‘My success is a testimony’- Kagimba

 

martha-kkBY BRIGHT NIWAHA AND ELIZABETH AMONGIN

Videos of a young woman mimicking singers have, for the last three months, been making the rounds on social media sites. The author and protagonist, Martha Kagimba, is a photographer and comedienne who gained popularity in August this year when a video of her testifying about being nearly knocked by her dream car (the Range Rover) was posted on Facebook.

She has since posted videos of her mimicking Irene Ntale and Sheebah Karungi who are both Ugandan musicians. The 21-year-old has completed her Mass Communication degree at Uganda Christian University, talked to The Standard. “I had no idea that the videos would receive attention from various organisations like the Bill Gates Foundation, musicians and comedians like Anne Kansiime.

I shot the (Range Rover) video for my brother, and I did not initially want to post it on social media. But surprisingly, I woke up the following day to be told that the video had many views,” Kagimba said. That and other videos have brought Kagimba so much fame that she is currently an ambassador of the ‘Fly’ campaign under the Bill Gates Foundation.

The campaign is aimed at showing teenagers that one can achieve one’s goals by pursuing one’s talents. “When one of the campaign’s bosses contacted me about being their ambassador, I hesitated because I was scared that I could not manage the task but after a lot of convincing I accepted the deal.”

Early life

Kagimba was born in Nairobi and raised in Nakasero, Kampala. Born to Margaret and Jessy Kagimba, she is the lastborn of four children. She went to Kabojja Junior School, St Mary’s College Namagunga School, and Kabojja International School before joining Uganda Christian University to pursue a degree in Mass Communication.

Passion for photography

On her 18th birthday, Kagimba’s elder sister asked her what she wanted as a birthday present. “I wanted a phone tablet that could take pictures but my sister suggested that I get a professional camera. She bought me a camera and that was the beginning of my work in photography. I also studied in Haiti for my Senior Six and photography was among the extra activities we would do,” she explains.

Kagimba had no plans of taking photography more seriously though, and she did not enjoy her first internship duties at The New Vision as a photographer. “I preferred artistic photography than journalism photography whose pictures are about news events.”

“When I went for internship at the World Vision, I had the opportunity to take pictures for the organisation. This prompted some of my relatives to encourage me to do photography on a professional level. That is how Martha Kay Photography was born,” she said.

“At the World Vision’s public relations department, I took pictures out of love, not as a source of income. People begun asking me if I would cover their ceremonies like, graduation ceremonies, weddings and this is how it started as business,” Kagimba adds.

Pursuing excellence

Kagimba narrates that while in O-level, she was a poor academic performer and this demoralised her. She painfully recalls that she was always among the last people in her class. In her family, she was looked at as a failure. “My brothers and sisters were always performing well. I had the worst grades, some aunties of mine even used to laugh at my mother,” she says.

“One time my mother was called to the headmistress’ office due to my poor academic performance. She asked me, “Do you think I am going to take care of you for the rest of your life?’ I went back to the dormitory and cried. I felt like a failure, and I was depressed.”

She says that during this period of depression and rejection, she turned to God and read many inspirational books, which helped her to deal with the depression. “I used to read the Bible and other inspirational books.

By the time I came back to Uganda to pursue a degree in Mass Communication, I loved God more than anything that I even forfeited the freshers’ ball for overnight prayers,” she said. Kagimba adds that when she joined the university she still had the fear for failure, but prayers and obedience to God kept her focused.

When the first coursework assignment was returned and the lecturer asked who Martha Kagimba was, she got scared. “I thought that I was the last again, but the lecturer insisted and I raised my hand. He then said my work was the best. This changed my perspective about everything,” Kagimba narrates.

“Recently I was told that I attained a first- class degree but I did not believe it until I saw the results. This is a testimony – God is proving something!” she said.

Mentor and role models

“I have mentors in photography and I continue to learn a lot from them. These include Edgar Arinaitwe, the director of Events Guru Photography; and Lovington Kambugu of Blush Media.”

“When I started the photography firm, I knew how to take photos in a professional way because of the lessons I learnt from them,” she said, adding that she looks up to Dr Monica Chibita, the head of the Mass Communication department and Ben Kiruthi, a Kenyan photographer.

“My future plans include opening up a photo studio next year, as well as starting up an events management company,” she concludes.

Was culling monkeys in the university a necessary evil?

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Monkeys play on the fence at one of the residences in the university. (Photos by Doreen Kajeru)

BY DOREEN KAJERU

In email was sent to the Uganda Christian University (UCU) community, informing them that a monkey culling exercise would carried out, last month.

The university has for a very long time harboured the monkeys, thanks to the many trees on the campus. The animals were often seen jumping onto and out of trees, running through the compounds and gardens, eating fruits and playing with people, especially children.

As the monkey population increased, however, their presence became both a source of joy and amazement for some and a distraction and cause of discomfort for others.

According to the Deputy Vice Chancellor External Relations, Mr David Mugawe, the Facilities and Capital Projects team have for over a year received complaints and concerns from the community regarding the increasing number of monkeys on campus, and their related risks.

“The pointed-out incidences included aggressive tendencies of chasing ladies and children,” he said.

“The monkeys would pluck and bite some fruits and later drop them. The children were seen picking up these fruits and eating them. This poses a risk of transmitting some diseases through sharing fruits with the monkeys.”

He added that while sharing garden food with the monkeys is fine, the animals were destructive to crops, leading to harvest loss.

When the pest control office of Mukono District was consulted, they confirmed that monkeys were one of the vermin under their jurisdiction to control.

“Subsequently, the district vermin control officer visited the campus and studied the behaviour and movement patterns of the monkeys. He recommended that the population of the monkeys should be controlled,” Mr Mugawe said.

Health and safety committee

The health and safety committee of UCU said that they are mindful the safety and wellness of the community.

“The presence of monkeys in such a big population of people caused a threat. It was a necessary exercise for the safety and wellbeing of the community,” said Dr Edward Mukooza, the chairperson of the committee.

“The Uganda Wildlife Authority(UWA)was contacted years ago to fetch the monkeys but all efforts were futile. Due to the fact that there are no predators in the area, their multiplication

effect is uninterrupted. Therefore,thecommittee consulted the pest control office of Mukono District, which classified and confirmed monkeys as pests in the community that had to be controlled.”

Dr Mukooza added that the pest control office has the right technical people qualified to do the job, mindful of the fact that there are people living in the community.

“The monkeys were in their hundreds, a cause for worry! We did not cull them out of irresponsibility or bad intentions but rather out of concern for public health.

“Monkeys have been associated with the spread of zoonotic diseases like rabies. So, we thought it smarter to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.

He added that two families on campus had reported to the committee about experiences of aggressiveness of monkeys towards children and there was a concern that it could get worse and thus needed action.

“There were over 100 monkeys here. I thus advise the community to keep a distance from them because if any zoonotic epidemic hits us through these animals, many people would be affected.

“As a committee, we continue to follow up the UWA to ensure that the monkeys are transferred because they are not domestic animals and may harm the community,” he concluded.

Is the medicine your taking prescribed

page-11BY AGATHA MUHAISE

Ms Kyaligonza Betty, the receptionist at Allan Galpin health Centre, says that nearly half of the student body has no record of seeking medical care from the health centre. Following his interesting information, The Standard carried out a survey in the UCU community, asking people whether they would visit Allan Galpin or buy paracetamol to treat a headache.

Ninety percent of the respondents said they would go buy painkillers. When it was pointed out to them that the services of Allan Galpin are free, 60 percent still said they would only go to the clinic if the painkillers did not work, after prolonged use.

Dr Geoffrey Rwabaingi Mulindwa, the director of medical services at UCU, says that self-medication is when one feels unwell, skips the process of seeking medical help from a qualified medical professional, hazards a guess at the problem and administers medication accessed over the counter.

“A person is supposed to get a prescription from a technician and medicine will be dispensed accordingly,” Mulindwa said.

Causes of self-medication

“When you go to Allan Galpin, you queue to see the doctor and then queue again to get your prescription.

In the process you are exposed to more diseases than you went to the clinic with,” one of the respondents said. Such a person, a member of the ‘microwave generation’, only focuses on the time spent to access medical care, ignoring the benefits.

On 24 July 2016, WBS Television released a report showing that patients were opting for self-medication due to the high consultation fees charged in hospitals and health centers. These can be as high as Shs50,000 in private health centers.

Legal framework

The ease with which all types of medicine are accessed in drug shops also fuels the habit. Imelda Tumuhaise a retired nurse says that a drug shop should be run by a qualified nurse, midwife, medical assistant or a doctor before it is issued with a practicing license.

However, the custom is that these qualified personnel only sign as the custodians for the licence, and hand over the business to anyone else to run. This leaves many unqualified people dispensing drugs to patients.

Tumuhaise said that the national district drug inspector inspects the drug shops before they commence business, and every once a year afterwards, exacerbating the problem. The drugs need to be kept under specific temperatures and conditions, is inspection once a year enough to ensure compliance.

Attitude issues

Tumuhaise further said that individuals go to the drug shop with a decision on the medicine they want. “Such people do not follow medical personnel’s advice. They often think that because of former successful usage., they qualify for the same treatment. They even go ahead to prescribe the same to others with similar symptoms,” she said.

Dr Mulindwa said that people have a deceptive tradition of ‘the end justifies the means’, forgetting that they are now treating symptoms and not the cause of the disease. So, next time you feel tempted to reach for the non-prescribed pain killers, consider paying a visit to the health centre for professional advice

Culture: The origin, history of the Bamasaba and Imbalu

On August 6, thousands of people, foreign and local descended on Mutoto Cultural Site at the foot of Mount Elgon to witness the Bamasaba celebrate 200 years of imbalu (circumcision). The imbalu rituals, which are the cultural transition from boyhood to manhood, are a series of visits to revered traditional sites such as swamps, hills, caves and mud, artifacts, objects and ornaments, music, dance, busera (local brew) and sacrifices. The Standard’s RONALD AWANY joined the festivities and witnessed the unfolding of history.

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Bamasaba warriors heading for the ritual confident and anxious (Photos by Esther Mbabazi)

For four weeks, the Bamasaba, young and old, pitched camp at Mutoto Cultural Site, two kilometres from Mbale town in Eastern Uganda.

The site was a beehive of activities with blistering business ranging from the sale of food to soft and alcoholic beverages. It was a time of merry making, as Vincent Masaba said: “It is a non-stop party. There is always loud music and it gets worse in the night because there is too much alcohol and everyone is always drunk, with the attendant consequences. People deserve to be happy but they are doing it dangerously here.”

On circumcision day, I am amused by the large numbers of people at the site. Over 30,000 people in my estimation!

The youthful groups of initiates from different clans and villages donned in light but colourful outfits, decorated with animal hides, beads, and ash-painted faces.

The ash is derived from the ingredients of the local brew known as “busera” or “malwa”, and it is intended to make them look fierce and bold to show elders that they are ready for initiation.

Escorting them is an entourage of their peers holding sticks in the air and singing initiation songs. Some of them are barechest and most of them appear like they have not taken a bath in days.

The stamping of their feet could be heard from a mile away, so the air was filled with dust; and it also reeked of the stench of sweat and booze, as they drank busera and sprayed it out with their mouths.

But all the noise, dust and chaos did not matter. It was Imbalu Day, the day boys turn into men. For Bamasaba, it was a celebration.

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The Bamasaba and the origins of circumcision 

Magombe Wakitonyi, an elder from Mutoto, says the people of North Bugisu or Budadiri county, originated from a man known as Mugisu, the son of Masaba, who is the eponymous ancestor of the Bamasaba. These are the people called Bagisu.

Those in central and southern Bugisu were respectively founded by Ngokhwe and Wukuya, Mugisu’s brothers. The Central Bagisu are generally called Bangokho while those in the south are loosely called Basukuya, named after their respective founders.

Within these large groups there are numerous divisions and clans bearing the names of their supposed founders. The correct collective name for the people of Bugisu is, therefore, Bamasaba.

It is held that the name ‘Bagisu’ was mistakenly applied to the entire tribe by the Baganda and the British who were ignorant of the local situation.

The origin of circumcision among the Bamasaba is linked to the ‘Barwa’ otherwise known as the Sebei.

It is held that Masaba wanted to marry a woman from Sebei, but this could not happen unless he was circumcised.

So, circumcision was introduced by Nabarwa and originally performed in accordance with the customs and rites of the Barwa.

The Bamasaba refer to their circumcision as ‘Imbalu. ‘Nabarwa’ also means ‘that of, or which belongs to the Barwa’.

Mutoto village in Bungokho in Central Bugisu is regarded as the traditional ground where the first Mugisu male was circumcised.

Ever since, every circumcision year, it is customary for circumcision to start in Bungokho before spreading to other parts of Bugisu.

Currently, it is performed every even year, but in the past, it could be postponed in the event of a national crisis such as prolonged drought, famine, epidemics, and war.

Although circumcision experts/surgeons are found in every clan, their work is not necessarily restricted by clan boundaries.

They often perform their duties beyond the traditional boundaries of their clans.

Wakitonyi’s account is supported by the journal, ‘The Historical Origins of Circumcision among the Bamasaba’, by Gideon Were.

Wakitonyi argues that there are different accounts of how the practice started.

“Some say it was a Barwa woman who started it.

The woman was married to Masaba and when they had children they were circumcised after the tradition of Nabarwa.”

He added further that it was Nabarwa who instructed Masaba in the practice of circumcision for, according to the Barwa, women also performed circumcision.

“Masaba was also circumcised by the Barwa,” Wakitonyi said.

Another reason given for the adoption of the ‘circumcision of Nabarwa’ is that Masaba proposed to Nabarwa who replied that she could never marry an uncircumcised man (umusinde or boy).

In order to marry her, she proposed he gets circumcised according to her people’s customs. Masaba was circumcised and so became a man (umusani) to get his bride.

Dr Stephen Mun’goma, the chairman Governing Board of the Inzu Ya Masaba and director of the Uganda Christian University, Mbale University College, weighed in on the debate as to when circumcision started.

“To the best of my knowledge, it began in 1815 and that is why the circumcision year is named Nabarwa. Others think that it began 2018 years ago, and if it is the correct date, it is still within the period of 200 years,” he said.

The road to imbalu

Imbalu 3

In January, prospective male candidates aged between 15 and 20 years, assemble in each village and are regimented in various ways in order to imbue them with courage in readiness for initiation.

Between March and August, they are taken through the isonja preparatory dance. It features specialist performers/singers called by different names, ‘kyilali’, ‘namwenya’ or ‘uwimbi’. The singers use special equipment, songs and dance strokes.

Towards August, before the actual circumcision event, the candidates are taken through a traditional pass called ‘luwanda’ where they meet other clans and proceed to the sacred swamps.

They are taken to mwidoyi (mud) where they are smeared with clay (itosi).

They are called all sorts of names and traditional beer is spat upon them.

A day to the circumcision, the elders or ‘basakhulu’, clean out the sacred graves and rebuild the shrines as designed and desired by each clan.

During this stage, each candidate is taken to his mother’s clan (ibwiwana) to announce his intensions to his uncles and receive gifts before they go to the courtyard prepared for circumcision.

On the day of circumcision, after elaborate instructions and blessings from elders, the initiates are taken to the appointed grounds by each clan to face the surgeon (umukembi), who uses a double-edged knife to remove the foreskin.

“On this day, the dancing is so intense and the candidates are possessed because of the rituals carried out on them, they feel the urge to face the knife,” Robert Wamale who faced the knife in 1998 said.

After circumcision, drums are beaten and people indulge in dancing and drinking. The drums are called ifumbo ye kyiguga (the drums of the clans).

“The process is quick and professional. This is the best part that everyone has been waiting for.

The surgeon is a specialist who has been doing this for a long time, he has to accomplish the task in 60 seconds or less, failure to do that will result in punishment. Should the surgeon also hurt the candidate in a way that can endanger the life of the candidate, the surgeon will be in trouble. The candidate is also not supposed to shake or fear during the process, lest they face punishment and are deemed weak,” Wamale adds.

The imbalu cycle that began with the ‘isonja’ singing and dancing then terminates with the ‘ineema’ confirmation ceremony. During this ceremony, which will be in 2017, the fully healed young men are coached on how to live and behave responsibly and are confirmed as full members of the clan. They are also seen as men basani (singular, umusani) and not basinde (singular, umusinde) as previously known.

The Masaba male, regardless of age, status or wealth is a full man after circumcision and is allowed to marry and beget children and participate in the decision- making process of the clan.

A peaceful, joyful weekend with Will Graham

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Rev Dr Will Graham preaches to thousands during the Peace and Joy Celebrations which ended on July 24 at Uganda Christian University (Photo by Roy Nickel)

BY ALEX TAREMWA

“I am glad I found you,” proclaimed Will Graham as he scanned the crowd that filled the highly guarded Uganda Christian University (UCU) old sports grounds on Friday July 22, 2016.

William Franklin Graham IV, popularly known as Will Graham, is a grandson to the legendary Billy Graham and an associate evangelist with the Billy Graham Evangelist Association.

William, who is also the executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center was visiting Uganda on one of the association’s outreaches dubbed “Peace and Joy Celebrations” organised by the Church of Uganda, prepared by the Diocese of Mukono and the Uganda Bible Society, and hosted by UCU.

In his welcoming remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, told the guest that he had listened to his grandfather preach, way back in 1976 in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

“It is such a delight to see you here to preach the word to the people who are hungry for it,” Senyonyi said, urging the crowd to open up their hearts to the Holy Spirit.

 

Best campus I have been to

On taking to the podium, Will confessed that UCU was the most beautiful of the campuses he had been to.

“When they invited me to come to Mukono, I had no idea where Mukono was. I am glad I found you. I want to thank this wonderful school for allowing us to come onto their property.

“This has to be one of the prettiest campuses I have ever seen around the world,” he said to cheers from the crowd. 

Will was visiting Uganda for his first time. Although he had worked in Rwanda, in the post-genocide era, his attempts to cross to Uganda had often been hindered by lack of travel documentation.

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From right: The Rt Rev William Sebaggala, the Bishop of Mukono diocese, Will Graham (C), Dr. John Senyonyi, the Vice Chancellor and Edmond Serunjogi sing during the praise and worship. (Photo by Bright Niwaha)

The prodigal son revisited

Will drew his sermon from Luke 15:11-32, from the account of the prodigal son. He related the life of the discontented, rebellious son to the day-to-day horrors people face.

“Just like him,” he said, “if you are honest with yourself right now, you will admit that you are not happy with where you are in life. You feel like you deserve more and you want it now because we live in the world that teaches to have things right now.”

This son, after demanding for his share of his father’s inheritance, wasted everything on friends who would later forsake him. When famine hit the land, the once rich, braggart of a child could not afford food and resorted to working in a pigsty, the most embarrassing job for a Jew, in exchange for a meal.

After working at a job that paid little and gave no satisfaction, he began to evaluate his situation. Even the animals that he fed were better off than him.

With no money, friends or prospects, the young man comes to his senses and realises that the servants in his father’s home have plenty of food. He says, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you’.”

“This parable is also about each of us. God the Father stands waiting for the time when each of His children will at last realise the need for a lasting and satisfying relationship with Him,” Will said.

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The Vice Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, and his deputies David Mugawe (Development and External Relations) and Benon Musinguzi (Academic Affairs) show Will Graham around the UCU campus (Photo by Alex Taremwa)

He added that it is sad that today we are connected by social media yet we cannot connect at the deepest level of love and meaning.

“You can have hundreds, even thousands, of ‘friends’ on Facebook but be all alone in your life at the most critical moments.

Thus we need to reconcile with God and amongst ourselves as people.

We need reconciliation, love, peace and forgiveness especially in the formerly war-torn areas of Northern Uganda and currently South Sudan.

There is always hope for reconciliation. Pray for it and expect it. Most importantly, never ever give up on God.”

Saturday July 23 was earmarked by the university chaplaincy as the day when Will Graham would hold a special session with the UCU community.

Mark Christian, a renowned gospel singer and award-winning American soloist, shook the Nkoyoyo Hall stage with energetic performances of songs including, My Redeemer Lives, It is Well with My Soul, among others.

His performances set the stage for Will Graham, who talked at length about the roles of a true ambassador of Christ and the authority that ultimately he/she works under.

“The greatest hope for Uganda, South Sudan, Africa, USA is not a new president, or government – it is Jesus,” Will said.

He further noted that social justice that is not based on Jesus or the hope of the cross is undoubtedly one of the worst crimes in the world.

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Will plants a tree in commemoration of his historic visit at UCU, Mukono (Photo by Alex Taremwa)

“When we just help feed people, put shoes on their feet but yet do not do it by the power of Jesus Christ, we are doing a disservice to this world. It is like telling someone who has cancer that they are okay and send them home with new shoes without telling them about the disease they carry,” he said. 

He emphasised that people ought to be told about sin and the redemption from it lest they will be well fed and dressed but still go to hell.

After the service, Mr David Mugawe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development and External Relations, treated Will and his team to a drive-around of the university. They later visited the health camp organised by the Namirembe Church of Uganda Hospital at the old netball pitch.

The camp offered visitors with free treatment services, eye and dental screening, cervical cancer screening, HIV counselling and testing services, among others.

The crusade was attended by people from Buikwe, Kayunga, Jinja, Mukono, Kampala, and Wakiso districts.

The event managers were forced to ship in 500 more chairs, and over 1,500 people are estimated to have attended the three-day celebrations.

Hailstones disperse crowd 

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A faithful continues to pray despite a heavy downpour that dispersed the rest of the crowd.

On the final day of the crusade, heavy rains accompanied by hailstones forced the crowd to disperse while others used the plastic chairs as umbrellas, soon after Will Graham had taken to the podium.

The rain, which Will described as a blessing lasted for close to half an hour before normalcy returned and the crusade resumed.

Will, who had on Saturday planted a tree in the chapel gardens in commemoration of his historic visit to Uganda, said the rain would help the tree grow so that when he returns he can eat some of its fruit.

I will come back

As his parting shot, Will Graham promised to return with his family to Uganda and Mukono in particular in the future owing to its hospitality and beauty.

“I will be back with my family to eat the fruits of the tree I planted and taste the sweet bananas again,” he said. 

He thanked the hosts, the Rt Rev William James Ssebaggala, the bishop of Mukono Diocese and the university administration for services offered and the opportunity to spread the gospel on its soil.

 

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Will Graham

About Will Graham: 

 

Name: Rev Dr William Franklin Graham IV

Born: January 30, 1975 in Longmont, Colorado to Jane and Franklin Graham

Married to: Kendra Leigh Bengds

Children: Christine Jane, Rachel Austin, and William Franklin V

Education: Diploma from Watauga High School (1993); BSc in Religion at Liberty University.

In 2001, he was awarded the Master of Divinity, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and he attained an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Toccoa Falls College five years later. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity at Trinity College.

Evangelism: Will has spoken to audiences across North America, Australia, India, and other parts of Asia and South America and Africa. More than 10,000 have converted to Christianity during these outreaches.

Will’s outreach now heads to Peterhead in Scotland from where he will connect to Windsor and Goose Bay in Canada in October and November, respectively.

 

 

Agricultural show exposes UCU’s science challenges

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Solomon Mwije, a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences, attends to students at the stall during the expo in Jinja (Photo by Alex Taremwa)

BY ALEX TAREMWA

The 24th Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE)’s Source of the Nile National Agricultural and Trade show ended on July 17, at the Jinja Show Ground.

The show, organized under the theme “Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Land Management for Agricultural Transformation and Wealth Creation,” featured organisations that showcased their latest research and innovations in the sector, using improved technologies for better production, marketing and poverty eradication.

Uganda Christian University (UCU) was represented by the Faculty of Science and Technology, the Department of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, and the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty.

Unlike other companies and institutions though, UCU did not have any tangible agricultural or scientific related models to showcase. The Civil Engineering stall mostly showcased brochures and copies of The Standard while the agriculturalists had a 15cm-glass table showing cereal pests and printed pictures of sick crops and six tins of ready-to-consume jam made by the students.

In the 2012-2018 strategic plan of UCU, the administration set its targets on harmonising the percentage of sciences courses, and increasing it to 30 per cent, in comparison to the arts courses. The implementation of this plan, however, is facing prioritisation challenges as the top administration grapples with financing the needs of the increasing student numbers.

Rodgers Tayebwa, a lecturer in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department told The Standard that the department is not lacking in ideas but has instead been frustrated by the university administration who have under-funded suggested projects, making it difficult for the department to achieve tangible progress.

“Engineering ideas are technically research and design. They need funding to be fabricated and developed into functional models to the standard that can be showcased at an international show like this one. Unfortunately, the university tells us that there is no money. You cannot get anywhere with that,” he said. 

Tayebwa further explained that last year, an engineering student developed a micro-filter prototype that would save the university millions of shillings in water costs by refining waste water and harvesting rain water from roof catchments so that this water can be used for car washing, irrigation or toilet flushing but this project has not been funded.

“Every month UCU pays National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) about Shs25 million in water bills but this money could be reduced if the said prototype was developed,” he said, adding that the administration needs to think of sciences in terms of practical aspects rather than theory, and also increase budgetary support.

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The Uganda Christian University (UCU) Public Relations Officer, Mrs Prim Tumuramye, interacts with students at UCU’s stall during the Source of the Nile National Agricultural and Trade show which ended yesterday in Jinja (Photo by Alex Taremwa)

The Standard also learnt from sources in the department of Agriculture, who preferred anonymity, that the science laboratories in the Technology Park do not have the chemicals necessary to test the nutritional content of the products students have developed hence they could not be exhibited or sold.

“Students cannot test their products because the chemicals are not in the laboratories. How can you showcase or sell something whose expiry date you do not know?” the source added.

However, all hope is not lost.

Mr David Mugawe, the deputy vice chancellor for Development and External Relations, said that the university has allocated resources to procure modern equipment for the improvement of laboratories.

“Equipping the science laboratories is among the top ten development priorities for the 2016/17 financial year. The absence of tangible scientific models at the exhibition was due to the inadequate time UCU had to mobilise funds. Our participation in the agricultural show was a decision that came late because it was not in our work plan,” he said. 

He thus advised the department to present a clear plan and discuss their core components with the development office so that specific funds can be solicited to address identified priorities.

The Nile agricultural show this year focused on climate-smart agriculture with a view to enhaning sustainable national food security and farm incomes.

The pinch of history behind Arua Campus

BY RONALD AWANY 

In 2003 Uganda Christian University (UCU) spread its wings to the West Nile region.

The suitable location turned out to be nine kilometres from the Arua–Nebbi–Kampala road; and the UCU, St Paul’s Ringli Study Centre was launched, with 23 students and three degree and diploma programmes in Theology, Social Work and Social Administration and Business Administration.

However, it is impossible to speak about the history of Arua Campus without mentioning Dr John Milton Anguyo, the first director of the campus, whose tenure ended on August 25, 2009.

“Upon completion of my PhD studies in 2002, I had a meeting with the Chancellor, the then Archbishop Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, with whom I shared the idea of starting a regional study centre in West Nile.

“He was impressed by the idea and sent me to the then Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Noll, together with my dissertation and letter of introduction.

“After examining my resume and idea, Prof. Noll also deemed it strategic to start a campus in Arua,” he says.

In 2003, St. Paul’s Theological College changed status to become a campus of UCU.

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An effigue that represents the university’s commitment to supporting girl child education

The campus has since expanded its programmes to diploma courses in Community Health, Education, and Project Planning and Management; and degree courses in Development Studies, Education, and Public A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and Management.

Day time teaching is conducted at Ringli and the evening sessions at Mvara Mission in Arua town.

The UCU Arua Campus was first the home of a Rural Trade School founded in 1959 by the African Inland Mission (AIM) under the leadership of Rev. Robert Booth.

Booth, a missionary from the USA, laid the foundation of this training institution at Ringli in the West Nile region of Uganda.

In the 1960s, the school became a Lugbara language Lay Readers’ Training College.

Later during the 1970s, the course was then taught in English. In 1978, a priests ordination course was started.

This was a residential training programme that allowed the students to come with their families.

For 25 years, this institution has been training spiritual leaders from Uganda and beyond.

Since its inception, the campus has had three directors: Rev Can Dr. John Milton Anguyo, who was succeeded by Christopher Yiiki and later Canon Feni Onzima in the interim before Canon Bob Betti Nzima was installed on June 12, 2016.