Date of Birth: 2 October 1953
Date of Death: 10 September 2021
Hajj Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige, commonly known as BMK, is a Ugandan businessman, entrepreneur, and hotel owner. He has been one of the wealthiest people in Uganda.
In 1986, BMK Group started a general trade and manufacturing company. Ten years later in 1997 Hotel Africana was born with only 40-rooms they have now expanded to 233 rooms and 30 serviced apartments on Kololo Hill, a prestigious location within Kampala’s central business district.
A seasoned businessman, Hajji BMK started his business empire with the 40-room motel Hotel Africana on Kololo Hill, which is within Kampala’s central business district. During the next decade, the hotel grew into a four-star establishment. The hotel spreading across Africa boasts of several amenities that include a swimming pool, manicured gardens and a conference center, the Africana Conference Center, with a seating capacity of 3,500 delegates.
In addition to the hotel, BMK invested in real estate, construction equipment, motorcycle distributorship, and foreign exchange bureaus across East and Central Africa.
He was also the founder of the phrase “Boda Boda”, a term he says was first used at the border of Uganda and Kenya when people used to cross on bicycles he later introduced Motorcycles imported from Japan and the culture of Boda Bodas was born.
According to a 2012 published report, BMK was one of the wealthiest people in Uganda. He has been the chairman and managing director of the BMK Group of companies, whose member businesses include:
Hotel Africana with branches in Kampala, Moroto and Zambia,
BMK Motorcycles in Nateete, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salam, Kigali, and Lusaka
Hotel Africana Forex Bureau,
BMK Construction Leasing Company and the
BMK Oil Equipment Company among others
Last year, BMK in a book he authored would write, “My Story of Building A Fortune in Africa” in which he chronicled his business journey from a coffee trader in Masaka to a respected businessman in Kampala and on the international stage.
He wrote that in 1982, during his would-be maiden business trip to Japan, he lost $52,000 approximately Shs190m after the briefcase was stolen at the airport.
“A thief grabbed the suitcase and ran as fast as he could,” he wrote.
In addition to his private business interests, Bulaimu Muwanga Kibirige has served in the following public positions: He is a former Chairman of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA).
He is a former Board Member and Chairman Uganda chapter of the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA)
Currently, BMK has been the Chairman Executive Board of Uganda-Sickle Cell Rescue Foundation.
In 2014, BMK was awarded a doctorate of Philosophy in Humanities at the United Graduate College and Seminary. In the same year, he received a Diaspora Lifetime Award for entrepreneurship in the East and Central Africa region.
The businessman’ empire currently has over 1,000 employees.