A Uganda-based billionaire sent his audience laughing after recounting how rejection from a girl back when he was a university student because he could not afford to buy her beer, was the birth of his dream to one day own a brewery.
Dr. Martin Aliker, one of the richest people in Uganda who owns shares in East African Breweries, was giving a speech during the recent celebrations of Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) turning 70, when he recounted the interesting story.
It was back in the late 1940s when taking beer had just become an in-thing. He approached a beautiful girl in a nightclub, but the lady would only have time for him if he could buy her a bottle of beer.
“I was at Makerere and those days there was only one night club, near Clock Tower. I approached this girl and she actually wanted to dance with me. The condition was that I buy a beer. Back then a beer was only one shilling, but I couldn’t afford it,” the billionaire said as quoted by Matooke Republic.
Speaking during the celebrations held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Aliker said that that disappointing experience roused a will in him to work his way up and one day own a brewery.
“She rejected me because I couldn’t afford a beer but now I have a brewery. That night was my inspiration to be part of a brewery business. I vowed that one day I had to be involved in making beer,” the 88-year-old mogul told the amused crowd.
He also owns shares in several other companies including Nation Media Group, National Insurance Corporation, Uganda Clays and Stanbic Bank, and has sat in over 40 boards of companies in his home country.
The elder, also a chancellor of Victoria University, is married to Camille who he met in the US when he was a student, and persuaded her to come to Uganda with him.