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Deputy Mayor Kauma

Fazira Kauma Toppled Political Barriers in Uganda When She Became the First Woman and the First Blind Citizen To Be Appointed Deputy Mayor in Jinja

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When Faziera Kauma was 23, she learned her degenerative eye condition would eventually lead to permanent blindness. She wondered what would become of her. Would she get married and have children? Would she ever find work? Then she met a volunteer with the Uganda National Association of the Blind, who introduced her to Braille and the JAWS screen reader. “I was quick,” says Kauma. “I learned to Braille.” She went on to earn a degree in community-based rehabilitation at Kyambogo University, assuming leadership roles while on campus. When she graduated, she volunteered with the Jinja District Association of the Blind and became a mentor to young people with disabilities. In 2016, Kauma began her political career as a councilor for the city of Jinja. By 2021 she was appointed deputy mayor. She plans to continue using her platform to advocate for persons with disabilities in Jinja and beyond.

Editing by Sam Norton

Photo of Christine Oliver Dhikusooka.

Filmmaker: Christine Oliver Dhikusooka

Christine Oliver Dhikusooka is a 48-year-old Catholic Ugandan, married with four children. She is a woman with a physical disability resulting from polio at age four. She holds an accounting diploma from Makerere Perfect Accountancy Centre in Kampala. Dhikusooka is the executive director of One Voice Heard 4 Disability Uganda (OVH4DU), a disability rights activist for women with disabilities in Uganda, and a policymaker in local government, representing women with disabilities. She serves as treasurer of the Council for Persons with Disabilities in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jinja.

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