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Boney Katatumba on being traditionally entrepreneurial

By Agnes E. Nantaba

Boney Mwebasa Katatumba is one of Uganda’s best known entrepreneurs. Since 2002, he has been the Consul of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He spoke to Agnes E Nantaba about a Christian representing an Islamic republic and marrying two wives

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I am married to two independent women I love equally; Gertrude and Grace. We have nine children. I had my first child Rosemary in my senior five and denied her. My parents took her in until I realised that denying her yielded nothing. I am a father of twins; Angella Katatumba and Rugiirwa Allan Katatumba.

I became a diplomat by honour; the president of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf had met me in Pakistan before during a visit as the Chairman of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and I was considered as a Consul upon closing the embassy of Pakistan in Uganda.

As a boy, my grandmother christened me `a creator’ and it has followed me in my work. I am traditionally entrepreneurial. At seven years old, I was selling juice made out of bananas to bus passengers, not out of lack but the urge to work.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

When everything is as God planned it.

What is your greatest fear?

Being portrayed as a bad person more so a liar or a crook.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Sometimes I speak too fast.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Failure to take work seriously.

Which living person do you most admire?

Justice James Ogoola; he is very articulate and has worked to be a respectable elder.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My health; for instance I consume cocktail juice of at least 25 different fruits and vegetables every day.

What is your current state of mind?

I am relaxed because I let things be.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Going to church alone doesn’t make one a good person, its more than that.

On what occasion do you lie?

If the lie can make anyone better.

Which living person do you most despise?

Anyone who can waste his or her value.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Contentment about the things he has achieved.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Being a peace maker rather than one who is ever complaining or starting quarrels.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Do as you say and say what you do.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My two wives; they have accommodated my complex character for a very long time.

When and where were you happiest?

On November 4, 2014 which ended the six year legal battle with the Commercial Court ordering businessman Mukesh Shukla to return my property worth millions of shillings which had been illegally transferred. It was the apex of my hard work and pride.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

As a Christian, representing an Islamic Republic for 16 consecutive years is a record.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

The same person because I am not missing anything.

Where would you most like to live?

I have travelled to over 110 countries but home is best.

What is your most treasured possession?

My bag that I have held for more than 40 years; every key thing of mine is kept within.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being lifted or fed in very old age or as a sick person.

What is your favorite occupation?

Since childhood, I just wanted to be a business person.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Straightforwardness .

Who are your favorite writers?

Chief Musamaali Nangoli the writer of ‘No more lies about Africa’.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Henry Ford; he built an empire that has survived him.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My parents; the late Joseph and Anna Maria Katatumba. From them, I learnt to be hardworking.

How would you like to die?

Peacefully in my sleep or after a short time of illness .

What is your motto?

Do what you say and say what you do

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