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Kampala gets another New Day

Kampala, Uganda - The passion, love and enthusiasm for serving God and developing Christianity are some of the motives behind Mary Lukwago's Christian book shop. "I wanted to share my Christian stories with others and help build their sense of belonging to Christianity," Lukwago explained.

Formerly a radio presenter at the Voice of Kenya, Lukwago's inspiration to promote Christianity  blossomed upon a friend's offer of selling Radio cassettes at the book shop.

"I started off in Kenya and the quick sale of radio tapes and the cassettes that some friends offered was enough to make me think beyond the eye," added Lukwago.

Christened 'New Day', the book shop's rich heritage stems as far back as 1989 when it first opened up a shop in Nairobi Kenya as a Christian video library.

As if this was not enough, Lukwago ventured into novels and inspirational books of a Christian background that attracted a bigger share of the market in Nairobi and the neighboring places.

"When money came in quickly, I learned to be open to change, to see what is happening and then make wise decisions on how to proceed as success demands flexibility in this changing world," Lukwago noted.

A mother and wife to Kirabo Lukwago, she attributes her success to God, and having a positive mind with the belief that with time, her business would grow.

As the Christian book shop business grew day by day, Lukwago resolved to expansion and selling the idea to other countries. With all the vigor to grow the business in a foreign land, Lukwago's first option was Uganda.

"In 1993, 'New Day' opened a small shop on Kampala Road to catch a glimpse of the Ugandan market," she added. "However with the ever increasing demands of the Ugandan Christian audience, I've been challenged to come up with a bigger store that offers all Christian information."

She recently grabbed the opportunity at one of the country's biggest shopping mall in Naalya (8 miles east of Kampala city) to re-open the New day Book store.

The book shop was unveiled comprising of several books, a cross section of gifts, original Christian music both in audio and video as well as Cards and wall hangings.

Some of the biggest challenges that Lukwago points out is the poor reading culture of many people and failure to attach value to valuable products.

'Many people would be willing to be part of the business as customers but are biased by the fact that they will not put the material to its use," she explains.

Lukwago says that other people mind more about the price than the value yet the benefit should be considered most.

The greatest achievement that Lukwago owes to 'New Day' is the expansion of the business to cross boarders.

"If we managed to grow the business, there is great hope that we shall move another step," she said.

Lukwago passed on the managerial role of the business to her daughter Nyambura Lukwago with a belief that a young mind is more innovative and positively aggressive. "The duties of a complex and sophisticated modern business can be best handled by a young person," Lukwago explained.

She revealed that successful business management consists of synthesizing experience with fresh minds of young people.

The prices of the products depend on the type, size and quality of the products ranging between Ushs 10,000 ($3.7) and Ushs one million ($370) or even more.

Lukwago advises women and all entrepreneurs never to give up as many business people expect to earn a lot of money in a very quick way.

"It just doesn't happen that way, It takes time, dedication and perseverance to build a business and once you have given up, you may never know what you could have achieved if you just kept trying a little longer," she advises.

Lukwago adds that it takes several years sometimes to reach the goals that you want to reach in business.


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