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Why FIDA’s Eunice Musiime became a feminist

Musime 1

Musiime’s Light side

 

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I am very spiritual and at some point I felt that I was supposed to serve in ministry as an evangelist. Also, I don’t use my husband’s name because my identity is important. Many women lose their identity when they get married.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is joy that comes from within and is not contributed by external factors like money or beauty.  It’s the kind of joy you feel seeing your child take his first step.

What angers you?

Seeing something that is supposed to be done not being done.This happens a lot in my line of work where you see a woman being violated and nothing is being done about it.

What is your greatest fear?

Not seeing my children grow.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Procrastination, I prefer doing pleasurable things yet some tasks really need to be accomplished no matter how you feel about them.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Hypocrisy

Which living person do you most admire?

My mother, she came from a very humble rural background but was able to raise her six children and at the same time advance in her career as an agriculture economist. Currently, she is at the African Union as a commissioner for rural economy and agriculture. Most people elected to that post are those who have been ministers, prime ministers in their governments or those with PhDs. She does not have any of that but she got the job because of her dedication.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I spend more on eating out. I love good food but the problem is that I can’t make it at home.

What is your current state of mind?

Am at peace though sometimes get sleepless nights especially when confronted by a case and we can’t do anything about it because we are limited by resources.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Marriage; you find many young women wanting to get married and they are focusing so much on getting partners. Why don’t they focus on building themselves first? If I got married at 22, I think I would be divorced by now because I was not yet emotionally ready.

But why are you a feminist?

It’s a story from when I was 11. My aunties tried to help me ‘become a woman’ and I refused. While growing up, I started thinking hard about the pains women go through.   It’s one of the violations we never talk about. I know it’s cultural and has a role to play in society but it should be done when a girl has the capacity to make that decision.

On what occasion do you lie?

Whenever I tell my children half truths.

Which living person do you most despise?

A dishonest person.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

A man should be able to look after his family. Majority of cases received at FIDA are maintenance. It defeats logic when I see a man denying his child very basic things.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

I like women who lead with others. Those who hold others hands and lead together because women are supposed to nurture others.

What’s your philosophy about life?

Life needs to be lived but sometimes we just survive. Life needs to be lived despite all the circumstances around us.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband.

When and where were you happiest?

On my wedding day.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be a good cook; especially cooking foreign cuisines.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My weight.I wish I didn’t love to eat so much so I can be a size 10.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having three children and being able to move on with my career. I am the youngest chairperson FIDA has had. Appointing me at the age of 38 and a young lawyer shows the trust these female professionals had in me.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I would love to come back as a lion. It’s seen as courageous animal from the way it attacks and gets its prey. There are many things I would like to confront but I don’t have the courage.

Where would you most like to live?

My dream destination is The Bahamas. It has been portrayed as a place of serenity, calmness and relaxation.

What is your most treasured possession?

My wedding ring.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Loosing dignity.

What do you most value in your friends?

A true friend should be truthful.

What are your favorite books?

The Bible and particularly the book of Esther inspires me. She was a humble girl and unknown but because of unmerited favour she was able to stand and shine. I like what her cousin Mordecai told her that, if you don’t stand up and rise, somebody else will do it.

I’ve also been reading a leadership book called ‘Lean in’ where women are encouraged to form support groups to help them in leadership. Sheryl Sandberg, the author also notes that many women, in anticipating having a family lean back from leading at work. It’s a problem we face a lot here.

Who are your favorite writers?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I like the way she juxtaposes what is happening in her country in terms of the political then puts in aspects of feminism to bring them to the fore. This makes her works interesting to read.

Who is your hero of fiction?

It’s Ezinma in Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart. Despite being a girl she helped her father Okonkwo regain strength after the misfortunes that had befallen the family.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Mother Theresa because of her selflessness to impact humanity yet she had very little resources. This is what I aspire to do even if I touch just one girl.

What is it that you most dislike?

Dishonesty

What is your greatest regret?

Not being able to impact as many women as I would love to. I would have loved to start something that impacts as many women as possible.

How would you like to die?

I would like to die when I am able to say she has run the race and fought a good fight. I don’t want to die with unfinished business.

What is your motto?

Never give up

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editor@independent.co.ug

 

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