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COVID-19: Youths turn to making masks

By Ivan Kabuye

Added 13th May 2020 06:16 PM

Following the president’s directive for all people to wear masks in public, the group came up with their own innovation of face masks using the ‘kitengi’ fabric.

COVID-19: Youths turn to making masks

Musema Robert unfolding the first layer cloth of the masks during the process of making it at Bwaise Nsema culture workshop on Friday 8th May 2020

Following the president’s directive for all people to wear masks in public, the group came up with their own innovation of face masks using the ‘kitengi’ fabric.

HEALTH  COVID-19

KAMPALA - As many youths grapple with the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, youths under the Nsema culture group in Bwaise a Kampala suburb, have taken advantage of the crisis to make face masks.

The group previously earned a living through creative arts specializing in fashion designs of ‘kitengi' a common African wear.

 usema making a face mask                                                      Musema making a face mask

 
Following the president's directive for all people to wear masks in public, the group came up with their own innovation of face masks using the ‘kitengi' fabric.

Robert Musema the leader of the group said: "After realizing that many Ugandans can't afford imported masks on the market, we decided to seize the moment and make affordable masks."

Musema said each mask costs sh3000. For those who buy in large quantities, they sell each mask as sh2000.
 

 ulondo ustafa making a face mask                                          Mulondo Mustafa making a face mask

 
He requested the government to stop importing masks from abroad since Ugandans have taken up the opportunity. 

Challenges

Musema said some people are afraid to buy their masks because they think they are substandard. "Most people prefer buying those in clinics and supermarkets. The public underestimates locally made masks." 

 ome of the finished masks ach costs sh3000                                                      Some of the finished masks. Each costs sh3000

 
Musema, also revealed that they face a challenge when it comes to delivering masks to some of their interested customers. "Some of our customers stay far and transportation becomes difficult given the fact that public and private transport was banned.

Seizing the moment

With the global economic crisis that has jeopardized the economy globally, leaving many youths jobless, Musema calls upon fellow youth to think out of the box to survive during and post-COVID-19.

 ulondo ustafa cutting a cloth to make masks                                           Mulondo Mustafa cutting a piece of cloth to make masks

 
"Desperate times call for desperate measures" As other people are holding their chins, Musema and his group have learnt how to take advantage of the crisis at hand.

The group members have learnt to work under pressure to meet the target they have set for themselves. They make about 400 masks a day with each mask taking a maximum of three minutes.

 
On a good day, the group makes at least sh100,000 and on an underwhelming day, they make only sh20,000 according to Musema.

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