By Joan Akello
Founding managing Director of Great Lakes Safaris
Who are you in two sentences?
I am an outspoken person, a practicing Christian that means I fail sometimes. I’m so passionate about Uganda, my family, Great Lakes.
What can’t you live without?
My God, my family and I don’t think I can do without Uganda.
What are your top three hobbies?
Reading, Sports. I jog and I like visiting places.
Why is it so important to relate with people?
If you have interpersonal skills, you are better than the most highly qualified person. I build relationships with people everywhere I go but only share with those who add value.
Which book are you reading and what have you learnt so far?
Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography. Persistence, good dreaming and organisation.
What are you watching currently?
I watch the American Apprentice Donald Trump. I follow the business acumen.
What did you want to be as a child?
A policeman. I thought that policemen had so much power, they could stop cars. As a child, I thought that was important.
If you were younger what career would you choose apart from tourism?
None. There is nothing I would change. Tourism is everything for me.
Tourism can build our GDP if we are serious people.
What are the challenges you face in the industry much as you love it?
There are mainly three. We lack skilled labour, we are importing people to come and work here because we do not have any centres of excellence to train people to competently work in the sector, we lack infrastructure and government has no marketing budget. Government is earning from tourism but it is not investing in it.
What is the hardest decision you have had to make?
I make them every day. I have to fire and hire people.
Which woman do you admire?
She is hardworking, and tough.
Where do you derive your happiness?
By serving other people and ensuring that people enjoy what I am doing.
What really angers you?
Wanting to be listened to when you do not have facts and figures
What is your greatest achievement?
Putting up a company that is providing so many opportunities to Ugandans.
About how many Ugandans?
They are about 180 people who are also looking after otherpeople.
What is your philosophy about life?
Just be yourself.
How do you want to be remembered?
As a loving father, a person that loved God and Uganda.
How big is your family?
I am married with three children.
When was the last time you cried?
A month ago but I have been crying too many times.
What is your favourite colour?
Any special attachment to it?
I love it because it blends with the environment
What one thing would you say to your wife?
Of course I love her. She knows it.