Ugandan women seek self defence in sport


Getting ready for another fight in Kampala. This one inside the ring. For Uganda's women who live in the city's slums, every day is a battle that must be won. Crime is rife, attacks common -- learning to defend yourself is essential if you want to survive.

SOUNDBITE 1: Hellen Turyanabo, Boxer (Luganda, sec):

"One day a man on the street stopped me and abused me. Then we started fighting, then he beat me very badly. So the next day I started to look for a gym, I wanted to be able to protect myself."

That was seven years ago. Since then, boxing has become a way of life for Hellen and her younger sister Diana. Hellen's last bout saw her beat a professional fighter, and Diana hopes to fight next year. The sisters train here every day -- calling it a gym would be a step too far -- this is just an empty lot in the slums where they can escape their problems.

Female boxers can earn between 25 and 50 US dollars a fight -- a huge sum in a country where most people survive on less than 3 dollars a day. But matches are hard to arrange here as rival gyms control when the bouts take place. Diana dreams of being a midwife, but can't afford the school fees, and Hellen has a baby to support. Both know if they continue to box, their dreams could come true. Their coach certainly thinks so.

SOUNDBITE 2 Innocent Kigara (man), Diana and Hellen's coach (Luganda, sec):

"I think boxing will take those girls somewhere, I hope they will became both champions. Like the champions we have in Uganda like Ayub Kalule , uganda has talents and both of my girls are very talented."

More and more women are taking up boxing in Uganda, and even if they don't make much money from it, they will at least have learnt some self defence skills, essential for those living in the poorest neighbourhoods of Kampala.



- VAR Diana Turyanabo wrapping up her hands

- WS women boxers

- CU feet

- WS Hellen Turyanabo

- WS Hellen and Diana training

- SOUNDBITE 1: Hellen Turyanabo

- MS Hellen and Diana fighting

- WS Hellen and Diana

- CU Feet MS Hellen and Diana training with their coach

- WS boxing area

- MS man clearing area

- VAR of Diana and Hellen running

- WS women in gym

- MS women jumping

- WS Hellen and Diana fighting

- WS Innocent Kigara with Hellen and Diana

- SOUNDBITE 2: Innocent Kigara

- VAR of Diana and Hellen walking through Kataunde

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