Karungi Mariam Michelle, a public speaking tutor, youth and children’s counselor and student at Makerere University has encouraged the youth not to give into people’s negative sentiments.
Also known as Karungi The Beautiful Lady, the counselor revealed how she struggled with self love, a battle that started during her high school when she got a chronic leg condition that often caused one of her limbs to swell, accompanied by sharp pain and discomfort.
As a student in that condition, she was often subjected to bullying and intimidation; and was continuously in and out of hospital both in Uganda and Kenya as doctors constantly failed to pinpoint the exact cause of discomfort in her limb.
“At school, they would call me names like the other girl with a big leg and it would make me so uncomfortable. Sometimes I would cry and not eat, it was really a tough situation. In my senior three, the negativity was really eating me up so I started using drugs to feel loved. I became a stage dancer performing with a prominent female artist. I would take the cocaine to help me sleep,” she narrated.
Given her condition, Karungi says she had lost all hope of living a normal life again. Her grandmother who was residing in the village tried all medicinal herbs but in vain. Distraught, Karungi tried to take her life twice. However, she is thankful for being alive and able to tell her story to help others.
“What I can tell people out there is that you shouldn't let people’s opinions get to you. It doesn't matter what you are going through, it is well,” she advised.
After her senior four, Karungi began motivating herself, recognizing that she had to be a role model to her younger brothers given she was the eldest. A year later, she decided to change her life completely and turned from taking drugs to being a public speaking mentor and creating a positive impact on others.
The tutor also attributes her lifestyle change to her mother’s prayers and her Christian ways. Over the years, she has attended various counseling sessions with different counselors and specially thanked Dorah Mwima for motivating her.
Karungi now runs an online business on Instagram and Facebook called Mitchiana Collections. She is currently pursuing a Diploma in Public Administration and Management at Makerere University. Her dream however is to become a lawyer and empower those battling incurable disorders or disease.
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