Fish vendor becomes youngest Member of Parliament in Uganda

Hellen Auma Wandera has made history as the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) in Uganda.

The 23-year-old fish vendor was elected into the 11th Parliament as the MP representing Busia District in Uganda.

She took her oath of office on May 18, 2021 amid fanfare after her shocking win over the influential opposition candidate, Sharon Nabwire.

Wandera was born on December 12, 1997. The student-entrepreneur, who sold fish on campus to her friends, won the parliament seat under the governing NRM party in Busia District, eastern Uganda.

Before joining politics, the politician was a fish vendor in Banda market, a job she did while at Kyambogo University to be able to cater for her accommodation and other school requirements.

She enrolled at Kyambogo University in 2016, where she graduated with a Bachelors’ Degree in Arts and Social Science in 2019.

The Busia native saw the struggle her parents went through monthly to put food on the table and take care of their needs, thus, she decided to plow people’s gardens to earn extra cash to help pay her school fees.

Same year she abandoned her fish vending job and went back to Busia where she immediately began her campaigns.

Speaking during an interview with Daily Monitor, youthful Wandera attributed her decision to join politics to a divine dream she has been experiencing during her education career.

Though it was not an easy journey, the 23-year-old believed in herself and started door to door campaigns with the help of boda-boda riders and she was able to trounce the primaries to earn the support of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

“After I was declared winner, Sharon Nabwire (her closest competitor) said it was a mistake and demanded a recount which I still won,” Hellen said.

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