After her graduation, Kasemire shelved her dream, ate humble pie and took on the next available job as a news anchor with Kampala FM, a local radio that focuses on Christian programming.
In a country with a national airline that has been grounded for the lifetime of 30 per cent of its population, dreaming about working in the aviation industry has far-fetched fantasy. But not for Ronnie Kasemire.
The mother of two insists that since she was a child, her passion for the aviation industry burnt bright. She always had a firm belief that she would somehow end up working in the aviation industry.
“Growing up, my dream was to become a pilot. During my advanced level education at Iganga Secondary School [in eastern Uganda], I pursued physics, economics and mathematics knowing that those subjects would eventually enable me pursue a pilot’s course at university,” she says.
Although she excelled at her advanced level examinations, Kasemiire’s parents could not afford tuition for a pilot’s course. And so her dream seemed to have fallen by the wayside as she made a detour to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Makerere University.
DREAM COMES TRUE
After graduation, Kasemire shelved her dream, ate humble pie and took on the next available job as a news anchor with Kampala FM, a local radio that focuses on Christian programming. Three months into her new job in 2007, Kasemire got a second bite at the cherry when she learnt that a new airline, Air Uganda, was due to start operations and had embarked on recruitment of flight attendants. She applied for the job and her enthusiasm for the industry saw her through the interview.
Although her ultimate dream was not to be a flight attendant, Kasemire saw the bright side of things.
“I felt this was more than enough since it was close to my longtime childhood dream of becoming a pilot. Here I was working with an airline as a flight attendant,” she says.
The airline took Kasemire through a rigorous training regime, including administration of first aid and emergency drills like firefighting and passenger evacuation. Air Uganda shut down its operations in 2014.
LEARNING TO JUGGLE
Kasemire says that her six years service as a flight attendant were fun-filled since she was doing something close to what she had dreamt since childhood. The job taught her to adopt many qualities that she is proud of.
“Being a flight attendant requires one to be accommodating and understanding. It requires humility, hard work and being able to adapt easily to the demands of the job,” she says. Asked if she faced any major challenges during her dream job, Kasemire says she lost touch with many of her close family members, including her mother, as well as relatives and friends.
“There was a time I spent almost three years without seeing my mother, but the good thing was that we occasionally talked on phone, something I believe kept the spark between the two of us,” she says.
Kasemire will soon start a new life as a flight attendant for the revamped Uganda Airlines. However, she says she has since learnt to find, better work-life balance. Besides, she beams, she found a life partner who understands her and appreciates the challenges that come with the job she loves. This, she says, helps strike a good balance.
“I make sure that when its family time, its family time and when its work, its work,” she says. “I think that works for me.”