Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Unaids April 24, 2022

from Desert Island Discs· ·

Winnie Byanyima is a human rights advocate and executive director of Unaids, the joint UN Programme which was set up to eradicate Aids as a threat to public health by 2030. Winnie was born in the village of Ruti, in south west Uganda, where her teacher parents raised her and her siblings to follow their example of doing good things for others. From an early age Winnie adopted the family motto of ‘truth and justice’. Winnie fled the country in 1978, during the regime of President Idi Amin, and came to the UK as a refugee. She won a scholarship …



Winnie Byanyima is a human rights advocate and executive director of Unaids, the joint UN Programme which was set up to eradicate Aids as a threat to public health by 2030. Winnie was born in the village of Ruti, in south west Uganda, where her teacher parents raised her and her siblings to follow their example of doing good things for others. From an early age Winnie adopted the family motto of ‘truth and justice’. Winnie fled the country in 1978, during the regime of President Idi Amin, and came to the UK as a refugee. She won a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering at Manchester University, graduating in 1981. She returned home where she found a job as an engineer for Ugandan Airlines while secretly working for Yoweri Museveni’s resistance movement that opposed Amin’s successor, Milton Obote. In 1994 Winnie was elected as an MP in the Ugandan Parliament and was instrumental in drawing up a new constitution for the country. In 2013 she was appointed executive director of Oxfam International and became executive director of Unaids in 2019. She currently lives in Geneva. DISC ONE: Sanyu Lyange by Juliana Kanyomozi DISC TWO: Cantata No. 147: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by New London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, with the Norman Luboff Choir DISC THREE: Le Bûcheron by Franklin Boukaka DISC FOUR: Heart of Glass by Blondie DISC FIVE: Umqombothi by Yvonne Chaka Chaka DISC SIX: Steal Away (Remastered) by Nat King Cole DISC SEVEN: Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin DISC EIGHT: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free by Nina Simone BOOK CHOICE: The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir LUXURY ITEM: A basket weaving needle CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free by Nina Simone Presenter: Lauren Laverne Producer: Paula McGinley