate in Brick Laying and Concrete Practice. After advancing, Kabanda says he was in position to run his own company though lacked enough starting capital which forced him to work for already established companies including MS Trupati Limited and Abubakar Technical Services which, though happened to be a blessing in disguise skilled him in concrete making, culverts, cubs, flow shrub, cornerstone and maker posts.
“The time I had to socialise and work with experienced people in service inspired me to enrol for a Diploma in Civil Engineering at Muteesa 1 Royal University, Masaka. They (employers) could do less work and earn much but with vast knowledge of all the machines.” Kabanda asserts.
At his tender age, Kabanda has been invited to work in places such as Kalisizo Town Council and Masaka District works department as a skilled labourer supervising road works and also as a sub-contractor in small government works project. On duty, he has also learnt how to install culverts, grading, house designing and documenting contract awards, among others.
As a young engineer admiring self-independence in the field of service, he has started his own company called Latitude Engineering Contractors in Kalisizo, Kyotera and is currently working on registration. Kabanda has secured a concrete mixer, water pump, porker vibrator, assorted tools and a motorcycle to help him in motoring various works for his company. “I hire people beyond and under my experience to complete contracted work which involves general construction, finishing, painting, plumbing and electrical installation,” Kabanda says citing Kyabakuza Polytechnic Institute main block and several other houses he has built in Masaka.
He currently handles all sorts of housing construction in various designs though still challenged on fixing lifts and major electrical works however, he plans to enrol for a degree in Civil Engineering at Makerere University in August and also train in various languages to relate with the prominent contractors from countries such as China.
“I would have purchased some little personal assets but I am still investing in my career. I wanted to be recognised by the Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers and register with the Engineers Registration Board of Uganda after my degree,” Kabanda reveals his plans.