It is often argued that true success should be measured by how many lives one has positively impacted. Truth be told, that statement is a fact. Ray DeRoyce believes in reaching out to influence and transform this generation by providing success stories from all over the globe to motivate the reader that they can achieve success at its highest levels and reap great rewards from hard work. Welcome to our first diary entry of Knowledge is Power.
In entry 1 of Knowledge is Power, we spoke with former Miss Uganda UK “Gladys Kyotungire.” She talked about her successful awareness campaign, “Uganda United To End Child Sacrifice.” She then went on to talk about how she started modeling, challenges she faced during her upbringing, her motivation to keep striving for success, as well as a peek into her career and personality.
Gladys Kyotungire is a model, an influencer, and a passionate activist campaigning for Ugandans to end child sacrifice. Gladys Kyotungire was once a victim of child sacrifice herself. She was kidnapped at a young age. She shared her success story with us, and how she rose from being a victim to becoming a successful and influential model.
Gladys started her life just like every other normal kid in Uganda. But at the age of 4, she was abducted by her nanny. Sounds crazy, right? The story would have ended differently, if not for the kindhearted stranger who spotted her while he was on a journey. The man noticed her distress and summoned the courage to approach her and find out if she was okay. The kindhearted stranger then rescued Gladys by taking her immediately to report the situation to the local authorities. Gladys remained in custody of the authorities for the next few days before she was finally reunited with her family.
Today, Gladys Kyotungire is a successful model with continental recognition. She also won the 2012 Miss Uganda UK pageantry and initiated a campaign against child sacrifice as her way of giving back to society and helping other kids come to the awareness of this crime against their fundamental right to life.
Child sacrifice is a practice in Uganda where children are violated and even killed. It involves any form of violence against a child including; killing, draining of blood, burying the child alive, and even dismantling of body parts like the head, internal organs, and private parts.
In fact, according to reliable sources on newspapers, social media, and TV broadcasts, this barbaric practice is on the rise in Uganda. It is also the reason for many of the missing child cases in Uganda. Kampala, Mukono, Kayunga, Masaka, Mubende, among others, being the most affected areas. These missing children are either never found or, found dead. Sometimes, with some of their organs harvested.
Child sacrifice in Uganda is a nuisance. It has separated families and leaves many children left in fear. Child sacrifice violates children/human rights and causes the death of young Ugandans with potentials and promising future. It also leaves children and their families traumatized, as well as leaves lasting damage in the lives of survivors.
This problem is the trend that Gladys Kyotungire saw and decided to contribute her part in putting it to an end. In 2013, after she became Miss Uganda UK, she launched “Uganda’s United To End Child Sacrifice Campaign.”
The campaign initiative is a community sensitization program about child sacrifice in Uganda. The campaign aims to make the community aware of the barbaric act and bridging the gap between the authorities and the people by encouraging them to raise an alarm at the sight of any suspicious movements. The campaign also helps victims and survivors of child sacrifice to get justice.
Her goal is to reach every child in Uganda with the campaign so that they don’t fall victim to child sacrifice due to ignorance. She works to achieve this by educating the children about child sacrifice and informing them about their own safety by avoiding movements at night. She achieves this through school campaigns like the Art and Writing Challenge.
Every child has the right to live. Imagine what would have happened if Gladys Kyotungire was never found or rescued by that Good Samaritan. Perhaps, we wouldn’t be reading about all her tremendous achievements today. Her life is not only testimony, but it is also a huge motivation for her generation and an inspiration to thousands of kids and young adults in Uganda, Africa, and beyond.
Her experiences as a child never stopped her from thinking big and affecting her world. When asked about her thoughts on the number 1 key to success, Gladys said: “…a combination of things, however, that result in impacting the lives of other people in a valuable way is a success in my opinion, ultimately.”
Below is the highlight of the interview with 2012 Miss Uganda UK, Gladys Kyotungire.
1. What does a typical day in your week look like?
Answer:I am an early riser. So I wake up around 6 am, pray, and then head to the gym for 45 minutes to 1 hour. I get to my day job from 9 am to 5 pm. A lot happens between 9 am to 5 pm. In the evenings, I read a book, do the charity campaign work, or go for a run.
2. How did you get into modeling?
Answer:When I was a student back in 2008, I often got offers from photographers and upcoming fashion designers to model for a small fee. That’s how I started. I enjoyed the challenge of creating great images each time I am photographed to model a garment or jewelry.
3. Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?
Answer:Books that have had an impact on my life include:
The Bible – as a Christian, this is like a life campus.
Singin’ and Swingin’ and getting Merry like Christmas by Maya Angelou – Don’t disqualify yourself
Becoming by Michelle Obama – to achieve humanitarian causes there is a price to pay, and it requires patience
Destiny by TD Jakes – I am on this earth for a unique purpose, it is my responsibility to make it happen
The Alchemist by Paulo – follow your dreams
Who has had the most influence on my growth
My mother, Pauline Nassolo had the most influence on my growth. Growing up, I saw her leading various community projects for women, youths, nurses, and so on. Most of which, if not all, were voluntary. She believes in possibility. So when I come to her with a goal bigger than myself, she is always excited for me – a green light saying “attainable” or maybe because I have never seen her consider a challenging time as a failure.
She makes it seem like a process rather than a stop. My mom doesn’t stop until she gets to where she intended, no matter how long it took. She is patient, fearless, determined, compassionate, funny, humble, and she trusts that God can do anything. She has taught the value of being independent and taking responsibility so that I don’t make excuses for not achieving or underachieving. If I lacked the skill, for example, she’d say, learn it!
4. Talk about the biggest failure you’ve had. What did you learn from It?
Answer:To be honest, I don’t remember anything in my life that I could classify as “biggest failure.” Maybe the Chemistry subject. I never got to learn from the subject, except the process, I guess. But then again, I didn’t try to understand it because I found it too complicated for my brain to comprehend. So I got a pass in my junior secondary school results. But I don’t regret it, considering there was minimal effort to excel on my part. I choose the Art subject for my A-Level (high school) where I had strength. And I excelled at the end of high school as one of the top 12.
5. Describe how did you start the Uganda End Child Sacrifice Project?
Answer:I contested for Miss Uganda UK in 2012. As part of the challenge, we had to choose, at random, a charitable cause to promote throughout the competition. I chose Child Sacrifice. Coincidentally, it is the closest that relates to me among the others. Although, all were worthy causes.
At the age of 4, I had been abducted. And although I was found and reunited with my family, I often thought about the kids that got lost in the same way as I did, never to be seen again or found dead with their body parts mutilated.
This motivated me to work harder to win so that I could use the platform to bring awareness to this subject in Uganda. It’s been 7 years now, and I am still working on spreading this awareness among children, most especially through education.
6. What would you say be the #1 key to success?
Answer:Depends on your definition of success. I don’t think there is a #1 key to success, because it is not just a destination, rather, a journey. A combination of things, however, that result in impacting the lives of other people in a valuable way is a success in my opinion, ultimately.
It was indeed an incredible interview with Gladys Kyotungire, and we hope you enjoyed it too.
The life of Gladys Kyotungire is the definition of true success. Her experiences, achievements, and personality are an inspiration to many, and we are glad to be a part of her movement to affect the lives of thousands of children in Uganda.
Ray DeRoyce also made a small donation to her campaign and pledged to donate $1 off every sale we make for the month of June.