Julian Omalla: From Small Trader to Uganda’s Juice Queen

Julian Adyeri Omalla, affectionately known as “Mama Cheers,” is a remarkable Ugandan entrepreneur who has carved her path from humble beginnings to becoming a powerhouse in the business world. Her journey is one of resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment.

Julian’s entrepreneurial spirit ignited at a young age. She started as an employee, working for her brothers, but harbored a burning desire to create something of her own. Saving her hard-earned money, she took the leap into entrepreneurship as a small trader. Julian wanted to prove that women could thrive in business, too.

However, Julian’s path was not without challenges. She learned a tough lesson when she trusted a business partner who vanished with all her funds. Undeterred, she vowed never to put all her eggs in one basket. This setback shaped her philosophy for future business endeavors: diversification and resilience.

Julian’s breakthrough came when she founded Delight Uganda Limited. The company’s flagship product, the popular fruit drink brand “Cheers,” earned her the endearing nickname “Mama Cheers.” Delight Ltd. became Uganda’s largest juice processing factory, boasting an annual turnover of $4 million and capturing 45% of the local market.

Julian didn’t stop there. She diversified her portfolio, venturing into poultry farming, agri-processing, real estate, and more. Her flour mill, bakery, and student hostel for 400 students are testament to her unwavering determination. Julian also coordinates women’s farmer cooperatives, providing food aid to Sudan.

Beyond her business success, Julian advocates for economic access and opportunities for Ugandan women. She is a leading member of the Uganda Gender and Growth Coalition, championing women’s rights. In 2008, the World Bank honored her entrepreneurship skills, recognizing her as one of Africa’s outstanding women.