Triple Threat: Ubunifu Directors Blazing The Way For Young Entrepreneurs
On a cursory glance, Bradford, Yvonne and Amanda look like the usual international school set; fancy accents, nifty gadgets and sharp outfits. But a few minutes with them, you realize that they are different. They are solid. They have substance. Unlike the pop culture and social media drivel that takes up most of their peers’ time the trio discusses business strategies and regional prospects. ‘We are excited about creating a business that focuses on something we are passionate about. Watching it grow and working with each other to create fun and motivating projects for everyone is like a dream come true. Meet the directors of Ubunifu House Of Management a rapidly growing PR company dedicated to providing clients with results-oriented advertising, public relations, and total marketing support.
SheSpell: Who are you?
Brad: My name is Bradford James Kamuntu, commonly referred to as Brad. I was born December 05th 1988 to Ms. Rosalind Birungi Balinda and Late (Cpt) Prince Jimmy Kamuntu. I am the eldest of two children. I was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda and briefly in the United Kingdom. I was raised solely by my mother, I like to refer to her as my biggest inspiration as she overcame all stereotypes about single parenting, worked hard and tirelessly to make sure my sister and I had a wonderful life and the best education. I started off at Safari Kindergarten went to Cypress Hill School (UK) and later Lohana Academy. I spent one year at Taibah College but I was not cut out for boarding school or life away from home and moved to Rainbow International School for both my O and A level. I then did a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Media Management from Cavendish University.
Nunu: My name is Nunu Yvonne Barigye aka Nunu. I was born 05 July 1988, to Ms Elizabeth Kankunda and the late Prince John Barigye. I attended Greenhill Academy and Aga Khan Primary school for my primary education, Taibah College School for both O’level and A’level and there after Malaysia, where I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors (Hons) Business Marketing. I worked with SingTel Telecommunications after University for 18months before I decided to move back to Uganda.
Amanda: I’m Amanda Fiat, Rwandan by nationality. I am the last born of 7 children, 5 girls and 2 boys. I was in Ecole belge (French school) for my primary school then decided to change to an English system. That’s when I came to Uganda and joined Taibah college school for my O levels. My first year was very challenging because I had to change languages from French to English almost instantly. However, I don’t regret this since now I speak both languages fluently. I also speak Swahili and Kinyarwanda and they are a very important tool in our new venture in East Africa. I did my A level in Vienna College Namugongo, and went to University in Malaysia. I graduated in April 2014 with a bachelor degree in business management and majored in marketing.
SheSpell: How did the three of you meet?
Brad: Nunu is my cousin, so I have known her basically my entire life. We were very close growing up and maintained a strong bond into our adult years, she’s actually someone I consider a sister more than a cousin really. I would like to think I was Amanda’s first friend when she joined Taibah, she was new to the country and we bonded and I sort of took her under my wing.
Nunu: Bradford and have been close since childhood. I met Amanda in 2003, we went to the same secondary school, Taibah college, we were friends from the day she joined the school, even though I was a year ahead. We both happened to attend university in Malaysia. We have maintained a close friendship till date.
Amanda: I met Bradford and Nunu in 2003 when I joined Taibah and we forged a friendship that has stood the test of time.
SheSpell: How did this concept come about?
Brad: Last November Amanda and I had a long lunch and a chat about the bleak employment atmosphere in Kampala. We decided there and then to solve our employment dilemmas while exploring our passions by going into PR and marketing. At that moment we had no idea what shape it would take but all pieces fell into place over the following months.
Nunu: Before I moved back to Uganda for good in Dec 2014, I did a bit of online job hunting in Uganda but the results were de-motivating, either the pay was too low compared to the field of work and input required, or somehow it didn’t fit what I was looking to do regarding marketing and PR. I went for a few job interviews in January and February but was still not content. I was persistent though and even when people advised to settle for whatever I’m offered, for the sake of experience, I was not willing to settle for less. In March 2015, I spoke to a close relative and mentor who advised that they’d be no point in settling for less than my potential in the name of being employed, and advised on applying what I’d studied in finding employment, this rang a bell immediately. I happened to be in Nairobi shortly after, visiting Brad, with whom we had a similar discussion and he mentioned he had a chat with Amanda on the same, we decided to team up, considering all three of us had studied Marketing, it was a perfect match and like they say, the rest is history.
Amanda: I am passionate about PR and marketing. When I looked around, I realized that there was no one offering creative services that are necessary in this tech-driven era. Plus I had the advantage of experience, having gained a lot of knowledge while working for SkyhitzGlobal in Malaysia. At the end of 2014 I had long lunch and chat with Bradford and we agreed to join forces to start a company that would shake things up in the region.
SheSpell: Explain the name of your company and describe the concept?
Brad: Our organization is called Ubunifu House of Management; “Ubunifu” is Swahili for Creativity and creativity is the word that best describes us and hopefully is what people will see when they look at the results of our work. We will take our brand all over East Africa hence the Swahili name as Swahili is the language of the entire region.
Amanda: Ubunifu means creativity. The name is ideal because Swahili is spoken all over East Africa and it captures the spirit of the company.
Nunu: We provide results oriented on-line advertising, public relations and total marketing support. The internet is the future and we aim at interacting and engaging our clientele as well as creating awareness and growth of our employers through this platform.
SheSpell: What do you hope to achieve with your organization?
Brad: We are dedicated to providing our clients with results-oriented advertising, public relations, and total marketing support. We are committed to providing products and services that benefit our clients. We hope to be the most sought after platform for organizations and individuals to use social media marketing and public relations to increase and improve productivity for their brands and services.
Nunu: We hope to grow into the most dynamic media company in and around East Africa, baby steps for now.
Amanda: Like I said Ubunifu house of management is here to shake things up. We hope to cross borders and give new life to businesses in East Africa.
SheSpell: Give us your honest opinion of the social media market and public relations field in Uganda?
The social media market and public relations fields are growing in Uganda, people are slowly coming to terms with the fact that social media is the fastest mode of marketing and advertising available right now. More and more organizations and individuals are embracing it so it has grown tremendously, but still has a long way to go and we hope to be a part of the journey to take it to its peak.
Nunu: Most companies are embracing the idea of social media marketing and online Public Relations to create public awareness and interact with their clients in a faster and more relaxed environment. The field is still growing and the opportunities are limitless.
Amanda: Social media is no longer just a platform for kids to hook up. It is a strong marketing and communication tool that is very effective if used professionally.
SheSpell: Any advice for young adults like yourself, hoping to become entrepreneurs as well?
Brad: If you have a dream, be passionate about it and work hard at it regardless of circumstances. Have confidence in your abilities, surround yourself with a great support system, the kind that will help you and encourage you to be great.
Nunu: We are living in a tech driven era, utilize your resources, be humble because every great person started small, have the right network and believe in yourself. Above all, put God first.
Amanda: It is always hard at the beginning but if that’s your passion and dream don’t give up work hard and it will pay off one day. I would like to share my favorite quote which keeps me going whenever I think of giving up.
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”– Anonymous