In 2013, Aimable Niyonsenga completed his high school education and like other school leavers, he was looking forward to joining and completing university.
Unfortunately, this dream was cut short for Niyonsenga, owing to challenges of tuition fees.
The 27-year-old, who was then a second-year student at Mount Kenya University thought of seeking a job that would see him continue with his education.
This prompted him to look for odd jobs with the aim of raising money for his university studies.
A birthday cake for a baby boy modelled on a t-shirt.
Luckily, in 2014, he landed a job in a company known as House of Cakes, Kigali which was known for making cakes for special occasions like weddings and birthdays.
He was working as a casual worker.
Although his aim was to go back to school, he said after working for a while, he started developing an interest in starting his own enterprise.
“Because of the passion I had developed on what I was doing, the company decided to give me some short-term training on how to make cakes, which I believe helped me improve my knowledge as far as cake baking is concerned,” he said.
Niyonsenga decorates a cake at his shop in Remera.
As a Hospitality and Tourism Management student, he said he learnt a wide range of skills and was assigned to the post of chef pastry.
With a salary of Rwf 270,000 as a chef pastry, Niyonsenga said it helped him save more not only for school but also to start his own enterprise.
He also bakes wedding cakes.
He said although he had other responsibilities, he vowed to spend less and save more although it wasn’t an easy task.
The money he got enabled him to join the university in 2018.
Because of the experience in pastry and baking and the capital he had, early this year, Niyonsenga also started his own business known as Royal Cakes. He juggles between his studies and business.
He said he invested Rwf 8 million in the business.
“I would say if it wouldn’t be working with House of Cakes, I don’t think I will have ever dreamt of doing something of my own,” he said.
Situated in Remera, Kigali, his business includes making birthday and wedding cakes as well as bread and other snacks.
Because of the passion he had in bakery, he opted to study something that will add value to his passion, choosing hospitality and .food processing.
“Although I have achieved part of what I have been dreaming of, which is joining university, I believe with time I will be able to fulfill all my dreams and most importantly, be able to create employment to the young people out there,” he said.
His desire as well is to open up more branches of his firm, royal cakes especially in rural areas.
Meanwhile, Niyonsenga said the main setback that is holding a number of youth back is that they don’t believe in themselves.
He added that if this is changed, there will be fewer cases of unemployment among young people instead; everyone will be striving to do their best with little support.