If “stay low and build” were a person, there’s no doubt it would look like Jotham Ndugga-Kabuye. A first-generation Ugandan American, Ndugga-Kabuye has never been one to shy away from hard work — something that’s served him well as the Head of Global Social Media at Twitch, where he currently leads global strategy, resource planning and people development.
Despite wearing many hats, this Southern California native still doesn’t consider himself a boss. Instead, he views his role as more of a facilitator in a larger effort to empower and uplift those under his leadership. He says this path is more like being “a coach who enables his players to make the necessary plays for us to win.”
Before making his mark at Twitch, Ndugga-Kabuye built an impressive — and varied — career. He started in fashion, working for iconic streetwear brands like Crooks & Castles in styling and content creation. After completing graduate school, he realized fashion wasn’t the right field for what he ultimately wanted to do. So, Ndugga-Kabuye pivoted and started working for brands like Frito Lay and Oracle, picking up skills such as marketing, merchandising and sales. Never one to settle, eventually he decided to test his skills in an entirely new industry: tech.
Ready to take a chance on himself, after seeing a LinkedIn post from his now-boss, Ndugga-Kabuye took a leap of faith and reached out — and it paid off.
Joining Twitch has caused him to shift his perception of the tech industry. Despite his unconventional background, Ndugga-Kabuye has thrived at Twitch, and he’s realized that diversity of people and thoughts can be an asset in this industry. “You get to come in there, and there’s the whole imposter syndrome and ‘Do I really belong?’ Quickly you realize that ‘Look, I’m here for a reason.’ And you also realize there are different forms of intelligence.”
Now, as a manager, being able to collaborate is one of Ndugga-Kabuye’s biggest flexes. “More than the content, more than the strategies, [the question is:] how am I developing talent? And frankly, that is the most rewarding (and most difficult) part of the job.” Working on a diverse team mixed with gamers and non-gamers alike has definitely helped him grow this skill.
Get to know Jotham Ndugga-Kabuye by watching his journey to Twitch.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Twitch.