Joe Nuwamanya on Design & Service

In his song Mulembe Gwa Kirya, Maurice Kirya sings about the aspirations that he would wish for children to look back to and find worth the people who lived during his era. The time of Kirya.

“Children will rise taller than the mountains

I’d like to be a part of their foundations,

I’d like to hear them say;

We were there

We were there.”

 This song defines Joe’s heart-hidden ambitions.

Omulembe gwa Joe in this case would not be one of composing pacifying music and touching the lives of those wishing to dream and change the world, his would be a beautifully designed world and one of very good health. With two weapons (Architecture and Rotary) at his disposal, he has dared to bring to life.

Some things you will never know until you are told. When you listen to Joe proudly speak about architecture, you can never imagine he struggled with sciences at high school. You would not easily imagine that he performed his economics better than the physics and mathematics at his A level. He was dragged to read the sciences at school by his parents. They wanted an engineer. He didn’t. He wanted to be a creative. The intersection between the engineer his parents wanted and the creative he wished himself to be was architecture. Today, he is paid to design a world he imagines. What a life!

This intersection pushed him to pursue the career line that would make both himself and his parents happy. “If you know you’re an underdog, you put in the work.” He explains about the struggles with the science subjects.  

He aimed for the moon at Makerere University but did not make it there. Instead, he found a softer landing among the stars at Kyambogo University where he got to pursue architecture for the five years. He was a young man hungry for work. This drove him to work with various reputable firms around town to hone his skills.

One thing though, clients deal with individuals in firms. The only way he was to realise his dreams of setting up his own firm was to leave the comfort of his cushioned job. That is how Butterfly Creations was born. He wanted to challenge his design knowledge.  

He was not prepared for what lay ahead. It took the kindness of Victor Male to offer him office space as he combed office corridors pitching for contracts in that confusion, he met Penelope Natukunda who gave him the idea of writing about architecture in the newspapers, an idea he swiftly jumped on. He got a column called Creative Living every Wednesday in the Daily MonitorLike most writing experiences, the writing was exciting at the beginning but dragged on along the way.

He had thought that the column would endear him to the readers and they would come running to him for business. But he was wrong. Indeed readers would read his work but they were under no obligation to seek his services.

At the time when he was giving up on his writing, a ray of light crossed his path. He was approached by the then Orange Telecom to design for them 54 outlets across the country. It was like a cold shower after a very hot day. It was the push he needed to run. That was his breakthrough client. Since then, more clients reached out to seek his services.

Over the years, his firm stabilized and got moving. He had more time and resources to pursue other interests. In 2016, Rotary was looking for ex-roteractors that had not crossed over to join Rotary and his name was among those that came up.

He signed up and became the first president of Kampala Metropolitan, a club which has since grown to have six sitting presidents.

Joe, through Rotary Uganda, has been at the forefront of building the Mengo Hospital Rotary Blood Bank, a project spearheaded by Mr. Emmanuel Katongole. The project was badly called for to back up the Nakasero blood bank which, for the past many years, has been the only blood bank in Uganda. To create hope for humanity is something that melts his heart.

 Time has a tendency of leaving trails of the past. Looking back, Joe is happy for the decisions he has made along the way. What was just an idea has grown to become a company. Beyond Butterfly Creations, his company has morphed into Ca+ Consult which does more than just design. A very proud family man, Joe is grateful that he has been able to touch and transform lives in a way he never thought he would.

With more time on his hands now, he intends to go back to his first love of creating content. This time around from a point of experience. He wants to share with the world the things he has learnt along with those with whom he has learnt. Maybe sooner than later, Joe will be using the famous line; “Welcome back to my YouTube channel.” Who knows!

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