What you need to know:
Passion is key: Robert Tumusabe Kikomeko is an accountant, founder and executive director of Maisha Holistic Africa Foundation, an entrepreneur and educationist who is also an associate pastor at Transforming Life Church, Kawempe Ttula in Kampala
As a professional accountant, one would assume that you would be pushing for a job in government, why choose an NGO?
Being an accountant involves reviewing financial documentation, cash flow, contracts or other documents. Accountancy is not a privilege of government and public agencies.
My skills can still help me thrive in my own ventures other than lobbying to be employed by government.
In a similar manner, I am a passion-driven individual who is always looking at serving others, an opportunity that I cannot get from government. Having grown up poor, I know poor people need financial literacy to be able to manage the little money they make. My situation inspired me to work with people while helping them learn and get their books reviewed.
I believe in job creation and currently we are employing around 30 people directly and many others indirectly.
You have invested in education and agriculture, is this kind of working the new normal?
That is the much clearer description of work today; you cannot thrive on one venture in a society where bills outweigh income. I am an accountant but I have to compliment my job with other income-generating activities.
We have difficulties in the economy locally and world over, which makes it important for someone to have some side hustles to supplement the income. However, I do agriculture to supplement the school and the NGO.
You are pursuing a Master’s degree in a different field, are you planning a career switch?
Yes, I am pursuing a Master’s degree in institutional management and leadership but it is not a deliberate plan to switch careers. I am an entrepreneur and I felt it is important to gain expertise in organisational management, because it is one thing starting an enterprise but another story managing it and accounting and management go hand-in-hand.
How have you managed to grow through the ranks, given the fact that you are working in a very competitive environment?
I can say it is through patience, faith and honesty. I am a very patient person who believes that even though at times things delay, they can work out eventually. I am also very honest and above all I trust in God; when you put your trust in God, somehow things become easy and faith being the evidence of things hoped for, you are always positive even in times of darkness.
What is your first course of action whenever you make a career decision?
It is very important to first consider your ambitions and then the relevance of your career to the needs of the society. Venture into an industry that you love and that passion will always drive you to greater heights. Seeing yourself make a positive contribution to the society through your career is satisfying.
What are the greatest accomplishments of your career?
There are many accomplishments but my greatest achievement is being able to support and sponsor more than 350 children in school at various levels and supporting many other families through Maisha Holistic Africa Foundation, a charity organisation that I support.
What are your personal goals and how do they align with your job?
My personal goal is to see a transformed society where everyone is able to have basic needs and attain a certain level of financial independence. This goal has aligned with my job through skilling my community, sharing my skills and more especially, providing education services to various children and youth at an affordable cost and sponsorships.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Balancing all the different offices I run, and the Covid-19 pandemic made things a little tough by affecting the economy and right now high increase of prices of commodities has made it tough for us. Further, the bureaucracy of the government also makes it a challenge to implement some programmes.
When would you say was a major turning point in your career?
Well, I have registered some successes and I am grateful, however, I am still working hard to achieve more. All I can say I am still striving for better.
What would you consider your management skills to be?
Motivation, mentoring, strategic thinking and problem solving.