Born in Entebbe, Uganda |
The 1980s saw many Ugandans, like Rita’s parents leave to neighbouring Kenya, due a failing economy and to pursue better opportunities for education and employment. After five years, and mounting pressure from the local government to push Ugandan’s to leave, Rita’s parents took the family to Regina, Saskatchewan.
“Living in Saskatchewan, at a time where there were few minorities, I always felt like I did not quite belong. I was somehow caught in between two worlds, which I did not quite fit in.”
Throughout her high school and University years she would visit Toronto, and upon graduating from University of Regina, she came to ‘visit’ with no return ticket and has lived here since.
”Toronto’s diversity and energy allowed me to feel at home.”
Toronto is where she ‘really’ grew up, finding out whom exactly she is, starting her career, experiencing love, and forming important friendships. She says this diversity of experience and opportunities has made her a more well-rounded person.
Toronto as Home
Rita is a competitive boxer, so she spends a lot of time training. Boxing was initially a workout to get in shape, but after challenging herself to step in the ring, she did, losing her first fight. In order to redeem herself, Rita had her second match, which led to 35 more, the majority wins, and a 2008 Golden Gloves Gold medal. Rita wanted to be photographed at the facility where she currently trains, called The Boxing Loft downtown on Adelaide Street West. Ultimately it is in the boxing ring where Rita feels at home in the city.
Connection with the Past
This mat was a present from Rita’s Grandmother on a visit to Uganda. She explains how her grandmother was congratulating her for graduating University, as education is highly valued there. She says this mat, which can be used for eating or storing things on, connects her to Uganda, as it is from family, and many of her relatives are still in Uganda.