By William Damulira, Re!gnite Africa Youth Leader

Those who know NTV Uganda will bear me witness. It’s all about the first impression according to Be My Date- a TV show broadcasting every Sunday evening. That’s exactly what happened when I first encountered “Re!gnite Africa”. It was 4th  May 2016 when I opened an email from one of the mailing lists I am subscribed to. The message in there focused on a careers training targeting fresh graduates.

Despite the goodness in the message; I was struck by the name. So many questions popped in and out of my brain; What is Re!gnite?, Why Re!gnite?, In the first place, why even use an exclamation “!”mark instead of “i” in the name Re!gnite? For sure, the list was so so so very long and the only way to have the questions responded to was submitting an application.

On 24th May, my desire, my fantasy; my dream was completely shuttered when I got placed by Restless Development to Kayunga under the ICS (International Citizenship Service) program. Oh My God!

At this point in time, I convinced myself that everything was over. Hmm! That what I’d learned about the institution before was all, that I would never hear anyone talk about it but worst of all, that I would never have any of my questions answered. I felt so bad; sad to have my dream wiped out.

But guess what?, Something great happened around early June. Aaaww! I should call it a miracle. You know what they say; never lose hope. Just when she thought that life was over- the caterpillar turned into a butterfly. On a bodaboda, ten kilometers of dust and bumps were the difference between me and the nearest trading center, where I could retrieve the feedback from my application. “Dear applicant, your application for the 2016 Re!gnite Career Positioning Program (CPP) was successful. Waiting is a telephone interview from the organizing team. In that communication, you will also get to learn more about the program. Congratulations on your success. The journey awaits…..”

“What……….!”, Is all I managed to scream. “Could this be a fraud?” Is all I asked. “How am I even going to leave Kayunga to Kampala for the training?” “Am I even allowed to attend the program while on placement?” …….I continued asking. “William”, “William”, “Take a deep breath”. “Breath”. “Continue breathing” were the only responses. “You cannot answer yourself”. I continued.

“Hello everyone!”. “My name is Damulira William; traveled all the way from Kayunga just to be part of the training”. Is what I said during my first introduction. From day one came day two- day three and day eight. From June came July- August and November.

All questions answered; all classes facilitated; all topics covered; all discussions closed. I’ve failed to find the perfect words to thank you Amos and Rehema. All I can say is; you’ve unleashed the unknown in me.

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