As Uganda joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Women’s Day, Africa Tembelea team has put focus on the un sung sheros excelling in the tourism and conservation sector.
Tourism and conservation in Uganda remain a pillar of economic growth and within the industry women make up nearly 70% of the workforce. However, they are under-represented in senior positions.
As we celebrate this day we also honor and recognize the achievements of the un sung sheros.
Evelyn Habasa, is the founder of Ride 4 a Woman and originally from Buhoma where the organization is based today.
Set up in 2009, Ride 4 a Woman exists to support local women struggling at home with issues associated with HIV, domestic violence and poverty.
More than 300 women from 11 villages now use or work at the Ride 4 a Woman community centre, where they can learn to pedal sew, weave baskets, dance, sing and drum; learning new skills, making a living and making it possible for their children to gain an education.
The organisation which she runs with her husband also offers microfinance, helping women to help themselves and support their families. To date over 100 women are actively engaged in the Ride 4 a Woman Microfinance Program.
Eve is fulfilling her Mother’s dream and delivering on her vision for a better future for women.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism from Makerere University, Kampala and all the passion and determination required to drive Ride 4 a Woman forward.
Sheena Ruparelia Sakaria
Born on December 23rd, 1988, Sheena Ruparelia, holds a BSc. Economics and Accountancy from City University, London.
She is involved in the management of Speke Group of Hotels, a member of Ruparelia Group owned by Ugandan billionaire, Dr Sudhir Ruparelia. Among the luxury hotels and country clubs that Sheena is involved in overseeing are; Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Speke Hotel, Kabira Country Club, Dolphin Suites, Forest Cottages, Bukoto Heights, as well as Speke Apartments Wampewo and Speke Apartments Kitante.
As a Trustee of the Ruparelia Foundation, Sheena Ruparelia is also involved in several corporate social responsibility projects for children which include the construction of homes for child-led families, health awareness projects and provision of clean water.
She is the founder of Nkuringo walking safaris, a tour and travel business, and Papyrus guesthouse in Entebbe. Her entrepreneurial projects started when she met a certain Robert Brierley in a taxi heading to Luzira from Uganda House. This was in 2007.
In their talk, Nandudu, a fresh graduate from Makerere University then, mentioned to him that she had previously worked as a researcher with ActionAid International. [Extract from the Observer]
Intrigued, Brierley immediately offered her a job as a researcher for his online company ‘The Uganda Travel Planner’, which was helping tourism businesses get exposure through the internet.
“Three days after our meet, I was equipped with a laptop, camera, phone and account number to deposit any payments received. My assignment was to collect payments from various advertisers and update information on transport, accommodation and tourism activities around the country which saw me travel widely,” she says.
She worked her fingers to the bone to bring new clients on board as Brierley was mostly in Switzerland and only came to Uganda twice a year. It’s from the $5,000 (Shs 13m) savings from the planner that the duo started Nkuringo walking safaris.
Nkuringo walking safaris, which initially started as a community initiative to support the youth in Nkuringo, has expanded to include the Nkuringo accommodation camp, Papyrus guesthouse, which opened in August 2014, and a fleet of safari vehicles. The company’s services now include tailor-made safaris, fly-in safaris, vehicle renting and accommodation bookings.
Dr. Nataliey Bitature
Born to Patrick Bitature and Carol Bitature in 1989, Nataliey earned her undergraduate degree in Business Management and Education Studies at Keele University from 2010- 2013. Officially known as the University of Keele, this public research university in Keele, is approximately 3 miles from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England.
In 2014, Bitature then joined the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) for Emerging Leaders Programme which lasted four months and subsequently obtained a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship at Hult International Business School (from 2015 – 2016).
Nataliey who was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by United Kingdom’s Keele University, serves as the Chief of Staff at Uganda’s Simba Group of Companies. Simba Group is a hospitality; media/communications, energy, agriculture and real estate conglomerate founded by billionaire entreprenuer, Patrick Bitature.
The hotels division is composed of Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz, and Protea Hotel by Marriot Kampala
Born on October 16th 1994, Halimah Nakaayi is a Ugandan middle-distance runner. Attached to Uganda Wildlife Authority, Nakaayi competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, in the women’s 800 metres. She was the flag bearer for Uganda in the closing ceremony. Her biggest success is a gold medal in the 800m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.