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How to be…the fearless Winnie Byanyima

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STRONG WOMAN: She may be the wife of Uganda’s strongest opposition leader, but there is more that defines Winnie Byanyima. This woman is the role model you want for all your children; she is very intelligent, a go-getter, aggressive and ambitious and she will stand up when things are not going right. Here is how to be like her.

Winnie Byanyima is one of the most recognisable women in Uganda, partly because of her strong political background. She enjoyed a successful political career back in the 90s as the MP of Mbarara Municipality. During that time, she was very critical of the government and shook the corridors of power with her fierce and outspoken character. Byanyima once called for the censure of top government honchos including Jim Muhwezi and Sam Muhwezi from Parliament in 1998 over allegations of corruption. She has since remained one of the most feared and respected people in the opposition.
Elsewhere, Byanyima has consistently fought for the rights of women and inspired women around the world. Just when you thought she had achieved everything, she got the much coveted appointment as the executive director of Oxfam International.
As the wife of Uganda’s main opposition leader, she is guaranteed more visits to prison cells than dinner dates at Kampala’s five-star restaurants. And while your usual wife would love to walk through her compound on a Saturday morning and marvel at her beautiful flower garden, Byanyima is bound to chance on a journalist farting on her lawn or a bunch of police officers blocking her movement. Unfortunately, those are the perks that come with being Dr Kizza Besigye’s wife. To be like Winnie Byanyima, here is your guide:

Be fearless and break barriers
While Winnie Byanyima may appear helpless to move the police barriers at her residence, she has broken barriers as far as career is concerned. At a time when women were barred from doing science-related subjects, she pursued Aeronautic engineering and was the first Ugandan female to graduate in that field. She has always made a mark in male-dominated fields, including politics. Byanyima had to be stubborn. To break barriers and be great, you need to be stubborn. It is called ‘Mputtu-ism’. While the world judges you for being too big-headed and unruly, keep being you. When people are busy warning you about places being too dangerous, embrace these places. Walk straight into the fire and start a dance. Don’t run away from kawunyemu when you can walk into it and find your way around it. Nontso?

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Be the ride or die wife
Bambi Winnie Byanyima has suffered. I doubt if she even remembers her wedding anniversaries anymore. Her anniversaries probably find her carrying a food flask to Luzira prison for her hubby, Kizza Besigye. The woman cannot even have time alone with her husband because journalists are paraded in her compound watching her every move. You need to be a strong woman to stand such conditions. Women nowadays will walk out immediately Yaka runs out. Yes, they are that petty.
To be like Winnie Byanyima, you need to stand the storm. Kale even her hubby walks to work occasionally. Whose daughter are you going to tell that you love walking to work? No one will subscribe to that hustle. Chicks run when they notice your shoes covered in dust. You will have to stick by your man no matter what. Even if they say your man is responsible for all the pregnancies in the village, stand by him. Don’t let anything come between you.

Always speak out
Winnie Byanyima has always spoken when things did not seem right. She has always spoken against the ills of the government and spoken for her fellow women to be heard. We all know that a woman’s biggest strength is to talk. Women will talk and talk, I hand it to them. They will talk in their sleep. They will talk about the needless issues among themselves but spew important information on social media in terms of status updates. Iyiiiiiii!!! You ask a woman what’s wrong and she will answer, “nothing”. Then you see some long Facebook post authored by her with a lot of ‘feelings’. Ladies, speak up. Say what’s bothering you. Don’t go to your neighbours to gossip about how your hubby doesn’t shower. The joke will be on you.
Well there you have it. Go be like Winnie Byanyima
2013

THE YEAR WINNIE BYANYIMA WAS APPOINTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OXFAM INTERNATIONAL

 

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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