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Nnabagereka launches Mpanga’s book ‘It’s A Pity She’s Not a Boy’


THE VIOLIN: Joyce Mpanga’s grand-daughter Alexis Mpanga plays one of her favorite songs at the It’s A Pity She’s Not a Boy’ book unveiling.

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda has applauded former minister Joyce Mpanga for being a true champion of women’s rights and writing a book about her life and achievements over the years.

The Nnabagereka (Queen of Buganda), who also wrote the foreword to the book ‘It’s A Pity She’s Not a Boy’, saluted Mpanga for her dedicated service to the country and being a woman of unique character, who has inspired many in the women’s emancipation movement.

“Mpanga’s life story is one of successfully upending assumptions that one’s gender is a hindrance in ways that are noteworthy for Uganda. She benefited and transformed the lives of many others,” she noted.

Adding; “Her dreams and desires were not hers alone. Where others couldn’t stand for themselves or dare to speak up, she did for them and many times not sure what the outcome would be.

She stressed that the book has lessons of courage, generosity, selflessness, integrity and persistence.

“Joyce Mpanga’s life story is an illustration of how what may seem impossible becomes a reality. It’s a tale of how a simple village girl soars through the village and takes on the nation and beyond,” she added. (click to see video)

She made the remarks on Wednesday December 4 at Mestil Hotel while launching Mpanga’s long awaited autobiography ‘It’s A Pity She’s Not a Boy.’ Mpanga’s book is a memoir of her childhood growing up in a Kiganda household in Buganda, and an ode to her fight for the rights of the Girl child.

The Nnabagerka (right) and Joyce Mpanga at the book unveiling on Wednesday. COURTESY PHOTO

Mpanga was the first Minister for Women Affairs in the NRM Government from 1987 to 1989, former Mubende district woman member of parliament from 1996 to 2001 and currently a member of the Buganda Lukiiko.

Unquestionable integrity

Renowned lawyer also former Buganda kingdom’s Attorney General, Daudi F.K. Mpanga, a son to the author described his mother as a woman of impeccable and unquestionable integrity who has scored high in her life with competence and character.

Joyce Mpanga in her remarks said the 370-page self-published memoir: It’s A Pity She’s Not A Boy, covers her illustrious personal life as one of three very first Ugandan female lawmakers and first Minister for Women Affairs in the NRM Government.

Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda signs off a copy of the new book as Joyce Mpanga’s grand children look on, then delivers her speech below. Jacqueline Asiimwe has a fireside chat with author Joyce Mpanga, welcomed to Mestil Hotel by manager Chris Pollard (all below), son David Mpanga has his say, and Nnabagereka exits, but not before a word with Camille Aliker. ALL PHOTOS LOUIS JADWONG


“I am echoing sentiments once expressed by my grandfather, Gabriel Sserunyiigo, who said my gender could be a hindrance as I applied my intelligence. I have blazed a trail in my family and community, where the best a girl-child could amount to was a good wife – often regardless of who one even got married to,” she said.

A granddaughter of a county chief in Buganda Kingdom when it still wielded executive power, Mpanga was born Masembe into an aristocratic family on 22 January 1933 in present day Kassanda district that’s been curved out of Mubende

After graduating from Makerere College in 1958, she went to the University of London in United Kingdom for a Bachelor of Arts  in History and Indiana University , Bloomington USA for her Master of Science in Education 1962.

The event was graced by high profile personalities including government officials, religious, cultural leaders and those from the academia.

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