Uganda is on the path of woman emancipation and inclusionof women in politics, and decision making as opposed to the African Traditional Society (ATS). Many women today are doing things that wouldn’t have ben culturally accepted in the past. The beauty and might of transition and empowerment has brought the pearl quite far, and in a series, we shall be bringing you a Ugandan lady defying the odds to pursue her dreams.
This Is uganda caught up with Mwesigye Kyokunda Esther a.k.a Theo Esther a pilot in the making, studying in South Africa.
Who is Theo Esther?
Haha okay uhm… I’d say I am a person who is trying to make a difference as a woman in the aviation industry. Also down to earth and very friendly.
Tell us about your stay in Uganda, high school days and most memorable childhood memory.
I was born and raised in Uganda, I went to Maryhill High School for my O’level and then Nabisunsa Girls School for my A’level. Most memorable childhood memory, that would be when I first saw the cockpit of a plane and talked to a pilot, I was just about 12 and that conversation changed my life goals. I just wanted to be like that guy.
Tell us more about you.
I was born in Kampala,Uganda, Nsambya hospital to be exact and I am a Munyakole from Rutooma, Mbarara. My best local food or rather the food I miss the most is firinda and kaalo.
Did you always dream of being a pilot?
Yes, I actually did. It was a childhood dream, I always wanted to fly planes I didn’t think it was actually going to happen but it did and I am proud.
People back home often discourage those who take on a path like yours, how did you sieve out the negative energy?
I’d have to say the negativity comes from the fact that people do not know much about the Aviation industry. Personally before I started, I was doubting the whole pilot thing but as I went on with the course, I gained more knowledge about the aviation industry. Also, people claim that there are no jobs back home but that isn’t true. There are a couple of charter companies in Uganda and you can always go work in a different country as long as you have the right qualification(s).
How does it feel to fly?
I can say it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s a high that cannot be compared to anything else in the world, it’s really an amazing feeling.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
I have two things that motivate me on a daily. The first is to make my parents proud and the second, is the Captain seat of the Boeing 777, I want to get there.
What Ugandan phrase/quote interests you the most and why?
Haha i will say the phrase “Nozakubaje” meaning “You will be fine” cause whatever you are going through, no matter how difficult it is, at the end of it all you will persevere and be fine.
Comment on Uganda’s aviation industry.
The Aviation Industry in Uganda is one of the small industries that has not yet been fully exploited and developed. But I think it’s slowly developing and with the right management it could grow bigger and faster.
What African/Uganda literature are you reading of recent?
I haven’t really read any Ugandan/African literature of recent but i am open to any ideas. A good book can make any day better.
What advice do you have for girls or people out there that are limited and discouraged by stereotypes?
Go for it. Don’t let society hold you back. If you have a goal in life don’t stop, keep pushing, keep turning the pages till you get to the end. Cause once you let self doubt creep into your mind cause of what society thinks, you will never achieve what you are capable of.