By Joan Akello
Josephine Mbatudde Birungi is an events manager who plans and manages functions of all types; ranging from corporate to traditional events of all sizes. She started out as an usher in 2010 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Education yet she did not want to practice teaching. When she ventured into events management, she hired the first tools she used from her mother a fashion designer in Kampala. “This helped me to usher at events of fellow church members and relatives at a very low cost of Shs 100,000 or even free of charge to grow the clientele,” says Mbatudde. But the fee has since increased to Shs700, 000 and beyond depending on the type of event.
She has since diversified her work from just offering ushering services to event planning and management to counseling and guidance under the Diva Links Uganda brand which she says was fully incorporated as a limited company in 2011.
Mbatudde notes that different occasions require different approaches. Traditional marriage introduction ceremonies, for instance, require one to be dressed in traditional attire. Graduation and corporate events have peculiar requirements. The company’s greatest challenge was sourcing attires for the different occasions but with careful utilisation of the earnings, Mbatudde has stocked enough for each type of function.
To date the company employs over 500 youths, 50% of whom are assigned to ushering.
Success tips: Commitment, loyalty to the job
Mbatudde has a strategy for keeping in business. “It is love and commitment to the job that drives business. This not only makes me do the best but also execute my roles as outlined in the terms and conditions for every client.” She notes, “It is largely people whom we have worked for and appreciated our services who market our services to their friends and relatives,” said Mbatudde.
Mbatudde’s plan is to roll out company branches in other major towns upon completion of the diploma in events management.