Bruno can sell you anything. A plot of land in Kiboga. A second-hand Sinotruck. A dream. A rugby ticket. Anything. I’ve known him for years now, and let me say, I haven’t met many people like him. He’s blunt. He’s fun. He’s funny. He’s a hustler. And boy, is he full of life!
I sat down with him.
So, Bruno, briefly tell us about yourself.
I’m just a simple man from Kabale; fun loving, a realtor, a plug [for everything] and I do everything real estate, and more.
Did you grow up from Kabale? Are you a planned kid? Tell us about your upbringing.
It was quite an interesting one. Being a stubborn second born out of 5, to a businesswoman and a teacher, later to both being into business; I’ve basically grown up in a ‘Kuyiliba’ setting – with mottos in the house being;
– Wabyama, n’esente nizibyama.
– Wotakozire tokurya.
And school? How was your education?
Our home being right at the border of Rwanda, the 90s genocide really affected us and for a fact, the preliminary education/nursery had no name. It was just Madam Oliva teaching us small-small songs after relocating back to our homes.
I would later join All Saints Church Kindergarten and Kabale Parents School, before crossing to Kigezi High School and finally Makerere University. I excelled in both, including my Business Administration Degree at Makerere University. My father still demands me a Masters but it’s my 2024 goal.
People know you as a property plug, what are your other gigs?
Truth is, I do everything real estate; Surveying, Property Management, Sale of Land & Houses, Sale of Consominiums, Valuation, Land Documentation & Apartments for rent.
I also do digital marketing; something I had a stint at years back and still do low-key. I actually manage over 5 social media accounts of some reputable businesses.
Being a rugby fan, my friends and I, also started a “Fat Cats Podcast” where we narrate and keep rugby conversations going. Both local and International.
So, Owamataka, how did the entire real estate business start?
It started with a marketing job at Knight Frank Uganda (which is one of the biggest International real estate firms in the world). And from there, I started interacting and working with professionals in different sectors, but still in real estate. It’s from there that I picked interest and got to know and understand it from a highly professional level. The rest, like they say, has been history.
Let’s talk money. What’s been your biggest commission so far (ever since you started your real estate business)?
Tricky question because people will think I’m a rich man, but yeah, it was an 8-figure amount (UGX).
Is real estate business lucrative as it sounds?
It’s a lucrative business, but very delicate in a way, considering the fraud that encompasses it. It’s also critical depending on the economic situations. That said, it’s also booming. Real Estate is not all about sale of land as many people used to think. It is now wide with many components, and each of them having business potential.
Can one get a 2-bedroomed house in Kololo at UGX500,000?
Awo tugende Namugongo-Sonde, Kitukutwe, Kasangati.
Young people always want to buy land (affordably) today, what advice would you give them?
The best time to buy land is today. You people hear stories of how land in Bulindo used to be UGX 7M for a 50x100ft. The same size is now UGX 90M.
With our unregulated sector in terms of prices, buy land today. Buy in a place where your current savings/budget fit. In some many years to come, you’ll appreciate your action. Land appreciates everyday. Again, buy land now!
Gayaza Road. It came to prominence years ago. Is it still affordable?
Prices of areas on Gayaza Road and surroundings have gone up overtime. For people unfamiliar with it, a 50x100ft plot in Nakwero is now around UGX45-55M.
Prices go lower as you enter farther inside to areas like Nakasajja, Kijabijo, Kiwenda, Busiika etc. The influx of homes and estates on Gayaza Road was immense back then and it definitely called for higher prices.
Land Twitter or Car Twitter, where do you fall?
Just drive to your land, man. But relating to a younger self, buy land first if you can. Although, you realize a car is not a luxury anymore. Some jobs are more productive with a car, so buy the car first and make money to buy land. Ntudde kku fence on this.
Kabale is not really known for rugby. Where did you pick the passion for rugby?
Kabale actually has had some of the hardest rugby players before but yes, I picked it from my cousin who had a great passion.
Being someone that disliked Football from childhood, the day I was walked to defunct Kampala Rugby Club [now Legends], my love for the contact sport blossomed.
And why Pirates?
What a club! Back in the day, when KOBs and Heathens dominated, my eye kept on that team that played structured rugby, plus with people that I knew.
I blended in slowly to the extent of having to train with the Pirates Feeder club – Sailors RFC, and now being a big fan.
I was around to witness the club’s first & treble championship in 2018, and also the recent championships of the 2022/23 season, in both 15s and 7s.
The club gives me joy. I can’t tell you enough.
So, Fat Cats podcast. How did it all start and what’s your plan for it?
I’m a Director in Feline Media – under which Fat Cats Podcast lies. It was a conversation with my other rugby friends where we realized a story of Ugandan rugby wasn’t told enough yet the sport was growing.
We put it into action and here we are. We hold weekly podcasts on YouTube and all audio channels like Anchor, Apple Podcasts etc.
We also livestream games while bringing the conversation online with analysis, photography, videography, etc. We’ve also now covered games in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tunisia.
You’re kind of a big wig on X, formerly Twitter. How did it all come about?
I’m a stubborn man from childhood and also likes engaging people, even if they’re strangers. Back then, Twitter was an app that would accommodate such a character in stuff like Hashtags, Memes, Vayolensi, Arguments etc
It gave me a good following despite losing some accounts in the past. I’ve since, however, used the numbers to market my work and also build a social capital.
You’re passionate about sports. Which other sports/clubs do you support?
Besides rugby, I love cricket and basketball. Locally, I was a fan of the defunct Kyambogo Warriors but now attached to City Oilers. Internationally, I am a Los Angeles Lakers fan.
Not so much of a football fan, but I shamelessly belong to Manchester United. I’ve watched it from its glory times to hard times now.
I expected this question at a compound of a home in Kabale during the Christmas season but yes, very soon.