By Kajuga Rogers Kabagambe
Kampala, Uganda’s Capital, is known as one of the best destination city in Africa, however, it still faces many challenges. The city grapples with the problem of slum areas where lawlessness is the order of the day. Such areas include Kisenyi, the epicenter of crime and Katanga in Wandegeya and many other locations in the outskirts of the city.
However, Haruna Sentongo, exploited the opportunity by making a risk to invest in what is known as slum areas and unattractive parts of the city that now earns him millions of dollars.
This has made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs.
Haruna’s story of building his multi-billion business empire from scratch is not so different from that of his elder brother, Hamis Kiggundu.
Haruna reveals that he started out with a capital of Uganda Shillings 300,000 he obtained from his father which enabled him to establish a retail business when he was aged 16 in 2003. The business majorly dealt in selling ladies handbags and other accessories before he went into furniture business that shot him into real estate.
As many businessmen were fearing to risk their pennies in the slum areas of Kampala City that were characterized by lawlessness, Haruna embraced it as an opportunity and started buying cheap plots of land in such areas. The investments he has made in such areas now earn him millions of dollars which ranks him among the richest Ugandans and most famous landlords in Kampala.
His major investments, now which are in mega-billions of Uganda shillings, include the Haruna Towers located at Kubiri which used to be a place for low income earners, the Segawa Market Complex in Kisenyi, one of the oldest renown slums has over 320 markets stalls which earns him a fortune today.
Haruna has other commercial buildings in Wandegeya, Mengo, Ntinda and in other different locations around Kampala City.
His Company, Haruna Enterprise Uganda is now a rich company running a chain of many businesses that majorly deal in Real Estate.
In 2016, he started out other projects in Nsangi, a town in the outskirts of the city where he manufactures Beverages under the name of View Water, Salaam Juice and has further expanded to manufacturing other consumable goods like soap, candles, detergents and confectioneries. This company is steadily progressing and penetrating market to establish itself as one of the big brands in Uganda.
Haruna has further invested in Fitness Centres like Gym and Sauna which are scattered in different locations around Kampala City. Recently, he confirmed that his businesses will be spreading wings to others East African countries with immediate interests in Mombasa in Kenya ,Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania and Zanzibar.
Over the next five years, he has ambitions of construction a 40-storied business mall in Nakasero, which will be one of the tallest skyscrapers on the scenes of Kampala. He is still young and ambitious, he believes in setting goals and achieving them. A virtue that has driven him to amass wealth.
Haruna remains one of Uganda’s youngest entrepreneurs below age 40 who are expected to represent Uganda on the Forbes list of businessmen making a fortune in Africa.
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