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Uganda: Teacher Profile: Simon Mukambwe

Simon Mukamabwe is one of Mackay Memorial College senior and prominent teachers. He has worked in the school for eight years and his passion for cultural and student success has been evident from the very beginning. It was because of his passion and ability to engage the students that he was made Business Manager of the school business - Mackay Troupe.  Teach A Man To Fish interviewed Simon to discover more about his role as Business Manager and his perspective on Mackay Troupe.

Simon explained to us how he identified the opportunity to transform the music and  dance group into a troupe and more importantly  into a business in 2006,after noticing the students need for financial support and the schools increasing need for financial stability.

 

 

Simon not only wanted to create additional income for the school and students but he wanted to show them that ‘their talent and skills could be used to make money’.  He shared his vision with the Headteacher who identified the need and saw the potential. Four years later  (2010) the music and dance group officially formed as Mackay Troupe and began to provide a service of cultural dance at weddings.

Mackay Troupe have been growing steadily and are gaining greater recognition, they were recently selected by the Kampala City Council Association (KCCA) to perform at the 2013 Kampala Carnival to crowds in the thousands.

Simon hopes to see the Troupe grow in creativity, performance skills and  talent. With the support of Teach A Man To Fish they are now able to hire a full-time trainer to work with the students on a more regular basis so the students can provide a high quality and unique service to customers and even compete with the competitors!

‘It has been challenging being the business manager of Mackay Troupe but I have developed invaluable business skills and interpersonal skills’

Simon explains interacting and communication with students, liaising with external suppliers of costumes and musical instruments as well as customers has increased his communication skills. The training he has received from Teach A Man To Fish on business skills and customer service not only enables him to be an effective business manager for Mackay Troupe but also helps him in his personal life as he is able to apply the skills at home.

Mackay Troupe generates extra income for the students, it alleviates some of the financial pressures some of the students have but it also teaches the students entrepreneurial skills  and inspires them to start their own businesses.

‘I do not see students living as job seekers but as job creators’ They are able to apply practical skills to create employment in a time where jobs are scarce.

In five years Simon hopes to see Mackay Troupe become international! Performing at weddings, introduction ceremonies and international events. He hopes to see Mackay Troupe become one of the main source of funding for the school and students. He hopes that the troupe will grow with new students entering the school and as the former students leave they will form Mackay Alumni Troupe.

‘Having a Teach A Man To Fish Field Officer in the school helping us take off has been invaluable’

The teachers are more motivated and can get direct training and ask questions when they need support and the students are inspired and take the business seriously. They have developed confidence and a sense of direction and independence.

Please visit the Mackay Troupe facebook page for more information. If you are interested in hiring Mackay Troupe for a function (within East Africa) please contact jenny@teachamantofish.org.uk and we will pass on your contact details


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