After Museveni took over #Uganda, he visited Bugisu. I was not home as I had come to Canada to for my secondary school. I am told that he castigated people from Masaba land for marrying off their daughters too early. He told them that Banyakole always educate their daughters till their daughters have good education. This part of educating girls is probably one of my main reasons for respecting Museveni. You see, if you educate a girl, she will contribute much to society. Our father believed in educating girls instead of marrying them off early.
Yes, we have poverty to deal with. Neither my father nor Museveni were terribly poor that they had to marry their young daughters. If Museveni reviews his ideas of how he became Uganda's president, he would remember some things. One of his daughters went to the same school as my oldest sister and myself. I think the key is for us to remind everyone what the key issues are. Girls are not objects to be traded. Sure, so many parents suffer from poverty and the temporary relief from the poverty seems attractive. SO WE HAVE TO FIGHT POVERTY AND I AM READY. If you can help your daughters to excel at school, you will have insurance in your old age. When I finished my masters degree at University of Toronto, I had the option to pursue a PhD. I did not because my father needed a lot of medical attention. I opted to join the work force and I will never regret it because he lived for another 5yrs. He was right, educating girls is your insurance.
I now look at Uganda and how many parents are marrying off their kids at a very young age. I think (and you also know it) that this is wrong. An educated woman might be feared by some men but great husbands also want an educated woman to hold an intelligent conversation with.
I hope this reminds all parents not to throw away the girls and concentrate on sons. When your son gets married, you lose a son. When your daughter gets married, you gain a son. Think about it. We are a strong gender so please give all the best you can for your daughters and one time, you will see the results.
I write about Girls and Women a lot. I hope you will be a good parent and let them shine.
Martha Leah Zesaguli (Nangalama)
Born and Raised in Bududa, Uganda