“The more I think back on the ways the Academy made sure we were connected to the community, with the events we did outside of the Academy with other community members, that was a key reminder to not stay in an isolated group of privileged people or with people that aren’t connected to something larger than ourselves,” he explains.
“That really resonated with my time over there.”
From Kampala to Mombasa to Iowa
After completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme at the Academy, Ham’s journey leaped to another continent when he moved to Iowa in the US to study economics at the prestigious Grinnell College.
He was ready for the adventure, thanking his move to the Academy in Mombasa from his hometown in Kampala, Uganda as an insight into what it is like to move away.
“[My time at the Academy] was the first time in my life I lived away from home,” he says. “It was like a nice trial period before moving further away.”
“I was excited to move to Grinnell, to Iowa, for all the big and small things like seeing snow for the first time,” he reflects. “Just being around a new environment, new culture and a new group of people was very exciting.”
The creation of Chipper Cash
Following his graduation from Grinnell and a two-year stint at Meta (formerly Facebook) came a pivotal stage in Ham’s life. In 2018, he and his co-founder Maijid Moujaled established Chipper Cash, a financial technology, or fintech, company offering several products and services to people in Africa, such as local and cross-border payments, cards, stocks, airtime and data, and bill pay.
“I wanted to make an impact on my local community with what I know best,” Ham says. “I wanted to create a solution that might solve a problem for people in Uganda.”