In her autobiography, “My Life is But a Weaving,” Rhoda Kalema, 92, weaves a beautiful tapestry of her journey in faith through decades of service and sacrifice. Rhoda is a gifted storyteller. She recounts life as a student at King’s College Budo in the 1930s and 1940s. At Budo, she gets a taste of leadership as a girls’ prefect and experiences tragedy with the loss of her sister, Sara, in a lightning strike in the hills of Budo. Rhoda’s father, Katikiro (Prime Minister) Martin Luther Nsibirwa, is felled by an assassin’s bullet in 1945 at Namirembe Cathedral.
In 1950, Rhoda married William Wilberforce Kalema, a Budo teacher, who served as a minister in the first Obote government. In 1956, she joined the Uganda Women’s Council, embarking on a lifelong commitment to improving the status of women in Uganda. In 1972, a year after Idi Amin seized power in a coup, her husband William disappeared, never to be found. Through immense personal loss, Rhoda finds her purpose serving God and her country. She writes of digging a well in Kyebando as representative on the National Consultative Council after the Amin regime, campaigning as an MP for Kiboga, and serving on the Constituent Assembly in 1994. As a pioneer in the Uganda Women’s Movement, her character and courage shine through this terrific book. Her example of selfless service to the country will inspire generations to come.
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