For almost four decades, this name is being pronounced and well known across the country and abroad in connection with; a Journalist, an Academician, Politician, Lawyer and human right activist.
Now, over six years after his tragic death while serving as a member of Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), the late Dr Edmund Adrian Sengondo Mvungi’s daughter Dr NATUJWA is there, bravely spearheading her dad’s legacy.
“As a daughter of a brave and committed leader, I also believe to be good, independent and confident enough to go for it on my own! After all, that’s what my late father would have wanted me to do!”
Currently, Dr NATUJWA SENGONDO MVUNGI is a Practising Advocate of the Tanzania Bar Association and a Lecturer at the Law School of Tanzania; “I am coordinating the course of Human Rights and Legal Aid as well as our centre for Legal Aid.”
Natujwa was born the 27th of January 1982 in Dar-es-Salaam to Mama Columba Mvamba (a businesswoman) and Baba Sengondo Mvungi (a University Lecturer at the UDSM). Natujwa recalls her unique childhood at home that; “our house was like a courtroom with my father correctly judging every situation accordingly!
This inspired many of us and it’s the source of our love towards this profession.” Natujwa’s long journey of education began at Makongo Juu Primary School, in Dar-es-Salaam, then moved with parents to Hamburg (Germany), where she continued at Grundschule Kielortalle.
By then, her father was studying for his PhD in Law at the University of Hamburg. My fruitful connection to the Mvungi family began during this period of my long sojourn in Hamburg too. Since then, I simply became “Uncle David” to them!
By the way, Natujwa’s younger sister Nakundwa is currently a Law (PhD) student in Hamburg too, staying in the very same hostel (Sedan Str.), she lived as a kid with her parents three decades ago! Immediately after the family had returned to Tanzania, Natujwa joined Zanaki Girls Secondary School for her O’ level (1995- 1998), proceeding with A’ level at St. Mary’s High (1999 -2001).
As she loves Media just like her father, she immediately joined the Tanzania School of Journalism for a Certificate course in journalism too! Expectedly, Natujwa joined the University of Dar-es-Salaam for her LLB studies and graduated in 2006.
While at the UDSM, Natujwa made use of her Journalism profession by being an Editor at the “Nyerere Law Journal” between 2004 and 2005. Once again, she went back to Hamburg, for her LLM-studies at the University of Hamburg (until the end of 2007).
Immediately after her Masters, Natujwa connected with her PhD studies in ‘Regional Integration,’ (2007- 2010) at the ‘Technische Universities Chemnitz,’ in Germany. “After my graduation and back in Tanzania, the gender issues and stigmatization especially at grass-root level, made me work with Organization like TGNP, to educate women focusing on gender and political participation.”
Dr Natujwa’s main working experience over the past years has been as a College of Law - Lecturer (Dean) at the University of Bagamoyo (2010-2015). “During my tenure, I was able to coordinate The East African Fellowship of Human Rights that was funded by Akiba Uhaki.
The Fellowship brought together East East African Human Rights Activist for more than 2 months at the University of Bagamoyo where they were groomed by different Human Rights specialist.” At the same time working as part-time Lecturer at Tumaini University DSM Campus and RUCO-University –Iringa.
Dr Natujwa Sengondo Mvungi was one of the youngest nominees (from the presidential list) to the Constituent Assembly (CA) and part of the drafting committee (in early 2014), just a few weeks after the tragic death of her father, Dr Sengondo Mvungi.
“Well, I was also capable and professional enough to fulfil all necessary obligation at the Assembly.” Since 2012-2016 Dr Natujwa has been a Council Member of the Tanganyika Law Society. She also served as Vice-President of the Tanganyika Law Society (2016-2017).
Dr Natujwa has been involved in many projects including; (1) Coordinator of the development of a Curriculum for the Professionalization of Paralegals in Tanzania. Funded by Legal Service Facility.
(2) Conducting Human Rights training across Tanzania, Worked with LHRC to give constitutional education on the 1st Draft Constitution across Tanzania.
(3) Worked with Human Rights (on UN-Women sponsored project) in teaching aspirants across Tanzania in 2015, (4) Training with the Legal Sector Reform programme of Zanzibar- UNDP sponsored project etc.
Dr Natujwa has researched, authored and co-authored several publications including; ‘Challenges in the Implementation of the East African Community Common Market Protocol.’ The East African Common Market” a prospect for East African (Kasea News Letter, 2012) etc.
Married to a Human Rights Activist, Kepta Ombati since 2015, the couple is blessed with two children, “once again, our house is like a courtroom with each one of us correctly judging all situation accordingly! We only don’t know whether our children will also join this profession to follow our footsteps too!”
Like father like daughter, smart, charismatic, joyful and competent paves way for many to naturally believe and trust Dr NATUJWA MVUNGI, who is not only an academician and advocate but also a true example and a role model to many people around. Yes, she is absolutely worthy to be illustrated.
David Kyungu is a veteran cartoonist, actor, illustrator, journalist, film, radio & TV director/producer based in Dar-es-Salaam. email@example.com