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