Breaking

Student Turns Facebook Message into Piggery Project

An nearly aimless scan through a message on Facebook helped a university student in Mbarara city to start a piggery project.
Carol Namagembe Nanyazi at her piggery project.

Audio 5

An nearly aimless scan through a message on Facebook helped a university student in Mbarara city to start a piggery project.   

On March 18, 2020, when Carol Namagembe Nanyazi returned home from school at Northwest University in South Africa, is the day President Yoweri Museveni announced the first lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak. She had just completed her first semester.

Namagembe, 23, says it was a year lost and she had to re-think what to do next during the lockdown. She says her courage to think hard kept growing every time people around her village started talking about how she had ‘failed University in South Africa’, so she needed something to do to silence the talk.

Namagembe says the idea came in when a friend who had lost a father and job in quick succession approached her asking for ideas on where to invest his 500,000 shillings. She says after the friend’s approach she got many ideas that included setting up a Chapati stall and a mobile money business but the capital of 500,000 was little.   As she was still scratching her head and going through Facebook, she saw a piggery page that opened her mind.

//Cue in: “So there came… Cue out: …idea of piggery.”//

Namagembe says the capital that belonged to a friend had conditions of sharing 50-50 from the proceeds which she was not into so much though she had nothing to do. She, however, says she started doing coursework for students who were doing online studies to get more money to add on the friend's initial capital.

Namagembe says the first challenge that almost killed the idea was when her father refused to buy the idea of rearing pigs because, according to him, they are smelly and dirty.

//Cue in: “My dad Honestly…   Cue out: …as well piggery.”//

She says with time both her parents went to visit the project and were surprised and provided her with land at home where the project is doing well.

//Cue in: “The first time… Cue out: …a neighbour’s place.”//

Namagembe says being on Facebook and following pages like ‘Piggery Success in Uganda’, and ‘Western pigs’, and also consulting with others in the sector, has helped her develop her skill of rearing pigs.

//Cue in: “Before I started…   Cue out: …had to consult.”//

Namagembe says the day she got one million shillings from the sale of piglets she knew it was the right business for her. She now has 30 animals in the sty and expects this number to grow in the coming weeks. She says she has now enrolled for online studies with Cavendish University to study Business Administration majoring in procurement and logistics.

Herbert Dumba, Namagembes’ father, says despite the hesitation at first he is now proud that his daughter employs herself.

//Cue in: “Well as a… Cue out: …it occupies her.”// 

Namagembe says that Facebook and doing students course works unleashed the potential and passion of going into piggery, and she is happy that it has paid off. This year she emerged winner of the western region 'Empower Youth in Skills' competition organized by AVSI Foundation and the Ministry of Gender.