Diana is one of CEDOVIP’s most energetic team members. Her laugh is contagious and often fills the office. Her dedication to violence against women and girls never fails. Diana is a confident public speaker who rarely waivers, making her an excellent facilitator. Her experience within the field of media and television makes her a relatable member of the Advocacy Team.
Question: What did you study in school?
Diana: I studied Mass Communication for my Bachelors. I pursued a Masters in Human Rights.
What made you choose to study those areas?
As a journalist, my work rotated around covering human rights issues, especially political and civil rights in Uganda. I wanted to better myself at having comprehensive coverage of the issues I discussed. I enrolled to better understand the field. When I worked in the newsroom, I was part of CEDOVIP’s program on reporting on violence against women and girls. We would attend, and they would train us about 4 times a year. They also engaged us during the 16 Days of Activism. I got more and more into human rights work, especially women’s rights and violence against women and girls.
I remember you once telling me that you were a news personality. Will you tell me a little bit about that?
Oh, yes. My childhood dream was to work on TV. I got the Bachelors in Communications for that. I worked with television for 6 years after leaving university. I was a news anchor for a local news station, Wava Broadcasting Services. I also did some programs. I was a reporter. At that time I rose through the ranks. I had started as an intern with a station, and they were able to take me on when the opportunity arose. I rose from intern to staff to sub-editor and then to news anchor. At the peak of that part of my career, I also got a family. I moved to CEDOVIP to help me concentrate more on my passion for violence against women and girls prevention. I applied in 2011 and here I am today.
Were you always passionate about human rights or was there a moment that defined your activism?
I was more attracted to helping people in distress, but even then the activism in me was trying to come out. Even in the media I loved human interest stories (about abuses, etc.). I was always interested, but when I joined CEDOVIP, I was glad they gave me that platform, the skills and the knowledge to do something. I understood that violence was wrong, but now I have skills. I am better at identifying types of violence, I can analyze human rights violations, and I can criticize or condemn them based on laws.
What is your favorite thing about working for CEDOVIP?
The environment. I had come to CEDOVIP from the private sector, so CEDOVIP is much more relaxed. There are no protocols and there is an open door policy. It is peer-to-peer work rather than having a boss and supervisor. You can freely express yourself and exercise your creativity because every idea is equally welcome. You can grow yourself and your mind. You can explore what you want to do and what you like. And you keep thinking of new ways of doing things.
What has been your favorite memory during your time at CEDOVIP?
In 2014, staff organized a surprise baby shower for me. What amused me was that they planned around me. I could not believe it. It was funny. I didn’t pick up on anything until I walked in on them. During those meetings, people share how a person has touched them. They send you off in a good way. I had a very problematic pregnancy, and I had just gotten out of the hospital. People shared that journey, and made me feel that I wasn’t alone. I felt relieved. Here I was heavy and exhausted. To have someone try to make me happy was really special. It is one of my most treasured moments.
Who is your favorite celebrity activist?
I have to say Tina Musuya. She is very consistent, passionate, and I think for me that really stands out. She is very knowledgeable, my God. She reads tons and tons of books. It is amazing to walk into someone’s office and you can always get a response. I admire that. I want to be like that at one point. She is like a small encyclopedia.
Do you have any international favorites?
I am torn between Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce. I am a Queen Bey follower. Oprah and Clinton inspire me because they have made it in their own fields and areas. They shot through worlds dominated by men. I look up to them. Clinton is special, too, because she did not let her husband’s legacy overshadow her or put her down. Often married women whose husbands make decisions affecting the family or wife causes her to be overpowered. His decision did not overshadow Hillary and it did not put her down. She is soldiering on. That is something to learn for many of us. When caught in cross roads, many activists shy away and let something like that rule them. And she kept herself separate. Now she is presenting herself to the world-- her cridentials and ability.
For Oprah, I think her story is amazing. Being a black woman who has managed to withstand everything and become successful is inspiring. Her life story about making her career is great. And I think I admire her because of my love of TV. I wanted to be like Oprah in a different way. She is so inspirational to all women. No matter what your background is, you can make it if you stay focused.
What color represents your activism?
Pink. I love pink. It has so many different shades, from almost red to lightbaby pinks. The different shades describe my activism. Sometimes an activist must be intense, but sometimes you also have to do lighter things to get your point across.
What is something other than television and violence against women/girls that you are passionate about?
I am passionate about farming. I am a farmer. It is something that most staff might not know about me. I farm vegetables on a large scale. I grow mushrooms. cabbage, tomatoes, and I think I am joining the papers. I want to start growing the papers this month. I have also taken my activism to farming. We are currently forming a cooperative. I am a member of the executive team. We are trying to streamline the process of selling our vegetables to get the middle men out. We all collected through social media and formed groups for vegetable farmers. We face a pretty big market issue. The market is available, but controlled by the middle men. They buy from farmers for the lowest price, and they sell for the highest possible prices. It really hurts local farmers. We are trying to reach buyers who are demanding consistency directly. The government has also been encouraging more cooperatives for group funds. We are now registered and even have an office. We are putting structures in place. I am glad to be on the board. I would like to see how that works out.