Sleepless nights pay off

By Agatha N Biira

Marion Rosemary Ndyemanya, a second-year student of Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance at Uganda Christian University (UCU), has emerged as the winner of the 2022 National Schools Championship organized by Stanbic Bank under the theme “Empowering the job creators of tomorrow.”

At the Grand Finale held on July 15, at Kampala Sheraton Hotel, Ndyemanya, with her business “Anya wrists” emerged the overall winner under the AlumGrow category, walking away with a cash prize of Shs. 5 million, Shs. 1 million from the Deputy speaker of Parliament and a partnership with Swangz Avenue that is yet to be sealed.

Asked how she felt about this win, Ndyemanya said this was a turning point in her life. “This is a huge opportunity for me. It reminds me to be intentional with everything and that there is a future. I am so grateful to God for this opportunity, “she added.

Speaking about her journey during the championship, Ndyemanya said it had been tough and she did not expect to win. “I wasn’t expecting to win or lose. I just expected to be somewhere but not a winner, “she said.

Having joined the competition in March, Ndyemanya attributes her victory to weeks of hard work, determination, and prayer.

“I reached a point before the finals where I almost gave up.” There was a time when I just said, “God help me” because it was becoming too much. “It was challenging to balance the championship with work and school,” she said.

However, Ndyemanya also said that being part of the Praxis Challenge organized by UCU contributed to how she presented herself at the championship and also, as a scholar of accounting and finance, she was able to apply what she learned to her business.

Ndyemanya makes handmade crafts such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, a skill she acquired from her mother when she was young. From her childhood, they would make bags, necklaces, and ear rings, which they would sell at church after service.

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Rosemary speaking after being announced as a winner

“I am not from a well-off family. Mine is the kind where you have to work for the money. We have gone to expensive schools, and from time to time, my mother, a primary school teacher, had to take on extra work to get money,” Ndyemanya said.

The last born of 13 children said she started out on her senior six vacation in 2019. With only Shs. 5000 that she got from her mother, Ndyemanya bought beads and used YouTube to learn how to make bracelets.

“I used to follow my mom around when she would go to buy material. I remember seeing the beads and telling Mom that I wanted them. At that time, I was looking at keeping myself busy and not exactly something I would earn from, “Ndyemanya said.

She also appreciates her father Rev. Can. Wilberforce Kabanda who has supported her through contributing to her capital. Ndyemanya, says the father always encourages her when she is struggling. “His encouragement has kept me going when i feel like giving up,” added Ndyemanya.

Born and raised in Seeta, Mukono district, to Rev. Can. Wilberforce Kabanda and Damalie Kabanda, Ndyemanya attended Budo Junior School and Gayaza High School. She serves as the Finance minister at UCU’s Honors College, the Residential Assistant at the girls’ hall, and also the outgoing Academic Secretary at the School of Business.