Who is Mugabi Imran? My Story:
My name is Mugabi Imran Kyeyune I was born 2 years after the World Wide Web was introduced.
I am the youngest in a family of more than 8 members.
My Early 2000s
In 1999, two years after losing my both parents at the age of four. I and some of my family moved from Mbarara where I was attending Kindergarten to Bukoto in Kampala, Uganda where my Big sister had gotten married to some Army officer. Do you know what that means? It means I got to learn to be disciplined at an early age thanks to the Colonel.
With a lot of support from Big sister and the Colonel, I was able to join Kololo Primary school and I remember passing through Bukoto flats and throwing some jumping kicks and kung-fu tricks in this neat grass before going back home with the uniform shirt full of grass marks and dirt.
We later relocated from Bukotto to Kulambiro where I got the chance to complete my primary studies at Kampala Academy Primary school in Kisasi. Can you believe I was the Head Boy there? Well, I still don’t believe it too. We used to play Super Mario in the computer lab, at least those are some cool memories.
Plus I used to play hide and sick when my friends were in class. Not cool.
2003 — I have Never Liked School…
I have never liked any moment at school, until at University when I actually started realizing why I had to be in school. But I guess I am not alone.
I also remember saving coins to buy video games. I know you won’t believe me if I told you that I completed all the missions in GTA Vice City and Liberty City. I was also a fan of Need for Speed (II) Special Edition. I am still a fan of Need for Speed and GTA, in fact, in mid-2019, I completed all the missions in GTA V on my XBOX 360 except one. I am also a fan of FIFA. I developed an interest in 3D from playing games like these and watching movies like Monsters Inc. I wasn't a books guy then.
After completing my primary education, I was struggling to finish my secondary studies. I was fortunate to be one of the pioneers of my Sister’s school Royal College Namugongo when it opened in 2006. By then it was called Royal College Misindye — this is when I relocated and started living with my Big brother in Namugongo. He worked in construction and still does.
With time, my brother helped me find myself, and what I really wanted to do with my life. He later helped me join an Islamic Institute in Wakiso which helped to become even more disciplined and well behaved. I also learned Kung-fu. This time real Kung-fu tricks from pros with Black belts. A guy almost broke my ribs while in a sparring session. The school had stopped teaching Kung-fu years before we joined, but I was lucky to find someone who was willing to help.
I was always a fan of Jackie Chan movies. Did I mention that’s how I became the head boy in my primary? While campaigning for Head Prefect, I showed the kids some Jackie Chan tricks and won their votes. Very interesting, right?
2006 — Constructing my Way
Having participated in various types of labor in my childhood with my uncles, friends, and other relatives like Electrical engineering, Soft drinks kiosk, selling pancakes from home, at a very young age, struggling to find myself and what I really wanted to do with my life, I decided to join my brother in construction during my Ordinary Level vacation.
I have always been an artist since I was a boy and I remember modeling cars from banana fibers, and during my O-Level education, I took Fine Art and I remember one session was drawing a goat and my sketches awed my elder brother when he came to visit.
At the age of 17, I joined my brother in construction doing hard labor for $3/day. I have always believed in practical skills. That’s why I joined my brother in construction. But trust me, Unless you know what you want, unless you are sure construction is what you want to do for the rest of your life, you won’t last 90 days doing hard labor for $3 per day.
2009 —Facebooking my way
During my O-Level vacation, is when I also got the chance to learn about Facebook and the internet. But I didn’t really understand the internet thing. I was more interested in learning graphic design as a fan of games, and movies like Spiderman and SupaStrikas magazine at the time.
2012 — Fabricating my Way
In my A-Level vacation, I did some more hard labor as a Supermarket attendant an opportunity found for me by one of my sisters. I didn’t spend much time at the supermarket however, I found it not for me. Especially when there weren’t many customers coming in. You could find yourself too bored to stay awake. Even with the freezers and ACs around you.
So, I started learning welding in late 2012 just a few months after completing my Advanced Level education waiting to join the university. My teachers were amazed at how fast I was able to pick up a tape measure and cut perfect angles in metals. Big projects such as Huge 20x40ft windows, doors, and sliding 40ft sliding gates for factories and schools like Juliana Schools Gayaza were some of the projects I contributed to.
2013 — How I Got Started in Graphic Design
I was always interested in art and design from the sketches I drew in my Fine Art classes to the inspiration I always got in magazines and when playing games (the environments, backgrounds, and textures). However, it was not until I got the chance to attend university at IUIU (Islamic University in Uganda) Kampala Campus in Kibuli taking BIT (Bachelor’s in Information Technology) that I decided to start a career in graphic design.
One of my ultimate goals attending University was to learn Graphic Design. I was so lucky to find a great friend who taught me graphic design, Actually didn’t teach me but gave me the video tutorials I needed to get started. He also gave me all the support I needed to move to the next steps.
I watched and watched video tutorials, got myself a trial version of CS6, and started practicing. Within a few months, I was creating posters, logos, and business cards for friends and a few clients.
After some time watching tutorials, practicing, doing research, and consulting the pros, and practicing a little bit more, I decided that I wanted to learn how to make the graphics move. So I started learning 2D motion graphics which I always loved to do, and I was so glad I was actually learning about it.
This is when I got introduced to Adobe After effects, learning from people like Andrew Kramer, the energy he brings in every video. It wasn’t that easy to learn and grasp but with perseverance, and the support I was getting from different sources I was determined and sure to succeed.
2015 — How I got Started in 3D
I developed an interest in 3D from the first 3D animation movie I remember watching, Monsters Inc., and from the games, I used to play, GTA, Need for Speed among others.
The First 3D tool I ever tried to learn was Blender. Blender is an Open Source(Free to download and use). Just like Bitcoin. And through the learning process, I was able to figure out how polygons connect and I was able to learn Autodesk Maya and 3D Studio Max, and also Cinema 4D within a few months. But it’s always good to focus on one tool and become good at that. I took Cinema 4D.
I fell in love with 3D. But when I got my first job at a local TV Station, I found myself creating more 2D graphics than 3D Projects which I thought was unfortunate at first but this, fortunately, helped me learn more about 2D.
2016 — My First Job Ever
During my time at the university, I was learning and consuming as much content as I could through YouTube and Tutorial sites like Video2Brain, Lynda now Linkedin Learning, PluralSight, SkillShare, Udemy, among others. Now you can learn from Fiverr or even Clickbank.
Some of these were recommended by a friend who had joined a year earlier. I used to watch at least a course almost every week if not every day for about one and a half years straight.
After graduation in May 2016, I used my skills as a graphic designer and some projects (Website coding in HTML & CSS, Posters, and business cards in Photoshop) I had done to apply to various TV stations around the country.
As I learned and practiced with different software including Adobe After Effects, Blender, and Photoshop, some of these creative works landed me my first job at a local Television as a Graphic designer.
In September 2016, I was sitting on the roadside when I got this call from one of the TV stations I had applied to. It was Delta TV. I remember it was a night before I had decided to move back to welding. I had graduated earlier in May and had looked for jobs all over. Almost hopeless. Two days later, I met with him and started working immediately. I was lucky enough to work with the likes of Abbey Mukiibi, Sharita, Katongole Omutongole among others.
Welcome to the World of Freelancers
On the 12th, December 2016, I got another call. This time from one of the biggest media companies. I had applied a few months earlier and had kept pushing the manager, calling him almost every week asking if there was a job. This time I got the call from HR calling me to sign a contract.
This was a big turn in my Graphic Design career. Working as a Freelancer
The job helped me gain a lot of experience as a motion graphic artist. I also got the chance to work with very beautiful people with extra-ordinary talents like Josh the Fixer, Siima & KK, DJ Bush Baby, Roden Y Kabakko, J. Kazoora, and Ivan Matovu the editor of Coffee Shop an award-winning drama, and some of the biggest companies and brands in Uganda like MTN, Pepsi, Bukedde TV, Urban TV, Geisha, Fenix International, KCCA among others.
I worked on projects like The Kampala Sun newspaper, Bride & Groom Magazine, Bride & Groom Expo 2017 & 2018, Toto Christmas Festival and Toto Festival Mbarara 2017 & 2018, Urban Today (morning show) 2017 rebrand, also contributed to the Bukedde TV rebrand for 2019 among other projects.
Watch my 2018 Showreel (Best 2D motion graphics and 3D projects I created) in this short video.
My Graphic design work appeared on both Television and in various Newspapers countrywide like the New Vision, The Kampala Sun, Bukedde Paper, and magazines like Flair throughout the years 2017–2018
So, in a few years I had worked for some of the Biggest brands not only in Uganda but also worldwide, I mean Pepsi is a worldwide brand right?
Anyway, I was overwhelmed by the amount of experience someone can get in just a few months. But I wasn’t satisfied with the salary, and the job stress had taken the “free” from the “Freelance”.
I also thought I needed to add to the skills and knowledge I had acquired over the years. So, I went back to taking online courses on LinkedIn Learning, where I got to learn even more 3D using a free LinkedIn premium trial, I got the opportunity to explore new tools and ultimately learn new skills.
Did I mention I am a lifelong learner?
2019 — How I got started in Digital Marketing
Dissatisfied with the conditions at work. I knew I had to do something.
Earlier I mentioned how in 2009, I got introduced to Facebook by my big brother, I created my first email account with Yahoo which I still use to login to this same Facebook account. When I got to the university, my first priority was to learn about the internet but I ended up learning about Graphic Design and 3D instead. Which was a cool experience.
Lifelong learning has always been my thing. If it was not for God to give me this want to learn more every day, I wouldn't have landed the biggest opportunities ever in life, from landing my first job as a Graphic Designer to learning 2D and 3D motion graphics without going to an International animation school like I always wanted.
Lifelong Learning got me exploring various courses in LinkedIn Learning, I came across courses for Digital marketing specifically Social Media Marketing and Advertising. And with more curiosity than ever, I had always tried to figure out how to create those Google ads, YouTube ads, and Facebook advertising things like promoting a page or boosting posts. One day while I was watching a YouTube video, I fell on this Ad — Tai Lopez was talking about how to start an SMMA.
I was lucky enough to join Tai Lopez’s Knowledge Society in early 2019, allowing me to combine almost everything I had learned and putting it into action. This program is taught by some of the most successful Social Media Experts with the likes of Joe Soto, Nicholas Kirchner, Nathan Chan, Dan Fleyshman, Raymond Duke, Alex Mehr, Sean Vosler, Chris Record, Anthony and Andrian Morrison, Paul Getter, Grant Cardone, Billy Gene, Jaiden Gross among others.
I got a Digital Marketing Certification from Google
In June 2020, I got a Certificate in Digital marketing through the Google Digital Garage Program and Open University. As I might already have mentioned, in 2019 I got a certificate in Social media marketing via the SMMA 2.0 (Social Media Marketing Agency) program by Tai Lopez & the Knowledge Society. Plus a couple of Certificates from Facebook Blueprint Learning Platform and a number from Linkedin Learning.
Now some of these certificates I had to pay for, but others were offered for free, not actually free. Taking an 8 hours course and passing a 60-minute qualification exam is not really free.
Check out these two screenshots from one of my first Google advertising campaigns.
After getting a lot of support from family and completing various courses learning about, eCommerce, email marketing, and Google AdWords, I felt the need to pay it forward.
I, therefore, began producing original content as a way to help small business owners get started online and learn how to use Social Media to Advertise and Market products and services, drive and increase traffic to their eCommerce website, increase sales and revenue for any business, start and grow an affiliate marketing business, which led to the birth of my YouTube channel and the blog.
I started a Digital Marketing Agency
To help fellow lifelong learners (those who seek to improve themselves every day) learn what I have learned over the years. Also to help busy entrepreneurs who would love to grow their businesses online with the tools and resources they need to do just that.
With all this knowledge, I and my friend decided to start an Agency to help small businesses leverage the Power of Social Media and Digital marketing to grow sales and revenue by attracting traffic, converting leads, sales and ultimately increasing the ROI for their eCommerce stores.
Finally, lifelong learning and constantly investing in yourself is the best thing you can do for you and your future self.
I very much appreciate your time reading this, and I hope it makes you want to learn more every day. After all, that’s how we grow and succeed.