Top 40 under 40: Top achievers riding on passion

By Ritah Monica Mukasa

They should be a beacon to their peers and doing something extra that impacts their communities, all this while they are aged 40 and below. If you are this person or know someone who is, email your nomination to

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KAMPALA - Sunday Vision's Top 40 under 40 ranking is back. We are looking for outstanding managers/leaders who are star performers and advancing in their careers. They should be a beacon to their peers and doing something extra that impacts their communities, all this while they are aged 40 and below.

If you are this person or know someone who is, email your nomination to All nominations will be considered by a committee, which decides who will be profiled. From the profiled individuals, a panel of judges will select the final winners, who will be announced in January. This week, Ritah Mukasa and Cecile Cissy profiled the nominees who are in the running to become Uganda's Top 40 under 40 2019.

Hamiidu Junju, 25
Founder and chairperson, 
uwero Triangle Association 

Hamiidu Junju, 25, completed his primary education at Bbuye Islamic Primary School, went to King Faisal Islamic Secondary School for O'level, before joining Pride Secondary School for his A' level. 

"I later joined Kampala University, where I pursued a bachelor's degree in public administration," he says.  

"If I was given 20 minutes with someone, it would be with Robert  Kabushenga, the chief executive officer of Vision Group, because he is my role model. He has helped the youth and other people."

"I would ask him for guidance in my leadership career and to help me lobby for the 20,046 youth I lead," Junju says.
Work experience
Junju is the founder and chairperson of the Luwero Triangle Youth Association, which operates in Mityana, Luwero, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Kasanda, Mubende and Wakiso districts.

"Transparency, creativity, reliability, and commitment have helped me execute my duties diligently. I have been able to sustain the association for six years," Junju says.
"Surprisingly, I have been a leader in all the fields I have worked in."

"I am the youth chairperson of Nakyewa village, Katikamu sub-county in Luwero district. I am also the chairperson LC2 for the youth in Miggade parish, Katikamu sub-county in Luwero," he says. 

Junju works with Kampala University Luwero campus as the marketing officer. He is also the operations manager at Save the Youth in Luwero, an initiative that skills the youth.

"I mobilise the youth to engage in government programmes. I also train them in skills development and lobby for seeds from wealth creation, as well as bursaries for the youth to join university. At times, I do counselling for drug addicts and hold motivational workshops for the youth," Junju says. 
"In the next 10 years, I see myself as one of the best leaders and a prominent entrepreneur in Uganda, running a skills development centre to equip the youth for a productive country," Junju says. 

He also says he wants to lead the campaign for mindset change for the people of Luwero district. 

"I want to skill the youth in the nine districts of Luwero triangle, especially the school dropouts and the disgruntled ones. This will help to create employment opportunities and increase the country's taxbase," Junju says. 

Michelle Omamteker, 
Director, Cambridge International School
Founder, Malengo Foundation and Market

Michelle Omamteker, 32, is the director of Cambridge International School in Entebbe and the founder of Malengo Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in Uganda.

"Social inclusion is the glue that joins other forms of inclusion. Promote social, economic and political inclusion, regardless of disability, economic background, race, and religion. There is no way we can say we relate with persons with disabilities by contributing for them to go to school, yet we cannot employ them in future,'' Omamteker says.

Malengo Foundation cares for the less privileged, such as orphans, the homeless and persons living with disabilities. 

Omamteker is passionate about helping others. When she was young and still in school, she says she paid school fees and provided scholastic materials for a boy she did not know. 

"When I realised that I could help children go to school, I thought of getting a platform to do the work and that birthed Malengo Foundation," she says.
"We also have Malengo Market, where we sell and promote items, such as clothes, jewellery, and bags on behalf of persons with disabilities," she explains.
Omamteker was inspired to start the market by Cissy Nagawa, an amputee she met in 2016. 

"Nagawa used to make crafts and sell them in her home area. When I saw her work, I felt the need to find a better market for her and Malengo Market in Entebbe was born. Today, Nagawa earns good money from her crafts."

Omamteker has written books, such as Malengo Tales, which she believes will change the perception of children about persons with disabilities. 

In 2016, she organised the first fashion show, Hot Pink, which has been on for three editions so far. It is about persons with disabilities showcasing their style and talent in modeling and entertainment.

Last year, Omamteker featured a documentary on CNN television about her organisation. 

"If you had told me that I would one day be on CNN, I would not believe you, but there I was spreading the message of inclusion."

"In April, we launched the girl 50-50 project, which aims at mainstreaming disability rights in gender, targeting girls in schools and vocational institutions, where we gave out sanitary towels and diapers for those who have incontinence," she says.
Her rise

After completing a bachelor's degree in Business at Nelson Mandela National University in South Africa, Omamteker joined Entebbe Junior School, where she worked in the accounts department.

She later joined Cambridge Entebbe Junior School as the director to date. 
Omamteker attended Lakeside Primary School and completed her O'level from Kabojja SS. She later joined Cambridge Rainbow for her A' level.

She went to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for a degree in business administration.
Omamteker won a humanitarian award in 2017 from the PAFA awards.
She was also nominated among the 20 most influential people in Entebbe municipality in 2017.

"If I were to meet someone for 20 minutes, it would be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian novelist. I would ask her how she managed to make reading cool again. Ngozi made African literature urban, cool and stylish." 

"She is smart, assertive and she gave me the zeal to push through everything I do."
"If I were to relive, I would be honoured to come back as an ally and friend to Nelson Mandela. I believe I would learn so much from him and it would be a great privilege to witness his greatness and fight for people's rights.
"In 10 years, I see myself as an advocate for sustainable development goal 10 on reducing inequalities, to create an Africa that recognises respects and advances all persons, regardless of disability and economic background and feeling optimistic as we wait to appraise our milestones and challenges."

Esther Namboka, 36
Executive director, 
Gals forum international

Esther Namboka, 36, spends most of her time with her team brainstorming solutions to people's lives. 

In 2018, she was recognised as a social inclusion hero in Uganda by the World Bank, where she ranked Top 10 in Africa in recognition of her work in mobilising women vendors off the streets and equipping them with business skills. This, she did with the support from the trade ministry.

In the same year, she received the Community Service Excellence Award by Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Ltd.
Success story
Namboka is the founder and executive director of Gals Forum International, a non-governmental organisation that fosters economically empowered families, with a focus on women and girls. 

In partnership with the trade ministry, the NGO has skilled over 400 women, street children and market vendors in tailoring fashion and design, hairdressing and cosmetology, cookery and bakery. 

Gals Forum International is an implementing partner with Plan International on the Safer Cities for Adolescent Girls project in Makindye and Kawempe slums, targeting 1,200 girls and 450 boys. 

In 2018, the NGO was accredited by the Government of Egypt to join a number of individuals and organisational international observers during the presidential elections. And this year, it also observed Egypt's referendum.

"Every year, as the world commemorates the International Day of the Girl Child, since 2017, the NGO, in partnership with Plan International, has been identifying girls that symbolically assume a top leadership position in the country to empower girls. 
Career journey
In 2018, Namboka became a technical advisor and member of the steering committee of the USAID's project, Health Partners, a project that is advocating for the formation of health co-operatives for all.

In the same year, she also became a technical advisor at the International Alliance for Peace and Development, based in Geneva, which promotes peace and security across Africa and globally.

She has attended a young leaders training in Nairobi Kenya, under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which is a Barrack Obama initiative on the empowerment of African youth.

She was the first chairperson of the YALI Alumni Chapter of Uganda.
Namboka is a graduate of Cherie Blair Mentoring Women in Business Foundation.
She is a national mentor with the My World Mentoring programme, which is a televised mentorship programme run by NTV and GIZ.

She is a financial literacy trainer of trainees with Bank of Uganda and a certified trainer in child protection and women's rights and leadership. 

She also possesses over 10 years' experience working in the non-profit sector, with a passion for children, youth and women. 

Namboka holds a postgraduate diploma in procurement and supply chain management from Uganda Management Institute and a bachelor's degree in information technology from Makerere University.
She attended MaryHill High School in Mbarara for A' level, Our Lady of Good Counsel Gayaza for O'level and St Kizito Primary School, Bugolobi for her primary education.
Source of Inspiration
"Granted 20 minutes with anyone, it would be with Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I would inform him that the UN should take pragmatic steps to support girls and women," Namboka says. 

If I were given a chance to come back in life as a different person, I would choose to come back as Mother Tereza, because she possessed the traits that I try to live by. 
"In the next 10 years, I see myself as a social change catalyst, a champion of change in my organisation and in communities." 

Francis Kyegarikye, 40,
Chairperson Mbarara Sports Club

Francis Kyegarikye, 40, resigned from his job at Scotiabank in Canada and returned home to contribute to the development of his country. 
His areas of interest are sports and business.

Kyegarikye is currently the director at New Mugisha Trading Company, a second-generation family venture based in Mbarara town, from where it spreads out to over 10 districts. 

Kyegarikye oversees daily business operations, developing and executing strategies, providing strategic advice, preparing and implementing business plans plus negotiating and representing the company.

Kyegarikye is also the proprietor of Spot-Lite Saloon and Café Mondial, both in Mbarara district.
Kyegarikye also has passion for sports and is currently the chairperson Mbarara Sports Club. 

He has been instrumental in rejuvenating the image of the club and has secured sponsorships for various tournaments.

Before that, from 2017-2018, he was the chairperson of Mbarara Corporate Club, where he promoted a healthy lifestyle among the corporate community. He also encouraged business networking through friendly sport outings, competitions, and service. 

It was also during his term that the annual corporate club dinner, featuring corporate companies, was initiated. 
What makes him tick?
One of Kyegarikye's colleagues describes him as one who has so far lived a fulfilling life.
"He is a man on the move, who is making attempts to improve his community," Kyegarikye's friend asserts. 

Talking about himself, Kyegarikye says he believes in teamwork, tough but fair evaluation of employee performance, capacity building and recognition of hardwork.
"I execute my obligations through empowering and delegating some of my responsibilities," he expounds, adding: "I also believe in transformational leadership that brings about personal accountability while retaining a hands-on approach." 
Education Background
Kyegarikye started his education journey at Mbarara Kindergarten and Mbarara Progressive Primary School, before enrolling at St Joseph's Vocational School in Mbarara for his O'level and Mbarara High School for A'level. 

At Mbarara High School, he is fondly remembered for his football skills that helped the school win several trophies, as well as participate in national and regional tournaments. 

He later moved to Concordia High School in Canada for a high school diploma and later graduated with a bachelor's degree of art in political science and economics from Concordia University College of Alberta.

Kyegarikye also holds two certificates — one in investment funds and another in Canadian investment securities from the Institute of Canadian bankers. Besides, he is a certified financial planner and holds customer service certification from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. 
Career journey 
Upon completion of his degree, Kyegarikye secured a job as sales associate with Landmark Home Builders in Canada, before he joined Scotiabank as personal banking officer. 

At the bank, he rose through the ranks to become senior personal and business banking officer and professional financial advisor to senior professional financial advisor. 

At 31 years in 2010, he returned home and joined New Mugisha Trading Company as the operations manager, before being promoted to general manager and director, his current position. 
Accolades to his name
From 2001-2002, Kyegarikye was named top scorer, winning himself the All Conference Award, men's soccer at Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. 
2002-2005, he won an athletic scholarship at Concordia University College and for four years consecutively, he was named most valuable player at Concordia University College Men's soccer. 

At different times, he was gold medal winner and silver medalist at Concordia University College - Men's soccer. 

In 2005, he was awarded for his outstanding contribution to Concordia University College Men's Soccer Programme. 

At Scotiabank, Kyegarikye scooped the best mortgages and insurances salesperson award in 2008.
When granted 20 minutes with anyone in the world, Kyegarikye would have a chat with American golfer Tiger Woods for he has shown persistence in what he does despite challenges. 

A chance at reincarnation, he would opt to come back to life as Barrack Obama, who has gone against all odds to be one of the most powerful black men in the world. 
A sneak peek into the future
In the next 10 years, Kyegarikye sees himself becoming a better father to his now teenage children. 

"I also envision contributing to community-based programmes."


Dorothy Kabagambe Ssemanda, 35,
Chief Finance Officer ATC Uganda

Kabagambe is the chief finance officer at American Tower Corporation (ATC) Uganda.
She leads the finance function and her job entails supporting the business from its core, with all financial aspects. This involves financial business support through analysis, cash flow planning, budgeting, and forecasting. 

The 35-year-old is also charged with compliance to regulatory requirements, reporting to shareholders, ensuring accurate book-keeping, tax and treasury management, capital investment analysis and product costing, among others.

Since 2014, she has been a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Away from career, the mother of three is passionate about building community churches. This year, using her savings, she has contributed to the completion of a community church in Namalere, Kawanda in Wakiso district.

"I support over 30 orphans, who live with an old woman called Jajja Florence," she reveals. 

Kabagambe says she met Jajja Florence in 2016 and has since walked her life journey with her. 
What makes her tick?
Kabagambe describes herself as one driven to deliver results, a reason she is a strategic partner to the chief executive officer and the business. 

She also employs a hands-on approach and works closely with staff from every department within the organisation. For example, she gets involved with sales, legal, human resource and with the engineering section.

"This allows me to offer financial support and influence decisions in every process. I also deliver results and ensure compliance to business processes," she affirms.
Kabagambe stands out wherever she works because she ensures that her team understand the financial impact of their decisions.  

For example, if the engineer does not rectify a battery backup problem on time, it means the generators will run longer, hence more diesel is consumed, more costs and less profits, she says. 

She is a firm believer in nurturing talent and creating an environment that allows staff to take on challenging tasks, get promotions and grow their career journey. This means she takes keen interest in staff who want to grow and works with them to map out a successful career path. 

"Over the last year, I have supported five of my staff to get promoted, get skilled, take on more challenging roles and, hopefully, get fulfillment in their career journey," she delights.
Education background
Kabagambe attended Namugongo Girls Boarding Primary School. She went to Uganda Martyrs SS Namugongo for both O' and A'level, completing in 2002. 

Her dream was to become an engineer, but having missed government sponsorship, she joined Makerere University Business school, where she pursued a bachelors of commerce in accounting. 

Thereafter, she enrolled for ACCA and CPA, before enrolling for master's in business administration from Herriot Watt University at Edinburgh Business School and completed in 2012.
Scaling up the career ladder
Upon completion of her degree, Kabagambe started her career journey with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Here, she garnered experience in auditing different multinational companies, preparing financial statements, reviewing financial controls, risk assessments, and internal control reviews.

In 2009, she moved to the defunct Zain Uganda Limited, now Airtel Uganda, as the business planning and analysis manager. She was in charge of financial business support, budgeting, planning, and costing. 

"It was a tough job which involved a lot of analysis, working through marketing proposals, different promotions and offering financial support to business decisions," she recollects, adding: "We worked long hours, sometimes leaving the office in the wee hours of the morning and at some point I thought it was a wrong career move.

Looking back 10 years later, it was simply part of the journey."
This part of her career taught her to work harder, to be resilient and learn financial control. 

Four years later, Kabagambe joined ATC Uganda as the finance operations manager in charge of transactional accounting. 

She has also done several roles, including supply chain management. She was part of the business startup team for ATC in Tanzania and when she returned to Uganda, she was promoted to regional treasury manager for EMEA in charge of seven countries — Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, France, and Germany. 

This role exposed Kabagambe to different countries, got experience in the treasury, dealing with different currency regime, several central bank regulations and restrictions, managing treasury systems and handling relationships with banks across different markets. 

In 2018, she was promoted to chief finance officer, an office she still holds.
Granted 20 minutes with anyone in the world, Kabagambe would spend it with Jack Ma, the richest man in China. She needs to learn from him how to grow a business from nothing. 

If she is to come back to life, Kabagambe would choose to reincarnate herself to be able to accomplish a lot she is yet to achieve in life. 

Kabagambe would like to lead a global humanitarian organisation, take a lead position in the World Bank, go to space and still be successful as a mother, wife, friend, and sister. 
A sneak peek in the future
In the next 10 years, Kabagambe envisions running a personal multi-national business. 

Innocent Atuhe, 38,
Executive Director,
Uganda Cancer Fund

Having worked in a hospital, Innocent Atuhe saw the plight of cancer patients. In 2014, he found patients at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) shivering in the cold night. It had rained and carers stood on the verandahs helplessly. 

Atuhe's heart sank and he resolved to do something to save the situation. It was then that an idea of a patients' hostel crossed his mind.

Less than a year later, he opened the doors of Freedom Cancer Patients Home to welcome vulnerable female cancer patients, more so, those with no place to live while receiving treatment at UCI. It is located on Mawanda Road in Kampala.

He operates the hostel under a non-profit organisation, Uganda Cancer Fund, which aims at promoting community cancer screening while offering counseling services to upcountry patients. 

The hostel can accommodate 20 patients at a time with their attendants. 
They receive free accommodation, meals, and psychosocial support. 

Atuhe, who also works as a hospital administrator at the UCI, says over the last three years, the hostel has accommodated up to 10,000 patients. 

"To be housed, a patient should be coming from a distance of more than 100km from Kampala, with no relatives in the city to host them," he says.

On funding, Atuhe says apart from donating part of his income, he is also supported by Hospice Africa, National Water, and Sewerage Corporation, Living Word Assembly Church and other well-wishers.

"I have been blessed through this hostel. Each shilling I donate, God rewards me tenfold," he says.

Away from the hostel, Atuhe's job as an administrator at UCI entails ensuring that the doctors, nurses and other staff have all the logistics they need to do their work. 
He also ensures that clients are satisfied with the institute's services.

Another hat the father of three balances on his head is one of serving as the president of the African Cancer Control Alliance, an organisation that brings together all the cancer control organisations in Africa.

For his contribution to the fight against cancer, Atuhe was awarded for leading an improving cancer organisation in Uganda by the American Cancer Society.
What makes him tick?
Atuhe says he always strives to do his work differently. 
He has always memorised his best quote to keep on the rail of success, I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination.

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die — Nelson Mandela.

Atuhe is resilient. For example, at a time when health workers shunned working in war-torn northern Uganda, he volunteered as a clinician with Gulu Hospital.
He has also worked as a senior clinician in the most remote corners of Kamwenge district. 
Education background
After secondary school, Atuhe went to Fort Portal School of clinical officers for a diploma in clinical medicine and community health. 

He later attended Bishop Stuart University for a bachelor's degree in social work and social administration.

In 2013, he graduated with a master's degree in science, specialising in hospital management from Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, where he also won an award for best presenter.

Atuhe has also attended several trainings in project planning and management, human resource management and grants writing.
If granted 20 minutes with anyone in the world, Atuhe would ask for time with Barack Obama because he inspires him. If he were to reincarnate, it would be as Nelson Mandela because he had a ‘heart of gold'.
Future prospects
In the next 10 years, he looks at becoming the best performing MP and minister.