Ephrance International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day: How Nadongo uses her SBH disability to accelerate progress

Having a disability in certain parts of world like in Africa can be a living hell. Such has been the experience of Ephrance Nadongo, a 26-year-old Ugandan living with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SBH) from birth but is making a difference and worthy of a spotlight on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024.

International Women’s Day is marked every March 8 to celebrate the achievements of women across the world and creating more awareness and empowerment for those who are sidelined from society because of their gender.

Ephrance International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day year’s theme is: “Invest in women: “Accelerate progress”. For Ephrance, she has had to fight her way through discrimination and neglect to become a voice and advocate for women with disabilities, especially those with her Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus condition.

Ephrance celebrated her 26th birthday on March 3 and she feels blessed to have attained such an age especially after almost giving up due to health challenges posed by her condition.

She also feels proud to raise and sponsor a non-biological child living with Hydrocephalus named Mitchell Acheing, through school.

Ephrance International Women’s Day

“Well reaching this age is a dream come true because at some point due to some health and mental circumstances I felt like giving up,” Ephrance told Hydrocephalus Stories.

“Some of the proudest moments is when I took on a journey of motherhood to a young innocent soul with hydrocephalus and seeing her going to school through my efforts is the proudest thing ever.

“Even though she is not my biological child, I’m glad I’m someone’s mother figure and my happiest moment ever is the day I started working, so now I’m in position to look after my mum and daughter.”

The challenges that come with living with a disability like SBH can take it toll on an individual. Ephrance was not exempted from this as she details how she had gone quiet without letting her family know when she was ill on occasion, to even questioning God why her.

Ephrance International Women’s Day

In all, her family and close circle of friends have been of great support to her which is also something that needs to be celebrated on this International Women’s Day.

“Indeed set backs have been there over the years,” Ephrance continued.

“I have cried myself to sleep without anyone noticing anything. So many times I have questioned God on why I’m the one with such a condition in my family. Through the years I have been in and out of hospitals with so many scaring reports from doctors. At some point I even started keeping silent whenever I would get sick until when I am badly off because I felt I am disturbing my people year in, year out.

“Through all that, I had the strongest support system to fight with, especially my siblings and a few close friends that I trust because most of the time I just did not want my parents to see me break down. My brother called Sam, paid for counselling sessions for me to get back on track and only then did i find healing and comfort slowly.”

Ephrance International Women’s Day

It is normal for someone living with SBH to live with fears and Ephrance has her share of them and this is what she to say about it: “Fears and anxiety is part of this disability life but whenever I don’t have answers to cool me down, I talk to God and he always comes in for me in my most miserable times but after all that, I’m still here stronger than ever.”

In Ephrance’s home country Uganda, some strides are being made in increasing political representation for women with disability and one of such figures is Asamo Hellen Grace who has been the Minister of State for Disability Affairs since 2011 and is a member of the Ugandan Parliament.

Ephrance International Women’s Day


On a final note, this is Ephrance’s message on International Women’s Day 2024:

“My message to women is get confidence to embrace leadership so that you are involved in every decision making concerning you and fellow women. Aspire for excellence.”

She also called on the Ugandan government to promote inclusive technology for women.

Ephrance also used the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024 to appreciate some valuable people in her life.

“Having a long term condition comes with alot of rejections from family and friends but for my case I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the best people that have walked this journey with me without strings attached.

“First, I thank my parents Mr Thomas Mukalere and Mrs Justine  for giving me a chance to life. I thank all my siblings but especially Mr Samuel Mboozi and Dr Moses Kayondo. These two men have stood firm with me in every possible way. I thank all my friends especially Catherine Nakanyiga and Olivia Ssozi for bringing a smile always, lastly my other mother, Madam Annet Musiime and Mrs Ruth Naluggya of Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida Network Uganda. I will always be thankful for you.”

Ephrance International Women’s Day

It is thrilling to know that in the midst of setbacks and challenges, there are women with disabilities like Ephrance who are keen to see progress not only happen in their personal lives but in their environment and communities.

It should be a reminder that seeking help and forging friendships and teaming with well-meaning organisations keen on empowering on women with disabilities, can make a lot of difference in one’s life, just like it did for Ephrance.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Ephrance can be reached via:

Facebook: Ephy Ephrance

WhatsApp: +256 772 722908

Email: enfrancenadongo@gmail.com

1 thought on “International Women’s Day: How Nadongo uses her SBH disability to accelerate progress”

  1. Justine naggujja

    We’re happy that you have grown up into womanhood who can encourage and educate all those persons wth Spina bifida and hydrocephalus l. Long live Nadongo.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top