“Don’t be shy, feel comfortable,” Hashima Batamuriza advised her daughter Husna Kukundakwe who looked restless sitting in a boardroom full of Journalists.
There seated, staring at everyone who flocked the already packed room to witness her flag off event ahead of a Swimming championship in Singapore.
Born by Batamuriza and husband Ahmed Asiimwe, Husna’s parents did not expect her, born with a stump in place of a right hand and and a left with three short fingers, to survive her first few days in the world let alone flourishing in the pool. Her achievements under water defies belief.
Husna fell in love with swimming at a young age and she has confessed to have loved playing in water before realising that swimming was a sport. She is competing with able bodied swimmers because there are no Para swimmers in the country. Her dream, beside becoming a professional doctor, is to participate in the coming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
She is a beautiful and cool young girl but flips the switch to a beast the moment she dives in the pool, everyone who has seen her in the costume can confess. Husna us now affiliated to Dolphins swimming club and her rise came when she was one of the best performers at the DSTV swimming gala challenge in 2017 at Greenhill Academy.
She took part in Africa Swimming championship in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018. She also participated in a global event in South Korea in 2018 where she scooped a gold medal.
Husna is set to undergo an official classification in Singapore and she will also take part in an event in London later this year in September, on of the phases before reaching the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Am very proud to be representing Uganda, and hope to raise the country’s flag,” briefly commented a shy Husna.
The 12 year old is set to walk in the footsteps of David Emong who flourished in Rio Olympics, to win Uganda’s first Paralympic medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, gaining a silver medal in the Men’s 1500 metres T46.
She started swimming when she was five, at Lina nursery school then joined Sir Apollo Kaggwa in P7.
“She is Para swimmer, she competes with able bodied athlete. She has embraced the challenge and that is what spur her off,” said Makhtoum Muziransa, a Daily Monitor Journalist who has seen Husna rise who added that she can swim under most disciplines including Backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, individual medley and butterfly.
Her mother commended everyone who has had a contribution towards Husna’s travels, including Uganda Bureau of standards, Centenary bank, Stanbic Bank, national Drug Authority, DOLPHINS club, NCS and Para Olympics Committee Uganda.
In his remarks, Uganda Para Olympics Chairman Hajji Bumali Mpindi called on for more government support while NCS’ head of Corporate affairs Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo retaliated that they are doing everything in their means as Council to ensure that everyone is given a chance to represent the country before wishing Husna the best of luck in Singapore.