What you need to know:
Jane Bakwatireda, 65, a resident of Shunga Kashohwa, Kanungu District, is the mother to Ingrid Turinawe, the National Chairperson for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Women’s league. She recounts bringing up this firy politician to Robert Muhereza.
“IIngrid Turinawe, is the fourth of my nine children, comprising five boys and four girls. I gave birth to her in 1973, so, she is 40 years old at the moment.
By the way, Turinawe is not Ingrid’s birth name. Her real surname is Kamateneti. Turinawe is her husband’s name, which she took on while getting married in her Senior Six Vacation. I named her Kamateneti because she was the first child to be born at the maternity ward of Kabunga hospital in Kanungu district when it was opened.
I am close to each one of my children and love them all. But I am closer to Ingrid than any of her siblings because she did not give me such a hard time growing up. For instance, whenever I wanted someone to do a few house chores such as washing plates, cleaning the house or collecting water, she offered to do it. When the dishes were dirty for example, she would come and ask me politely, “Mummy, can I help you wash them?” It is because of this self-will to do work that I became so attached to her.
The other thing that I love about her is that she calls me regularly to find out how I am doing. She often asks me how my day has been and how my health is as well. I would have loved it if Ingrid personally visited me, but I know she cannot because of the long distance between here and Kampala where she resides. Bringing up Ingrid and her siblings was such a big challenge for me since their father died when she was only nine years old. I was able to sustain the family needs from the few profits I made from selling food crops, as a peasant farmer.
It was not easy meeting everyone’s school dues from my small earnings but I am glad I managed. Back at school, Ingrid was very hard working and would always have good grades at the end of every school term. The few times she did not perform well, she came home crying saying that she had failed me. It is only when I comforted and counselled her that she would keep quiet.
She went to Rugyeyo Primary School fro her primary school education, Kinyasano Girls High School for secondary and then Nkumba University to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and Management. Some of the responsibilities that she held while still in school included Head girl, Sports and Entertainment prefect.
Besides the passion she had for her studies, Ingrid also loved politics a lot and I would see it in her conversations. Ingrid for example would talk about the issues that were affecting the state at that time and she was always uptodate on current affairs.
That was why I was not surprised when she first contested for Woman Member of Parliament Rukungiri in 2011. Although she lost the election, I am happy that she gave it a shot since politics has always been her dream. The only thing that I hate about it is the brutality involved. Just like during the Walk-to -Work demonstrations when her breast was squeezed by policemen.
That incident with the police made me cry
I first heard about the incident during the news on radio. Later on, it was Ingrid who called and told me what those policemen had done to her. I cried endlessly as she made the narration. I wished it would have been me instead whom they subjected to that humiliation. There are times she also calls to inform me of policemen surrounding her home. As a mother, I get scared because most times I assume that they want to take her life. Why do they treat her like some sort of criminal?
Regardless of this, I am thankful to God that he has continued to keep her alive. Her safety and good health are two major things I normally pray for whenever I get up early in the morning to pray. My advice to the other mothers is that as long as their daughters are still staying with them, they should ensure that they study hard in school and grow up knowing their responsibilities.
These are the things I emphasised when I was bringing her up and look at how she has turned out? She is a good role model to her five children and other women. I’m so proud of her.
-additional reporting by Esther Oluka