Great Ugandans interviewed Amos Wekesa, the man behind Great Lakes Safaris. When you mention tourism in Uganda, the first name that comes to mind is Amos Wekesa. He’s consistently built a reputation over the years, and he’s cut through the noise to become the tourism signal. Here’s a summary of his lessons:

  1. “The most important age in terms of practical work is the age of between 10 and eleven to about 18. That is when you engage a child into practical things.” Parenting happens in this time frame, if you miss out on this, you’ve missed out on the most important role to play in your child’s life.
  2. Be excellent even in the minors. Pursue excellence even in the details. Wekesa believes in continuous improvement. His next project is always meant to be better than the previous.
  3. Don’t present yourself as a finished product no matter how many degrees you have. Use every chance to learn. Learn from everyone you meet. Drop your ego and become a constant learning machine.
  4. Learning is a product of curiosity. Be curious, use travel as a way to learn and expose yourself to best practices, pick those lessons.
  5. If Poverty doesn’t inspire you, nothing else will. The best time to do big things, the best time to try is when you are poor. Because, you already have nothing. Therefore there is no risk in trying.
  6. Surround yourself with the right people, with smart minds. Don’t be afraid of hiring people smarter than you, it will free up your time to focus on the essentials.
  7. Read a lot. Read as much as you can. Don’t spend a day without reading. Reading is how you network with smart minds that could be miles away or have already passed on.
  8. Money is innocent. Money simply reveals characters. If you already had a weak character, money will just reveal or amplify that character.
  9. Your biggest advantage when you are young is time. When you are young, you are like a pilot who is 10 kilometres high. 10 kilometres high means that whenever there is a problem, you can easily go back. It is easy to recover. You have got the advantage of time.
  10. Chase skills first. After skills, chase networks. Out of networks, money will come. And out of money, you will have influence. Don’t get this formula wrong. Skills first before anything.