The women who made 2011

Saturday December 31 2011

Rebecca Kadaga

Rebecca Kadaga  

By Brenda Banura

Rebecca Kadaga
The Ugandan lawyer and politician is on this list for being the first female to be elected Speaker in the history of Parliament in Uganda. She has given the independent members of parliament a voice and even encouraged them to form a group. Also, though she took her time making up her mind, Kadaga also got many nods when she accepted to call back parliamentarians from recess to discuss oil. And it is admirable how she stirred the oil debate. Working long hours together with her team they discussed the politics, management and transparency of oil — or lack of either and the rest of the country couldn’t help but join in the debate.

Antoinette Furaha
At 19, the average Ugandan girl is deciding on what course to do at the university or settling in at university for her freshman year. But Antoinette Furaha, a manager at 19 is thinking of her businesses. Furaha came to Uganda as a refugee from Congo in 1998 and had to work for money to buy scholastic material. To increase the money she invested in buying sugar canes, beans and maize from farmers and selling them. She made enough money to afford scholastic materials for herself as well as her brothers and sisters. With the money she also started helping other girls her age and taught them how to be like her. Thereafter, she gave each one of them one dollar (Shs2,360) for capital. Furaha started with a group of less than 10 women but right now, they are 60 widows and she has helped 50 girls go back to school through her project. And for her big heart she stood out in 2011.

Prof. Wangari Maathai
Many times we wait till a person has passed on to tell the world what a wonderful person they are. So with the death of Prof.Wangari Maathai in 2011, tributes and reviews of her life spurted all over the media. In the reviews her foundation of Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organisation focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights was highlighted. Also that she was the first African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. But she didn’t have it all smooth especially with a public divorce in 1979 filed by her husband who accused her of adultery and being too strong minded for a woman among other things.

Angelina Jolie
She manages to feature as hot, vicious and soft in different movie roles. Off the screen, Angelina Jolie has a boyfriend with Brad Pitt and together have six children three biological and the rest adopted. She is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. With looks as good as hers, it is not surprising that she has been cited as the world’s most beautiful woman. And this year she was named Hollywood’s highest-paid actress by Forbes, a title she also held in 2009.

Susan Muwonge
Susan Muwonge, 36, commonly known as Super Lady won the National Rally Championship (NRC) beating Ponsiano Lwakataka the Independence Rally. A mother, an artiste, a teacher, a rally driver and as if that is not enough she is the first lady to win the National Rally Championship. Muwonge opened a new chapter when she became the new champion in a game that has been dominated by men for ages.

Christine Lagarde
A French lawyer by profession, Christine Lagarde has made a name for herself for being “a first” a number of times. She made history for being the first female chair of international law firm Baker & McKenzie. She was also the first woman to become minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 economy. And her July 2011 appointment as the first woman to head International Monetary Fund made her stand out in 2011. No wonder Forbes named the mother of two the 9th most powerful woman in the world.

Iryn Namubiru
She has had a share of bad press especially for her skimpy dressing on stage, but her music has been appreciated like 2011’s Birowoozo. 2011, has been her most successful year ever by winning in four categories of the 2011 PAM Awards. She won in the categories of Artiste of the year, Female Artiste of the year, Album of the year and Best RnB single of the year. She also won the Super Diva award of the year 2011. And she transformed in her dressing style. Now need I say she had to stand out?

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
In 2011, Sirleaf stood out for being awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. The women were recognised for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work. Sirleaf is also the current president of Liberia and the first female elected head of state in Africa. In 2011, she was also awarded a Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University and African Gender Award.

Justice Julia Sebutinde
Julia Sebutinde is remembered as the tough judge who made corrupt police officere shake in their shoes in the famous Commission of inquiry into corruption in the Uganda Police. Well, right now she is a Judge at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, the Netherlands She was appointed the Presiding Judge in Courtroom II, currently responsible for hearing the case against former Liberian strongman, Charles Taylor. She was appointed to that position in 2007. She has also been elected to a nine-year term as judge on the International Court of Justice, effective 6 February 2012. Sebutinde will be the first African woman to sit on the World Court.

Jeniffer Musisi
She is the first and current Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and on appointment changed a couple of things with in the authority. The changes including vacating street vendors from the city and revising the salary of some KCCA officials have come with both positive and negative comments. These have led to some claims that she is the man in the KCCA administration relationship. But whether it is a compliment or an insult, the professional lawyer and mother of three deserves credit for sticking to her grounds in a field dominated by men.

Bad Black
Bad Black aka Shanita Namuyimbwa who was accused of embezzling Shs 11b from Daveshan Development Ltd dominated the news when she was arrested and remanded to Luzira Prison where she stayed for longer than many people thought. The day she was granted bail, sections of Kampala were put to a temporary halt as she went home in a posh open roof Mercedes Benz. For being associated with embezzling and being wasteful she is one of the shunned women in 2011. In a country with very many idle youth willing to run after almost anything, the crowd that joined her on release doesn’t mean she should be applauded but it surely made her stand out in 2011.

Kabakumba Masiko
The myth in the African society, though not correct and entirely true is that men are the usual thieves. This is one of the reasons why Ugandans were shocked to learn that a female politician Princess Kabakumba Masiko had allegedly stolen a UBC mast and used it at a radio station where she owns 70 per cent of the shares. Pressure from the public and members of parliament saw her resigning and became the first female minister to be forced to resign. She was also been implicated in a UBC land sale scandal. For being associated with un-princess like these Kabakumba stood out in 2011.