Employment is slavery – Santa Joyce Mego urges youth on business


“In Uganda, to be employed is to be a slave.” These were the words of Ms Santa Joyce Mego a grand mother making millions in agribusiness.

Ms. Santa, who prefers to be called Grandma Joyce, was talking to youth attending a dialogue with women in business organized by the American Embassy last Wednesday.

Grandma Joyce began business at the age of 10 in early 1970s selling mandazi to supplement her family income. She has since been engaged in several businesses but not dropped the mandazi selling which she has now passed down to her grand children with more value added to it.

  • Mandazi and Cookies making
  • Knitting table clothes
  • Beading [social enterprise]
  • Simsim oil [Social enterprise]

During her presentation Grandma Joyce had a number of tips for young people.

  1. Dream very big but start small ad work your way up.
  2. How much are you worth? Know what you are worth and don’t let anyone throw you off the track.
  3. Be focused and determined, your business is your baby it needs all your attention and time. A business will sense that you are not paying attention to it and it diminish. Treat your business like your job.
  4. Set your own goals.
  5. Have a business plan.
  6. Network with others.
  7. Get trained
  8. Does your family understand the business? Pass your skills to them.

Joyce has now zeroed on 2 businesses personally though the rest of her family runs other businesses. She discouraged youth from trying to be jacks of all trade. She sells cookies and deals in Simsim [Sesame oil] teaching farmers in Amuru and Gulu on how to have the best simsim and then buys the product from them to extract the oil which she sells.

The American Embassy regularly organizes training sessions on Wednesday and you can be part of it by contacting Eriki, Peter P on [email protected]

By Prossy Nyafono


Online Media for Youth.