FitcliqueAfrica is a Ugandan social enterprise that aims to create a Feminist Africa using safe spaces in which the mental health, wellbeing and physical safety of women and minorities is prioritized. Our work revolves around deconstructing oppressive power systems and sharing holistic tools of healing, self-defence skills and personal empowerment with under-served communities in Uganda.
Our work takes the form of:
- Feminist Utopia Trauma Healing Art Installation
- Personal Safety Camps (Physical and emotional self defense)
- FitcliqueAfrica Healing Hubs (Safe and feminist fitness and wellness spaces
- Powerful and fashion forward merchandise with feminist messaging
- Corporate wellness services
- Intersectional Movement Building and Trauma Healing
FitcliqueAfrica was started as Fitclique256 after Uganda’s 2013 Anti-Pornography Bill caused harassment, undressing and violation of dozens of women on the streets of Kampala. We felt a deep need to create spaces and ideate programming that centred the safety and wellness of Africa’s women and sexual minorities.
Our first manifestation, the first women-only gym in Uganda, opened its doors in March 2014. As a feminist fitness space, we created a safe and welcoming environment where women could take advantage of all kinds of physical exercises without harassment. Strength training and weightlifting were our most popular classes!
In 2015, we closed our gym spaces to host our first series of personal safety camps around Uganda.
At Bayimba International Festival of the Arts in 2016, we successfully piloted our home-grown personal safety curriculum, which was delivered within an artistic installation called Feminist Utopia.
Feminist Utopia has now grown into the main vehicle for our organising. We curate our utopia as an oasis from the realities and consequences of living in a violent and patriarchal world by building an oppression-free city based on Black Feminist principles. All our installation art is either sourced from or co-created with members of each demographic that we are working with.
Personal safety camp activities include:
- Guided Engagement of Feminist Utopia Installation
- Afrikan Yoga & Meditation
- Physical Self-Defense Session
- Emotional Self-Defense Session
- Stress release and collective visioning through artistic expression
- Peer therapy and engaging group discussions
- Feminist dance party at the end!
Each camp is designed to holistically engage up to 75 participants for up to 8 hours within the framework of our Feminist Utopia installation and FitcliqueAfrica’s personal safety curriculum. To-date, we have hosted over 65 trauma healing and personal safety camps around Uganda and East Africa for demographics such as: sex workers, differently-abled women, corporate workers, female vendors, adolescents (girls and boys), university women and LBQT people.
Mandela Washington Fellowship:
Mildred Apenyo represented us in 2014 at the Mandela Washington Fellowship where 500 change-makers from Africa were selected from a pool of 80,000 applications. In November 2014 we launched as FitcliqueAfrica to represent the ways our vision had expanded to include all of Africa’s women.