Doctor abandons medicine to pursue passion in business

Saturday February 26 2022
Ngozi picture
By Ange Iliza

After graduating from medical school and practiced medicine for a few years, Christian Mugabe, 27, quit his job and enrolled in school again. But this time, he was venturing into a lifetime passion. Dr Mugabe had wanted to become an environmentalist to focus focus on adding value to plants and herbs. 

As his final project, Dr Mugabe started a business that makes cosmetic products such as soaps and oil from herbs and natural substances that were traditionally used as medicine. With his background in medicine, Mr Mugabe run field research in some of the remotest areas, conducted interviews with people who still use traditional herbs to cure some health complications. 

After months of research and trials, he co-founded Ngozi Naturals, one of the few manufacturers of cosmetics in Rwanda. Mr Mugabe’s pro-environment business  is among increasingly more emerging businesses that recognise and advocate for the environment. His co-founder, Keren Uhiriwe, had previously majored in aviation before she bailed and joined Mugabe in his business.

Ngozi Naturals is one of the increasingly more businesses by young people that prioritize advocacy and conservation of the environment. From Fashion, cosmetics, transport, tech, and e-commerce, young innovators and entrepreneurs are more cautious of different aspects such as waste management, recycling, and eco-friendly policies and work environment. For instance, Ngozi Naturals has dedicated 30 percent of its profits to planting trees across Kigali.

“We have painted a mural at Kimihurura Primary school to raise awareness on challenges related to conservation in the last two weeks. We also planted trees in schools and homes to raise awareness,” Christian Mugabe informed.

The duo was motivated not only by my passion but also by the amplified impact of climate change that Rwanda faces like landslides, floods, and rainstorms. Seemingly, they are worried about the dangers postured by global climate change, and many areas of now encountering its effects, for example, expanding water shortage, and increasing disasters and infection dangers. 


From 2018 to 2020, Rwanda lost over 450 lives to natural disasters, namely floods and landslides.

“It is important that we understand, advocate, and take action to tackle climate change impact. If we involve youth, it’ll be easier and more effective,” Mr Mugabe added.

In June 2020, two Rwandan fashion designers collaborated to create zero waste unisex styles for creativity and sustainability. The shirt comes in various sizes for both men and women. The shirt is made with le over pieces from other outfits.

“We thought of introducing something fashionable, as well as sustainable,” Moses

Turahirwa of Moshions, said in an interview at the time. The government has eased clean energy businesses to support green investors to create an impact. There is a VAT waiver on electric vehicles, free and efficient registration, and a discount on electricity.