WHEN HE WAS forced to drop out of
school, Deogratias Ndayisenga thought he had reached the end of the road and
felt like the world had come crushing down on him. But it was not long before
he realised that all he needed was mindset change.
Hilux car is one of Ndayisenga’s possessions. At 33 years of age, Ndayisenga, a
married father of three has achieved what many have failed achieve in their
entire lifetime. He is arguably a young tycoon.
Born in a
humble family in the rural Kagano Sector in Nyamasheke District, Western
Province, Ndayisenga dropped out of school after completing O’ level.
stands in front one of one of his shops. “I was heartbroken because all my
hopes were on education,” he recalls.
Ndayisenga remained in his rural village with little hope for the future.
Unwilling to relent, he unsuccessfully ventured into farming before
abandoning it for trade in banana beer, locally known as Urwagwa. He soon
realised that the business was fetching peanuts.
In early 2000, Ndayisenga turned his eyes on fruit farming and invested his
efforts in growing pineapples, passion fruits and sugar canes. However, like
fate would have it, he did not achieve much from these activities either.
Ndayisenga’s light of hope
In 2004, with the help of his elder brother who was by then a university
student, Ndayisenga enrolled at a driving school in Rusizi District, and soon
acquired a temporary driving license.
He migrated to Karongi the following year and continued with his studies. He
consequently acquired a driving license, Category A, which only authorises one
to ride motorcycles. After acquiring the license, Ndayisenga hit the street in
search for jobs and was offered that of a commercial motorcycle.
beginning, I worked for others but I did not like the experience. I had
to devise means of getting my own motorcycle,” he says.
It was not
long before Ndayisenga joined a cooperative that brought together commercial
motorcycle riders in the area. In 2005, the cooperative offered its members a
chance to acquire motorcycles on loan and Ndayisenga grabbed the opportunity
with both hands.
a motorcycle and serviced the loan within a year,” he says with a beaming
In 2007, Ndayisenga married a primary school teacher and together they started
“What we were both earning was very little but the following year, I approached
a bank and acquired a loan of Rwf450,000 which I used to start a small retail
shop,” he says.
His wife quit teaching and started working in the shop while Ndayisenga
continued with his taxi-moto business.
The young couple later got multiple loans in order to expand their business and
Ndayisenga says he won the bank’s trust because he serviced his loans on the
He says he later ventured into dealing in motorcycle spare parts because
“the field remained extremely unexploited.”
“By the end of 2009, I had about five motorcycles on the streets of Karongi and
my spare parts business was booming,” Ndayisenga says.
In 2010, Ndayisenga bought a Rwf17 million plot and built a commercial complex
in the heart of Karongi town. He says the complex which was completed in one
year cost about Rwf150 million.
Located in the heart of Karongi town, the two-storey building immediately
opened its doors to businesses.
“I had to use all my savings and in addition secured a loan of Rwf80
million to build this complex,” Ndayisenga says.
Apart from the commercial structure, Ndayisenga owns three modern residential
houses in Karongi town, a Toyota Hilux Pickup car that he rents and a
saloon car for his own transport, among others.
“I have achieved everything through hard work, dedication and efficient
customer care,” the young millionaire says.
Ndayisenga says he will continue investing in real estate because there are
still untapped opportunities there.
“I have achieved a lot in just ten years but I won’t rest. I want to continue
growing,” he says, adding that his investments have benefited the entire community.
Ndayisenga advises fellow youth to be committed and never to despise any job.
He also advises them to be purpose-driven and consistent in order to be
“You should always set targets and work towards achieving them,” Ndayisaba
says, adding that youth should work with financial institutions and invest in
income generating activities.
To fellow businesspeople, the young millionaire advises them to be innovative
and always endeavour to improve on customer service.
Contact email: bucyensenge[at]newtimes.co.rw
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