#8WOMEN: Meet Jinja S.S.S’ Diana Nyago, the woman with big balls

For a school whose motto is “The Mighty School”, you’d ordinarily think it best to have it in the capable hands of an authoritative male administrator. Well, the current school head is a female administrator who, according to old student tales, has done much more than her male predecessors.

Diana Hope Nyago took the mantle to head the now 70-year old educational institution in 2008. Up until 2008, strikes persisted at this school but the incoming head teacher, Diana Nyago was able to create channels of listening to students as a measure of deterring situations of violence that were partly rooted in poor communication between the students and school administration.

Strikes then were so rampant and defined the very existence of Jinja Senior Secondary School. Some parents actually ruled out the school as a no-go option when choosing schools for their children.

The fights stemmed from the initial foundation of the school built in 1948 as an exclusivity for the then emerging business class of Ugandans of Indian origin. Later in 1962, soon after independence, Government encouraged African students to join the school and this was received with resistance, something that birthed strikes at Jinja S.S.S.

“She has really built the team and we are more than ever proud of our own…”

Under Nyago’s administration, sanity has returned to the school that caters for about 5,000 students. With this return of sanity, so has the academic success and sports might.

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At the time Nyago joined Jinja SSS, the sports side of the school was withering but she pulled it up from rock bottom to where it is now. The passionate football administrator is among the rare female enthusiasts of the beautiful game in the country. Currently, Diana Hope Nyago needs no introduction in Uganda’s soccer circles. She has generously supported soccer causes in the region and last year in 2017, Nyago made a run for the the FUFA Third Vice Presidency against Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi but politics played her out into relinquishing that dream.

Proline FC players pose for a group photo with Jinja SSS’ Diana Nyago in her office with the Copa Coca Cola trophy that Jinja SSS won in 2017 in Masaka.

Jinja SSS FC, under Nyago successfully acquired Kirinya FC and renamed the team Kirinya Jinja SSS FC (long name!!!!!). The team rose through the ranks and is now an Azam Uganda Premier Leagues (AUPL) side. Not only is it in the premier leagues, it is also one of the fastest growing side.

Diana Hope Nyago (L) hands over a club jersey and ball to Jimmy Ayeikho (C) at his unveiling as Kirinya Jinja SSS FC Coach. Club CEO Ahmed Kongola (R) looks on

“With the club now having a CEO, they have been able to setup professional structures that you cannot dismiss their fast rise in Ugandan soccer. She has really built the team and we are more than ever proud of our own,” mentioned a sports pundit on one of the radio stations in Jinja.

For restoring sanity to the expansively populated and once rowdy Jinja SSS, for restoring faith in the institution and for raising it up in sports circles, for making Jinja proud, Diana Hope Nyago deserves the recognition as a super woman.

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