Why I left Teaching and Embraced Computer Repair as an Alternative Source of Income

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I am a teacher by profession and I come from a family of teachers. My mother is a teacher by profession – a teacher of teachers to be specific. My late father was a teacher by profession – a teacher of teachers too. I have a brother and a sister who are also teachers not forgetting many of my cousins who are teachers too. I started life in a teachers’ environment i.e. Kyambogo when it was still called ITEK and I completed school in a teachers’ environment i.e. Kaliro NTC. In short, teaching runs in my DNA. But how does a teacher end up repairing computers? Read on!

Just after school, I searched for a teaching job in vain. When I got one, I went for 6 months without pay. I then thought that switching schools was the solution but I was wrong. It dawned on me that much as I loved teaching, teaching didn’t love me then.

The hustle took me 5 years and with the help of a brother, I realized that all my life I lived in a virtual world. In the real world, where reality ruled, it was not only what you studied that put food on your table.

The question that triggered my curiosity was, “Steve, you were always good in computers can’t you start a secretarial bureau?” I was like, what? Is it even possible? So I can sit in one place and type someone else’s work and earn from it? …. and before long and for the first time in my life, I was self employed.

My interaction with clients brought to my attention the problems people where facing with their computers. I endeavored to learn how to solve these problems one by one. I remember burning the midnight oil trying to figure out solutions to my clients’ small problems. Slowly by slowly I became a local hero.

No one asked for my qualifications. I started solving problems for big institutions and no one asked for where I went to school. This was in stark contrast to my profession as a teacher. What people needed was a solution to a problem that the men in suit and tie had failed to solve.

No one reminded me how to dress, no one reminded me to comb my hair. I had no deadlines and no papers to mark. No client defaulted on their dues and my time with them was always fun.

I would bow to greet my clients and they would bow back – was this really happening? … a world where some school directors forced their subordinates to kneel when greeting them?

Fact was, that, as a teacher, I begged schools to employ me but as a technician, schools begged me to ‘help’ them. As a teacher, the schools decided what and when to pay me but as a technician, I decided what my pay was. As a teacher, schools asked for my qualifications yet as technician schools neither bothered where I went to school nor what my level of education was. As a teacher it was hard for me to employ another person but as a technician I had the ability to employ not just one person but even a team.

It was not long before I got offers from the very schools I had applied for jobs in the previous 2 years. Now, it was time to choose and the winner was St. Peter’s SSS Nsambya. I worked there for 6 years, which helped me grow professionally, technically and socially. I grew my network of friends and acquaintances.

Being a technician at St. Peter’s SSS Nsambya opened a new world of possibilities as I got recommended for other part time jobs. I am proud to have offered IT support to schools like Trinity College – Nabbingo, Kitende SS, Makerere College, St. Mary’s High School – Bunamwaya and so on.

At St. Peter’s SSS Nsambya, I was employed as a Computer Lab Technician but the DNA in me always forced me to offer assistance to many of the students who frequented the school lab. Soon, I was referred to as teacher. The school administration was kind enough to assign me a few lessons which also helped boost my salary.

This helped me revive the teaching skills I learnt in college and at home and before long, I too thought it wise to start a school of Computing. Today, I am the proud Director of E-zone School of Computing, thanks to my teaching background and experience.

Stephen Dumba
E-zone School of Computing
0772 111 223 / 0752 111 223