Hatari Sekoko is one of the most successful businessmen in Rwanda. Despite having chains of businesses under his name, he has a good sense of humour.
During the interview, Sekoko jokes about many issues for instance, when asked the name of his primary school, he said: “Some place under a tree in a refugee camp, I don’t think it had a name.”
The hilarious Sekoko was born on October 1st, 1960 in Gicumbi (formerly Byumba) District. He is the seventh child among nine siblings born to the late Raphael Sekoko and Astellia Mushashin.
Following the insurgencies that befell Rwanda in the 1960’s, he was forced into exile at a tender age.
“I was in a refugee camp known as Kyagwale Bunyoro in Western Uganda. I attained my primary education at the camp although I don’t think the school had a name because lessons were conducted under a tree,” Sekoko explains.
He later joined Ibanda Secondary School in Uganda for his O’level education and thereafter went to Old Kampala Senior Secondary School for his A’ Level’s before dropping out of school.
“In 1980 I dropped out of school because it was the time Idi Amin was fighting with Tanzania. I moved to Kenya where I became a secondary refugee,” he discloses.
At the age of twenty, he was still in exile and had to find the easiest means of survival.
“While in Kenya, I had to look for jobs and I did several of them. I started travelling with Somalis who were transporting goods from Kenya to Southern Sudan. I can’t even define my job description at the time but I was always told I looked like a Somali and the bosses liked me,” he said.
Together with his workmates, Sekoko would deliver goods to Khartoum even with the very poor road network on that route. He compared his former lifestyle to that of warriors.
On October 1, 1990, Sekoko joined the Rwanda Patriotic Army during the liberation struggle.
“I was among the liberators although in 1995, I quit military service and went back into business. Before joining the liberation struggle I used to import vehicles, their spare parts and motorbikes from Japan. When I quit the army I did the same thing,” Sekoko explains.
He owns different businesses such as Agro coffee Industries, and is a shareholder in Rwanda Investment Group and New Century development which is constructing a 5 star Hotel along with three foreign Chinese shareholders.
“I’m the major share holder of DOYELCY although along side several projects, I’m accountable to the Downtown Project which is still at its early stage,” Sekoko reveals.
He attributes his success in the business world to several factors in life which include; networking with foreign investors, partnering with local banks for long term credit.
He said: “It’s through hard work, big vision for my company and for my country which can be resumed in the principal of prudence of a big vision as well as dynamism.”
Regarding his monthly earnings he said: “Since the Company is still in the investment process, no payment in form of dividends has been made to shareholders.”
Besides being one of the most established and renowned businessman in Rwanda, Sekoko is a family man blessed with four children, two daughters and two sons.
Dish: = Rwandese staple food
Color: = Blue
Sports personality: = Lance Armstrong
Music: = Rock and Roll
Artist: = Elvis Presley
Quote: =”Know can do”