Mobile money services transform orphan's life

Theogene Niyomugabo, lost his father when he was 2 years old. 20 years later, he is the proud owner of a 3 bedroom house, he built in just two years.

Théogène Niyomugabo, lost his father when he was 2 years old. 20 years later, he is the proud owner of a 3 bedroom house, he built in just two years. Niyomugabo sells airtime and also provides MTN Mobile Money services to clients. At 5:30 am, as many are preparing to go to work, Niyomugabo is setting up his ‘mobile office’ near the Ministry of Justice.

A yellow table with a hole drilled in its centre to hold the umbrella that genially offers its shed to the vendor and at least one client if need arises, long wooden chair is what constitutes his ‘office’.

As early as 5:30 am, hardly before he is through with setting up his ‘office’, a few people are already making orders; I want “me to you” (direct airtime refills where the vendor tops up any amount to the customer’s phone), and some are already buying airtime cards.

Niyomugabo told The New times that his job has rewarded him beyond expectation and that there are always very many customers, especially morning hours and lunch time.

With the money from his job, he has built a house in his village in Butare -Huye district, meets all his basic needs, especially paying his rent which was one of the hardest things for him in the past. He also takes care of his wife, child and mother. He sells both Tigo and MTN airtime voucher cards plus offering MTN mobile money services, a job he has done since 2010.

“With profits from my business, I have built a beautiful house in my village I pay my landlord on time and I sort out all family needs without begging for support from anyone. The airtime and mobile money services job has inspired me to success and I am now hopeful for a better future.” He added.

How he started the ‘job’

He started selling airtime cards and ‘‘me to you’’ in 2010 with capital of worth Rfw70,000 from personal savings.

His capital accumulated due to daily profits from airtime services.

“I saved my profits until last year when I had proceeds worth Rfw2.5 million. From this profit, I decided to build my house,” he narrates, adding that he used the remaining to join MTN mobile money services that has increased his operating capital. To this Niyomugabo emphasizes that people especially the youth should not discriminate work, because every job as long as it is legal and allows you to meet your needs and advance towards your dreams is a good one no matter what others say about it. 

“Neglecting a job is neglecting money and I doubt there is no one who does not want money.”

He attributes his achievements, to the growing demand for telecommunication products and the mobile phone penetration in Rwanda. But like in any other undertaking, Niyomugabo discloses that in his line of work challenges are not alien.

The most challenging for him however is network failures and money fraud from hackers.

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