Building Wealth: Derrick’s one brick at a time story


Amidst this current hue and cry due to high commodity prices and the high cost of living, it would be insane for a low income earning man to dream of achieving any major financial milestone other than to probably diligently pay his bills in time. Well, that’s why one muganda philosopher called this city a ‘Kibuga’ (a city). Another muganda philosopher has continued to build on this earlier work and he has been reportedly heard to spread a Luganda proverb that ‘Kibuga sikya ba fala’ (Kampala city is not for the uncanny). With all due respect, this young philosopher has been aiming to communicate the fact that Kampala city is a ruthless one and only by beating the odds that come along with ‘Kibuga’ can you then claim your share of success. This simple truth had dawned on Derrick Ssekitoleko way back during his graduate studies in accounting at Makerere University Business School. He knew that going back to Mityana, his home town, to live rent free after his university education was not an option simply because it’s only in the city that he could easily eke out a living. He therefore dreamt of owning a house and hence significantly cutting his cost of living in the city. The logic here is if he kept the landlord at bay, chances are that he would only worry of how to commute to the city and obviously his belly. 

Power of a dream
Whenever you read a financial literacy book, I’ll bet many authors will commence by emphasizing the power of a dream or simply a desire. The question is how many of us uphold burning desires until they materialize? Derrick’s burning desire to own a house was hatched right during his university education. Right then his desire may have seemed insane but nothing daunted he braced himself for an austere lifestyle all through his university education. He therefore sought to live off campus where he could pay relatively cheaper rent and could easily have the luxury to prepare his own delicacies. He then made use of a virtue he had learnt while working at his father’s farm, one where he was not supposed to despise any job. With the virtue as an asset, he went on to become what many may probably brand as a ‘junk boy’. Envisage a university student who spends his spare time assisting other students with their course work for a fee and other times as a painter. It’s hilarious. While still at school he managed to pool a total of Ugsh.500, 000 as savings. It’s during this time that he got a tip off about some land located at Namanve (a Kampala suburb) on sale. But Ugsh.500, 000 cannot buy land in Kampala, right? Guess what, you are wrong on this one!

Making use of installments       
Sometimes this city dictates that you need cash down to acquire whatever you need. To get a landowner who would be willing to accept a hire purchase agreement is quite a rarity unless the land was located quite far away from town not to forget your negotiation skills too. Derrick has always made use of the buying through hire purchase model (where he gets to lift the asset off the owner’s premises on fully paying through making small frequent payments). His first television set and many more household items at campus were through hire purchase agreements. By then (the year 2006) Namanve’s scenic beauty was not as it is today. On touring the place, he saw of a place where he would have to co – exist with monkeys. But he thought to himself that no place would be bad so long as he owned it. He approached the owners of the land and, to his amazement, they were taken aback by the fact that a 22 year – old young man was looking to purchase land. That fact alone may have portrayed his commitment to acquiring the land and so the owners agreed to give him a chance. He therefore went ahead and deposited his Ugsh.500, 000 savings and agreed to have paid the Ugsh.3.5m worth of the land (76ft by 100 ft) by the lapse of a three year time period. At this juncture in his life, there could never have been a better motivator to young Derrick on his quest to build wealth.
Amazingly, he was able to pay up the lump sum for the land in a period of two years. Well, how did he do it? How did he build the house on a meager salary? Watch this space for part II!