It doesn’t matter where you come from, just believe in yourself

Dedication: To my mother and all the poor and vulnerable children and women in the world

My name is Christine Nakayiza from Uganda, i come from a polygamous family of five wives and many children. My father died when i was only 5yrs (am one of the last borns), so i was left hanging with almost no sense of belonging paternally. i grew up with my mother with the help of her family.

so because of that i felt always vulnerable and disadvantaged because of the many people who helped me and i had to please all of those people. i had to stand out hard working in funerals, parties and any other occasion. i always felt or it appeared that it was children like us who had no fathers/ orphans and poor to extend a hand in such occasions ie fetching water, we always gave a hand as other children were seated with their parents enjoying the party. I had to stand out to win my relatives’ love and approval mainly men relatives who i wished they were my father because i lacked a father figure.

But despite all that, i knew with in me that i would one day be better than doing chores, i promised myself that my children will not grow in poverty or as orphans and i always encouraged my mother that it will be alright this poverty, this situation will go.

Actually despite my poverty/orphan background, i always fought for vulnerable/ poor women and children’s right. As a young child i once challenge a relative about his disrespect to a certain Aunt because she was poor. Always my mother pinched me for speaking out to a wrong insult to vulnerable. it was at such for such burden that i promised my self that i will become a lawyer to defend vulnerable’s human rights. i also wanted to be rich to support the poor, because poverty is terrible!, it lowers your esteem, you fill that rich people are more humans than you. People with money always have power and influence, actually in our family meetings, it’s literally only such people’s opinions that matter. In our African culture, the say that; “poverty is like a lion, it eats you up when you are seeing.” Well many poor people have broken through, like me but many poor people fail basically because they had no hope, exposure, no one believes in them and no good counsel. i once dreamt when i was the president of Uganda, but when i shared my dream, i was advied to know my place….up to now i wonder what they meant!

One thing that challenged me to even push harder at school:
I once went to my Uncle to ask for some financial support for i was contesting for presidency at my school, he actually gave me part of that need but he told me something i will never forget, at that time i viewed that comment negatively but now i see that it’s because of that comment that i pursued success. i got a better reason to study to prove my Uncle wrong.

My Uncle told me that it’s okay for me not study/achieve, after all, all my siblings had not studied, so nothing is expected of me, He continued that it would surprise everyone if his children don’t study/excel but me, no, “so you don’t have to be hard on your self!, don’t waste your energy”

At that point a new me was born. a fighter.
i told myself that that is not true, my background will not define me, i knew that my Uncle’s words had no effect to me except if i conceived and believed them. i remember at school while sleeping, i would remember those words and i just loose sleep wake up and force my self to read.

That comment helped to achieve, i excelled in school got a degree, got a good job, got officially married, i have two biological children with four non-biological children and am living my purpose/ vision/passion and working on my pain/ burden/ calling of “ensuring that all children and women can live with hope and dream big, the tool i use is Henry Kasule Foundation.

As i went higher in education, changed my dream profession. People always discouraged us that being a lawyer is risky and with the fact that i was good in science subjects i pursued Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Economics-statistics and currently am upgrading with Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA level 2 candidate) and data science.

To easily achieve my dream of supporting and empowering women and children to avoid them from passing through what i (as a Child), my mother and many other poor aunties and cousins went through, i have enrolled for human rights law.

I opened up Henry Kasule Foundation to fulfill or continue the dreams of my father, He always supported vulnerable people. This foundation supports children in fulfilling all their dreams and giving them a chance to be children through education, providing sanitary pads, scholastic materials and other financial support as need arises, we support and train women on financial growth and support old women with monthly pocket money, we are a voice to the voiceless in homes, work places, communities and in leaderships.

Believing in myself has helped me do things the world had said would not be possible given my back ground.

After my father died, only one sibling of mine completed school, she was the only sister married officially and through struggles she was able to give birth to children.

Imagine such a background, at times i would struggle to believe that my story will be different!

But here i am, helping others and the past is history.
Thank you for this opportunity.
God Bless you

Story shared by...

Nakayiza Christine

Friend / carrier of God, Mother, Wife, Philanthropist, Advocate and an activist for children and women, writer, business gulu, orator, author and Politician.