Sseninde Foundation visits the community, holds a successful hand washing sensitization activity

Yesterday 17th October 2020, Sseninde Foundation held a successful hand washing sensitization activity in Buwagga Gayaza as one of ways to help in the promotion of good hand hygiene and significantly stop the spread of many illnesses — from the common cold to more serious infections and diseases

With the coronavirus being the main topic of discussion at the moment, we developed an idea to sensitise members in various communities about the importance of keeping our hands clean in order to prevent the spread of the virus to others.

We decided to carryout this hand washing sensitization activity to raise awareness of hand hygiene among members of the community because proper hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

We went ahead and equipped members of the community with tips on how to encourage their peers to clean their hands. We urged them to live as role models to others who will learn from them and imitate their actions.

We advised them that beyond practicing proper hand hygiene, they can take simple, everyday precautions to help prevent the spread of germs and respiratory viruses in order to reduce risks of getting sick or spreading illness.

As simple as it may seem, we believe proper handwashing remains the most effective way of removing germs and harmful bacteria from our hands and that’s the reason we donated a water jerrycan to the Gayaza community team to support them and enable them have access to clean water, wash their hands in order to stop the spread of Covid-19 and keep good hand hygiene.

NATURING TALENTS

we are very proud of all the players

Sseninde Foundation naturing talents through the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup.

In a bid to inspire girls to play football and nurture their talents, Sseninde Women’s Development Cup tournament was started powered by the Sseninde Foundation with an aim of creating opportunities for both girls and women from the grassroots take part in football and showcase their talents.

More interesting about the tournament is that it involves only players who have never participated in the national leagues or played for the national team, the Uganda Crested Cranes.

The Inaugural Edition was staged on Friday 16th December 2016 at Villa Park in Nsambya and our main target was to empower girls and women who love the game but without opportunities to play.

“The First Edition at Villa Park in 2016 was so amazing as we had a big crowd coming to support the girls and this gave us strength to go on and also showed us that there’s interest for the beautiful game among women and other stakeholders in the football fraternity” Sseninde Jean who is the founder said after the tournament

The Sseninde Women’s Development Football Cup (SWDFC) paved way to both girls and women by creating a platform to nurture and showcase their skills and talents to the rest of the entire nation and Africa at large.

Do you want to know how the Most Valuable Player of the inaugural edition of the Sseninde Women’s development cup looks like now?

It seems like just yesterday we were watching this little magician as an upcoming sensation and a star in the making — but believe it or not, that familiar face is and the then star in the making is definitely all grown up now and she’s raising the national flag high as her progress continues.

Nagadya Catherine was the MVP of the inaugural edition of the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup, a tournament held in 2016.

Nagaddya receives her MVP award in 2016 from Hon. Seninde Minister of State for Primary Education

While some participants and stars of the inaugural edition have decided to leave the spotlight to pursue other careers, Nagadya has since gone on to win hearts of many women football fanatics in the country and has even become more famous than before getting involved in our championship.

For the ultimate nostalgic throwback, we take a look at what our MVP of the inaugural edition of the Sseninde Women’s Development cup is up to now.

We’re very happy, excited and energized to let you know the way abouts of Nagadya Catherine, the most valuable player of the inaugural edition of our championship.

The Katabi born offensive midfielder, is the fourth born child in the family of nine children of Mr. Cyprian Gimei and Ms.Nazziwa Irene.

A student at Uganda Martyrs High School – Lubaga, Nagadya was the Most Valuable Player(MVP) of the inaugural edition of the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup held in 2016.

She has continued to take her football career seriously and she has played for Entebbe Creamland, Princess Diana High School, She Pridihisco, Al’phoenix Golden Girls, Katuuso Community, She Mak, Uganda Martyr’s High School Lubaga (Current Club)

Her resilience, hardwork and self-esteem has seen her rise and become a dependable player for her school, club and country and has also seen her smile to the podium having won a number of accolades to her name as well as earning continuous calls to the Uganda U-17 women football team.

Other girls who are shinning are Fauzia Najjemba who emerged as best midfielder and Nalukenge who is a top striker now for Kawempe Muslim Ladies.

The many trophies they have been able to win include the annual Watoto Wasoka Christmas Camp, Sseninde Women Development Cup, Airtel Rising Stars (U-17), 2019 FUFA Women Cup, FEASSA Cup, U-17 COSAFA championship and the U-17 CECAFA title.

They are all currently part of the Uganda U-17 women football team in preparations to take on Cameroon in a World Cup qualifier.

Nagadya, Najjemba and Nalukenge part of the current Uganda U17 team took part in Edition 1 of the SWFDC

We’re very proud of them and we’re also optimistic that with their continued hard work and breath taking displays, they are destined for greater milestones in the beautiful game of football including permanent slots on the senior Uganda Women football team (Crested Cranes).

LESS DISTINCT

“I can’t see”

Why has everything become unclear? I can’t see!

All of a sudden I can’t see! Everything has became less distinct! I can’t see everything else that is evidently right in front of me. I feel it, I can feel everything. Why is it so divergent?

I can’t comprehend it all! I am strong and I feel it. I know I have the power to defeat it, but I can’t seem to direct the power in the right direction. Who has the answers to all these questions?

Tunnel vision, it’s very very dark, I can’t see! Lord where are you? How loud does one have to pray? I am grateful you have answered me before but please Lord come back, come back because there is no one else. I can’t see!

WHILE IN LOCKDOWN

`The lessons we have learned during Lockdown should continue on with us’

Don’t feel offended by how you end up interpreting my blog. I however like it when different people interpret my blogs however they like because it means my writing is somehow understandable:)

I am not your typical blogger who is perfect. I don’t write all the perfect grammar or spellings and whatever else that’s meant to be in blogs, I write how I feel and I try to make sure at least you the reader understands what I mean. So to all you English professors sirs and madams, think twice before you judge my write up! English is my second language so don’t judge me haha. (Like I said don’t feel offended)

I thank God for we have reached this stage of life amidst this COVID19 crisis, I am thankful to still be alive and okay. RIP to all who have left us and my prayers go out to all who lost their loved ones, I pray the Good Lord up there gives us strength to move on stronger than ever before.

Now that the Lockdown is somewhat being eased in some countries, we should be thankful ourselves for getting to this stage, it’s not easy. My greatest lessons have been me understanding deeper things I necessarily didn’t pay attention to like the economy, politics, journalism and a lot more.

I never knew that one day, the whole world would unite as one to fight against a terrible pandemic that has killed millions! Destroyed the economy, brought sport all over the world to a standstill (Football and the Olympics were my biggest shocks because am obsessed with both athletics & Football). Everything shut down, the whole world came to a stand still!

It changed how every single one of us operated. Numerous challenges were started by different people on social media, not sure what everyone’s feelings where at the start but it sure was a lot of sadness because of the number of deaths reported daily in most countries.

I for one, I watched the news everyday for the first time, I also became an online show host haha, hosting the Weekend Star Buffet live Instagram whose aim is to give players a platform to express themselves, have a chance to speak up and for them to have an opportunity to give their side of the story to so many stories that have been gossip in the past. This has been my favourite activity. This weekend will however be my last episode. I will continue to have the show but not every weekend. I will host it as of when I have the time.

Myself and Uganda Cranes professional footballer Lumala Abdu onset of my weekly show`Star ⭐️ Buffet’ which I hosted on weekends

Another activity I’ve loved is learning to do my hair, I’ve done so many styles with my natural hair that am starting to think of styling all my neighbours hair and people around my community whenever they want.

One of my favourite hairstyles I made during Lockdown

Then comes the baking! I tried baking a cake and even though it was burnt, it turned out to be delicious, this was confirmed by my neighbours who did the tasting duties. Also made Chapatis and tried baking scones too which didn’t turn out so well:)

All in all, I tried to push my limits everyday to continue creating new things. This period however devastating, we got the privilege to have time on our side, well somehow. This was a time for us to continue pushing ourselves to the limits and was nice to see a couple of people doing live Instagrams/Facebooks. TV hosts hosting guests through Skype call etc which was nice to see that everyone tried to continue making things happen however way they could.

I also had lot of indoor workouts, I also created my own mini gym in my house which was cool. Recently I have also started drawing weekly meal plans so that I can attempt eating healthy again haha, as u know it’s not easy but am serious about my goals. I will take it one step at a time.

Thinking of it, we have all learned a lot during this period, (that’s if you bothered learning anything) and the lessons we have learned should continue on with us. That said, we still have many days left to the end of the Lock down, so please continue to stay safe.

STAY SILENT OR ELSE

“Stay silent or else…

I always dreamt of having my own house, years ago when I first moved to London, I had big dreams. I won’t say am complaining now, Infact I am extremely grateful because I never expected to achieve as much as I have at this point but ohh boy it hasn’t come easy!

The sacrifices are endless, the pain is endless, let’s say you must have the mental strength. I love going through it all though because it’s made me that one step ahead. I love it when am in the UK, because the people are extremely dedicated to what they do, they are very smart and there’s this toughness about them. To live in the UK, you must work for what you get. There’s no time for lazy ness and gosh I really do love that about living here because it’s turned me into a tough cookie.

To me the toughest moments are when I am alone, how weird ha? I always dreamt of buying my own house and wanted to enjoy living in it. Jeez, I achieved that and what I was paid for it is living days of looking at the TV screen, phone screen and the walls :). Imagine today when I went to this place about 20miles away from my house to do some kinda sports thing. I was so happy being able to speak to people. It puts a smile on my face and gives me rare energy. I must admit l am at my strongest when l am around people.

So what I learned out of this, sometimes staying silent is sensible but speaking to people is a route for greatness, it’s a route for opportunities, it’s a route for great leaders, it’s a route to being kind and blessing other people and learning new things. No one should ever make you stay silent because there’s no gaining from keeping quiet. Talk to people about how u feel and be honest. You never know where it could lead you.

“Stay silent or else… or else what? Never listen to anyone threatening you to stay silent. That’s an act of people whose aim is to deprive you from becoming great. Have good judgement, make a decision of what’s going to help you be at your best. Never be too scared or busy to speak to anyone because they maybe your key to greatness. Speak Up.

MY INTEGRITY MEAN’T MORE TO ME.

“In the end my integrity meant and means more to me than anything”

“Many women around the world are actively seeking or desperately waiting for any opportunity to be able to have the chance to play football at any level. They want to get opportunities to do the courses to get better, or even have a chance at joining a team of their dreams”.

I must admit like my last blog, it has also been difficult to come up with the right words to explain exactly what I mean and what I want to tell you, mainly because it’s been about issues that have broken my heart. In this blog I want to explain what exactly I did while in Uganda for the last 5 and half months, to encourage you in whatever capacity you’re in, this includes telling you the truth about what happened behind the scenes of my day to day life, the challenges, the lessons learned and a way forward.

When I came back to Uganda in August, my goal was to successfully run the 4th Edition of Sseninde Women’s Development Cup which was amazing thanks to the incredible fans, my Sseninde Foundation team & the guests that made the day colourful for the under privileged women who always take part in our community events.

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The other reason I actually decided to extend my 3week stay longer was to help steer the Take Flight women’s football Project which I had written and with lots of convincing talks back and forth we had together with the President, Vice presidents of the federation and CEO, agreed on a number of things in the strategy that would help take the women’s game to the next level. Leaving all the details in between of what exactly happened to bring this project to life (You can get some these details in my previous blog, ’Breaking Free’) and the changes that happened, I don’t regret this decision.

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In between the months I was humbled to be selected by CECEFA to work as a General Coordinator for 3 back to back tournaments which included the under 20 boys challenge cup in Uganda, Senior Challenge Women Cup in Tanzania and the Men’s Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda. This was one of the most amazing experiences because I did well and also, I got to learn a lot of amazing lessons. This was one of the best things that happened in my long stay. I want young girls to learn that there are no limitations to what you can do as a player, administrator or anything you want to try and became.

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The biggest challenge for me was dealing with the federation and trying to do the right thing with the take flight project and then realising that almost all of the secretariat in the federation were not supportive, but a few. Most did not want to do the right thing. Realising the level of incompetence of most of the members in the institution was also was a big shock to me.

I love the women’s game so much and want to see it develop to greater heights, so I don’t want to accept being intimidated doing the wrong thing, lying to people that am doing one thing yet am doing the other, or be selfish and unsupportive just because I want to see things happen.

In the end, had to make a choice of either continue suffocating in the institution and do the wrong thing as well or stand by what I believe in, not jeopardise my integrity and walk away. 

Now this still hurts and personally I want to say sorry to a number of women’s football stakeholder’s who had hope in this project. Personally, as a project manager, I had laid out a sustainable plan for the short 2 years I was to help steer this amazing initiative in the pilot phase, but all crashed with no support! I was hurt because when u create a plan with big goals u want to see it come to life, one of the biggest objectives which was transitioning the league to a clear tier format system was started which I believe is only going to bring positive results for all players, contributors and lovers of the women’s game in the long run so at least am saticified for managing to push for the hardest objective to happen.

Just to let you know, like I explained in my previous blog, I had given up my career for a few months to help with all these initiatives, am now going back to London to continue my amazing journey. Am sad I didn’t get the chance to continue but then am only still in my mid 20s and I promise you, am patient and the right time is going to come around again. I will have the opportunity again and hopefully the system will have gotten a little better and will be more honest and also give chance for many workers to do the right thing with no fear to express themselves.

Moving forward and on a positive note, I want to motivate you all that my story maybe somewhat weird, unbelievable and controversial, but this is what happens in real life. You have to remain stronger and stand firm in what u believe in. Most of the time in life you will love something so much that you end up giving up the things that mean a lot to you in order to make ends meet for you or others but always stand firm so that u don’t question your integrity in the process.

This doesn’t mean you are perfect, but it means as long as u can defend your actions and what you believe in, then don’t be forced to do the wrong thing by someone just because they are in a position of power to make decisions that will work in your favour.

To the young girls, boys, men and women out there, Life is what we make it. Constantly push your limits and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself by doing something new that has never been done before. Lots of people are constantly threatened by your abilities and I tell you lots will try to use their power to make sure u don’t go up just like I was treated at one point in these few months by the same people in the institution but my say is you will always come out on the other side stronger and better.

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I learned a lot of lessons about African cultures and ways, this doesn’t mean I didn’t know because I was born here but I didn’t know as an adult. I want to thank all Ugandans who have been supportive in this period I have been here, the general secretary of CECAFA region for believing in me, my incredible friends for the advise,  my fans, you have kept me going, my Sseninde Foundation team u have been family away from family, and my amazing parents & siblings who have always done an amazing job to motivate me amidst adversity and everyone else, your support meant the world.

One thing that I believe will take us far is being aggressive when pursuing our endeavours, being fearless while you’re in a period of transition while pursuing your dreams which isn’t easy but only fighters win, do whatever it takes to fight the powerful forces that could divert you from your goals and with this I want to continue emphasising this to the little girls and boys with big dreams, never be afraid to speak up loud your truth and stand for the truth of what you believe in.

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Your integrity means more than suffocating while doing something in life that u don’t want. Because the point of this short life is to be happy and do what we want and believe is right. My dream is to see millions of women & men in Uganda, Africa and around the world get equal opportunities to be able to play football, do courses and gain knowledge of subjects they love to get better at and being in top working positions because they deserve them not because they have to do something in return to get them. I end this blog with a lot of positivity and hope that greater things are yet to come, it’s a matter of time.

Note: I strongly will continue to play a strong supportive role whenever needed by anyone and always feel free to contact me if you need help on anything at all.

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 In the end my integrity meant and means more to me than anything.

BREAKING FREE

The past 3 months have been the toughest of my entire life, looking back though, I have no regrets…

Warning: Writing this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the work they have done, in fact am grateful for the lessons I have had to forcefully learn myself first-hand.

I Didn’t know how to put this all on paper and I was indeed a bit worried putting it out or rather scared to write (Speak Up). Saying this has helped me get it off my chest and also to feel free, inspire others who are in the same situation that it’s not wrong to speak up and have courage to stand up for what’s right.

These horrible experiences started three months ago, when I decided to temporarily stay in Uganda and help with the take-off process of the new Take flight women’s football Project as Project Manager instead of going back to UK to continue playing football with my new teammates.  The whole point now is, I feel I lost my self, I stopped doing the things I love so that I commit to helping the women’s game at a level that I hadn’t before. I normally used to do things under the Sseninde Foundation & the famous Sseninde Women’s Development Cup to help women in communities and all over to have opportunities to play football.

What hurts me is amidst the confusion of deciding to do this, I was warned by so many experienced figures in the game including my lovely mother against doing it, they all told me it wasn’t a good decision because of the system & also it wasn’t yet the right time, I knew they were all right and I listened to the advice they all gave. I only decided to stay a little longer because I felt like I was letting down what my heart felt was right, I felt I was letting down women, I had worked so hard writing a strategy to help take the game to another level just that one little step forward, my passion to see the women’s game get to a different level pushed me so much to sacrifice everything that I had worked hard for to stay and fully help just in the initial take-off phase of this project. So that when I go back to the UK I don’t feel as bad that I didn’t do my part. I thought at least if I mentored someone and helped navigate them into the whole strategy, at least they could run it smoothly without my presence while I decide to go back and join my teammates who I had started training with briefly before coming back to Uganda.

How it all started:

If you have never worked in this institution you will never understand what am going to write about, or you will think I am a liar. Every day I got surprise after surprise at the level of incompetence, lack of teamwork, the level of laziness, the I don’t care attitude and hatred from most of the secretariat!

I was treated with hatred for being good at my job & for every time I involved others to work with me! I don’t remember ever feeling like that before or receiving so much hatred for doing a great job. In fact, instead the alleged bosses intimidated some of the workers, threatened them and told them not to listen to me. That is true because they came back to me and told me after they had been threatened!

The biggest surprise is the Master who I thought was not good, he turned out to be the one doing the right thing with the wrong people. Don’t ask me who he is because I think you all know if u are into local football.

Some of the young secretariat, are forced to do wrong and not say a thing, in fear to keep their jobs they shut up. No one is allowed to express opinions in the institution except if they are ‘generals’(executive) who are also barely agreeing on anything because there’s no trust amongst them. No one is allowed to speak because when u do, your labelled disrespectful, unappreciative and all sorts of names, actually, others even say u will never manage. Anyone who says anything that’s not favourable is allegedly attacking the institution.

During the CECAFA tournament, the same group did everything to undermine me because they couldn’t take a young lady being 100 times better than them at working hard. Imagine an executive who is meant to be exemplary having a routine of wake up, sit under the tree, go home and then get paid a big sum of allowances! They couldn’t stand a young woman giving her best & being smart every day, I watched big men everyday displaying how incompetent they were and struggling to make simple decisions!

 Shame I was excited to learn from them when I first came on the scene, but I tell you, I couldn’t learn anything from men who are old enough to be my grandfathers and not able to plan, communicate or even work as a team. What institution doesn’t embrace people who are good at their job? They instead pull them down instead of pushing them and supporting them.

Now, before you judge me and call me a lair, not everyone in there is bad, some are in prison and afraid to break free just like I was. The stage is open, go work there for just 3 weeks, experience is the best teacher, you don’t need a month to know how incompetent the system & some of the secretariat are. I will tell you this with an example, as the league is yet to kick off, licencing has been introduced, the one secretariat in charge of licensing put in a requisition to get transport & allowances so as to go visit pitches and he didn’t visit any, instead as I woke up, I saw a tone of complaints at the outcome of decisions that had been made over night from nowhere, I had to drive up my car to Soroti one of the furthest districts from the capital to witness the state of the pitch that was being rejected, good enough I went with him. The pitch was one of the best we have around considering the lack of facilities in our country, there’s even more to this, I may be labelled one with a loose mouth but imagine watching your reputation being damaged because of the incompetence of someone else not doing their jobs because they can’t be asked to do the right thing!

Now am not asking for a penny but imagine working three months or more without pay, or even facilitation for the work you do for the institution! Imagine having to do official work and being asked to use own money which u don’t have because clearly u working for free.

Well I don’t know the consequences of writing this, maybe very bad, but I know I have to pay for it somehow. I am brave, The courage I have had to have to write this I believe I have taken a big step into doing the right thing and also speaking up something I have kept on my heart for the last few weeks while I struggle to break free out of the prison. It felt like it and I feel like I have broken free somehow by Speaking Up. I want to thank my friend ‘A’ for writing me a poem about me the other day that opened up my eyes that am actually in a prison and have to find a way to break free out of it.

Am sad that doing something I love at this big level has to turn out like this! I am very strong minded and feel extremely disappointed for having been pushed to this level for something I really love. I hope before you judge me you try and seek the facts that exist to this story that I cannot put down in this writing. Thank you so much to all who have stayed on this hard journey with me, my incredible dad & mum, my friends who have advised me every single day and watched me do the mistakes and still continue to listen to me, and sadly those I have lost on the way, you have taught me to be tougher and have courage to always tackle issues in case u are away.

Last week I finally went back to doing what I love and that is to continue supporting and encourage women to have their voice, speak up for what right and also motivate them to continue playing football for there’s lots of opportunities now. I miss my smile. I will continue to also help with the project as I have visited all Super league clubs this week to continue sensitising them about the project. I am proud to contribute to the growth and development of women’s football around the world because it’s my passion.

What I have written here doesn’t portray or even compare to how terrible the situation is or has been, but it’s made me stronger and I have learned lots about the system. The past 3 months have been the toughest of my entire life, looking back though, I have no regrets because I have come out a better person with my conscience clear and mentally trying hard to heal.

Split Second.

“Magic is created in split seconds and dreams are shuttered in split seconds”

I dreamt last night that I had no leg, in other words I was using a prosthetic leg for support to move in one of my legs. In the dream, I was wondering how I had got to that point. And also realising that there’s nothing I could do to change that fact, wishing I was in a dream so I could wake up healthy, but also realising in the dream that am not in a dream, confusing ha? In a split second, my life unexpectedly turned upside down! Confused with disbelief I had to figure out how to still be useful to others and how I was going to be the best at what I do with a prosthetic leg.

Mistakes and bad things happen to us in a split second. You lose your concentration for one second and it’s enough to change your whole life upside down. In the dream I wasn’t born walking with a prosthetic, I only got it at around 34. Good news is I woke up fine and had both my legs, phew! God is great.

This teaches me that we need to live every moment to the fullest without regret. We don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow so every second counts. Every second could change your life. Magic is created in split seconds and dreams are shuttered in split seconds therefore we need to stay concentrated and stay focused in everything we do because every split second counts.

FIFA Women’s Football Convention 2019.

“Dreams do come true, I dreamt of this moment”

Am humbled to be amongst a strong line up of speakers at the First ever FIFA Women’s Football Convention in Paris, France from June 6th to June 7th, 2019 ahead of the Eighth Edition of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Convention will assemble leaders from the world of football and politics for the first time, to discuss key issues around the development and empowerment of women in football.

Dreams do come true, I dreamt of this moment and can’t believe I have the opportunity. I am so excited and still can’t believe that I will be speaking at the first ever Women’s Football Convention. Women football growth is one of the key issues I’ve been so vocal about, what an honour this is! Still can’t put it into words.

Will be speaking about empowerment through football and education of women and girls around the World.

Follow all action live on FIFA TV https://www.youtube.com/user/FIFATV and FIFA YouTube channel.

What I Missed Out Doesn’t Matter.

“Life for me is not about being comfortable anymore”

Looks like everyone of my old classmates is getting married yet on my side, I feel my priorities have changed from the 21 year old who fancied to get married and have kids.

My priorities are now to be a great woman of purpose to the world. For now am focused on working to learning as much as I can and developing. Hopefully everyone else has gone through this stage in their life. There’s a way sport makes you obsessed to succeed and other things become second options.

My life has been in stages, I wonder if everyone of you is just like me? At the age of 8 – 16, I never had clear opportunities to anything. My only passion was football which was a sport for the boys then. Should have learned more at my golden age but I don’t regret anymore of what I should have had then because I had no opportunities, it was out of my control and I understand that now. I stopped looking at how things should have been in the past, what I missed out doesn’t matter. I now concentrate on making the future great because it’s the only thing have power to change.

17 – 21, Age of school and adolescence, figuring out life, I don’t remember much apart from studying around that age. At 22-24, I felt I wanted kids, don’t know why I did,thinking of it now feels so awkward.

At 25- 26, am now not ashamed of who I-am anymore. I trust I have the power to be great and I understand I have to work very hard to achieve even half of the things I want to achieve. Am determined, I have to push my limits. Life for me is not about being comfortable anymore. I want to be successful and leave an impact in people’s hearts.