My name is Namuganyi Samalie, commonly known as Samie Legacy. I’m the CEO and founder of Girls of Honour Africa Limited, an NGO in Uganda that focuses on empowering the girl child and all youth towards self-transformation, skills that lead to employment, with emphasis on girls and women.

My story rotates around poverty, rejection, and inferiority complex because usually one leads to the other.  Due to the fact that I come from an extremely humble background, I had no voice anywhere in the world. I never had it even in my family members back home. Poverty stole   my voice since nursery school. In my entire school life, I was known for being the poorest student in class; I was not sure if the whole school believed that too. It was fun for students to remind me of where I come from and the bullying totally drove me crazy. I was little, I was defenseless, naive, confused, angry, envious and sad, and loneliness took over. I turned into an introvert not by nature, I think, but due to experiences I was going through.

Rejection can make a strong person weak, depressed and grieved like they lost the only child they had. My self-esteem ran down gradually until I couldn’t gather any left for myself, even around the people I knew. I think everyone that I met could feel my anguish and anxiety, my pity and negativity towards life, people, school and work. My parents had marital issues that affected me because both parents somehow rejected me. They were angry all the time. I was never given a chance at anything in life. It is a different world when you grow up with nothing including self-love.

To make the list short I lost everything I touched or wished for because of pain, anger and hate. I never kept a relationship, a job, or even remembered a program. I was weak at everything. I was extremely traumatized.

I later chose to change my life because at some point I was tired of this thing I called life. I joined bad groups. Of course, “misery likes company”. There, I did drugs daily; I stepped into a life of partying, clubbing, drinking and smoking. I was a complete waste for over a year. Then, I reflected back to my religious life since I grew up a strong active Christian. This new life was the exact opposite. Every time I stepped in church, I would feel terribly guilty, until I decided, once and for all, which kind of life I wanted to live. The kind of life that is right for a Christian girl.

I embraced a positive healthy godly life. I studied self-help books; most of them have a Christian approach to life and to business. I fine-tuned my mindset to that of a winner. I started to believe in myself. Now, the positivity I carry can shock you! It is this positivity that has attracted every good thing that I have in my life right now. My business relations, my financial habits, my spirituality, my relationships, and above all, my family is proud of me. God can lift you to places and positions you have and haven’t yet dreamt of. All you have to do is see yourself through God’s eyes. He knows who we are and if we listen closely, patiently and silently, we get to see who God created us to be and we can walk right into our blessing.

I love God, and I know he loves me endlessly. He never gave up on me at my worst, not even at my lowest of morals; no matter what happens, he will not abandon me anyhow.  This keeps me going. In good and bad situations, I rejoice because I believe my testimony is right at the corner.

Girls of Honour, the NGO I founded, is an inspiration driven from rejection. I was tired of looking for jobs because I was never chosen for any job in my life. I have only worked in one company and I was connected there by my brother. I was rejected by my immediate supervisor, but after a year, she managed to like me. Sales were a struggle for me; I could barely reach the monthly targets. By the time I got the customers to get used to me, it was a whole lot of a hustle.

 At my university, I had only one female friend and about three male friends. I was rejected; nobody wanted to associate with me. Even the female friend I had, she used to feel small associating with me. She was my classmate in high school, so we had a background. I had 3 dresses (hijabs since it was an Islamic University); they were all cheap and it was obvious. I lacked almost all requirements as an information technology student. That depressed me more and I couldn’t forget quite a number of things in school. I drowned myself into depression and hopelessness. I felt like quitting school but I realized it is the only achievement I could comfort myself with. While in school, I was inspired by a channel and website that I used to follow. I learnt a lot as a woman and my worth to myself and the community. I subscribed to this website so that I could receive an empowering, educative, and self-help email daily.

I wanted to share this knowledge with other girls but I never knew how. That’s how I learnt that there are organizations that can support, care for and help people like me. I tried getting jobs in the organizations but to be honest, I didn’t even bother sending my applications because there was too much negativity around me. I was told that I wouldn’t make it, that it’s hard scooping a job in those organizations, and that the processes are sickening. Coupled with my low self-esteem, I never moved a step.

I then read somewhere that the best way to overcome fear is to face it. And on another day I read something that changed my life forever, that if you want to be successful you need to set a goal that is bigger than you. The word of God teaches us that God does not choose the best people to perform His work, but rather He gets those that respond to His call, those that are ready to work and He uses them. He picks the less perfect and perfects them for His work. That right there was my word where Girls of Honour came from.

I decided to set a goal larger than I. I was not willing to be rejected again in my search for a job, so I decided to start my own organization. I wanted to empower a girl child, a woman, and any youth that has had nothing going for them. I wanted to offer them the opportunity to work without discouraging them, but rather help them realize who they are and to find their awesome hidden abilities. I wanted to talk someone into self-love and self-care so that they can better their esteem through some of our projects.

To the child in school going through childhood traumas and insomnia due to abuse and bullying:  you are human and those things happen to us. First, be grateful you are still alive because some people may tend to lose their minds and develop mental illnesses, and in the worst cases, self-harm and suicidal tendencies.

Secondly, you need to focus on what you really want. State what you want and go for it. The moment you decide on who you want to be; the entire universe conspires to make it happen. Do not worry about the process; leave it to God and play your part. Everything you do in line with the healthy godly culture will definitely lead you there, whichever way.

I managed to turn a bad situation into something reasonable and valuable to me and to the community. At some point we all get to our breaking point which is usually our turning point. There, you either change for the worst or for the better. God gave us free will; he puts forth death and he puts forth life, and he advises us to choose life. I hope you choose life; I hope you change for the better.

Ask yourself these questions if you want to know who you really are and whether you are changing for the worst or for the better.

1: Who are you when you have everything?

2: Who are you when you have nothing?

3: And who are you when you are left with no options?

You are not any different from your words nor your thoughts. Renew your mind every now and then, and mind your words. Good principles of a better life are: to pray and to believe in yourself and in your dreams. Then, rest assured of success and a better change!

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