While growing up, Rose Twine was inspired by her hard-working entrepreneur father.After completing S.6 at Uganda Martyrs SS Namugongo in 1994, she moved to the UK, where she worked in the environmental department of the London Borough of Haringey as a researcher. Today she is the boss of the Eco group of Companies. This website caught up with her and shared with us more about her life as a wife, business woman and living large.
Briefly tell us, who is Rose Twine?
Hhaa. Rose is a very beautiful wife to a city businessman, mother of two and a very hard working person. I can also describe myself as a business woman too. I am the brains behind, and CEO of, Eco Group Limited, an organization that produces eco-friendly stoves that use special stones for fuel. The stones, with a special capacity to produce and retain heat, are usable up to eight hours non-stop and can be topped up after two years since they eventually shrink.
You’ve lived in the UK for most of your life, how then did you end up here?
I am born here from Rukungiri and had all my teenage life here. I moved to the UK to study back then and when I finished my studies as a nurse, I decided to start working there. But as an environment in the UK, I would have it at the back of my mind that I should take the knowledge I had acquired in the environment sector to my country.
You got famous back here from Vending food at Martin road and being sexy. What was your motive?
Hahah. I am not sexy. I am just normal. Yes I had come back to Uganda for a holiday and my husband was working along Martin road. As I would visit him at his work place, I saw young girls bringing food to people at his office. But that wasn’t cool. I decided to make a restaurant where people could come and dine there. So I did it as a by the way.
You’re talking of husband, you look super gorgeous and young, you’re married?
Yes. I am a married Woman with two children. But our children live in the UK. For us we live here but go to visit them once in a while. Though we have a home in the UK.
As a married Woman, young and beautiful, how do you handle men hitting on you?
Well, I have a very amiable character. I smile at every one but that is where it stops. The fact that I am married makes me respect myself and my marriage. I know how to close those men who come with different intentions.
You’re a successful businesswoman and powerful, do you find it worth respecting your man?My husband comes first in everything. He is also a CEO in the ECO group of companies. He has inspired me to reach where I am now so it would be so low of me to start disrespecting him. With all around me, he remains my man and that can’t change.
It is said that for a Woman to be successful, she has to choose marriage or money and career. How true is this?
This is wrong. I am a kind of woman who is hard working and enterprising. I never settle for less. But I know my limits when I am home. At home I am an African traditional wife. That settles the score. A woman who was well groomed will never let career or money spoil her marriage?
As a businesswoman, you’re surrounded by men. Some become your good friends, is your man okay with this?
As I said, my man understands me more than anyone else. We both know when to compromise. He has come to understand that I can be friends to males as long as it is business. We both compromise.
Well, lets talk about Eco Stoves and Stones..Eco stoves use special stones for fuel. The stones, with a special capacity to produce and retain heat, are usable up to eight hours non-stop and can be topped up after two years since they eventually shrink.They come in packages of three kilogrammes each. Mined in Goma, DR Congo, the stones have been tested and certified by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI).The stove is mainly dark green, made up of galvanised metal sheets, a fan, clay liner, insulation pumice and vermiculite (a type of mineral) and a solar kit.In order to increase its combustion, the stove has been adapted with an inbuilt air system that runs on solar, which introduces forced air to the stones. The solar is used to circulate the air, regulate the heat output and eventually switch off after the cooking.How did you come up with his innovation?Growing up, I saw people suffering with firewood and smoke because there was no solution. In the UK, it was rare to see someone using firewood,” she says. In my house, there is a fireplace that heats up the house. I thought to myself that if it can be able to do this, then stones can also be used for cooking.Her passion for research would come into play and, together with a team of engineers, technicians and designers, they developed the first prototype.Finally, in June 2010, the first usable stove was made. From then, the business has grown leaps and bounds. The eco stove will not only save its users lots of cooking fuel cost today, it will also leave a legacy for improving people’s lives, encouraging low-carbon living and a restored environment for the future generations if adopted.Usually women are discriminated against in the business world, there is a saying, women cant be great business people, what are the challenges you have faced?Like any other business, I have faced some hitches while starting out with the eco stoves. Initially, it was and still is difficult to convince people to adopt the stove and save costs. Getting them to appreciate that it is not about the money but a host of other long-term benefits is hard.What is your next 10 years plan?Well great question!.. I envision making eco stoves a household product for everyone. As a result, she hopes to establish Eco Group Ltd shops or branches throughout Uganda. Today we are Kampala, Mityana, Bushenyi, Entebbe and Mbarara.