Side hustles: It is that time of the year that those that prepared themselves are reaping from their side hustles for survival. Now, we all know that the entertainment industry was hit hard and while we have seen many entertainers crying out for relief and easing of the lockdown, it is not all gloom. While most were tight-lipped on letting us in on their side hustles, Isaac Ssejjombwe managed to speak to some.
Uncle Walter – Dancer
I do crafts and pimp up stuff
Dancing aside, I do crafts work and also dress earphones and other accessories. I am also a part time counsellor for dancers and street children.
I did not go to school to gain skills in these side hustles, but these are rather new things we try out along the journey of life.
Because dance is a hustle itself, it does not mean you can earn from it, but you need a strategy on how the industry works, so I was forced to look for alternative ways to bring in more income since I have so many responsibilities that need cash, such as supporting some dancers financially.
In a day, I sell about three sets of earphones, and the cheapest costs Shs30,000. Of that, Shs50,000 goes back to the business, Shs20,000 is labour to the two ladies that help while Shs20,000 goes to my savings. We work Monday to Friday only and by the end of the week, we have profits of about Shs100,000, or more sometimes.
Kapa Cat – Artiste
I sell perfumes
When I am not doing music, I am doing my side business of selling perfumes, which I was doing before even my music broke out. My business is called PCK and I started it during my third year at campus. This business was inspired by my strong love for nice scents. During my adolescent years, a boy told me that I had a bad odour, which I was unaware of, but since that time, I decided to be conscious in that area.
I started the business with my little savings of Shs200,000 which I used to buy 12 bottles of body splash, I mixed them and came up with a new blend of scents. I got overwhelming support from the start and I have not looked back since. My client base kept growing and with time they became loyal customers.
Business has been slow this season because my suppliers downtown are not working, so I have been depending on my available stock. My vision is to find a suitable location to put it up since I only deliver and then with time perhaps create my own label.
DJ Mark (Mark Kiyinji)
I deal in poultry and piggery
I am a farmer and I have been dealing in poultry and piggery on my two-acre piece of land in Masaka. I learnt this business from my parents growing up and so far I have 15 pigs and 200 chicken, although I have sold most of them during this lockdown. The chicken cost Shs15,000 while the pigs cost between Shs150,000 and Shs500,000. Business has been slow this season as most of my clients have not been doing well financially.
Besides farming, I own K-Mark School of Deejaying which I started in 2016. The school teaches both deejays and emcees because income from being a DJ can only be sustainable if you have some side business.
Before Covid-19 lockdown, we had 20 students, some of whom had finished the course and are now working.
MC Esco – NTV presenter
I do PR and marketing
I run G.Power Concepts as well as do public relations work for Nomad Bar & grill for close to a year now. G.Power connects small businesses to clients and also creates marketing concepts and events management.
We have been active for close to three years now, although we started in 2013.
Emceeing is paying but it is gig-based, so at such a time when there are no gigs, the business comes in handy.
I am proud to have mentored people like Isaac MC and Bik MC who are products of G.Power Concepts.
I am able to handle both businesses because each has its own time frame, so it is about making time for each of them since in the end it is for my benefit.
Nisha Kalema – Actor
I am a farmer
Acting, directing, writing and producing film aside, I am a farmer dealing in poultry and I cultivate maize, beans, passion fruits and matooke as well.
Although I am a journalist by profession, I believe agriculture is never out of style and it always feeds the family, although making films brings in more money for me.
Despite the fact that I spend most of my time making films, I make sure I allocate enough time to my farming too. I do my farming on a hired piece of land and before lockdown, I used to visit it at least once a week.
Chiko – Comedian
I am a poultry farmer
I started a poultry project a year ago in Mukono-Nsoba. I started with 1,000 layers but now I have 4,000 and they are hatching. My family helps me run the business. I grew up around this kind of business and my father used to earning so much from it, so this was my inspiration to start the same. Besides, poultry is the kind of business that does not discriminate and if handled well, one can really earn good money from it.
Of course comedy brings in more money but poultry is something I have been falling back on for additional income because in a day, before Covid-19 lockdown, we used to collect between 17 and 20 trays, which we sold at Shs8,000. But now business is slow.
Madrat – Comedian
My first side hustle was a boutique and I had invested about Shs20m to get it up and running but I decided to give it to my wife. I then started a piggery in 2016 on my pieces of land in Nkokonjeru and Kyetume. However when the lockdown happened, it became hard to sustain it as it required close maintaining and feeding the pigs.
Now, I am into brokering with Agenox Estates, which I co-run with a friend. We deal in real estate. We deal mainly in Mukono, Namugongo and Namilyango.
This business does not require ‘books’ and also I have some experience in it, so it is easy for me to run. But of all, still comedy has always brought in the most money.