Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network

Is this Uganda – stealing a clothes hanger?

Clothes Selling at the Makindye Flea Market in May 2011

This is Gilbert again from the Butterfly Project and I want to talk about the clothes business we have been doing this year.  To be a changemaker, I will need support and funds and so on the Butterfly Project we learn entrepreneurship.  The Butterfly Project has started its own businesses already – the water melon business in the north, chicken rearing at the centre and the second-hand clothes selling business which I call the CSB, as I am one of those people running this business. this business which we started this year, we sell second hand cloths sent to us from abroad and next year we hope to receiving much larger quanities.  We managed to  sell the majority of the clothes but since it was our first time some of the items were more difficult to sell.   This was because in Uganda pricing and quality are not the same and you will find that very good and nice things still sell cheap in Uganda, especially the first two places of selling the clothes that is Bugolobi and Banda markets.  Because the Banda market was a local market people really didn’t consider quality, just price.  We found a better place at the FLEA market in Makindye though even here the majority of people in Uganda were caring less for the quality but the price and this is what it is llike in Uganda.

We were selling clothes all day and one of our last buyers before we left the market a lady bought a very nice shirt at a very low price which was on a hanger.   She held it and started looking at it, then she paid off the money and walked away with everything, including the hanger, which was worth as much as she paid for the shirt.  This made me angry because I called her a number of times as she was walking but all she did was increase her walking speed.   I chased after her and asked her to give me the hanger but still she resisted and even lied that one of the sellers had told her to take it, which was not true and this just symbolizes Uganda’s impression about things.  I was angry because even a hanger can hold back our business somehow because we needed to buy another hanger.  She confidently took what was not hers, knowing that because I was only 15 then no one would take notice of me.

That day, though, we made 85,000 shillings and we used that money to bring about more change, buying materials for activities or allowing people to travel from place to place.   So entrepreneurship is important for us, helping us live a better life where we can somehow provide for ourselves as an entrepreneur.  Also with entrepreneurship a person is respected and also recognized by the people and the society which plays a big role in making the work of a social entrepreneur or change maker successful.

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