Superpower: (n) An ability one possesses which one usually does not want the world to know about.
The term ‘Superwoman’, more often than not, may be used to describe a woman who has it all and can do it all. In my opinion, a ‘Superwoman’ is a woman who uses an ability or special quality that she has to help others achieve their goals, dreams or better others in whichever way.
Most twenty three year old women are just fresh out of their glorious academic pursuits in college and are just trying to find their way through this world. Probably land a good paying job and work their way up the corporate ladder.
Not Ms. Justine Nameere.
This beautiful, twenty three year old has dedicated her life to doing whatever she can to provide the needy and disabled people in Uganda with a platform to look past their vulnerability and embrace positivity.
Her superpower? Drive, vast ambition and the heart to create a change in people’s lives. Justine is the presenter and producer of ‘Life Stories’, a well known human interest documentary television show that airs on NTV Uganda. Using this as a platform to voice the needy, she travels throughout the country, covering all areas, both urban and rural, unearthing stories of people tackling various issues in life ranging from acute medical conditions to attempts to raising awareness among the masses about different social malpractices like human sacrifice.
I caught up with Justine who took time out of her busy schedule to speak to me. A clearly very fashionable woman clad elegantly in a blue top with a matching tote bag, bright pink skirt and white blazer, she radiates benevolence and cheer with a smile that never leaves her face.
Who is Justine?
I come from a strict Catholic family. My Dad is a Muganda from Uganda and my late mother was from the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda.
Who has been your inspiration in life?
My late mother. She passed away when I was thirteen. She was a hardworking and kind lady who always brought the family together. I come from a very beautiful extended family. Our home was open to not only the biological children, but cousins and friends and anybody. That instilled the value of family into me. Others are Justice Julia Ssebutinde, (a Ugandan jurist currently serving as a judge on the International Court of Justice, also the first African Woman to sit on the World Court) and Mrs. Rebecca Kadaga, (a Ugandan lawyer and politician, also the current speaker of the Ugandan Parliament). These women stand up for what they believe in and I admire that.
Apart from Life Stories, do you have any other projects that you may be working on?
I am actually in the process of creating a Non Government Organization called The Voice of The Pearl Foundation, whose mission is to provide facilitation to people in poor health who have no means of acquiring any medical help whatsoever. Many of the people who are suffering hold a lot of value to our society and their impairments become a hindrance to utilizing their potential and this is a very big problem in our society which I believe needs to be acted upon.
I have also just completed a book called Excel Science in Diploma in Law, an induction book on how to pass a Diploma in Law. Even with my 20 points, I couldn’t get to do a Bachelor of Laws at the university. So I decided to do the Diploma first. But it’s almost impossible to pass! So I contacted a few people; lecturers, practising lawyers and a few law students on tips on how to pass the course. I hope this will help other people aspiring to undertake the course to guide them, and also be of use to other people who would desire to have some knowledge of the law.
What are your aspirations for the future? Say, the next five to ten years?
Well, I definitely want to be a wife and a mother. The concept of family is very essential to me and I hope to raise my kids in the most appropriate manner. I also want to practice law, mainly representing people upcountry and in rural areas and villages, because many of these people experience a lot of infringement on their rights and have nobody to represent them.
What is your vision or understanding of a true African woman?
I believe a true African woman is a co-coordinator not a commander. A bearer of burden. A struggler. And most importantly, one who upholds African culture and maintains standards which are not detrimental to African values.
As we all know, Justine, you are quite famous for your very prominent curves. How did you embrace this?
Well, first of all my late mother, had curves, but she was very fashionable. She always appropriately dressed and always wore clothes that flattered her body. As I grew up and noticed my body changing, I embraced the curves fully and have never tried to hide them. I strongly forbid young women to take on unhealthy diets. Be proud of your body.
What do you do when you’re not being Superwoman?
*laughs* I actually enjoy listening to music. I’m not very particular. I listen to R&B, Soul, Soft Rock, Dance hall – Everything! I also enjoy hanging out with friends in whatever way. Be it going out, or just staying home and cooking, it really doesn’t matter. I love being with my friends. I’m a people person. I love to read, but mostly e-books because I find it difficult to access the print editions sometimes. Oh! I’m also taking guitar lessons at home. *blushes* I hope to sing an inspirational song one day. One day.”
In the short period of a year since she began her career, Justine, along with her brain child, Life Stories, has been presented with numerous awards and honors which include the following;
- Starlet Award, for Most Inspirational Personality by Allied Medical College, Mengo, 2013
- Life Stories, TV Program of the Year, Edutainment Africa Awards, 2012
- Life Stories, honored at the Uganda Athletic Federation Celebrations for an insightful story in the life of 2012 Olympic Medalist Stephen Kiprotich, 2012
- Life Stories, nominated for award of Best Documentary, Radio and Television Awards (RTA) 2013
- Set to receive award in appreciation of her fight for awareness against human sacrifice form the KYAMPISI Childs Care Ministry in July.
Justine also hopes to participate in politics one day in the hope to represent the youth, a trait she takes after her father, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja, a former Local Council V Chairman and Resident District Commissioner of Masaka district and the current Member of Parliament of Kalungu East in Central Uganda.
Every one of us has a superpower within us, and only WE can make use of it. It could be music, art, sport, ANYTHING! Unleashing our ‘superpower’ from within us can be a blessing in many ways. It instills a feeling of self purpose, appreciation and also serves as an inspiration to others, who will be determined to unleash their own superpower.
So find that superpower today.
Give it a free rein, shine and be a blessing in somebody else’s life, today.