Views from Fiona: ...and Still I Rise
Mirembe Campbell and friend Nehanda Truscott at an Erykah Badu concert.

Views from Fiona: ...and Still I Rise


I would like to applaud our fellow women...

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: August 22, 2006


I would like to applaud our fellow women, especially the African woman, for taking their rightful place in today's society. Gone are the days when women were confined to the kitchen. From the bedrooms, now to boardrooms, the woman is taking center stage and I must say it is a job being done well.


UGPulse began August, or ended July, with Women's Week and being featured here I could not fail to notice how Ugandan women have come of age. From Suzaana, Mirembe, Tshila, Angella Katatumba to now Doreen Baingana and Nancy Oloro, our women have come of age and all I can say is the sky is the limit. Move on sisters!

The performing arts have been a male dominion for long. It is good to see women shed off society-described roles for women and explore their talents. Music, Art and Literature are fields that are hard to break into and being a woman means working extra hard.

Angella KatatumbaFor example the Music industry in Uganda is a hard nut to crack especially for female musicians to record their music. The fact that women have been able withstand those hurdles is a reason for celebration and we should applaud them. One cannot help but be touched when reading the humanitarian efforts of Angella Katatumba, who through her music is able to bring a smile to Gulu children who have not known a happy childhood. She has brought hope to many disadvantaged children. Recently local TV station WBS gave Angella a donation of 1,000 blankets to donate to the displaced persons in the northern region. It is gratifying to see corporate Uganda aid the less privileged of our society.

Finding a career as a woman, and giving it all, and being successful at it has given girl children who are still in school the faith that they can make it like their fellow women. Even parents begin to see the girls as having potential to excel. This encourages them to give both children equal opportunities to go to school and this is exciting to hear that the number of school going girls is increasing every year. The hurdles women experience in their careers give them extra grit and this makes success even sweeter.

Doreen BainganaThe literary field is a hard one to crack and I must say I admire women writers. FEMRITE, a local woman publishing company has done a lot in encouraging female writers and the might of the pen has produced exciting writers of our time. Reading Doreen Baingana's Tropical Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe, Mary Karoro Okurut's The Official Wife and a host of other literary giants is utterly delightful. Through these books these wonderful women have put pen to paper experiences that affect our society and we can only pray that the Ministry of Education can put some of these texts on the school syllabi. This not only will help children relate with their society but be able to learn about their environment rather than foreign texts.

The disparities women find when pursuing their chosen careers is enormous but with patience success can be attained. My call to fellow women is pursue their life's dream with gusto and encourage others to see beyond the dependency syndrome. The African woman must curve her own niche in the corporate world, or any other chosen field, and this will surely give them the independence and voice to change the destiny of our countries, continents and the world. Women have to think big and pursue their dreams with all they have got. Like in the bible Moses went to the mountain and he did not wait for the mountain to come to him. Likewise women must look for what they want and not expect good tidings to come afore.

Be it in politics or the other fields, the idea is to start thinking on what we as women need to do or have to do not wait in the shadows of men whether they are our companion or brothers. The world needs suave women and I believe most are. The choice is often in our hands to decide whether to use our talents or not, and time is up for women who are still waiting to be looked after. There is need to go in the world and forage our own way if we are to succeed.

Fellow women, the world is at your feet only waiting for you to conquer but you must never forget that it takes a lot to achieve your goals. In the same spirit I wish to salute the woman, the mother; together we can make it to the future.

"Phenomenal Woman"
By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: August 22, 2006
Fiona Abaasa is a visitor of UGPulse.com.

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