Kasato is a young 21 years old small bodied man but with a strong voice which he uses to call passersby to purchase his sandals. He is stationed in front of a shop at HAM towers on Nakivubo road. “NkumiTano Tano , mugulengaatozabakyala” loosely translated to mean “Buy ladies shoes at Shs. 5,000/= only’, this is slightly over one dollar.
Kasato came to Kampala after the death of his parents at the age of 16, his aunt took over the responsibility of educating Kasato. She was not a wealthy woman but she did her best to pay his school fees for two school terms.
During the holidays, she would move with Kasato to her workplace which varied every day. she was a street hawker selling sandals.
However, the council officials breathed fire down the hawker's throats and after several losses, and due to her age, she could not carry on with the running battles with the council officials and as a result, Kasato dropped out of school but he was determined not to despair and decided to continue with her business.
she handed him the only 100,000/= she had left and sent him off with her blessings. Kasato continued with the running battles with council for one month.
luckily for him, his goods were never confiscated but it was exhausting. At the end of the month, he handed his aunty 450,000/= she was very impressed, paid rent for the single room they shared and cleared bills, saved 50,000/= and gave him 200,000/= she advised him to look for a place he could pay rent so that he would avoid running battles with the council.
Kasato had already done his groundwork, the shop he is currently stationed at sells ladies ware and is very busy, he was sure that he would be able to convince the ladies there to buy his shoes, when he talked to the owner of the shop, she agreed to rent him the space at a monthly rate of 50,000/= and that is how Kasato's fate changed.
He shared how relieved he was to have a permanent address and no longer had. to worry about council, his customers are now regular and trust him, he is also able to make more money and make future plans. He plans to buy a plot of land and build a home where he and his aunt will reside. He also dreams of a day he will board a plane to China and bring shoes himself. Kasato is very positive about the future. I ask him if he intends to return to school, he is silent for a moment, he eventually says in future, after he has achieved his goals, he may consider school, but at the moment, he intends to work hard and change his story for the better.
Kasato buys each sandal at 1,500/= and sells at 5,000/= he targets to sell a minimum of 10 sandals daily. He has also added purses and wallets to his stock. His intention is to rent his own shop after a period of one year so that he can have the freedom to open till late in the night. I inform him that renting a shop is not just about rent but he will have to incur costs like license fees, income tax etc. his response is that to make money one has to spend and take risks.
I leave Kasatos stall humbled, this young man is so mature and intelligent for his age, he has refused to give up on life and has chosen to make the best out of life.