First Word: A different breed of 23-year-olds
Posted Saturday, March 2 2013 at 00:00
At 23, I sure was doing some impressive things, but let me here and now confess that not once during that year, or other before that, did it cross my mind to do something to directly change people’s lives. I was at the end of a certain section of my education journey, yes, I might have even been holding down a job or two, but it was all for me. For my mom, and family at large too maybe, who I only strived to make proud; nothing to do with changing their lives either. True, it had crossed my mind that adopting a child or two or even many more, would be a noble cause, something I planned to one day do, to enrich my soul, but yeah, “someday”, not then (at 23, that is). “I’m way too young, and a dependent myself, to be reaching out to others,” I’m sure I would have thought then if it had as much as bothered to impress on my mind to do something about the poor or suffering. And I was considered one of those people always too serious for my age.
And how many of us, older today and having totally missed the chance, wouldn’t have thought the same then? You (those honest enough with themselves to admit that is) will, therefore, agree with me that the story of a 23-year-old making real changes in people’s lives the only way she could have imagined how when she conceived the idea about three years ago, deserves such high commendation as being our lead story for our International Women’s Day issue of Full Woman. And just when I’m still “wowing” and “awwwing” at Justine Nameere’s story, in comes a young woman I had last seen as a sweet friendly Senior One student in the same school I went to, rallying other, again, youths in their early 20s for an orphanage! Esther Kalenzi is another amazing woman with something bigger than her smile and eyes; her heart. She features as our phenomenal woman of the week in this issue.
To say the least, these two young inspirational woman rub in the fact that I could have done better at 23. And also emphasize the fact that I can never be 23 again. And while I scratch my head trying to find out what I can do to change my community rather than grumble, I hope they inspire you, at whatever age you are, to set out to make a mark, too.
This year, Full Woman explores the unsung heroines for International Women’s Day on March 8. Women who, in their own way, have made a difference, probably in a more subtle way than striving for equality in the boardroom or on the political arena. Women such as Justine and Esther who will not only change lives but inspire a better generation in tomorrow’s women.
Not that the “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” UN theme for this year’s Women’s Day was lost on us. We bring you a story of a woman who confesses she has accepted that violence is part of her marriage, and she can live with it. This to highlight the issue of attitudes and ignorance that still fails our fight against domestic violence and therefore guide policy. Along with her story, we profile the one organisation every woman knows she can always run to when the going gets tough, especially with family-based conflicts, even though that is what most women know about it, FIDA.
You will like this issue!