Mrs. Joyce R. Mpanga, a proud Gayaza Girl, fighter for women’s rights and a woman of many firsts: She is one of the first women to be nominated to the Uganda National Assembly in 1960; First African woman lecturer in the faculty of education at Makerere University; First female graduate with a master’s degree; First minister of Women’s Affairs in Uganda; and First female Minister for Primary Education in Uganda, and Gayaza High School’s first African Deputy Headmistress.
She was admitted to Gayaza High School in 1946, where she spent six years, leaving in 1952. She returned to Gayaza in 1962 as the first African Deputy Headmistress. She has served as Deputy Chairperson of the school’s Board of Governors and was Chairperson for Gayaza’s Centenary (100 years anniversary) celebrations. Under her leadership, Gayaza High School added a swimming pool to her physical facilities.
Mrs. Mpanga is the author of a biography titled, “It’s a Pity She’s Not a Boy!” She writes about how her maternal grandfather, although fond of her, was disappointed that she wasn’t a boy; that it was a pity such a talented child had turned out to be a girl! It is a story about her fight for girls and women’s voice and place in society, in which she proves that one’s gender should never dictate how much they can achieve in life.
Launching the book on 4th December 2019, the Nabagereka (Queen) of Buganda, Sylvia Nagginda Luswata, hailed Mrs. Mpanga as a “pioneer of women’s emancipation and a true champion of equity and equality.”