By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
Hamis Kiggundu commonly known as Ham is a well-known businessman who not only trades in Uganda as Ham Enterprises Ltd, but also as Ham International UK Ltd in the UK, Ham International Ltd in the US and Skylight Investments in South Africa.
The 34-year-old billionaire who directly employs more than 2,500 people, had his primary, secondary, and university education in Uganda and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Makerere University.
The youthful businessman came to the limelight as the man behind dazzling commercial buildings around Kampala; he is the owner of a very popular real estate multi-billion company in the city known as Ham Enterprises which includes commercial buildings such as Ham Shopping Centre next to St. Balikudembe Market commonly known as Owino which is reportedly said to be partly undertaken as a public private partnership with Nakivubo Stadium Board of Trustees.
He also owns Ham Towers that is located next to Makerere University main gate.
Ham is also behind the redevelopment of Nakivubo Stadium.
In 2015, he received a green light from President Yoweri Museveni to redevelop the land where the stadium sits. The stadium is slowly being transformed into an ultra modern facility.
“I’m putting up a world stadium at Nakivubo, it has taken me eight years to work on this project, whatever money I have used on Nakivubo, I have made through my youthful years, if we wait for foreign investors to come and develop our country, we shall never develop,” Ham said recently.
When completed, Nakivubo will be a World class sporting stadium.
Source of wealth
In 2017, Ham revealed the source of his wealth. He attributed his wealth to bank loans, which he says have helped him grow his businesses.
The entrepreneur has ruled out ever receiving any financial assistance from President Yoweri Museveni, whom he said many people have linked his business establishments such as the Ham shopping malls in Kampala.
Ham owns several homes but there’s a palatial one located on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kawuku, Bunga, that has sent tongues wagging. Ham’s house is definitely one of the most luxurious and expensive residential homes in Uganda.
It was designed by American architects and property experts value it at Shs12.3 billion. It has 25 bedrooms including a 27ft61 master suite with bathtubs.
Despite being by the lakeside, Ham has a private swimming pool, the home also has a private gaming room with a pool table, football and table tennis table. There is also a private home cinema.
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
Ham has written a book and he is known for giving advice to youth on how to make money. One of his 5 cents is telling youth to stop looking at people who have got a lot of money through deals as role models and instead focus on hard work, because there is a big difference between money and wealth.
“People have been asking me, Ham you are a young man, how have you been able to accumulate this wealth over a short period of time.
The only advice I have for Ugandans is that they should start looking at things from a realistic perspective. They should not operate on presumptions. You should be able to think and assess matters before you from a realistic perspective.”
“Most Ugandans disregard the little money they have, they are looking for Shs100 million, Shs200 million, that’s why they are on streets as dealers, but I would advise Ugandans, please start respecting that little amount of money you have and look at it as capital.
Any money can be capital provided you have proper reasoning and the right mindset.