Of Ham and His House

Of Ham and His House
Photo/ Courtesy

There is a ‘small man’ among Ugandans, who owns and lives in a residential lake house that rests on five acres at the shores of Lake Victoria, in a prime Uganda location- Kawuku-Bunga, Ggaba. In other words, his private house covers land worth about five standard-size football stadiums; a standard football stadium measures about 57,600 square feet (360 x 160).

By the way, I personally believe it is misplaced. It should be somewhere resting on the ‘sacred’ soils of the banana island, Lagos, Nigeria. There, it certainly won’t look as illusory.

But what about this private house in Uganda merits public discussion? 

(Hamis Kiggundu runs a Real Estates company called Ham Enterprises U Ltd. Photo/Courtesy)

Hamis Kiggundu’s, (commonly known to Ugandans as Ham) house easily passes for an epitome of Real Estate opulence for most Ugandans, let alone East Africans that may not know about ‘African paradises’ like Ikoyi House in Nigeria, the USD 35million dollar Casablanca Villa in Cape Town, among other luxurious houses in Africa. 

According to a YouTube description on his channel- Ham Enterprises, of a tour of his house, Kiggundu believes his lakeside ‘palace’ is “the best and most beautiful house in Africa”. I do not know what Aliko Dangote or Patrice Motsepe have to say about that.

In a country where the majority of the population lives below the poverty line and most struggling just to survive, wealth like Hamis’ is illusory. But not for the egg-smooth-faced, youthful Real Estates guru about whose physical appearance nothing is staggeringly remarkable.  In fact, in one of his self-help books titled, Success and Failure Based on Reason and Reality, he argues that he amassed his wealth on the simple principles of reason and reality. Therefore nothing is fictitious or magical about the man and his money.

At the end of a hot sunny day, while many Ugandans at the bottom of the social class ladder return to small, sometimes shanty, single room homes that they more often than not have to share with at least five family members, the 37-year-old retires to a 28-roomed house. His master's bedroom is a plot stretch of 27 X 61 feet. Meaning. In itself, this room is just enough land for another Ugandan to set up either their own descent abode.

If he wishes, the man whose body size shows no evidence of neither obesity nor a high appetite for food can dine with 23 people simultaneously at his 24-person dining table, without an extra chair being dragged from another room to accommodate guests. But, well, he probably sits at it alone most times or does not use it at all.

The Ugandan billionaire boasts a whooping over USD 10,000 monthly expenditure on maintenance and amenities fees for his palatial, private ‘palace; he mentioned this during a television interview whose video is posted on his official Facebook page, Hamu Enterprises U Ltd.

There is no need to compute what just an annual summation of that money can do for not only hundreds of families but whole villages in Uganda, Kenya, or Tanzania.

It can either be said that Ham’s house is either quintessentially ‘UnAfrican’ or its features are (I speak for the Ugandans). such luxury is almost illusory. First of all, most of the domestic appliances among other imports inside the house valued at USD 5 Billion are imported. Secondly, the transparency of the glass-coated walls belies the fact that it certainly has bricks and cement. Thirdly, features such as a private 3D Cinema, customized swimming pool, fleets of fancy cars, and exquisitely well-done lawns wrap the house like a big, green belt.

Who then is Hamis Kiggundua?

Hamis Kiggundu runs a Real Estate Company called Ham Enterprise U Ltd. As of 2020, Forbes Africa statistics, his net worth is USD 870 million. He is renowned for “his booming business in real estate holdings and trading.” He owns several commercial complexes and luxurious housing projects in and out of Kampala; most prominent in Uganda being Ham Shopping mall, Ham Towers, Ham Palm Villas - a luxury residential community with 500 homes.

He is a living testament, just like the richest man in East Africa, SudhirRuparelia, that investment in Real Estate is the surest way to live like royalty, anywhere around the world.