On March 15, 2015, Jerry Sesanga launched his new novel, African Girl, to significant fanfare at the Uganda National Theatre in Kampala. He is now 22 years old, and this work was only one of six books of prose and poetry which Jerry has authored.
Jerry grew up in Kawempe, a Kampala slum, and was raised along with two sisters by his mother. His father died when Jerry was only an infant. Jerry’s mother was a nursery school teacher, and it was she who nurtured within him a love of literature, bringing home children’s books for him to read.
Jerry considers his sponsorship through Plan International as one of the turning points of his life, and stands as a clear model of the power of our sponsorship programme. He credits his success largely to the strong connection with his sponsor. Through authoring different books, Jerry has inspired other Ugandan children to be focused and achieve their dreams.
‘Without Plan International Uganda, I would not have been educated or even connected to a sponsor, and would not be able to do what I am doing now.’
Jerry continues to work with Plan International Uganda as a member of its new Sponsored Child Alumni Association. One of only two such groups in Eastern and Southern Africa, the association provides opportunities for alumni of Plan International Uganda’s Sponsored child programme to meet and network, provide mentorship to current sponsored children, monitor Plan’s activities and act as ambassadors for the organisation’s work.
African Girl, Jerry’s new novel, is a tale of an empowered Ugandan girl named Destiny, who overcomes tremendous adversity to become a successful, international singer. Jerry sees the book as emblematic of the Because I am a Girl Campaign.