Patricia Kahill Kuteesa is one of Uganda’s pioneer minds in the Digital Industry. She made her first million running an Ice Cream Parlour Business. Of late, she’s heavily invested in the Kuteesa Foundation where she’s a co-founder. Ian Ortega had a chat with the Leo Africa Fellow as she walked him through her journey and the hindsight she’s gained from it.
Ian Ortega: Who is Kahill? What’s the story behind her name? What was her early life like, when, where and to whom was she born? Which schools did she attend? What memories does she carry on from those times?
Patricia Kahill Kuteesa: Kahill is a God fearing multipotentialite married woman, born to Mr. and Mrs. Kasozi Moses of Kasubi, Lubya, Buganda Kingdom, Kampala Uganda. I went to a local primary school called Rosepack Primary School, then Buddo Secondary School and Migadde College ending at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
My name’s story, it’s a branding story.
Ortega: What’s the last thing you’ve changed your view on? Why?
Kahill: My belief in the miracle power of prayer.
I have seen things change by no other power but prayer. There have been moments in my life recently when I didn’t know what to actually do. And then in that moment I would silently say ‘Lord, help me’ and from nowhere, ideas and direction and whatever I needed then would just appear.
Ortega: What big ideas have you changed your mind on in the last few years?
Kahill: The idea of feminism. I love women and the fight for equality on all levels. But I realized that those who need to understand and let the women in, don’t really understand or have an idea on how to this. So, I changed my engagement with them and interested them in the understanding of how it can be done and how it can improve their own lives.
Ortega: Take us through the journey of Kahill Insights? When and how did it start? What led you to doing this in the first place? What is Kahill Insights all about?
Kahill: Oh, my child who has survived her 4th born day. She is a darling and torment too. Kahill insights is an online content creation and distribution agency that uses influencers for online marketing. She was conceived as a social media blog, in 2013, teaching people how to handle themselves on social media platforms while gaining from them. In 2014 she was born after I resigned from my job and started the process of incorporating it into a business. I started with 5000Ugshs that bought me data and started positioning myself online as a social media influencer though those days people used to call me an expert (I don’t like that terminology).
Kahill insights was created to fill the gap of influencer and content marketing as the market was bleeding with the lack of the two.
Ortega: How did you make your first million?
Kahill: From profits earned in an ice cream parlor business I ran immediately after I completed University.
Ortega: You are heavily involved in the Kuteesa Foundation? What’s the Foundation all about? What motivates your work there?
Kahill: Kuteesa Foundation is a ‘For the Boy Child’ non-profit organization that aims to break the misguided traits of manhood and create a generation of responsible young men in all aspects of life.
Ortega: What does your typical day look like? Do you believe in routines? How is your morning routine like?
Kahill: None, I don’t believe in routines, they are boring. I like the surprises each day offers as it breaks. Except saying a prayer immediately I open my eyes, the rest just falls in as the minutes move.
Ortega: Do you consider yourself a voracious reader? If yes, what kind of things and subjects are you into reading?
Kahill: No, I am not a voracious reader. But when I read I am more interested in Personal and Spiritual growth, Business growth in line with online media and nowadays everything to do with the boy child.
Ortega: What are those 3 books you’ve re-read? And why these books?
Kahill: The bible. I am not good at re-reading, but if it were movies ohh yeah 300 anytime, anywhere. Hehe
Ortega: What’s one quote that has never left your memory, the one that speaks deeply to you?
Kahill: “I can do all things through Christ who give strengths – Philippians 4:13”
Ortega: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why?
Kahill: God is not a man that He could lie – Because people need to believe in a bigger power than what they are accustomed too.
Ortega: What’s one habit you are struggling with and are trying to change?
Kahill: Over thinking. Or should I call it over analyzing? I do that a lot. Trying to change this has become a struggle that gets me depressed.
Ortega: Tell us about a time when your judgement failed you. What did you learn from that?
Kahill: Ohh! People are not what they look. I learned that the hard way. I actually thought I had learned the first time but I had to go through the same process 4 more times. From all of them, I left with a continuous echo “Never Judge a Book by its Cover!”
Ortega: How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
Kahill: I have two favourite failures, one is business related and the other personal. I will share the business one.
When I went bankrupt after failing at managing my ice cream parlor, I was set on the path of learning and discovering my own personal strength when it came to developing and growing a business.
Ortega: If you lost everything you’ve worked for, what would you do first? How would you handle it?
Kahill: I would go to my church, remove my shoes if those remained and sing loudly while dancing. I give praise to God, because like Job in the bible the Lord gives and takes away. All I have, working and worked for is because the Lord God has let me or left me to do so.
Ortega: What is that one mistake you see most people make again and again? Why this mistake?
Kahill: Selfishness that makes people think they can cheat God. God is God He will one day put down His foot and judge.
Ortega: What’s one thing you believe that most people would disagree with you on? Why do you hold this opinion?
Kahill: The kind of relationship I am growing with God and my desire for everyone to have the same.
Ortega: When you think of success, which names come to your mind? Why those people?
Kahill: Solomon, David, Moses, Joseph, Esther. These people knew who their God was and stood by Him to the end.
Ortega: Who do you say are those upcoming gems, below 30 that the world is yet to notice? That you think are currently untapped? And you are developing a mentor-mentee relationship with?
Kahill: Hmm, there are many. I can just mention names or what they are doing but the world better be ready itself cause these ones will be unstoppable.
Ortega: Tell me four people you’ve worked with and one or two things you learned from each of them?
Kahill: I have worked with
– Fred Kafooko of Vision Empire in Mbarara, I learnt from him kindness to young upcoming business owners and leadership.
– Hajji Musa Kigongo of Mosa Court Apartments, that a business owner knows when to cut their losses and move on.
– Wilber Rugarama of Xtrim Casting, there is no rest until the job is done
-Boaz Shani of Ugo Uganda, that sometimes being popular/ known wins you a number of royalties in business
Ortega: What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
Kahill: Internet Data investment.
Ortega: What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore
Kahill: Your degree is trash. It has no real place in the real world. Forget the good grades you got if you can’t implement what you learn. Ignore all that says you are set for a job because you have a degree. News Flash there are no jobs create your own.
Ortega: Speaking of marriage, what have you learned about marriage that you didn’t know going in?
Kahill: But, I have been here only a year… I can only talk about what I am learning. Team building. A marriage is an organization that works if the team is working together on set goals for its flourishment.
Ortega: What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Kahill: That having numbers is the best things that ever happened to social media, yet it is content.
Ortega: In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
Kahill: Outing invites to the extent that they no longer come anymore.
Ortega: You’ve opened up sometimes about depression. When you get depressed, how do you pick yourself up again?
Kahill: Yoga, movies and prayer alongside speaking out about how I feel.
Ortega: Do you have any big fears? What are they? What’s your approach to these fears?
Kahill: That I am a fraud and that one day someone will find out and that will be the end. To overcome this, I just keep going and wait for the day I will be caught.
Ortega: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Kahill: I back off and regroup and evaluate. It might take me a minute, hours, days, weeks, month or even years to come back to it but that leave helps me rethink and repurpose myself.
Ortega: In 2000 years, everything you’ve ever done will be dust. Given those facts, why do you still do what you do? What drives you every morning to do what you do?
Kahill: I wake every day and ask God for what I should do and for Him to remove what I shouldn’t. If He decides that I should stay in my bed, my bed is where I will stay and do whatever he wants me to do in it. I believe I don’t live for me but for Him as He is the author of my life.
Ortega: What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you? What legacy do you hope to leave?
Kahill: People don’t know that being passionate is a curse to me. That my passion and curiosity drove me to extremes in life with God’s guidance.