15 November 2012

Uganda: Nanyonga, Driven Analyst Who Loves to Dance

Sometimes a rough patch can be the elixir to success; well, it worked for Josephine Nanyonga.

While at Kampala Parents School in P.6, she was the 43rd out of 50, something which didn't go well with her parents.

"My parents seriously cautioned me that I was not working for anyone or them either but myself. So, if I choose to fail, then life will fail me too," Nanyonga recalls her worst school performance.

Their words stuck with her throughout school, driving her to excel. And as the first of four children, she is living up to her endeavours and encouraging her brothers.

Today, Nanyonga has a three-year career as a policy analyst at the Law Development Centre up her sleeve. Her day is littered with planning, reporting financial figures and accounting for the centre's resources.

"I love my job because it is challenging and so I get to learn new methods of budgeting every month and learning is a cornerstone for any career."

However, Nanyonga regrets that her job does not give her room for interaction and yet she believes interaction is a source of learning. Nevertheless, she hopes to become a senior policy analyst five years from now, at a UN agency. Below, she shares more about herself: life, hopes, fantasy and more.

T-shirts or blouses?


Wild night out or cosy night in?

Cosy night in.

What do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Giving, definitely. Because I get more satisfaction when I give wholly from my heart and the receiver appreciates.

Describe yourself in three words.

(Staring up and finally at me) Reserved, principled and loyal.

If your life was food, would it taste sweet, salty or sour?

I think I would be salty because I am not at the apex and there is still much to love, give and achieve.

What is the big lesson people can learn from your life?

It does not matter how weak the world perceives you to be; keep on proving them [wrong]. This will show them that you are strong.

What would you do if you loved somebody who didn't love you back?

Hmmmm... In the unrealistic view, I would love him hoping that he would love me someday. But the realistic view, I would keep an open heart because I could love the wrong person and not see the right one.

What do you consider inappropriate behaviour for chicks?

(Pauses) Oh, I hate loud-mouthed girls who say nonsense. You know such girls who speak so loud to be heard by everyone yet they are actually not saying anything. And hypocrisy!

And for guys?

Getting drunk and throwing up and spitting out of their car windows.

What is your definition of cheating?

To me, cheating is a lapse of judgment; for example, someone getting drunk and cheating on you unintentionally, unavailability and, for others, it's a coward's way out.


I love hip hop music because I love to dance, watching documentaries on wildlife and crime and reading novels.

What's your favourite vacation idea?

Being at an exotic island with no communication network. This would make me shut out the world.

Five most important things in your life.

Family, education, technology, friends and dogs.

What is the number one thing you intend to do before you die?

I want (with emphasis) to have a happy family of four children, especially in this economy.

In the haste of our daily lives, what do you think we are not seeing?

The little things like smiles and conversations which are usually taken for granted. For example right now, you are thinking more of interviewing me and getting an article published and less of us being friends.

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