KAMMPALA- A 20-year-old girl born with a hearing impairment defied all odds to prove the memorable saying that disability is not inability.
Now Everline Akware has her eyes set on university education to pursue a degree in Law or Social Work and Social and Social Administration.
Akware is one of the 60,691 candidates that sat for the 2017 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams and scored two principle passes and above.
Unlike other students waiting to join university through affirmative action, Akware has six points, way above the two principal passes and with five passes at O-Level, she is guaranteed a place at Makerere University.
Spoilt for choice
Akware has only one dilemma; choosing between a law course and social work and social administration course.
Akware was born normal until a malaria attack took away her hearing.
“When I was treated for malaria, I kept losing my hearing until I became completely deaf,” she says.
Writing out her responses to questions by Daily Monitor, one after another, Akware says her ailment was first discovered by her Primary Three class teacher at St Joseph Pilot School in Kitebi near Wankulukuku on the outskirts of Kampala.
“My parents took me to Mulago hospital and they told me I was not hearing,” she says in proper written English.
She later moved to Kitebi Primary School near Wankulukuku where she completed her PLE with aggregate 18, which is a second grade.
In 2012, Akware, the first born of seven children in her family, was admitted to Wakiso Secondary School for the Deaf from where she completed her O-Level, scoring Aggregate 59.
“Studying has been difficult; for us deaf students when learning, the teachers use sign language and we use our eyes to see and understand (hear). If you miss seeing what is taught, you will miss the point,” she says. At A-Level, Akware studied History, Economics and Christian Religious Education (CRE), General Paper and Sub Maths.
How she passed
“History Paper III was difficult but I used to read a lot so that I could pass. I always read what the teachers taught in class and from textbooks in the library to understand,” she writes.
When asked whether she had a boyfriend, Akware opens her eyes wide and writes: “It is not my time to do that. I always dream to get a job and help people with special needs.”
She is a member of the Peer Educator Club that helps youth with special needs to know about HIV/Aids.
Her interview was done with the help of her father, Mr Mark Othieno of Bweyogerere and Wakiso Secondary School for the Deaf.