Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa on a mission to empower women from rural areas
By Tuti Metsing
Johannesburg – Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa has made it her mission to contribute to women empowerment, especially those from the often-neglected rural areas.
The head of consumer brand marketing at Momentum Financial Services is somewhat of a warrior who yields a powerful arsenal of passion, curiosity, ambition and a strong sense of community.
In her current role, Nsubuga-Mukasa leads a team of brand designers and social media managers who pursue creating emotional connections with their consumers. But beyond this, she dreams to one day make an immense contribution to an organisation such as UN Women, who make it their life’s work to empower women.
It is her intention to one day use this platform to support women who are living with fistula, which is the abnormal connection between two body parts.
Nsubuga-Mukasa’s interest lies particularly with obstetric fistula, which leaves behind other complications such as depression and infertility. In some instances, this leads to the affected individual being socially isolated from their communities, which further erodes their inner worth and self-esteem.
“In some of the villages in North Africa, these women are shunned by their husbands and the communities because of the scent that accompanies this medical condition.
’’But when organisations such as Doctors Without Borders come in and do a 15-minute operation to reverse this condition, which is preceded by the natural birthing process, these women subsequently return to their communities and live meaningful lives” said Nsubuga-Mukasa.
According to the trailblazer, women who acknowledge their setbacks and their opportunities are entrepreneurial and ripe for business skill teachings. More importantly, if they partner with their community, Nsubuga-Mukasa said their testimony and improved sense of esteem motivates the young girl child to dream of a better life.
However, what is of most interest to her is the financial prospects one does not often see in such instances.
“Once those women go back into their villages, they become economically stable. The experience of living on their own after being shunned from their communities, makes them far more resourceful than when they left.
’’It is not so much about the difficulties that they face but more on how they rise after much adversity. Good medical attention, coupled with business and resourceful money management principles, helps them to tap into their inborn talents of making more with less,” she said.
She underlined that their ability to rise through their resourcefulness is what makes for economically viable villages, towns and cities.
But over and above that, Nsubuga-Mukasa also reflects on why women’s issues, in general, are important.
“These issues are important to me because I am a part of this ecosystem; I understand those silent barriers that hold you back. I know what it means not to be given an opportunity in a boardroom.
’’I know what it means not to have money to go to university. I can relate to parents who borrow money from financial institutions that charge high interest rates, all because they want to give their children an education that catapults or gives them a fighting chance,” she said.
Nsubuga-Mukasa adds that she reminds herself to celebrate and own her own success. She never forgets who she is or loses herself in the process of reinventing herself from time to time.
And if you asked her where her ’’superpower’’ lies, the answer is simple: curiosity. This superpower enables her to connect authentically with people, to gain insights from all her interactions.
Nsubuga-Mukasa says that she is curious about people, their cultures and how we can stem from the same human race.