According to a study conducted by Business Insider, women make much better leaders than men. Whether or whether this is the case, the workplace does not reflect this, with more men than women, particularly in leadership roles. These women make the list of the most inspiring Ugandan women because they have had to be seen as good as men. Despite these difficulties, quite a few women have managed to go through numerous obstacles and have achieved success in their fields.
In my opinion, these women continue to lead the way for us and have motivated a generation of young women to break free from social constraints and take centre stage.
From human rights activists such as Winnie Byanyima to celebrities like Joanita Kawalya, here is a list of 10+ most inspiring Ugandan women.
1. Winnie Byanyima
A modern woman vocal about her work and human rights, Ms Winnie Byanyima is the fusion of a modern and traditional woman. She is Currently, the Executive Director of UNAIDS and is a member of the UN panel for women.
Before that, she was the Executive Director of Oxfam International
Winnie is an aviation engineer by profession and a former National Resistance Army fighter during the bush war that ended in 1986, bringing the current president to power.
2. Santa Anzo
With very meagre earnings from her then very young fashion house, Santa initiated the Uganda International Fashion Week which has helped establish thousands of jobs for the then almost non-existent fashion sector.
Santa helped pave a way for the local Ugandan Fashion and Modelling industry….”Santa remains an inspiration amongst multitudes in and around her country Uganda- a formidable force on the African fashion scene”.
She is currently the managing director of Arapapa Fashion House and its chief fashion designer.
3. Princess Elizabeth of Tooro
Probably the most famous Princess and one of the most inspiring Ugandan women, Princess Elizabeth Christobel Edith Bagaya Akiiki is a paragon of beauty. A lawyer, model and actress.
She also briefly served as Uganda’s foreign minister under President Idi Amin.
Princess Elizabeth is the first East African woman ever admitted to the English Bar and at over 80 years old she is still a source of inspiration.
In 2016, American fashion designer, Zac Posen said his fall RTW designs were inspired by the beautiful Princess Elizabeth of Toro.
4. Stella Nyanzi
Stella Nyanzi, a medical anthropologist, feminist, and advocate for LGBTQ rights as well as a researcher in the fields of public health, sexuality, and family planning, was born in 1974. She is commonly referred to as “one of Africa’s most prominent gender rights activists of her time” in the international press.
She received the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International Award for her poetry and writing and has amassed a sizable following both domestically and abroad.
What makes her one of the most inspiring Ugandan women is her willingness to stand up fearlessly for what she believes in. She’s an inspiration to all aspiring and established writers.
5. Nancy Kacungira
Nancy Kacungira is a Ugandan journalist who is making waves in the media industry. Not only does she anchor weekly BBC World News and host the weekly program “In Business Africa,” but she has also been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 most influential young people in both 2019 and 2020.
In addition to her journalism career, Nancy is also an entrepreneur. She co-founded Blu Flamingo, a digital media management company that has now expanded to five African countries.
6. Esther Kalenzi
A young woman with a passion for helping others, Esther is truly one of the most inspiring Ugandan women and has been recognized over the years. For her extraordinary efforts in bringing about change in the lives of vulnerable children, she received the Commonwealth Points of Light Award.
She founded the Forty Forty Nights Days- an organization that has helped build dormitories and provide educational materials to orphanages with the help of young Ugandans on social media. Esther stands out as one of the most influential young women in the country.
Her experience has also led to numerous opportunities to moderate and host events on a global stage, including the World Economic Forum, IMF/World Bank Meetings, and Uganda’s first-ever Presidential Debate.
7. Joanita Kawalya
Joanita Kawalya, a former school teacher, joined the Afrigo band in 1989 as a vocalist and later became the lead singer.
She is a woman whose music has no generation, as Joanita’s songs are sung by both the older and younger generations. She has inspired many young Ugandan female musicians to chase their dreams and be who they are.
8. HRH Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda
The Queen of Buganda Kingdom is one of the most respected women in Uganda and not only by the Baganda people, but the rest of Uganda.
Throughout her reign as queen, the Nabagereka has been vocal about women, the girl child education and educating the younger generation about the Buganda culture. She is not only a queen but a woman who is leaving her mark on this country.
9. Barbie Kyagulanyi
The wife of politician and singer Bobi Wine is undoubtedly one of those from whom this nation continues to be inspired, particularly in light of her storied romance with the pop star that began in 2000.
Barbie is also an activist, philanthropist, and defender of the rights of girl children through her nonprofit organization, Caring Heart Uganda. Her husband claims that she has been a strong pillar in his rise to fame.
10. Jennifer Semakula Musisi
When speaking of the real movers and shakers of Uganda, the former Executive Director of Kampala City Council’s name will always come in. Over the years, while she was the head of the city, KCCA did tremendous work that can be seen everywhere in the city with a number of improvements esp. on roads that used to be impassable in some areas of the city.
11. Rebecca Kadaga
Rebecca Kadaga is one of Uganda’s most powerful and influential female leaders. She is a lawyer, and politician and served as Uganda’s first female speaker of parliament and member of Parliament for Kamuli District until 2021.
She currently serves as the first deputy prime minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs in the cabinet of Uganda.
12. Flavia Tumusiime
Anyone would consider her too young to have achieved so much in her 20s, but Flavia is one of the most influential young women in the media business. She began seeing children during her teens and has risen to be a news anchor on one of the best primetime TV stations.
There are other several women in Uganda, unsung heroes we never see each day and they live among us; our mothers, friends, ladies sweep our roads every morning, those who cook your food and clean your house. Let us celebrate the ladies in the garden deep in the village raising their children without help, they all celebrate, because they build our nation.