• Mar 24, 2021 . 2 min Read
  • Cancer inspired BMK to share his story

Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga (right) launches BMK’s book as the writer (in wheelchair) and others look on at Hotel Africana last Thursday.
Carol Kasujja
Journalist @New Vision

The audience at Hotel Africana in Kampala listened attentively, with some creeping forward, clapping and whispering to each other as businessman Dr Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige (BMK) launched his book titled My Story of Building A Fortune in Africa.

The 67-year-old chairman of the BMK Group, who is battling cancer, launched the book from his wheelchair. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015, he decided to record his story.

“When Haji is to travel, the first thing in his suitcase has to be a book. When he reaches his destination, he first goes to a bookshop to buy a book. I met him at age 27, and all he has put in his book is true,” Sofia Muwanga, BMK’s wife, said.

It was a moving and joyful moment when BMK got out of the wheelchair and made a few steps. When the DJ played musician Mesach Ssemakula’s Kankutendereze, a song where he praises God for his life, BMK lifted his hands and made a few dance strokes.

“I always want to cry when I remember the day doctors in Bangkok diagnosed me with cancer and said I had two years to live. Although I am weak, I thank God for my life,” he said.

The book shows a typical rags-to-riches story, but one of how luck and hard work opened doors, leading to a successful life.

“I stopped in Primary Seven, but the first principle my father taught me is that the business might be yours but the capital belongs to the business. I thank God. I did not get enough formal education, but I have educated all my children and been able to be successful. I was born lucky,” BMK said.

At his autobiography launch, BMK explained his wealth, saying he started business by helping his father in the coffee plantation, then later selling general merchandise and travelling to DR Congo to trade in clothes.

Born in Masaka in 1953, BMK spent more than five years putting the tale of his life’s journey together and describes the challenges and successes that he has walked through to date.

In the book, he describes his childhood in his homeland Masaka, doing business during president Idi Amin’s regime, how to grow your wealth and working with relatives.

BMK said the decision to write the book was to bring to life again a story touching his young and old times in order to inspire the young people into serving with humility.

BMK was flanked by Charles Peter Mayiga, the Katikkiro of Buganda and Mansour Matovu alias Young, a businessman, among others.

“Wealth takes a bit of time to accumulate, so, why do young people throw money around for publicity. Invest your money and make sure you account for every coin,” BMK said.

He assured his guests that God willing, he is going to invite them again for the launch of his second book titled Fighting Aggressive Cancer soon.

Mayiga described the author as one of the country’s “most celebrated businessman” who gets happy when others are progressing.

“This book is more valuable than all the wealth BMK has in different parts of the country. People should know that even if you stopped in Primary Seven, you can make a difference,” he said.

Mayiga called upon aged wealthy people to write books to share their knowledge.

The book can be got at Hotel Africana for sh70,000.


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