Women join hands to lift up each other

Saturday February 8 2020

Girl power.  Left to right: Florence  Nambooze

Girl power. Left to right: Florence Nambooze Bbale, Faith E Nabagala, Grace Linda, Doreen Nyiramugisha, Belinda Namutebi, MC of the evening, and Flavia Tumusiime at the Spice and Sizzle event late last year. The all-women event held at the Kampala Serena Hotel last year. PHOTO BY JOAN SALMON 

By Joan Salmon

Flavia Tumusiime, TV news anchor, actress, and radio presenter
She says what has enabled success to smile at her is hard work and consistent planning.
“My career started in 2002 on TV and five years later, I started to plan how my future would be and worked towards it,” she says.
Unlike many, Tumusiime says the start was easy for her. “I was young and had time to learn from my mistakes and correct them. Besides that, social media was barely there so you could concentrate on your work much better.”

Even before the era of social media, failure was not uncommon, but Tumusiime has practiced useful habits over the years to help her succeed and remain relevant.
One such habit is hard work. “This has been key because I give all my roles my absolute best no matter how I feel or the work environment. The other is because it sets the standard of how I work with people and how they perceive me when they want to work with me.”

Tumusiime believes that despite the hurdles in one’s career or business paths, women ought to succeed but that can only happen when they stop looking at success as a woman or man thing.
“If you can assume the field is levelled, then it will be. Do not walk into an opportunity thinking you are less because you are a woman,” she advises.
“Believe in yourself because you are your first cheerleader and it is important that when you fail, you pick up yourself and do and be your best,” she adds.

Grace Linda, counsellor
Linda is passionate about people and is happy that she did not get higher up as a lone ranger.
“I am grateful to God that I grew up in a Christian family with several parenting voices, including from aunts, uncles and mother.”
While she says she is not yet ‘there’, she makes it a point each day to impact and be impacted.

“Even when someone comes for a counselling session, I tell them: “Even though I do not know it all, I promise to walk with you and be part of the solution-finding mission.
“I also ensure to learn from my clients’ experience so that I can be better when another person with a similar situation seeks my help,” she adds.
This passionate cheerleader also needs people to cheer her on and never takes anyone for granted.

“Even after a talk session, I just do not walk away but wait in case anyone wants to talk to me. I am certain that if they took time to listen to me, so should I. I also keep in touch with my clients.”
Linda believes any good relationship starts with people loving themselves and in retrospect giving time to themselves.
“The relationships you build will only attract people that are drawn to the ‘you’ they see.

“It is only out of the abundance of love that you have for yourself that you will love others,” she says.
Even when a woman gets into relationship with any man, Linda advises that the women should ensure these fundamentals are taken care of.
“If he cannot share with you about their family, neither proud of who they are, despite their sorry state, say being an orphan, then he is not good enough for you. That is because when you do not know about their inner fabric, you are certain of joining the same complicated cycle. Besides that, he is not willing to bring you into their space,” she cautions.


Linda also says when a man has no spiritual leaning, say as Catholic, Anglican, or Muslim, then it is a red light because without a tie to any spiritual power, they will fall for anything. Besides that, there are morals we learn from our faiths that this person will supposedly not have, such as respect for humanity.
On finances, Linda says openness about one’s finances is important. If your partner cannot be free enough to tell you, say: “I am in between jobs,” then they are not ready to relate with you. The man should also be willing to share how much they earn and how they spend it. Even when they are not willing to spend money on you, you ought to know.”

Faith E. Nabaggala, an image, etiquette and brand consultant at Gala Image Consulting.
Nabaggala believes that the first impression matters and works with her clients to better their image. She is also the founder of The Women’s Getaway and Spice & Sizzle; two events meant to inspire and celebrate womanhood.
Nabaggala has worked with several people and organisations, but to get to where she is now, she says: “It has all been by God’s grace and still is because each day is a revelation of my purpose and what the future holds. My amazing family and friends have also been my backbone.”
She also attests that she has been blessed to study in good schools, as well as invest in her career through attending various trainings.
“The more I study and do research, the wider the possibilities of my career become,” she says.

Besides family, there have been several people who have held my hand along this journey. You cannot make it without the help of others.”
But Nabaggala is also passionate about what she does: “Whether I am speaking to children, training at a big organisation or encouraging women to become the best of themselves, I give it my all.” But she corroborates that inasmuch as the start was exciting, full of passion and self-discovery, it was not easy.
“It was tough, with lots of disappointments but the amazing highs made the struggle worth it,” she reveals.

To ensure she makes it, Nabaggala has adopted habits such as prayer, having ‘me time’ to help her focus, celebrate her efforts, as well as do self-assessment.
But making it to the top is one thing and staying there is another and that has taken self-improvement through investing in her career and trying to learn something new all the time.
She believes that women ought to succeed but is also well aware that nothing comes on a silver platter.
Besides, Nabaggala urges women not to give up on their dreams, stay positive, work at learning from others, understand that setbacks will come but only make you stronger, and remember that success is not defined by money.

Florence Nambooze Bbale, surveyor
Nambooze had not purposed to walk this path, but rather be an electrical engineer. “I missed my first choice course by a mere 0.9 points, hence finding myself in the land surveying class at Makerere University. I did not know much about the land surveying course but settled for it.”
After graduation, Nambooze worked on an electric pipeline project, which unfortunately ended only six months later. She later worked in a gold mine, deep in Mubende District. “I kept the application a secret until I had been offered the job and on learning about my new work station, my father said: “Flo, by the time you come back, civilisation would have left you.”

Determined, she packed her bags for the unknown where she worked for a year until her appointment at Buganda Land Board, where she has been for the past nine years.
She says one of the habits that have helped her keep relevant is taking action.
“When I set myself to do something, I organise, plan, prioritise and go for it.”
She also keeps a positive attitude and is always optimistic.
“Everything happens for a reason, so I look at the sunny side of life because I know in the long run, most things take care of themselves.”
Nambooze also believes in building networks by exchanging ideas with others, as well as collaboration with people in and outside her field.
She advises fellow women, whether in private practice or having a career that in order to succeed, they ought to get a business sense by recognising entrepreneurship opportunities in every situation.

She also urges them to take risks, because she believes taking a good look at the pros and cons, a calculated risk may be in order. Besides, she advises: “Networking functions and opportunities are so important in developing contacts that can help you in your business or career. You also need to keep educating yourself because you are never too old. So, sign up for courses or seminars relevant to your career or business. Pick up new skills, even on Google.”
That said, Nambooze calls on women to believe in themselves and have a plan because no matter how crazy your idea may seem, believing in your own success is integral to achieving it.

Doreen Nyiramugisha, wellness coach
Nyiramugisha believes she is only where she is because she discovered what she loves.
“The passion keeps me growing,” she says.
Nyiramugisha shares that fortunately for her, she has only had to work from a place of passion.
“I was a radio host, while also running a decor company. Briefly, I also worked as a TV host. Later, I had planned to venture into nutrition because I loved good healthy food. All this prepared me for the wellness coach that I am now,” she says.
“That said, the start was very unpredictable, and the environment was different as I approached wellness from a ‘sex, sexual health and hormonal imbalances’ angle in a country and culture that abhors and shies away from sexual awareness conversations. But past experience in business taught me never to give up, carefully respecting my very loud instincts,” Nyiramugisha says.

She appreciates that success is a child of great habits.
“You cannot deliver to others when you are under the weather. It goes without saying that you must be at your best to give others your best,” Nyiramugisha advises.
She says she has mastered her peaks and lows. “Getting to know my high and low times enables me to act accordingly. I also set boundaries and mental blocks for well-being because if I allow everything into my life, stress is bound to take over.”
Nyiramugisha also constantly yearns for more, well aware that you cannot get what you do not desire. She also sets challenges and goals and sticks to them.
“People cannot take you seriously if you have no targets. But more to that, they will never take you seriously if you promise and never fulfil,” she warns.