This female boxer in Uganda is inspiring young women to fight for themselves

As a professional boxer, she has been throwing jabs and uppercuts for the past 15 years. In the 2019 African Games, Baleke won a bronze medal, becoming the first Ugandan woman to bring home a boxing medal in 18 years.
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Growing up, her uncles taught her how to fight to defend herself, and now she’s inspiring other young women to do the same.

“I admired her since childhood, and I want to become like her. I want to become a senior boxer in Uganda,” says Christine, one of the women Baleke trains.

Self-defense isn’t the only life skill Baleke is teaching to young women in Katanga. She owns a tailoring business where she hires young girls, teaching them how to sew. “If you [are] on the sewing machine making something, you can make money,” she says. “You cannot box for your entire life.”

While the Covid-19 pandemic has put both boxing and sewing on hold, Baleke hopes to get her girls back into training soon. Her ultimate dream is to begin a fashion company and start her own gym.

Watch the video at the top of this page to learn more about the ways Baleke is inspiring young women in her community.

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