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Keinembabazi: Becoming Guild President Has Been an Ambition Since Joining KIU


By Isaac Akugizibwe

Besides achieving a Bachelor of Laws, KIU's 20th Guild President, Yvonne Keinembabazi, started planning to take over student leadership immediately after she joined campus.

When she took oath on Friday, April 26th 2024, Keinembabazi became only the second female guild president of Uganda's leading private university after Comfort Ndagire in 2016–2017. Standing out of the crowd to run for the top position in university politics is not for everyone, and it always takes some special motivation, but for Keinembabazi, it was simply an ambition.

"When I joined KIU, one of my key ambitions was to become guild president. Though it took three years for it to come true, nothing matters now, for it's well known that there’s time for everything," she says.

"My time had come, so I had to step forward and fulfil my ambition because I love offering service to people. Therefore, for the love I have for KIU and the need to serve, I came out of the crowd to run for the guild presidency," she adds.

Her ascension to power was itself a surprise to many, especially considering that she had not declared her intentions before the conclusion of the college elections. While such names as the current speaker of the KIU Guild Union Parliament, Colleb Katirima, rhymed all over campus before and during the college elections, Keinembabazi remained a reserve at the school of law, where she ran for Guild MP.

Even when the nomination of guild president aspirants opened, she took her time to pick a form, yet she would go on to emerge as the only eligible candidate as the others did not fulfil all the requirements as required by the electoral commission.

Despite her gender, Keinembabazi looks up to President Museveni as her biggest role model, the other being her mother. Borrowing from her role model, Keinembabazi wants to do great things for KIU so that her term of office will never be forgotten.

"I’m committed to representing the interests of all the students, regardless of gender. I want to act as an absolute bridge between the entire student body and the administration while addressing their issues, like missing marks and more," she notes.

"I want to ensure that there’s a safer and more inclusive environment for the students so that they enjoy their journey of education in our mighty Kampala international community," she adds.

Keinembabazi, committed to defying the odds, is working towards becoming the greatest guild president of Uganda's leading private university.

"I want, together with my cabinet members and members of parliament, to make this one year in office an unforgettable one,'' she declares.

Her main tool for defying the odds will be changing the narrative that there are things that men do and women can't.

"I want to bring to your attention that there are a lot of stereotypes about female gender leadership, but I pledge to take away that narrative and empower the female students to also think big and beyond."

"I plan to conduct mentorship programs aimed at empowering all students, with much emphasis on females."

"I plan to live an exemplary life by conducting myself in the right manner, being active, and offering the best service, so that they can also pick a leaf, thus being empowered to think big."

Who is Yvonne Keinembabazi? 

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Kefa Kuteesa Katabalwa, residents of Kigezi Maddu Gomba District, on August 22, 2003, in Mpigi District, Yvonne Keinembabazi is a third-year student of law at KIU and the university's 20th Guild President. She went to Kigezi Kiwumulo Primary School before Joining Kayenje Secondary School for both O and A'level.

Keinembabazi's leadership ability began as early as primary school when she took up the mantle of sanitary prefect. While in secondary school, she was voted Head Monitor and also served as Advisor of KACU (Kayenje Christian Union) before becoming Headgirl while in S.5 (2019-2020) at Kayenje Secondary School.

She joined Kampala International University in August 2021 and has since been regarded as one of the most promising students.

Becoming the second female and the 20th guild president was a dream come true for Keinembabazi, who now has a whole year to prove her worth not only to the KIU community but to the entire world.