Charity Mugasha is a girl on an exceptional mission of achieving success and happiness while making a difference in people’s lives. She is currently the CEO SANY Uganda and co-director WAZO Design Lab.
Born on 20th June 1988, Charity is renowned businessman Ben Mugasha aka Bemuga’s first born. She attended Lohana Academy , Greenhill Academy, Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga , Nabisunsa Girls School and went on to complete a Bachelor’s in Architecture from Otis College in California, USA.
Following graduation, she worked in the USA for a few months but decided to come back home. She worked briefly with KCCA but eventually left to pursue her profession as an architect. She spoke to SheSpell.com about the importance of being the best at whatever one does, building a lasting legacy and her regular conversations with God.
SheSpell: Many people would sell their souls to do any job abroad. Why did you decided to come and start over in Uganda?
CM: People make choices according to where they are in life and the tools they have at the moment. I know that most people would rather stay slaving for the perceived prestige of living in LA, but that’s not who I am. I love keeping it real and I follow my heart regardless of the consequences. So I left because my heart wasn’t home and I was feeling empty. I also believe in being the best at whatever one does and this only happens when your mind, body and soul are in alignment which was lacking. In my opinion, home isn’t just where the heart is but where the heart is gladdest. Where the soul is most nourished and wherever it is that you feel you can be better person and that for me is right here. Uganda is home and will always be home mainly because my heart wanted to be here. In a nutshell I can say my heart led me back home.
SheSpell: What was the transition like?
CM: By the time I decided to head home, I had realized that to be successful and valuable as a human being, one does not have to live in a certain locality or have fancy tittles. Coming back home gave me the opportunities to try something dramatically different, to essentially reinvent myself over and over again. I believe I am still in transition, I like where I am right now and I am excited by what I can see in the future.
SheSpell: What challenges have you faced as a woman in a male dominated field?
CM: I can’t say the challenges I have faced have anything to do with the fact that I am a woman. I think whatever challenges I faced are the same as any other person starting out would face. It’s all about what you can offer and how quickly and effectively you can get a job done. I don’t think people will refuse to work with you or cooperate with you because you are a woman, no people will look elsewhere if they are getting better services.
SheSpell: What is exciting about this new life?
CM: First of all the freedom of doing what I love is inspirational. Nothing gives me more joy than coming up with solutions with my team at WAZO Design Lab, Peter Wanyama and Tony Ojok that solve local problems with design as a tool. We primarily do architectural, interior, graphics design work and Master planning but also have ongoing projects that aim to solve large scale issues that are out of the typical architectural realm. Find more info at (www.wazodl.com).
Secondly, the unpredictable nature of my full time job keeps me alive. I grew up with a passion for design and went on to pursue and train for a career in the design profession, but venturing into the hire, sell and maintenance of heavy equipment has been an exciting, unpredictable journey. I like learning new things and the nature of this industry means in a way that I shall be learning for a very long time. I am not a mechanical engineer which means that I have to double my effort and do intensive research on different machines to be able to give our clients the best. All a client needs is value for money so it’s our job to deliver that.
SheSpell: How does it feel working closely with your father?
CM: There is a constant battle between appreciating the closeness when it comes to making quick business decisions and the need to set yourself apart and venture out to do things entirely on your own. I also have to constantly take a step back and ask myself if what I am doing is what he wants or what I want which in a way is good because it puts a lot more emphasis on the need for me to follow my own dreams as opposed to someone else’s dream, even though we both share a dream. The beautiful part is having someone to fight with for something that I feel every family needs; the creation of a legacy.
SheSpell: Enough shoptalk. Tell us about your family.
CM: I come from a large family even by African standards and I love it. It’s very unpredictable, loud, and the immense attention seeking from individual family members can get overwhelming but the best part is it never ever gets boring. I honestly think our family is blessed with only exceptional characters. Everyone seems to be uniquely different and it does feel like an exciting TV show a lot of times. The best part is that the variety in characters teaches you so much about people in general so when you are out there in the world, it is easy to fit in absolutely anywhere. Much as I occasionally crave some alone/ private time, I would not trade what I have for absolutely anything. If anything, it feels really strange to be alone for prolonged periods of time. It teaches you how to see and value the beauty in sharing.
SheSpell: What lesson from your childhood has served you well in life?
CM: As a child, my father often asked me who my best friend was. I usually said the name of my current “bestie” at school but the questioning remained persistent. When I was a bit older, I wondered why he always asked the same question and I started to say he was my best friend because I thought that was the answer he was looking for. Probably realizing that I would never get it right, he told me the answer he had been waiting for all my life was “my conscience”. It made so much sense because the right answers to everything lie within and not from someone or something else on the outside. As long as you listen to your conscience, to a spirit guided soul, things move a lot smoother in life. Keeping it real, being brutally honest got me out of a lot of trouble in school and has worked really well for me in life and so, I live by it every single moment of my life. Life is really uncomplicated when you try to leave aside from all the millions of pressures that the world throws your way. Always be true to yourself, first and foremost before anything else.
SheSpell: What is your day like?
CM: I will not lie and say I have an organized daily pattern. My days and weeks are unpredictable due to the nature of my profession. Running the design lab means I might have series of long back to back days coupled with all-nighters and maybe three hour sleep intervals in between the days. The other being in the heavy machinery industry means I might be making visits to meet clients, most of who are out of the city. I plan each day differently but the first thing I do when I wake up, each and every day, no matter where I am is blast my favorite music and dance to it: Yes I wake up dancing every day because I literally need to wake up rejoicing, remembering how blessed and happy I am to be alive before thanking my God for another beautiful day with a truly grateful heart.
SheSpell: If you weren’t doing what you are doing today what would you be?
CM: An actress for sure. Or a chef. Possibly a writer or a teacher (I actually did teach 3rd graders for a while). I am a creative person by nature and I am passionate about the creative arts in general, my only problem is I have a passion for all the arts; theater, music, literature and visual arts. I never could decide exactly where I could venture out to be the greatest.
Book: The Holy Bible, because it speaks nothing but truth and reminds me to keep it real, first and foremost with my God.
Music: Ugandan music, reggae, dancehall, Afro pop, jazz to neo soul. Kendrick Lamar and ASAP Rocky because they deliver beats and poetry in one art form; it works for me.
Movie: Amelie, [French movie]; because the main character reminds me a lot of myself: I usually feel like the film maker sneaked into my head while I slept and made it about me. I also love almost everything by Richard Linklater and Wes Anderson. Given my design background and understanding of the amount of work and technology that goes into the creation process, I am a sucker for animation and CG.
Top on my bucket list
- To do a perfect pushup.
- To be a mother and raise exceptional leaders
- To fly, so some skydiving.