The Observer (Kampala)

6 December 2012

Uganda: Take Five - Moses Atine

Moses Atine is the outgoing president of Victoria University Students' Union. The 23-year-old student of Computer Engineering has been a popular figure during his term of office for his people- centred approach in leadership. Joseph Kimbowa had a chat with him.

How can you describe your term of office?

Wow, it's been challenging. As the first ever students body, I had to start from scratch. This has involved making frequent reports to administration, attending meetings and meeting important people.

After voting me, all the students saw me as their messiah and they would always invade my office with requests and claims. On the other hand, this challenge is like a privilege. When people trust and believe in you, it means that there is something special in you. The administrators have been coorperative and my deputies Carol and Irene have been wonderful.

Did you ever plan to be a president here?

No, but I always saw a chance of being someone of influence in this place. This is an international place with students from all over the world. When it was election time, I decided to go for it. My personality helped me a lot - I am someone who knows every student on campus, thus people voted me as a friend. For me, my philosophy is to blend in with the people one serves.

You have been in a spacious office; every girl must have been after you:

I'm a very committed man. I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for six years now and I have no time to spoil the lives of people's daughters.

How have you managed to balance books with leadership?

I followed a strict timetable. Sometimes I would miss class when there is a burning issue but I made sure that I catch up by consulting the tutors or fellow students. Whenever I was in class, I would give maximum concentration because I knew as soon as I got out, office work awaited me.

Any bigger ambitions?

To me leadership is a bonus in life. I'm a computer fanatic and I want to follow my instincts and become a professional data analyst for big companies. I also want to start my own consultancy. But I can't rule out the fact that I can see myself in a bigger political office - probably the president's office.

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