Published in 2004, Shaping of a Destiny: An African Woman’s Story of Challenges, Perseverance and Triumph, narrates the author’s remarkable path to a successful entrepreneurial career.
Tereza Mbire was born in 1934 on Christmas day in Kabale, Western Uganda. An orphan – her father died before she was born – she would not have known her birthday were it not for the fact that her mother was a Christian. On the day that she went into labor, Mbire’s mother was preparing to go to church.
A Journey of Perseverance
For the young Mbire, life starts very humbly. Coming from a poor home she grows up at a time when tradition still rules- girls are denied education, and men still inherit wives!! Despite all this, Tereza knows that if she ias to get out of the abject poverty she was born in, the only way is to get an education. She decides to go to school without informing her family. When her mother learns of it, she tells her to stop immediately- girls don’t go to school. They are brought up to work and get married, have children and take on the responsibility of family caretaker for the rest of their lives. This is rather ironic given the fact that her mother was the first woman in her village to convert to Christianity. She is a hard working woman though.
It takes the intervention of a local priest for her to stay in school. She attends the local church primary and junior school and then goes to a teachers college. At all the levels, she passes with flying colors, albeit with lots of obstacles- her brother resents her and nearly kills her with a spear for “disrespecting him”. She faces the vicious jealousy of an uncle’s wife but she jumps all these huddles to obtain her dream.
After college, her star starts to shine. At nineteen, she becomes a head teacher, and builds her mother a house. She is elected a district counselor, then a regional commissioner before shifting careers into the hotel industry, where she becomes an executive housekeeper and trainer with Uganda Hotels. A hard-working woman, she later ventures into self employment in order to have time for her family. She starts a garment factory and a flower shop. A woman with an ability to see opportunities; she starts a bakery when she notices shortage of bread after the liberation war.
Ultimately, Mbire goes on to enjoy immense success as an entrepreneur. Her business ventures take her around the world; and win her international recognition.
This book is inspirational, for women and business people or for those starting to chase their dreams. As the author says,
“Work hard; never shy away from a job no matter how small it maybe. You will gain experience and then continue the journey to success.”