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I arrived in London in 2001 and I only had 150 pounds and an address of a friend in East London. When I left Kampala, my intention was to do any kind of job I could come across and to earn money to support my family back home, and also to save some to startup capital for my own business back home.
In the UK, getting a job without papers is very difficult. You need someone to help you, but if you don't know anybody it’s very, very hard. Luckily my network of Ugandan friends advised me about employers and agencies that could turn a blind eye to my lack of papers.
I first worked as a cleaner in a paint shop and I was paid 4 pounds an hour. I then worked as a security guard for two months but I quit. I could not manage the night shifts, because it was not possible to sleep in my room during the day.
Then I worked as a car cleaner and did several other dirty jobs before I landed a job in a supermarket, which is where I have been working up to today.
I shared a room with a friend in East London not too far from the supermarket. I paid 50 pounds a week. Our landlord rented out two rooms to 4 immigrants. It was okay, but when you’re an illegal in the UK, you have to keep on moving, because when you stay in one place for too long, you can be caught.
I miss my family, friends and the status I had back home. What has kept me here up to now is the money I can send home. I normally send 100 pounds a month, which is more than I would have earned in two months at home. So far I have managed to save some good money and I am planning to go back home soon.”