By Sarah Namukisa
KAMPALA – It’s hard to talk about dream-achievers, without mentioning Dorah Ayebare and Ritah Akakwasi –the duo who are shaping Uganda’s tourism industry at UWEC in Entebbe Municipality
Dorah is the head of educators at UWEC, while Ritah is a senior hot culture supervisor at the wildlife centre. It was through patience that duo rose to the top.
Dorah as an educator, in charge of the entire department, scooped this fatty position after exhibiting high level of excellence, after serving as a volunteer for three years; and this seem not to be different from the path Ritah took –as the supervisor of the hot culture sector at the same centre.
Ritah is in charge of training interns and supervising her fellow educators, commonly referred to as tour guides – which work she has executed diligently, over time. Some of the tasks she handles at UWEC, is to make sure all those visiting wildlife collection centre, are imparted with the right information.
“Having come from school to start work and you are given such an opportunity as a volunteer; then upgrade from a volunteer educator; become a volunteer head guide or head guide isn’t any easy task,” notes Dorah, who was unaware about the existence of UWEC, until she heard the announcements over the radio, calling upon the interested candidates to apply for internship.
“I didn’t know that Entebbe zoo existed, you may be shocked but that is the truth, I learn’t about it through my internship. So, when an opportunity came, I applied,” she tells PML Daily.
Dorah says employers no longer hire people whom they are not familiar with, and those waiting for their call, time has come to shade their own tears.
“What I know with my employer at UWEC, they normally consider their own, I have my manager who always says, the devil you know, is better than the angel you don’t know if you analyze that statement, they will always choose the people whom they have been with for given time,” she notes.
PML Daily met Dorah and Ritah at UWEC, and each narrated their respective stories – giving insights of how their journeys started. Dorah highlighted her daily duties at UWEC.
“Doing symmetric tours, like taking students through their themes, for example, biology students and collaborating with others,” she adds.
According to Ritah whom we found in one of the hot culture zones, she began her work at UWEC as a volunteer in the hot culture section, and now she heads sector, as supervisor in-charge of the plant resources.
“At UWEC, I work as a hot culture supervisor. At the hot section, we are in-charge of plant resources here at the Centre, because you know wild life is all about plants and animals, flora and fauna,” she clarifies.
Ritah who has spent four years working at UWEC, is credited for helping the Conservation Centre to establish a new green zone, which adds to beauty of the centre.
She adds that this has also helped visitors to understand that UWEC is not only about animals but also wild plants.
“Before I joined, especially this section of plants, many people wouldn’t figure out how UWEC and plants were connected; people only knew about the medicinal plants and animals because we have a well-established medicinal garden and we also a demonstration medicinal garden,” she notes.
“My fellow women time has come for us to come out from our nutshell; I think I have always been a person who loves to depend on myself; I always don’t want to depend into other people’s pockets; if I may put it in that way, work for yourself because there is no one who can satisfy you better than yourself, so when you are thinking like me, then you will always want to be an independent woman,” Dorah advises women.
However, Ritah says women should know that everything has a beginning, urging women to take up volunteering work whenever they find the chance – a situation that would help them to curb the available opportunities that are unseen.
“At times getting something doesn’t start a minute when you apply for a job, usually it has a starting point,” says Ritah, who urges the government that when empowering women, men shouldn’t be left out; reasoning that empowering one group is just a waste of time.
“Government should empower both girls and boys, because there is no way you can separate them from each other, and this could also end domestic violence in homes when both sexes are empowered,” reasons Ritah.