ON TOP OF THEIR GAME. They are young women who have stood out in their various spheres of life. As we commemorate International Women’s Day, Christine W. Wanjala writes about the trailblazers.
PROSCOVIA ALENGOT OROMAIT -mp
The 19 or 20 year old put Uganda on the swag map as the country from which one of the world’s youngest MPs hails from. Fresh from high school and just beginning her campus life, with zero experience, she was brave enough to stand for MP when her father passed on and his Usuk constituency’s seat fell vacant. She is not the most vocal but the confidence with which she answers her questions even if it is only when asked something to boast about. Plus, she makes the drab halls of Parliament look hot. We salute you, honourable.
Leslie Kasumba – CHANNEL O MANAGER
She has dual citizenship (Ugandan and Southafrican) so technically the South Africans have a claim to her too. But she is doing well out there so we must tie ourselves there. Besides, she grew up here and has said she speaks Luganda perfectly. She is ours and she does us proud and makes us envy her in equal measure. Being manager Channel O Africa must be one of the coolest jobs on the continent. Makes you feel bad for our artistes who can’t stop crowing if their song is played on Channel O.This woman here runs the show over there. We salute you!
Rema – singer
We wondered whose golden voice that was on Bebe Cool’s dance hall hit Cease and Sekkle.Thanks to her dropping hit single after hit single, we now know Rema, a lady as blessed with beauty as she is with talent. The 21-year-old is a force to reckon with in the Ugandan music industry right now doing everything from collabos to dancehall to Rn’B. Rema is our lady of the dimpled smile and the soulful lyrics. We salute her!
GLORIA WAVAMUNNO – FASHION DESIGNER
If you are an aspiring Ugandan fashion designer, one of your dreams must be to become internationally reknown.Here is news for you, you may not know it but you are aspiring to be like Gloria Wavamunno. Oswald Boateng probably calls her Glo. But more importantly she takes fashion design onto the global level at several international fashion shows. We salute her.
Flavia Namakula – queen of green
I have long suspected golf clubs are kept so exclusive just so we do not see just how terrible the golfers are. But this excludes this 24-year-old. She represents Ugandan women on the green and she does it well. Flavia Namakula is so good at golf she has clinched every title for ladies there is in the country. She now goes for the international ones of which she has already won a few. We salute the queen of the green!
ANNE KANSIIME – COMEDIAN
Uganda’s funny girl, an actress with Fun Factory, GoTV ambassador and going by how popular her clips are , Uganda’s biggest act on Youtube right now. She could sit on her butt and be funny but this girl prefers to work on different things including a children’s rhymes album. We salute you for doing what you do and doing it well.
ANNA ADEKE- MAK GUILD PRESIDENT
For showing the whole world beauty can certainly go together with brains. Adeke is a law student. For being the fourth woman to become Guild President in the over 90 years Makerere University has been in existence, and for securing a landslide win. We salute you!
JUSTINE NAMEERE – HOST NTV LIFE STORIES
If you would have mentioned that name at this time last year people would have wondered who you are talking about. We now know her thanks to that increasingly popular Life stories show on NTV. Justine nails the role of compassionate host who manages to stay composed even through the saddest, most emotional interviews. And she is bringing to the fore the plight of many who have suffered silently. We salute you.
FLAVIA TUMUSIIME – RADIO AND TV PRESENTER
She made the transition from just being the pretty girl on WBS’s Teens Club to presenting on Capital FM to being a pretty girl on TV screens across East Africa and later on, the continent. She may also have shown Africa how to wear bubble gum pink at the Big Brother Star Game show, which she co-hosted with Nigeria’s IK. One thing for sure though, we haven’t seen the last of Flavia’s rising star, wait and see. We salute her.
Juliana Kaggwa Mukasa – Heineken country manager
She built her name as the marketing manager at EABL but jumped ship to head one of the world’s leading beer brands Heineken as a country manager. It can’t be an easy feat to take up the challenge of establishing a brand in a market which seems pretty much covered by two corporations. We salute you.
HATS OFF FOR YOU TOO
You may notice your name is not on the list. Please, it is nothing personal. You have either been saluted severally before and thus not a very young woman, or we have not heard about you yet. As a peace offering, we hope you accept the salute in the following categories. Surely, you must fall in one of them. If not, let us know so that we create a category for you next time.
The single mothers
Eeeh! Before you start flashing that ka hand like in Beyoncé’s Single Ladies video, read the heading again. It says single mothers. As in those whom circumstances have led to them raising a child or children by themselves. We salute you ladies, again ‘single ladies’ put your hands down if you are not a mother!
Women who drive their own cars
Never mind those men who are always complaining about how women drive. What are they going to do about it? Get into your car, grab the steering and drive for you? We salute you for ensuring your heels last longer, and what would have happened to all those Vitzes and Rav 4s Toyota made? Toyota thank you very much and we salute you. Double salute if you bought the car with your own money!
Women who are bread winners
There was that lady who won a bread eating competition some time on NTV. Not that kind of breadwinner, though we salute her, eating bread fast and beating all those guys cannot have been easy. But this is for the women who put the food on the table either because their man is down on their luck or he is a deadbeat, or they are equal partners and she does not mind or even that she makes more and it is the only logical thing to do. We salute you!
I feared this would happen. Please someone stop Zari from writing an acceptance post on Facebook because we do not mean her. Not in that sense at least. We mean women who are in charge in several companies and organisations. Those who can make a grown man quake just because she wrote an email summoning him to her office. The women who call the shots on a daily basis at their different levels. We salute you!
Ladies making their own
I won’t go the Destiny’s Child’s way and say Independent Women because what if all the money you are making is just enough to cover your salon and wardrobe needs? This is for women making their own money. However much or little and from wherever from their own business to those coveted corporate jobs. You may be sweeping the floor somewhere but you are making your own, we salute you!