I was born at a time when the country was unstable. My mother was pregnant with me at the time Idi Amin Dada was being overthrown. She tells of stories of the sabasaba bombs and the sound that they would make, the confusion that they would cause. People didn’t know where they were going to hit and so everyone was running everywhere and nowhere. My mother, very pregnant, was a midwife in Mulago hospital. A foreigner in a country that was politically unstable so all she had was her younger sister who was as confused as she was.
They stood together and stuck together through it all. My aunt told me that when my mother was in labour, she was so confused and terrified, because her older sister was in so much pain and she did not know how to help her.
Eventually I was brought into this world and I was named Anita, a name that was given to me by my mother’s late English friend.
When I was born, I was an experiment for both my mother and her sister who were new to the concept of motherhood. I was told that my mother breastfed me for two weeks and I moved to Nairobi with my aunt because my mother was worried for my safety.
In those days people went to work and some never returned so my mother didn’t want to take any chances with me. As a mother she made a choice to keep me safe and so she invested in me. This is my wealth.
I grew up in a middle class family and I learnt to appreciate the African proverb which states that 'it takes a village to raise a child'. My family was a loving family and the relatives stood in for one another. Nothing was perfect but what stood out was the deep rooted love that they had for one other.
As a child this was something that stuck with me and as the years went by we kept burying relatives and eventually I buried my father and that broke me till today. I kept wishing and hoping that it was a bad dream but it was the reality. For me the drive to wake up and be alive both in my soul and physically are the things I learnt from my Dad.
He lived his life to the fullest and always loved to impact other people by making sure he found solutions to their problems. He always told us that life was short, I guess he was preparing us for his departure. He always told us that there were people who needed to be picked up, encouraged and shown love. The day before he was killed he told me that as a human being we have to live a mark in the world however small. He sure did leave a mark, because after 20 years people can never forget his courageous driving and craziness when it came to motorsport racing.
When I think of wealth I think of the people around me, who genuinely care and love me. Many times we take them for granted and yet they are the wealth that God has given us. In as much as we think of physical wealth, we never leave this world with it. We work so hard so that the next generation can have a soft landing or be as hardworking as we have been. My wealth is my mother, my siblings, my relatives, my husband, my children , friends and the women and men that I advocate for.
My wealth is my passion for the work that I love to do. My wealth is the knowledge that I have gained over the years, either through education or life’s hard lessons what we tend to call experience. As a girl child I grew up knowing the inequality in the world through the news and any times I witnessed it. So I know what it means to be discriminated against and the scars that it leaves on you for the rest of life. So reaching out to people and helping them experience their dreams is something that is very close to my heart.
When me and a very close friend of mine ( Rita) started the organization our main goal was to reach out to people who felt hopeless and because of their situation people trying to take advantage of them. Like the name Sowing Seeds of Tumaini, a local organization that is giving hope to people. We live in a world where so many evil things are happening and this dampens people’s spirits even before they look closely at their own lives. Our wealth is the number of people who believe in what we are doing and those we are impacting. Our wealth is in the impact that we are creating and the lives that we are changing. Our wealth as an organization is in our future goals and how we want to change the markets for the next generations. Our wealth is the mindsets that we care changing and how they will impact the future of Uganda and Africa at large. Our wealth is in the hope that we can create a wave of impact and cause change for one person.
My wealth is in the strong sisterhood that believes in me and walks with me throughout my journey of life. It is not easy having people who love and care for you enormously like my sisters. As you grow older you realize that life cannot be lived in solitude.
When my Dad passed, I withdrew from life and went into a depression for many years until one day I woke up to the words of my late dad, ” life is short…..” I then realized that I was hurting myself and those who loved me. It took me a while to get up but when I did I have never looked back and with the love and support of my sisters who are selfless and beautiful inside and out I can never repay them for always being there for me.
I learned to appreciate the beauty in friendship when I started having children of my own. First of all the stigma that surrounds you when you get married and are not giving birth according to society’s norms is enough to break you as a woman.
Giving birth is not an easy journey because it has its challenges and you need all the support that you can get. Having friends who are selfless is wealth in itself. The journey of motherhood has proved to me that you need people who are selfless and who genuinely care about you to help you in this journey. Having friends who don’t judge you but encourage and support you all the way is a wealth that remains deep rooted in your heart and the only way you can pay them back is by spreading the same wealth to those who don’t have.
My wealth is those who believe I am still soaring and in those whose mindsets we are changing.