“You are most welcome. You are most welcome!” Veronica says as she puckers her lips to lets out a long woo-ing noise. She looks around with arms wide open as she personally greets all in the room with a huge smile and genuine laugh. This sounds like a welcoming gesture of a hostess, but for Veronica, it is a typical one used for every place and every occasion. One can hear this signature greeting throughout Namatala as Veronica doesn’t limit it just to her home; instead, she always greeting others it in order to make all those around feel comfortable.

This personality feature has been a part of Veronica’s make up since she was a child. Growing up in the heart of Namatala with both parents and nine siblings, Veronica constantly used thoughtful gestures to show loved ones her deep feelings. “When I was young, I always wanted to make my mother happy. I would buy her presents like a gomesi (traditional dress with tall shoulder details) to make her happy,” she explains.

Now, years later and still in Namatala, Veronica continues to exercise this thoughtfulness with her three children and three nephews who live with her.

Not only is she an actively involved mother, but she’s a large participant in the local economy. Veronica has been able to use a microgrant from 1000 Shillings to start several businesses. A regular renaissance woman, Veronica has been a part of numerous business ventures in the past and has ideas for new market opportunities for the future. With crops thriving on her land, a rich history in the local brew business, and an upcoming landlord position over a quickly rising brick building, Veronica proves time and time again that she knows what it takes to build a thriving business in Namatala.

With a smart mind, determined spirit, and caring personality, Veronica enjoys using her strong work ethic with 1000 Shillings, especially on a product that holds so much personal meaning to her. “My favorite memories are from Christmas, when all of my family would return home. We would decorate the home and tree and eat food that was only served on special occasions. I was always happiest at those times.” Veronica says.

This special connection to the Christmas ornament product gives her additional motivation to work for the betterment of her family. “With the money I earn, my children will be able to get a good education and support families of their own.” Veronica says as she lets out her signature woo in happiness and hope for a promising future.

- Article by Jessica Ewing, 2013 Journalism Fellow


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