Joanita Kawalya Muganga remembers the dark days when a female singer could easily be pulled off the stage by a powerful man and no one could ask where she was being taken and the show would just continue.
But now, she says, female artistes feel safe to perform from any part of the country without fear.
“Those years had so many issues. Every female artiste was described as a prostitute, uneducated and some families could even isolate you but with money coming in now many are associating with us,” said Joanita who started singing as the late singer Eclaus Kawalya’s child in 1980.
She, however, said that when this regime came to power it found them (women artistes) set and only empowered them economically.
Women always want to have it their way even if this might not be the best option. Getting someone babysitting them with a very careful approach that is not dictatorial and harsh but rather accommodative and discursive was the turning point in women development.
And now if a man oppresses a woman there is no option but to find her way out either through courts of law or walking away because they feel they can now sustain their cause.
“Men were not giving us a chance to work, something that kept us backward but when we were given a chance now our men are the happiest because women know how to control and budget for money,” she said.
“We are in a learning process and with role models like Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Hilary Clinton, Argentina’s Cristina Elizabet Fernández de Kirchner, you are going to see many female heads of state, reverends, pastors, head teachers... Because now a woman is more respected and we understand the choices between right and wrong, the limit is the sky,” said Joanita in an interview.
She said the era of a woman sitting at home and giving birth to 15 children is over, and with experience and skill women are on the way to overtake the men.
She said it is important to encourage women to learn from each other when it comes to finding the best practices and sharing experiences. By listening to fellow women, who have gone through particular experiences like bad career choices and early marriages, the women will be able to make their way through.
Joanita will spend this day with her husband Christopher Muganga as their two children are at school.
“We all work at different times so this is the chance to have fun together,” she said.