Friday, November 4, 2022

Q&A with Desange Kuenihira



Desange Kuenihira is the author of the new book UnDEfeated Woman. She is also the CEO and founder of the nonprofit organization UnDEfeated, which works with youth and women in Uganda.  


Q: What inspired you to write UnDEfeated Woman?


A: I believe everyone has a story to tell, so I want to share my stories with the world. Many people can relate to my story of being a meaningless girl. Finding myself was not easy, but I believed in myself and pushed myself to see the beautiful woman within me.


As a little girl, my voice was taken away from me. When I found it again, I wanted to share it with the world and those who are struggling to find themselves. I hope reading this book helps them to keep pushing and find their voices as well.


Sometimes all it takes is for us to listen to ourselves and stop caring about what other people think of us. Each individual has their own opinions of you. If you care about all of these opinions, you will go crazy. Focus on you and your dreams. Focus on knowing you, so people’s words or thoughts do not have power over you.


As a teenager, I struggled to find myself. I always fought and argued with myself. Society made it hard with all these beliefs or theories they intended to put on women. All I knew was that if I was going to find myself, I had to break away from this.


I am not saying this is easy. I am telling you that you will have to listen to yourself and take a deep look at how you want to live your life and what kind of person you want to become. You have to break all those barriers for yourself, and give hope to others to break away from what is making them suffer.


It is a lot of work; you must be honest on this journey. If you lie to yourself, then there is no point. You are not making any change. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. You have to face the person within you. I believe that when you are vulnerable with someone, you truly love these people. When you start being vulnerable, that means you love yourself and can allow yourself to be a human being.

Q: UnDEfeated is also the name of your nonprofit organization. How did you create it, and what have you been able to accomplish so far?


A: UnDEfeated came from looking into my past and seeing how life has played out for me. My past has shown me I can overcome anything and that I am unDEfeated. I believe it does not matter what you are going through, you have the power to overcome any challenge. Right now, we are working with nine students and four women!  


Q: What impact did writing this memoir have on you?


A: When I started writing, I thought I was just writing a book, but UnDEfeated Woman is not just a book to me, but my therapist as well! It helped me to overcome my trauma and made me realize how blessed I have been. I’m so grateful for all the people God has put in my way to help and guide me.


As I wrote this book, at the end of the process, I realized that I am unDEfeated, and everything that has come my way I have been able to overcome! I did not see my situation as a problem, but as a challenge pushing me to become a better person and towards finding my purpose.


I hope as you read UnDEfeated Woman, you find the courage within you to keep on pushing in life. I hope it helps you find your purpose and that life that you never thought you would live, because I am a living testimony of that.


Q: Can you say more about what you hope readers take away from the book?


A: My hope for writing this book is that everyone sees that no matter what you go through, you will overcome it if you refuse to give up. There are many ways to think about achieving your goals, but it does not matter what road you take home as long as you get home. You must keep hoping, believing, and having faith even when it does not make sense.


I hope this book helps someone find their path and themselves and inspires them to keep fighting, so they have the life they have always dreamed of.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Right now, I am working on my nonprofit organization, trying to find funds to be able to help these women and youth in Uganda!


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: We are open to collaborating with businesses or individuals looking to work with a nonprofit organization.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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