Esther Nakajjigo, an ambassador for women and girls in Uganda has been acclaimed as intelligent, hardworking, mentor and source of inspiration to many girls across the globe.
Ms Nakajjigo, 25, died on June 13 following a heavy storm accident which involved a gate and a car she was travelling in at the Arches National Park in Utah County in USA. Her body was returned to the country on August 22.
While representing the Head of European union delegation to Uganda during memorial mass in Muyonyo on Monday, Mr Thomas Tiedemann said Ms Nakajjigo dedicated her life to supporting the vulnerable and most underprivileged people in society, especially the youth.
“Essie’s (Esther) outstanding service for underprivileged members of the community, even at personal sacrifice, can be traced way back to when she used her personal resources to establish the Princess Diana Health Centre III in Makindye, Kampala not far from where we have gathered this morning,” Mr Tiedemann said on Monday
Mr Tiedemann added that Ms Nakajjigo challenged Ugandan society where far too many people still do not regard girls as equal but also challenged the public administration that was unable to provide the services that need to be offered to young Ugandans.
“She challenged the status quo, the better-off not to look the other way and pretend not to have noticed the plight of the underprivileged. She also challenged us development partners. At organisations like the European Union, we are used to complex bureaucracies, to endless procedures. Essie did not allow us to be bureaucratic and procedural. She would just insist that something should be possible,” Mr Tiedemann said.
Ms Grace Akullo, director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) said Ms Nakajjigo had brilliant ideas such as supporting police in carrying out its mandate of fighting crime, more especially crimes against women and girls.
“She was young but with great ideas and would take a lot of courage to go and meet whoever she wanted, she would go and meet that person. The activities which she was pursuing in advocating for women and girls, she was actually in the right direction,” Ms Akullo said.
Most of the mourners described her as one who had a great impact on a lot of girls.
Family members have asked different people, stakeholders to keep Ms Nakajjigo’s candle burning.
Ms Nakajjigo will be buried today, Tuesday in Masaka.
In 2014, Ms Nakajjigo was named the ambassador for women and girls in Uganda. This was after emerging the winner of the Women Achievers Awards of the United Nations Populations Fund.
At 25, she had spearheaded several campaigns aimed at fighting for the rights of women and girls in Uganda such as Saving Innocence Challenge, a campaign that is aimed at taking victims of teenage pregnancies back to school, among others.