In celebration of International Women’s Day, UG Christian News takes a look at some of the women in Uganda whose impact and influence both in Church and other spheres has inspired and changed so many lives in and out of the country.
Christian women who want to pursue influential roles in the church, music, politics, education, the judiciary and other sectors of public life in Uganda have never before had more opportunities to do so like today. As the following profiles in our cover package show, they are taking advantage of those opportunities in spades.
Marilyn Skinner is wife of Gary Skinner and together they give leadership to “Watoto Church”, with over 20,000 people gathering each week to celebrate the life and hope they’ve found in Jesus Christ.
With her husband, they founded “Watoto Childcare Ministries” to respond to the plight of Africa’s millions of children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. Currently they are caring for over 2,500 Ugandan children in children’s villages.
In addition to championing the cause of the orphaned child, Marilyn is committed to restoring dignity to HIV+ women, left to bear the brunt of AIDS, war and social injustice. More than 2,100 women have experienced an improved quality of life through “Living Hope” which Marilyn founded in 2008.
Canadian born, Marilyn has lived in Kampala, Uganda for over 30 years.
Rev. Can. Diana Nkesiga
She is founder of the Nkesiga Cancer Foundation and Vicar at All Saints Church Cathedral Nakasero. She was honored with the Golden Jubilee award for outstanding service to the nation in February 2016.
Diana, whose husband, the Rev Dr Solomon Nkesiga, succumbed to cancer of the gall bladder, was inspired to start ‘Nkesiga cancer walk’ to support over 200 children with cancer at Mulago, Kampala.
The walk is one of many activities organised under her charity on top of several other Evangelism programs she holds.
She is the only female pastor on the team that serves at Light the World Church – Nansana and also leads the intercession department.
Justine Nabbosa is President of Next Girl Champion (NGC) and a successful recording artist in gospel music. She attained a bachelor’s degree in industrial and organisational psychology and a masters in ministry [MA min]. Justine is the famed minister behind hit songs like ‘Oli Katonda’, ‘Yansumulula’ and is regularly featured in Pastor Wilson Bugembe’s music recordings.
Hon. Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire
She successfully chaired both the Uganda National Roads Authority Inquiry (June 2015-January 2016) and the Kampala Capital City Authority Tribunal (June-November 2013). The Land Inquiry 2017 is the third Commission of Inquiry she has chaired.
As an anti-corruption judge, Catherine is leading a ground breaking investigation into fraud that has seen trillions of the local currency embezzled by officials over seven years, rather than go into planned road-building schemes among other projects.
Her investigation led to death threats. Catherine says that her team of investigators draw strength from reading the Bible together daily.
She has extensively written and presented on corruption at scholarly conferences at various UK Universities and at the World Bank in Washington DC.
The HIV positive Christian mother is an activist known for strongly encouraging HIV/AIDs patients to go for treatment and take responsibility of their lives. She is also a strong advocate against HIV-related stigma globally.
She has made several media tours in and out to the country, addressed church gatherings, sharing her faith in God, with hope that her audiences will understand that its possible to live with HIV, trust God for healing, yet fully accountable to treatment offered by health practitioners.
Katie Davis Majors
She is a USA missionary and best selling author, most known for her work in Jinja. She came to Uganda at 18 and has since adopted over 13 girls, and helps to run Amazima Ministries International.
Her ministry sponsors over 800 children, runs a program to feed children, has a program to sell jewelry manufactured by locals which are shipped to customers in the United States, a farming outreach program, a medical outreach program and feeds over 1,200 daily.
On 13 October, 2017, Katie’s book, “Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful” in which she shares her testimony about Amazima Ministries in Uganda, hit the The New York Times, USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly, and The Wall Street Journal bestseller list.
Media describes her as one who has gone beyond her marital role as a pastor’s wife to support and encourage women empowerment through her annual Girl Power conferences themed to encourage women to apply Christian principles in bettering their lives.
The ministry, also found in Rwanda, South Africa the UK and USA, sponsors the education of disadvantaged girls, and its housing assistance programme provides temporary reprieve to under-priviledged women as it supports them to self-sufficiency.
Married to Pastor Robert Kayanja who heads Rubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral, Jessica holds a Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from the United Graduate College and Seminary, Jonesborough, Tennessee, USA (2010).
She is a prominent Christian radio show host and founder of Beauty of Ashes which is themed on rescuing an endangered generation. At only three months, she survived being thrown into a pit latrine. When she was a teenager, she was sexually abused by the people she trusted.
Her painful experiences led her to become a born-again Christian, which helped heal her soul. She now uses her counselling show and outreach crusades to shares her own experiences and helps abused people make better decisions and live healthier lives.
She is founder and senior Pastor of Liberty Worship Centre International at Lugala, a 15,000-seater cathedral. The former Muslim turned Christian is today one of the major gospel crusaders in Uganda.
My biggest goal is to see God glorified each year, she recently told the Observer. Pr Namutebi has camped in several ‘less evangelized’ districts across the country, demonstrating the power and love of God through giving, leading renovation and city cleaning drives.
Jennifer Semakula Musisi
A Born again Christian, she is the current Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). Mrs Musisi is the pride of a number of Christians and non Christians alike who endorse the fact that she has dedicated herself to transforming Kampala into a vibrant, attractive and sustainable metropolis.
In 2016, the ‘Iron-lady’ could not resist addressing tens of thousands of Christians at Miracle Center Cathedral – Rugaba where she witnessed the miraculous healing of one of her sisters.
She has held various meetings with Pastors over the years, most especially in regard to the controversial policies on street preachers, crusades, ‘noise pollution’, Church construction and maintenance in the Capital.
Her job has come with death threats, and recently said, “if God told us the challenges we would meet in life, many would have preferred never to be born.”
“Over the years I have learnt to put my trust in God because, that is the only way you can remain safe,” she said.
She is wife of Presiding Apostle, Joseph Serwadda, and together head the 5000 strong Victory Christian Centre in Kampala, Uganda.
This church which they started years back now has about 500 churches under it’s umbrella, several radio stations and a Television station, through which Freda reaches out to Christians. They also have an orphanage among its many ministries.
Miria Rukoza Koburunga Matembe
She is an outspoken politician, minister at All Saints Church Cathedral Nakasero and a strong proponent for and an advocate of women’s rights in Uganda.
For over two decades beginning in 1989, she was a member of Uganda’s parliament. She worked in the Ugandan government as minister for ethics and integrity from 1998 to 2003, after which time she became a member of the Pan-African Parliament representing Uganda.
The a born again Christian Lawyer is a founder member of the Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO).
In 2016, Miria Matembe was honored with the prestigious HIT Charismatic Leader Honorary Award by the Heaven Inspired Triumph Awards Academy. She speaks highly of God in most of her media interviews and believes “God must be very angry with the nature of leadership in Uganda today.”
Born to a Christian mother and Moslem father, Zabuli is famous among the Christian youth for her zeal to see transformation in Uganda, and songs that call for revival among the youth.
She is known as a ‘woman of steel’. Zabuli is a gospel minister and fashion designer behind ‘Mulodi Collections.’ Her ministry as an artiste gained ground in 2015 December after graduating as a professional teacher.
She is the founder of Forty Days over Forty Smiles Foundation (40 40), an organisation that helps the needy, especially children and youths.
Her foundation came to life during the lent season of 2012, hence the name 40 days and the ‘over 40 smiles’ because she wanted to make at least 40 children smile. It is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to improving literacy among vulnerable children in Uganda.
Helping the needy is a passion she first exhibited as a student at Aga Khan High School in Kampala when she raised funds from fellow students to pay tuition for a classmate who had missed school, according to media reports.
She is wife to Lt. Col. Robert, with whom they founded Seroma Christian High School in September 2002. Proud to be Director of one of the most outstanding faith-based education institutions in Uganda, Mrs Margaret says Seroma Christian High School has exalted biblical values to prove that faith in God is a prerequisite for academic excellence.
The Sekiddes have on several occasions been featured as success entrepreneurs who have built Uganda’s biggest hardware dealership on nothing but faith in God. She also foresees a multi-billion business estate comprising of real estates from a shopping mall in town to commercial buildings.
Bahati Hilda is a relationship coach, counselor, author, public speaker and an experienced psychologist based in Kampala. She is the founder of LIFE FIX, a private practice counseling and life coaching firm in the country.
She is married to Mr Timothy Sabiti, a Pastor and the General Manager/Country Director for all Spirit 96.6 FM stations in Uganda.
Notably, we cannot conclude the list, for there are so many Women of all ages – both at the forefront and behind the scenes – who have fostered love, hope and change in communities across Uganda.