In Part VII of Project Success, we trace Stella Alibateese, the third best UACE arts student of 1992
As she went through the different education levels, the pact that Stella Alibateese’s parents had made with her kept her on her toes.
“They felt it was an obligation for them to provide the facilities and my obligation, which was always very clear, was, ‘do well. Do well so that I do not have to line up to find you a place in any school. Do well so that you can find a place in University’. It was always very clear every term. I knew I wasn’t just going to school aimlessly; there was a target,” she said.
In the end, during her A-Level exams, Ms Alibateese met her side of the bargain in style. The then Trinity College, Nabbingo student emerged the third best arts student in the country in 1992, scoring B, A, C, and A in History, Divinity, Literature in English and Literature in Luganda respectively.
Currently the acting Corporation Secretary of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Ms Alibateese admits that she was not always a top performer.
Her performance fluctuated between the good, like the aggregate four that she scored in her Primary Leaving Examinations, and the average, like the 18 aggregates in six subjects that she scored in senior four.
Ms Alibateese believes she finally made her mark from A-Level because she was able to concentrate on only those subjects that she was really passionate about.
Option to choose
“At O-Level, you cannot choose which subjects to enjoy yet I usually do well when I enjoy doing something,” said Ms Alibateese, who was served as Academics Prefect during her A-Level.
At Makerere University, where she realised her life-long dream of studying law, Ms Alibateese maintained good – if not spectacular – grades, eventually graduating in 1995 with a second class lower degree.
After graduating with a post graduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Centre in 1996, Ms Alibateese got her first job as Legal Assistant with Kateera & Kagumire Advocates. She worked there for four years, and credits her bosses at the firm for mentoring her.
In 2000, a year after she got married, Ms Alibateese joined NSSF as Legal Counsel. She has since risen through the ranks to her current position of Deputy Corporation Secretary, where she handles the Fund’s criminal court, civil court and contract issues.
Between juggling work and family, Ms Alibateese has also furthered her education. She graduated with a masters’ in law from the University of London’s external programme in 2003 and also completed a post-graduate diploma in project planning and management from the Uganda Management Institute (UMI), where she emerged the best student.
“I was pleasantly surprised because I was working and the concepts were totally new but it was an area I wanted to learn more about,” she said of her performance at UMI, which, she adds, taught her another priceless lesson in life: “Whichever line you take, you will succeed as long as you know what you want.”