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Should Ugandan Journalist Form An Investment Club?

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order price http://curioguanabara.com/components/com_k2/templates/default/category.php geneva; font-size: small; background-color: white;”>Some called it a cooperative society, information pills others a SACCO (whatever the difference) but I prefer ‘investment club’.

price geneva;”>This is because I think making money should be fun. It should be a pleasurable pastime like playing monopoly or World Conquest (my favourite).

Our profession can be stressful and thankless, we need some distraction. And which better distraction than one that also adds to our individual net financial worth?

Grace Natabaalo, moderator of the popular journalists’ group on Facebook with Joachim Buwembo. If 500 journalists saved Shs50, 000 every month, the club would have Shs300m in just 12 months

This talk coming from me is not new to those who have worked with me.

I have over the past year directly recruited over a hundred journalists for some three media houses and without fail, I have taken them through a lecture on saving and investment.

Some of the things I suggest to them I myself have failed to do, but it does not stop me encouraging others with better discipline and better luck to try, especially those who have more time on their side.

I think a Ugandan journalist is not ordained to be a complainer, malcontent and poverty stricken. The truth is that we spend only about eight hours a day ‘journalising’ and another eight hours sleeping (another lecture I have given a hundred and one times).

So what do we do in the remaining eight hours of the day? We have options like drinking, gossip and so on. I think making money is not a bad pass time to spend the rest of your hour on.

I also think a Ugandan journalist should be better than some escapist, lazy school dropout who sings “no capital” like their favourite song.

As the late VP Samson Kisekka used to say, “capital means head and if you say you have no capital, you are confessing to having no head”.

I have also repeatedly argued that any young graduate can live on one hundred dollars a month in Kampala without appearing like a pauper.

(I think it is stupid to rent any house that takes more than a quarter of your salary for instance.) I think there should be a difference between a journalist and a tart that invests all her income in cosmetics to attract customers.

In my view, anybody earning a decent pay as a journo in Uganda can afford to save half of it for investment. This is probably what Condoleeza Rice referred to in her speech at the Republican National Convention the other day (read her full text speech here).

But back to group strength. If an individual can save for investment, it gets even better when they do it in a group.

And we are here not talking about inventing the wheel. The Monitor Coop is worth billions.

The one at New Vision also has a pot of over a billion. But these are tied to a particular work place. Why not have an investment club where Ugandan journalists have come together voluntarily to have fun while making money?

When the idea was mooted on the Facebook group moderated by Grace Natabaalo, it sparked a days-long debate that ended in er… nothing! Not even a modified format of the original proposal that every member in the group that is now about 600 strong contributes sh50,000 a month.

The voices that felt that this was ‘exploitation’ won and the idea was shelved. Are Ugandan journalists condemned to living in such a state of negativism which even prevents them from seeing what is good for them?

In my humble opinion, if some 500 Ugandan journalists who do not mind paying sh50,000 a month came agreed, they could launch an investment club that would be fun to watch as it grows.

All this can moderated online and after 12 months, they could hold their first general meeting when they have UGX 300million to plan for.

An executive committee would be elected and empowered to enter safe investments.

The group should have among them ideas of the direction the economy is taking to know where to put their money strategically. After all, what are the business journalists amidst us for? I personally have some pretty interesting ideas which I would share with the investment club, it gets constituted.

(This story was posted on http://journalism.co.ug)

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