I remember being 13 years old, my teachers and peers would ask me "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I'd choke up out of embarrassment, as I felt what I wanted, wasn't realistic. Honestly, I wanted to be a lawyer and go to Oxbridge to secure my law degree, but my stutter terrified me! How would I be able to address an entire courtroom, how could I represent an individual in the justice system?
When I was 19 years old, I began studying my biomedical sciences degree, and after a lot of convincing, I decided to compete in a beauty pageant; Miss Uganda UK 2015/16. After living in Uganda for three years which was one of the most beneficial things my parents have ever done for me, I had built a strong connection with Uganda, the African continent, African beauty and the art of my culture. The pageant was a pivotal moment in my life where I combatted all my biggest fears in one, which would be one of the most significant achievements of my life. Despite attempting to quit the pageant the night before the show, I performed an original song on the guitar and I spoke to the judges on the stage. For the first time in my life, I stuttered proudly and unapologetically. All of this accompanied the sections where we walk and present our 'beauty' to be scored. Now, although I don't agree with all the beauty standards the modern neoliberal world exudes, I embrace that pageants encourage young women to believe in themselves. So much so, that they present their authentic selves to the audience and stand for causes and issues, they are passionate about. Moments later, I was surprised to be crowned Miss Uganda UK 2015/16. I learned significant lessons throughout that following year, persistence, faith and self-belief even when it's beyond stressful.
Not only did that first leap of faith lead to me to finally pursue things that I stand for, but it placed me on the journey of self-development, self-love and self-awareness, all of which directly impact each other.
The personal experience has led me to engage in various projects dedicated to empowering young people and women in particular. In late 2019 I started my own enterprise 'Manifesting Legacy'; a project dedicated to equipping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the tools to help with self-development and confidence, focusing on self-care, mental health and communication skills. So far, I have led workshops with youth in Croydon and Young women in Bwaise, the largest slum of Kampala.
I completed my Master of Science Degree in Global Public Health and Policy, with a Distinction and the best research project, despite going through tremendously challenging times. Once you begin the journey of personal development, it never ends, it's a trial which you may continuously go through but the key traits you learn along the way never leave you. Most of all, the faith and relationship we develop with Yahweh ( God) become a bond you cannot break, but it nurtures and strengthens your inner being.
The most recent testimony I will end with is concerning my career. I began applying for the kind of jobs I believed I was worthy of, after completing my MSc, and believe it or not, I received a lot of NO'S. I applied for a job at Parliament, and after a four-stage interview process, I was declined. It was at this point, I felt so angry and frustrated, but after watching a sermon from Mike Todd and really praying, I decided to humble myself and really surrender to the Lord's plan. Two weeks later, I received a phone call from the same people asking if I was still looking for a job as they were so impressed and wanted to hire me in another section where a role had opened up?! It turns out this role was specifically made for me; initially they only had 3 roles! A work section in research information had previously asked for a budget for a new staff member, and the interviewers remembered the interview they had with me, before you knew it, the scheme had 4 new recruits. And now although my current job isn't perfect or ideal, it is in an institution that will surely open doors for me in the future. I am aiming to use this opportunity to continue to develop as a person and become the best version of me.
My journey continues as I continue to grow and learn but I hope this brings more encouragement to you.
Founder of Manifesting Legacy
Miss Uganda 2015/2016