Akugizibwe took the architecture gamble, it has paid out

 Growing up as a young child but also at school, nothing like being architecture crossed Bridget Akugizibwe Abwooli’s mind.

“In fact when I joined secondary school, I so much wanted to be a teacher but in my senior three, my love for lawyers grew. I wanted to become one but a year later, this changed,”Akugizibwe says.

Identifying herself as the drafts lady, Akugizibwe says it never at anyone day cross her mind that she would ever do architecture and neither did she at any school do technical drawing.

She says that having passed sciences well at O-level, she was determined to pursue sciences and to this end, she did Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as well as Computer, but again, this never at one time pointed to her becoming an architecture.

Fate takes course

 However, things changed when she joined university at the Uganda Technical College Kyema in Masindi Municipality where fate took its course.

She says architecture was not in her mind when she went to apply for course at diploma level, noting that there was civil engineering, mechanical engineering, ICT and architecture but that as fate would have it, she chose the latter.

“Out of the blue, I just loved the course. I just went for it having realized that it was easy for me to employ myself unlike others course. I realized that with architecture, when one gets the skills, they don’t have to wait for anyone to employ them. I went for that,”Akugizibwe says.

She says that completing studies where she attained a national diploma in architecture from the Uganda Technical College Kyema in 2017, she joined a company as their architecture designer where she gained hands on skills on the job.

“Since I am a fast learner, I gave it my all to make sure I produce the best. What we learn in class is different from what happens in the field. When you go to the field things are different.  I was doing the designing works for the company and I was able to get a lot of skills.”

Akugizibwe says she learnt a lot of skills that enabled her to employ herself.

“From that start, architecture is what brings me food on the table and has made me what I am today. Because of this, I decided to further my studies. I did a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Ndejje University.”

The drafts lady insists that having taken the gamble to choose architecture among the many courses at technical school, it has paid out and insists she is in love with it.

“I love calculating numbers and using my brain. As an architectural designer, you brain has to function very quickly and every time and it is what I love doing. Because of this, I have worked on many projects as an architectural engineer. I always feel good whenever I pass by a big structure whose design I made,”Akugizibwe says.


Just like any job, the drafts lady says he jobs has not been without challenges.

“As a female architect, many times people think you can’t do projects. One time I worked on a storied structure and while handing over blue prints to the client, he was so surprised that a lady could do such a work. This happens on several occasions. People think such kind of works is only done by males which is wrong,” Akugizibwe says.

She says such challenges have seen some of her female colleagues miss out on being given projects because owners think they can’t handle them.

“That must change because there is nothing like a female or male job or course at university. Whereas many times females love business courses, there are those like me who love those that involve the brain like architecture.”

 Big dreams

Akugizibwe has big dreams that she is optimistic will be realized in her architectural and civil engineering professions.

“In the next five years, I really see myself venturing into many things not necessarily architecture. Having done a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, I see myself having a functioning construction company and other business ventures to impact my life and society.”

“I am blessed and I hope for more. I feel there is a bright light not only at the end of the tunnel but also on the way as long as I put God first.”

The drafts lady also has some piece of advice to fellow female youths who want to be successful in life.

 “At school, take up science course. A female who has done sciences will never fail to get a job. My younger sister did diploma in electrical engineering and when she went for interviews in one of the companies, she was the only female applicant. Just being the female applicant and with qualifications, she was hired there and then.”

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