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2021 DJP Fellows

Esther Subbi smiles broadly at the camera.

Esther Suubi

Esther Suubi from Uganda is a recent graduate from Uganda Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. She is a person with a psychosocial disability and an advocate for young girls’ and women’s voices. Suubi is also a peer educator at Triumph Mental Health Support and does work with the organization’s communications team.

Rose Umutesi smiles at the camera.

Rose Umutesi

Rose Umutesi is chairperson of the National Organization of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Rwanda (NOUSPR) and co-founder and treasurer of its umbrella organization, the National Union of Disabilities Organizations of Rwanda (NUDOR).

NOUSPR’S mission is to advocate for and with people with psychosocial disabilities. It works to provide a platform for a unified voice to advocate for services and opportunities and to have NOUSPR members’ interests and human rights promoted and protected.

NUDOR was established in 2010 by eight national organizations of persons with disabilities. Its mission is to strengthen the voice of the disability movement in Rwanda.

Badmus looks seriously into the camera.

Oluwabukolami Omolara Badmus

Oluwabukolami Omolara Badmus is a 33-year-old disability rights activist and feminist based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is both the financial secretary and Lagos state coordinator for the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation (LALIF). Badmus is also an educator, teaching at a government/public high school.

Since 2019, part of LALIF’s major organizational focus has been on people with Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that can lead to deafblindness. After realizing how little Nigerian citizens know about Usher syndrome and those who live with it, Badmus is now actively involved in educating people, from government officials to educators, about this condition.

Chibekete smiles at the camera.

Julie-Marie Chibekete

Julie-Marie Chibekete is an active member of the Spinal injuries Association of Malawi (SIAM). She has over ten years’ experience in community development and humanitarian work. Inspired by the struggles people in various communities go through to access basic needs, she has a passion for helping communities identify underlying causes of vulnerability and to realize equity in access. Chibekete says her spinal injury motivated her to make sure that members of the disability community are aware of and actively take part in utilizing their potential in local development initiatives. 

SIAM is an association mandated to advocate for the needs and interests of disabled people living with spinal injuries so they can actively participate in society. Chibekete ensures the organization’s goals are attained through peer support and other initiatives. #NoInclusionWithSelf-Exclusion.

Nissy Namuyomba looks up at the camera.

Nissy Namuyomba

Nissy Namuyomba is an administrative assistant working alongside the executive team at the Masaka Association of Persons with Disabilities Living with HIV/AIDS and a volunteer with the Masaka Association of Persons with Cerebral Palsy in Uganda. Namuyomba supports teams by performing tasks related to organization with strong communication as well as strengthening relationships with the local government to understand disability issues in Masaka City. Namuyomba is experienced in networking with local leaders and is skilled in financial accountability, backed by a degree in business administration and management. Namuyomba is a powerful force in the workplace. She is inspired daily by her desire to create a society that is inclusive for people with disabilities through storytelling and writing.

Additional Filmmakers

Thacien Biziyaremye looks into the camera.

Thacien Biziyaremye

Thacien Biziyaremye is a journalist, director, editor, and camera operator and the co-founder of SACAMS (Special Advocacy, Communication and Media Services) Ltd. He is based in Kigali, Rwanda. 

Biziyaremye became engaged in journalism, storytelling, and video production after realizing that marginalized people, including persons with disabilities, were not accessing human rights like others in his village. He discovered a love for media so that he could advocate through his communications and storytelling skills. He joined the University of Rwanda and graduated in 2015 in Journalism and Communications. When not busy with work, Biziyaremye can be found taking photographs and shooting video. 

Wearing sunglasses, John Chiti tilts his head at the camera.

John Chiti

R&B singer John Chiti is executive director of the Albinism Foundation of Zambia (AFZ). The musician, who counts a former first lady and president of Zambia among his fans, has produced two songs about the coronavirus to raise awareness of its impact on persons with disabilities.

Chiti is one of Zambia’s most prominent people with albinism. He has used his music to educate people about this genetic disorder in which there is little to no production of a pigment called melanin. This pigment determines the color of someone’s skin, hair, and eyes. Chiti is open about the discrimination he’s faced as a person with albinism. Today, he is a household name in Zambia. He is married with two children.

Wearing sunglasses and headphones, SingStar Ali faces to the right of camera.

SingStar Ali

SingStar Ali is based in Rwanda. Find him on Twitter here.