Gabazira's blog

The Effectiveness-Lab

What begets business success for the small person? Series 3 of 3

In concluding this series, we answer the question that we asked in series 2:

Success lessons from the average soul

What is the difference between the two urban African eateries and moreover, both in so-called capitals of the two Great Lakes countries, serving the same clientele, and both run by extremely average Kenyans and Ugandans?

We concluded on the question: what is the underlying cause of the business-behaviour-dichotomy between the Nairobi and Kampala eateries?

We had opined earlier that it may be business environment peculiarities between the two cities. That the consequences of failure in Nairobi are much more dire, than Kampala. While the latter may hold some truth, we don’t have proof that Kampalans who fail at business have it easier than their Nairobi peers? Yes, while the latter may be a contributing factor, there must be other factors that we can’t disregard

May it be as simple as the positive economic drivers in Nairobi, that make it easy for businesses to succeed? For example – the fact that there are more bluechip companies in Nairobi than Kampala, results in somehow better job prospects, pay and purchasing power. Again, this may be a contributing factor but alone, can’t explain the differences we see at the two eateries

Could it be a character issue? Tenacity, sheer aggression that is evident even before you enter the Kibanda. The Kibanda team simply want to succeed and you see this on their faces. It’s different for the Kampala situation: business is run like a hobby and for purposes of fulfilling social ambition. The Kampala eatery team exhibited comfort, a-why-the-hurry attitude, and presentation that showed there was time and moreover, in abundance

In the search for an explanation – we have to explore if this may be an education matter. That Kenyans receive a more holistic-education, that shapes human characteristics, that deliver business success.

After all, Uganda, for better or worse, is a unique country. Its uniqueness extends to issues to do with employment


“[in Uganda]….unemployment increases with the level of education attained: Unemployment is lower among persons with no education and primary education, and higher among those with secondary education and above.”

May the above be the explanation for the difference in business-approach? That the type of education we receive in Uganda creates more unemployment than employment?

But truth be told, we don’t have the evidence to back up the above education hypothesis. We don’t even know the levels of education of the proprietors at both eateries. Even more complicated is the likelihood that the proprietors at both the eateries aren’t highly educated. They are your average hustler

So, given the seemingly level playing field, we can only conclude that the one factor that brings about the differential between the fortunes of the Nairobi and Kampala eatery is a special character trait – it’s being aggressively enterprising and keeping at it. What else can we say is the cause of the difference?

After all, all else being constant, is it not true that what you put into your business effort is what you reap?

The Kenyans:

◦ Are more positively motivated

◦ Are yearning to succeed

◦ And will keep at it whatever the circumstances

Why would you fail if you tried the above three?

For many of us, it’s all in our control to change what denies humanity progression. Over to you all that consider themselves average souls

We have been educated by the Kenyan average soul. Right?


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About Me

Apollo B. Gabazira is an Ugandan OD. junkie fascinated by matters that render organisations/individuals effective or not. He blogs on effective leadership and management. He is a devoted green-farmer and breeds the Ayrshire cow at Nakabugu, Luuka district, Uganda. Apollo is quite effective at what he chooses to do.


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