It was on a chilly morning of Thursday October 18, 2018 when Prof. William Bazeyo, RAN Chief of Party and Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor at Makerere University once again exhibited his passion, interest and support for innovation. Prof. Bazeyo was at the RAN office premises and while executing his day-to-day activities, walked into the upper RAN innovation lab to engage with the different innovators using the space. See the conversation below;

Prof. Bazeyo: Good morning dear innovators

Innovators: Good morning Prof. Bazeyo.

Prof Bazeyo: How are you all today?

Innovators: We are okay thank you

Prof. Bazeyo: Who has the best innovation in this innovation lab today?

Innovators: Go silent

Prof. Bazeyo: Who thinks that his or her innovation is the best in the room?

Innovator puts up her hand and says me Prof.

Prof. Bazeyo: Good! Come here and pitch your idea to me and all these lab users.

Innovator: Okay please and she pitches

Prof. Bazeyo: Why do you think that your innovation is the best in this room?

Innovator: Because I and the team I am working closely with are adding value to Sukumawiki (one of the famous and nutritious leafy vegetables in Uganda).

Prof. Bazeyo: How are you adding value to these vegetables?

Innovator: We safely clean and dry the vegetables, grind them into a powder that we can directly add to any other sauce or food and water being consumed. We also produce a smoothie from this vegetable powder ready for consumption. Once you consume these products, you are fighting several human diseases in your body and also promoting appropriate and good body development and growth.

Prof. Bazeyo: Where are you doing all this? Which communities are you serving current? How many farmers have you engaged so far in this regards?

Innovator: We are currently serving the communities in Iganga, Eastern Uganda and we have so far engaged 29 farmers in this initiative.

Prof. Bazeyo: Great efforts indeed, please receive this USD 100 as my humble contribution to your and your team’s efforts to innovate. Thank you for the work you are doing.

Innovator: Thank you so much Prof. Bazeyo and we pledge to work even harder and become even more creative in all we are doing.

Other Innovators in the space: Wow! Wow! Wow! I wish I had put up my hand first to share about our innovation too, maybe I should have been the lucky one. Congratulations Anne, today was one of your lucky days.

Some of the quick lessons learnt

  1. Believe in yourself and what you are doing, it is the best thing ever and be proud to share about what you are doing.
  2. Dig out the uniqueness and value add of what you are doing and share it loudly and proudly.
  3. Be ready and free to share at any one time about what you are doing. Share it very well because you never know what who you are sharing with these facts is capable of doing.
  4. Opportunity lost is equivalent to resources lost, grab and make excellent use of all the opportunities you come across. Do not take any opportunity for granted and do not underestimate any opportunity, leverage all the low hanging fruits.
  5. Secure some time and resources to benefit from a Public Speaking Course so that your confidence and Public Speaking skills are further built preparing you to leverage from such opportunities.
  6. Prof. Bazeyo is more than committed to continuously supporting innovation as a Contribution to making better lives in the communities but also strengthening resilience in the communities in which we live and serve.
  7. It is also important to give! Let the community benefit from your efforts and earnings moving forward so that you can receive even more. Blessed is the hand that gives for more shall be added unto her/him.
  8. Each accumulated resources can make a difference, it is an addition to the pool, embrace and allocate it appropriately for yields.
  9. If we all do like Prof. Bazeyo does and specifically did on this day, we will all be directly contributing to development in one way or another. Let us grow innovation, creativity and service to the communities in need.
  10. Endeavour to be a Contribution to the communities-what will you be remembered for? Be creative and support creativity.

Thank you Prof. Bazeyo for always leading by doing, we all endeavor to be a ‘CONTRIBTION’.