After trying and failing at several businesses, Founder of Jerisha Events and Amara’z Platter Namulondo Jerisha has said that refusing to give up stemmed from her aspirations to make her mother happy.
Speaking on The Groove Cafe today with Crystal Newman, the mother of one narrated how she grew up in a humble background being provided for by a single mum who struggled paying her school fees and those of her siblings.
As a child, Jerisha was subjected to abuse and wanted to become a lawyer to help other women obtain justice who had gone through similar situations. Unfortunately, her dream took a twist.
“I really wanted to be a lawyer because I am a victor of sexual abuse. I always told my mum that I wanted to be a lawyer to fight for other women who cannot freely talk about the things they've gone through at the hands of men. Unfortunately, it didn't happen because she wasn’t able to attend university due to financial constraints.”
Namulondo said that she opened up to her mother about the abuse later in life when she felt more comfortable talking about it. Although she never received justice, she says that she is now a victor having found healing in Christ. She attended a trauma class and is now using her experience to counsel others and find healing whenever she shares.
“I left home when I was around 17 and I started working. I left a job at a clothing shop that I was being underpaid at and started my own boutique; but later I couldn't sustain it because I had a number of bills on my plate. My sister who owned a restaurant called me for a job as a dishwasher where I worked for around 7 months. I left because my sister was too good to me, people thought she was favoring me and everyone was too scared to tell me when I messed up. But because I needed my sister’s business to thrive, I moved on to something different,” she narrated.
Moving on, her sister secured Namulondo a job as an administrative assistant where she worked for 7 years before she ventured into making paper flowers, a craft she learnt through YouTube. However, the business flopped shortly because there wasn’t a receptive market.
Using a page she created on Facebook, Namulondo decided to use it to market other people’s businesses and services but was frustrated after several instances of clients refusing to pay for her services. She then ventured into other business such as selling carpets and wallpaper.
“I would buy wallpaper from Kampala and started importing them from Nairobi but it was a slow business. I faced many challenges, sometimes I'd have to go to cleint's homes and because some were male, it would give me anxiety based on my childhood experience so I decided it was not for me,” she recounted.
Eventually, Jerisha ventured into event decoration which she had always been passionate about. She first started it off as a partnership with friends but then decided to take it on solo, after which Crystal applauded her for being a go-getter.
“Yeah, we don't have to give up. Life has thrown so much at each of us out there and some people might not be able to talk about it but not giving up has helped me alot because the moment you know where you come from, you'll know why you started that no matter how many times you fail, having a purpose keeps you going.”
She added that the responsibility of providing for her mother keeps her going. She opened up Amara’z platter, a catering food business that was started with the aim of securing her daughter’s education.
Namulondo now operates Jerisha Events too, a company that organizes and decorates different functions from birthday parties, baby showers, introduction ceremonies and weddings.
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5pm on RX Radio.
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