By Mark Kawalya
Four young entrepreneurs, Joseph Kwesiga, David Kasaali, Shakira Nassejje and Jovan Kagezi were the finalists for MTNs’ Nsindika Njake show, who have over the last couple of months outcompeted other contenders for the top prize of Shs60M.
The 12-week reality show, which debuted in April of this year, was aimed at teaching young people practical skills for running successful businesses that generate long-term profits in cost-effective and sustainable ways. The show was structured in such a way that viewers also learnt lessons that stimulated entrepreneurship and business management, an effort that was aimed at combating unemployment.
The show started with 24 contestants that gradually dropped off along the way, leaving four finalists who demonstrated tenacity and acumen in accomplishing different challenges. The top contender of the four would take home the Shs60M prize money. The cash prize is to be used as a capital injection into the winner’s business that, with the right set of skills, will grow the business.
Runners-up also got assorted cash prizes to boost their businesses. Although overall winners were selected by a panel of judges based on the delivery of their final pitches, viewers were able to vote for their participant of choice, with an extra 5 million awarded to the people’s choice winner.
Below are short excerpts of each of the four finalists and how they fared.
Kagezi, who emerged the overall winner and walked away with the Shs60M cash prize, is the founder of Giovatech Renewable Energies Company. He first heard about the competition while listening to a radio show. While giving a vote of thanks during his crowning, Kagezi knelt down and thanked MTN, the judges, and partners for finding him capable of putting to good use the 60 million shillings.
“Thank you everyone for considering my hustles and filling huge gaps in my business with skills and financial support,” said Kagezi and he accompanied it with a praise song.
Another contender, Kassali, adds value to ground nuts through his processing and packaging company, ‘Psalms 4’ and he believed winning the Shs60 million would enable him to expand his business. While speaking during the final leg of the competition, he said, “I hope to open different branches and implement all the skills I have attained from this project.” Please viewers vote for me to have more of my products, ” His wife, Doreen Najjuma, added that her husband’s business had enabled them as a family to live a relatively comfortable life and she hoped he would win the competition. He was later crowned as the first-runner up and walked away with shs20M.
The 19-year-old young woman is the proprietor of a crafting business called Shan Crafters Hub, said she was able to discover new capabilities buried deep within her as she got training and competed in the Nsindika Njake show.
“I am privileged to remain competing among three energetic men!” said Nasseje in the show aired three weeks ago. “I applied with a positive attitude and now there is a possibility that I can win despite my business being small.” Shakira was crowned the second runner up during the finals and was awarded with Shs10M.
Kwesiga founded Natural Crafted Blends, a sugarcane juice business, and he signed up for the show after hearing it advertised on Galaxy FM.
“I’ve learned how to run my business while adhering to quality standards, as well as communication and team-building skills that will come in handy once I hire people to run the business in my absence,” Kwesiga said while talking about his experiences.
Kwesiga took home the people’s choice award (Shs5M) and another cash price of Shs5M for being winning the participant of choice award.