From all corners of the world Africa is famous for its rich and unique coffee. However along the busy streets of Uganda very few people actually drink this national treasure. Robert Mbabazi through his company Barista Pro Coffee is trying to change that. For Ugandans it isn’t new news that natives are not big fans of coffee which is ironic since Coffee is their number one earning export crop. This crazy illogicality is also what is driving Mbabazi’s thriving business.
Robert Mbabazi’s story is a familiar one; after he completed his secondary school studies he was unable to continue with formal education at the university level because of his family’s lack of funds, this lead him into the service industry. However unlike many who do not progress from waiting on tables, Mbabazi became a “barista” (a person who makes and serves coffee in a coffee bar). He grew passionate about the crop and from all the savings he had accumulated thus far with some additional help from family members he travelled to Canada and Switzerland to further pursue barista training. In 2010 he founded Pro Coffee which embodies literally everything to do with coffee. Their products and services range from providing consultancy to people who want to open coffee shops, training baristas, providing guidance to coffee farmers on how to increase their crop as well as actually brewing and selling coffee. Above and beyond his coffee consulting and coffee selling which is helping the Ugandan economy, Mbabazi participates in local in international barista competitions. He has won the following awards;
- · Three times winner of Uganda’s National Barista Championship (2009, 2010, 2012)
- · Africa’s 2012 Barista Challenge Champion
Robert Mbabazi is inspiration because his story could have so easily ended so differently. He could have been like the many people all over the world who get into the service industry and settle. He rather chose not to. He was motivated enough to make his story one that was unique and full motivation. Honestly, I’m so inspired I’m going to get myself a cup of coffee -right now- to help me brainstorm some ideas.
Photo Credits: BBC.com