Babe of the Week – With Pen, Kaija Takes On Africa

Jacqueline Kaija describes herself as a very passionate and zealous person who loves people.

She recently won the African Union Commission essay, a continental competition and says she loves the satisfaction of successfully completing whatever she sets out to do. Racheal Ninsiima had a chat with her about the competition and other personal issues.

Who is Jacqueline Kaija?

I was born to Godfrey and Gladys Kaija. I have three brothers and two sisters. My age, well, that is apparently Kampala’s best kept secret. What I can say is I am north of 20.

Tell us about winning the African Union Essay competition. How were you chosen and what do you think gave you a competitive edge over other competitors?

Every year, the African Union Commission (AUC) celebrates the Africa Youth day on November 1. This year, as part of the activities leading up to the celebrations, an essay competition was organised. The essay was meant to identify and make a case for policy measures to support the empowerment of young women, in line with the day’s theme: ‘Delivering on the potential of young women.’

Youth from member countries of the African Union were invited to participate. Finalists of the contest joined the 2014 Africa Youth day celebrations in Addis Ababa. While there, I got to know that I was the overall winner of the contest. I was awarded by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of AUC. I also had the privilege of making a speech as part of the programme line-up during the day’s launch.

As feedback on the competition, I was informed that the panel received a number of very good essays, and that being a finalist meant that they were very impressed with key elements of my essay.

What are you currently doing?

I am a grants analyst with Save the Children. This role involves technical inputs in annual plans and budgets, financial monitoring, reporting, supporting audits, technical support to programme and finance staff and system maintenance. For the last couple of months, however, I have been supporting our finance team as an accounts specialist.

What motivates you in your work?

The most important factor is my faith in God. The Bible tells me in Philippians 4:13 that I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength I need. By reading the Word of God, I find answers for every situation in life. I also love what I do, and I work with a very supportive and knowledgeable team, and that makes my time at work worth the while.

Mention successes you have registered.

I have been able to establish the correlation between certain finance principles that are applicable in both the corporate and the NGO sector, and this has built my enthusiasm for the work I do. Due to the different tasks I have to handle, my time management skills have been greatly enhanced.

I have also developed great working relationships with my colleagues and I believe that is a critical success as we learn a lot from each other.

What is your vision five years from now?

I see myself married, with children. On the career scene, I intend to grow into more strategic and managerial roles in the area of finance.

Tell us about your school days.

I went to Mt St Mary’s Namagunga for my O and A-level, from 1998 to 2003. There is much to love about Namagunga, but what particularly stands out for me right now is the sense of independence and self-reliance that was instilled in us. We did our own housework no one was employed to do that for us.

We did not need a matron supervising dormitories this was done by the students in higher classes for O-level students. We also peeled our own food. I later joined Makerere University in 2004 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with Education. I majored in Mathematics and minored in Physics. After university I received qualification from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

What aice would you give someone who looks up to you?

Pursue God, and everything else will fall in place. The Bible makes this very clear in Matthew 6:33. I am not saying that it is going to be all rosy. All I am saying is that it will be worth it following Christ unwaveringly.

What are your hobbies?

I love to watch movies (Fireproof is my all-time favourite), read about almost anything constructive in as far as my life’s direction is concerned, write, and catch up with friends every now and then. Occasionally, I love to swim.

Source : The Observer

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