Our woman crush today is a proud female brickmaker from Uganda whom we featured her story last year December, she is no other than Sharon Mbabazi.
We celebrate her for her passion, determination and dogdedness.As a young lady, Sharon’s unique work as led to her popularity in Uganda and other African countries that her workplace is now a landmark in the area. When we are trying to find the place at the centre, the boda boda riders offer to take us to where the “beautiful, light skinned petite girl” works from.
Born to Steven Ssemasaka and Margaret Nagasha, in a family of five raised in Masoli- Gayaza Wakiso district, Mbabazi’s life has always been steeped in abject .
She recalls her early childhood as a time of pain from being rejected by her peers because she came from a peasant family.
“During my kindergarten, children would laugh at my tattered uniform and a lack of break time snacks. No one wanted to sit next to me. I had no friends. Teachers would force them to sit with me but they would complain that I had a bad ordour,” Mbabazi despondently recollects.
Her mother died when she was still an infant, leaving her father to take care of their five children. Sharon says that the dad was unable to take care of the family since his source of income was brick laying, and did not yield much for them.
“Our dad’s income could not take care of all of us. All my sisters dropped out of school. That is when I realised that I needed to make my own money if I had to stay in school,” Mbabazi explains.
So she started laying bricks while in Primary Six. She was paid Shs1,000 for her first bricks which she used to buy herself a new pair of knickers.
“I needed knickers, because the one I had were torn, and my father did not want to know. The only thing he cared about was whether I had what to eat and school fees, so I asked the man who was laying bricks at home if I could lay for him some and he paid me enough to buy two pairs knickers because by then a pair cost Shs500,” Mbabazi relates.
Since her primary school days, Mbabazi has grown both in experience and expectations.
She currently makes 800- 1,000 bricks everyday. The 22-year-old who nurses dreams of becoming a TV or radio presenter uses the income to pay her tuition fees and her upkeep.
Mbabazi who is a student at Muteesa 1 Royal University says brick laying is the only skill she knows and she is not ready to quit it. In fact she is looking for someone who can help her expand her business for more production.
“I won’t leave this job, because it is the one I know, if I get a place which is bigger I can expand my business.” She says.
Weldone Queen Sharon! We Celebrate You