International Networking Week®: “A World of Thanks” story submitted by Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka, National Director – BNI Uganda
In May 2005, we launched the first BNI Chapter in Uganda. It was an exciting event and I looked to the future with great expectation. Three weeks later, I had my son, and shortly after his birth, I was diagnosed with vertigo. Vertigo is a deliberating disease that incapacitates you and my doctors could not understand the cause or tell me how long I would be incapacitated. I could not walk; I could not carry my baby and I could not lead the young BNI team.
After my diagnosis, I received a visit from my business partners, Bijay Shah and Muraguri Elizaphan, and the president of the chapter, Tracey Ntabazi. I could read the shock on their faces as they saw my condition. At that time I was a Launch DC and I had one thought “that my journey with BNI Uganda had to come to an end”. During the visit, I mentioned I did not know how long my condition would be persist. Bijay, Muraguri, and Tracey left me with one clear message; until I was back on my feet, they had my back.
Today, I am the co-national director of BNI Uganda. The words shared with me in that season have stood the test of time and been proved over and over again. From that season, I embraced BNI Giver’s gain philosophy because I had seen it lived out. Today, BNI Uganda’s Kampala Region has some of the highest retention rates in the world, because we have a culture of watching out for each other and can confidently say to each other, “I have your back”.
Diana owes “Ulimwengu wa Shukrani” to members and leaders from across the world for walking with her and truly having her back:
- Francios: ED from France: during my first global convention you shared your lessons from your ED experience and I believed I too could make a difference;
- Runjhun Gupta: for the words of wisdom and courage you have shared in the past and continue to share;
- Avryl Au: for initiating that conversation in which you expressed your interest in African Art and ultimately flying over 11 hours to share your 20 years BNI experience with my BNI family;
- Graham Southwell: for the conversation, we had over lunch when I attended my first Executive Council meeting;
- Murali Srinivasan: thank you for the morning walks in Dubai and Warsaw and the wisdom you continue to share;
- Claire Sherman: for answering all my questions graciously;
- YP Lai: for the lessons you continue to share and doors your opportunities avail;
- Kenny Olunbanjo and the team from Nigeria: for the celebrations and navigating this BNI journey together;
- Mike and Beth Levin: you have shared of your resources and are ever ready to help;
- Sandra Hart: for creating the platform from which so many told their stories and inspired me;
- BNI Uganda family: you have watched out for each other and created opportunities for each other in all seasons;
- Bijay, Anuradha, and Muraguri: for starting me off on a journey that has made it possible for us to make a difference together;
- Mac Srinivasan: for your story to keep our years on the light and not waver; and lastly
- Ivan Misner: a world of thanks, for without your courage we would not be.
Diana Ninsiima Kibuuka | BNI Uganda National Director