SHE was different. Unlike other children who study like they are doing their parents a favour, Brenda Gloria Bamukama, 23, knew better than to subject her father to this ordeal. Last week, Bamukama graduated with a first class degr
BY IRENE NABUSOBA
SHE was different. Unlike other children who study like they are doing their parents a favour, Brenda Gloria Bamukama, 23, knew better than to subject her father to this ordeal. Last week, Bamukama graduated with a first class degree in electrical engineering from Makerere University.
Her mother died when she was only 13, and her father, Eddie Biganja, died in 2007, when she was in her final year. She credits him for not remarrying.
â€œThat was a big sacrifice for any man considering that mum left him with young children. Iâ€™m the eldest of three,â€ she narrates.
â€œHe felt that no other woman would raise us the way he wanted. That is why my dad is the unsung hero in my story. I excelled to say thank you,â€ she says.
Getting a first class degree is not so much of a surprise to this engineer. Bamukama has always been a star. At Buganda Road Primary School where she sat her Primary Leaving Examinations, she scored Aggregate 4, securing herself a placement at the prestigious Mt. St. Maryâ€™s Namagunga, from where she pursued both her Oâ€™ and Aâ€™ levels. Bamukama scored nine points for eight subjects in her Oâ€™Level exams and 23 points at Aâ€™Level in physics, economics, and mathematics and French.
â€œWhen I joined campus, excelling was like a project. I did well all the way. Once I had a paper I did not do well. I redid it because I did not want it to stand in my way. I wanted a first class, nothing less,â€ she argues.
The one regret is that her father is not around to see the fruits of his sweat. He died when she was in her final year at the university.
â€œIt was such a blow. Dad died on August 18, 2007, in an accident. Four of my best friends who were travelling home for the burial also crashed and died. Everything bad happened so fast,â€ she says.
Call it a crisis but this was a turning point for Bamukama. She tried to steer the dadâ€™s security company to see them through school but failed.
â€œThe fourth year was really hard. But my dadâ€™s friends never abandoned us. They organised a fundraising committee to get us through school. We are just like their project,â€ Bamukama discloses.
She applied for a job at Hualie Technologies while still studying and luck was on her side. She is now doing technical marketing in an all male team.
â€œI went there with a target of being the best in the industry. You have to define what you want,â€ she remarks.
Bamukama says that the girlsâ€™ phobia of doing sciences is an â€˜attitude problem.â€™ She says sciences are doable but one just needs to enjoy them.
â€œI used to work out maths problems in my S.6 to relax when I got bored and my friends thought I was weird,â€ Bamukama says, adding that one must not be discouraged into doing arts for the sake of it.
â€œGive people the benefit to trust you by earning it, she says. And yes, Bamukama has earned success.
â€œIf I were to define my life, I would say â€˜Iâ€™m a child of God who is exceptionally blessed,â€ she says.
I EXCELLED TO HONOUR MY DEAD PARENTS