How midwife established her side hustle as a wall painter


Midwifery is one of the professions that requires enough time and competence to execute. For some people, it is impossible to have a side hustle when your job is to assist women in childbirth.

However, this is not the case for Delphine Umugwizawase, who is making money through art alongside midwifery, her main form of employment and income.

She is the CEO of ‘Ubudasa wall paints’ and she is at the same time a midwife at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK).

Umugwizawase reveals that ever since her childhood she always dreamed of being an artist and working in health sectors.

Though realizing that her artistic dream took quite a long, she said she finally realized it last year in July when she officially opened ‘Ubudasa wall Paints Company’

“When Covid-19 broke out in Rwanda, different businesses halted operations consequently affecting sources of income for many people who had jobs and I thought of what I can do to contribute in reduction of that but also do what I love,” she said.

Umugwizawase said that previously her team used to work casually not as a company but in July she decided to officially make it a company.

She chose to name her company Ubudasa, which for her means that their work and services are unique.

“We do not have a specific formula to make our work every moment, we discover new things, and we improve and keep searching to make our work unique and new for our clients,” she explained.

Umugwizawase says that the style of painting they do is interior and exterior wall paints in 3D dimensions.

“We do painting design referring to real things, we are naturally artistic, 3 Dimensions. Its means we make our work real if is a tree on the wall you can be able to see it in its dimensions,” she said.

She emphasizes that the uniqueness of her brand is that they have uncommon types of painting in Rwanda that used to be in big houses like hotels, and used to be produced for foreigners but they are currently it for everyone.

Like any other starting business, she faced some challenges like lack of materials in local markets.

“We use specific materials for our designs and the main problem is that they are not available in our local markets, but we are working hard to produce them locally. Hopefully, we will be able to have enough materials,” she says.

As a woman working in a male-dominated world, she shares her experience and describes it as ‘a great experience’ which requires support to make perfect work.

“This company is headed by women. We are also painters who know that painting is a male-dominated field but we were not discouraged because we were determined. With great teamwork, we are able to perform and deliver a greater service,” She said.

Balancing midwifery and painting 

“Many people who know me call me engineer midwife, I like both painting and assisting women in childbirth,” she states.

She adds that when she is painting it’s like a hobby that helps her to rest and to reflect; she sees it as a part of her self-care.

“With my mind relaxed and a physically fit body, I can give the best and perfect services to the hospital,” she says.

Her company made significant achievements like being able to transform houses in a way a customer feels satisfied with and also provide jobs to different people, especially women.

So far Ubudasa has employed six permanent employees as professionals and many others as part-time employees, 70 percent of them being women.

 Umugwizawase urges women to have confidence, to do what they love, and be committed if they want to join the entrepreneurship career.