‘My success is a testimony’- Kagimba



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?

Monkeys play on the fence at one of the residences in the university. (Photos 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


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.

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.

Imbau 2

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

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)


“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.

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.

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 

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.


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

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)


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.

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


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.

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.

Redeemed by the love for musical instruments

ARTHUR WATUULO, a graduate of Information Technology from Uganda Christian University, tells how the love for playing music instruments led to his salvation. The UCU call centre manager recently narrated to The Standard his great passion for musical instruments.

Watuuro strokes a guitar at a function (Courtesy Photo)

Born on April 04, 1991 to Dr Richard and Mrs Lydia Watuulo in Mbale District, Watuulo attended Nabumali Primary School.

“While in Primary Two I joined the choir. Then I went from singing to playing the xylophone, which was my favourite childhood instrument. I loved music so much that I failed a class because I attended all the practices, and participated in all concerts and competitions at the expense of my academics,” he said.

“However, I became an asset to my school because I always won competitions. At home, we were blessed with a neighbour that taught piano so in Primary Five, I took up piano lessons.”

He said that during his O-level studies at Nabumali High School, his passion for musical instruments grew.

“As fate would have it, the school purchased music instruments the year I joined. A condition was set that for one to be in charge of the instruments, one had to be born-again. Driven by my obsession, I became born-again and was put in charge.” 

“Being born-again did not mean anything to me, it was only a ticket to access and play instruments anytime. However, God had a better plan of transforming and molding me into a minister that would serve His people in spirit and in truth. Later when the Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF) Band visited our school, I made a true confession to salvation.”

Watuulo says that when he joined Mengo Senior School, his hero status was challenged by those who played the musical instruments much better than he did.

“I got jealous and decided to join them and learn how to play like they did and better. Our trainer, Daniel Sempereza who was the music director at UCU then, noticed me in high school and connected me to the UCU band while I was studying in Senior Six. So by the time I joined UCU I had the confidence and connections.”

Exposure to the band enabled him to play professionally and he was equipped with the discipline of playing for ministry.

“Soon I was training whoever was interested in learning how to play instruments. Very many high class people call me to train their children and these relationships have humbled me. Alongside other duties, I am working with Pastor Wilson Bugembe; and I am daily encouraged to do what I love.”

Watuulo said that his dream is to reach greater heights and even play with Israel Houghton.

He added that he enjoys playing the keyboard, organ, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, recorder, the xylophone and drums, but the piano is his favourite.

“When I sit down to play the piano, I get lost in awe. The accomplishment is due to both skill, and anointing. When going into battle, you have to be prepared, thus the way one plays an instrument for ministry should not be the same way that one plays in a club or bar. People come to church with different problems, and your skill should enable them receive healing and relaxation.” 

Playing instruments has helped Watuulo raise capital for another business: setting up a video game centre. He set up a video game station in Mukono, which accommodates 12 people. His goal is to raise this to 50 or 100 play stations.

His future plans include starting a band and setting up a professional music studio.

“Currently though, I perform in churches, functions and parties with the Elgon Groove Band. But I will not stop until I get to where I want to be.

Outreach to the ‘Switzerland of Uganda’


And so on a rainy morning of April 1, the career outreach team landed in western Uganda’s capital, Mbarara. The team had two new team members: Patrick Lugemwa and Doreen Kajeru.

Lugemwa is an outgoing man, his beards were trimmed and his eyes deep set staring with a good dose of humour and he just had a lot to say.

The writer laying a wreath at the burial site of the late Bishop Emeritus John Baptist Kakubi (Photo by Doreen Kajeru)

 Fools Day prank 

Enter Ronald Awany with a phonecall: “I have got a scholarship at the University of Manchester to pursue my Master’s degree. I will be leaving this August,” he said.

“Wow!” I exclaimed. “This is great news, Ronnie. I am very proud of you. Congratulations! Go show the Britons what we are made of,” I added jubilantly.

The above comments we made in utter ignorance that April 1 was Fools Day. Ronnie, a colleague at The Standard, had not been admitted for the MA; he succeeded in fooling me and my promise for vengeance against him still stands.

Banana juice 

As a resident of Mbarara, I offered to show the team around. I took them to Baguma Restaurant on Kakoba road, where we would have lunch. The food at this restaurant costs a uniform price (shs10,000) inclusive of drinks.

Many opted for thick millet porridge locally known as ekitiribiita but I settled for banana juice (eshande ). While I was little, my parents would make this juice for us out of yellow bananas and I loved it. I would sneak into the house to sip an extra cup or two when they were away.

Mbarara was calm as always. Apart from politicians’ posters hanging on every street corner of the town, nothing seemed different since my last visit.

We visited Mary Hill High School, St. Joseph’s Vocational School and set a date with Ntare School and Mbarara High School for the following day.

Despite making an impromptu visit to St. Joseph’s, the powers that be remembered me from six years back.

“OB,” the deputy headmaster shouted before he gave me a hug. I visited the burial ground of Bishop Emeritus, John Baptist Kakubi who had passed on February 11, 2016 at 86 years. Kakubi was the Bishop of Mbarara Diocese between 1969 and 1991 and he was a great witness for Christ.

John Vianney Ahumuza takes a ride on one of Kabale’s bicycle boda-boda (Photo by Alex Taremwa)

Bicycle boda-boda 

Fast forward to Kabale. The debate of whether this southwestern town is the Switzerland of Uganda is yet to be settled but from an aesthetic standpoint, the scenery is breathtaking. It is apparent that God became extra creative when he got to designing this part of the world as his hand is visible in every aspect.

Although I had been to Kabale before, I had never got the courage to use the bicycle boda-bodas there. This time I did though and I enjoyed them, soon after our visit to

St. Mary’s College Rushoroza The bicycle boda-boda experience was memorable.

Besides being affordable, the riders have endless conversation that keeps the passenger, especially who speaks the native language, entertained. If Kisoro had not been so hilly, I would have opted to travel by bicycle there too.


The steaming hills of Kisoro, otherwise known as the ‘Switzerland of Uganda’

Kisoro is 63 kilometres from Kabale, a one-hour and 50-minutes drive through the bamboo forests, steaming mountains, steep mountains and suicidal corners and bends. The roads crisscross the hills in a manner mankind cannot comprehend. The drivers have to stay very alert.

Suffering from acrophobia (fear of heights), I would not even gather the courage to gaze at the cliffs but the people who live there have adapted both to the weather and the landscape. Their houses dot the steep hills with silver roofs and their agricultural systems compliment the beautiful hillsides.

This is where even atheists pause and reflect on the existence of the great God whose existence they doubt. From vantage points, one can catch a glimpse of the deep Lake Bunyonyi, and Mt Muhavura, key physical features in the region. It was a rainy day in Kisoro. In fact it rained four times that day in this part of Uganda famous for the Mgahinga National Park and the gorillas there.

This was my favourite trip across this our motherland.

Alumnus reaping big from poultry farming

Kato inspecting his poultry farm in Kakoba, Mbarara Municipality (Photos by Zadock Amanyisa)


Mr Jacob James Kato, a graduate of Business Administration from Uganda Christian University (UCU) ventured into chicken rearing to support God’s ministry and feed the hungry.

The 24-year-old Kato, who majored in marketing, completed his studies in 2014 and was keen to put the knowledge into practice.

Kato hatched the idea of starting the poultry project with the aim of supporting God’s work.

“God’s work and ministry needs financing to reach out to many people, especially in areas like feeding the poor and supporting orphans,” he said.

“Although I did not have enough money to start the poultry project on the two-acre piece of land that we have in Mbarara, my family was supportive. My dad, Dr James Mugume, my mum Ms Christine Mugume and my brother Mr Atwine Mugume supported me and I work as the project manager.”

Kato said that he started off in one of his father’s buildings at Ultimate Hostels, near Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara municipality, and the ever increasing demand for the poultry products made growth possible.

“I began with capital worth Shs22 million and much of this money was spent on buying food needed by the birds in the first four months of their growth.”

Kato adds that he purchased about 1,000 birds from Mbarara town and started taking care of them. Soon the birds started laying eggs on a daily basis.

“The consumption of feeds by the birds was high but I was not disappointed by the returns. The more the birds laid eggs, the more trays of eggs I had to sell,” Kato boasts.

Getting returns 

At first Kato would sell a tray of eggs at Shs 7,500 but this has now increased to Shs 8.500.

He said that the 1,000 birds consume about 180 kilograms of maize bran per day if a farmer is to get eggs daily.

“I currently have up to 3,000 birds and I give them about 450 kg of feed on a daily basis, which seems expensive but I have to go on. I harvest a total of 88 trays every day,” Kato added.

The poultry farmer has also maintained a vaccination programme, which is provided and supported by the company that supplied him with the birds.

“The company gave me a booklet containing the vaccination procedure, types of vaccines and how to apply them.”

He went on to explain that vaccination is crucial to avoid diseases that the bird could suffer from time to time.

Challenges and control 

Kato said that the major challenges are diseases like Newcastle and coccodiosis; other diseases like Gumboro, diarhoea and butter foot have also caused Kato to lose about 50 birds in a period of one year.

Other challenges include price fluctuation, and the often increasing prices of feeds. The weather changes also affect the birds’ laying capacity, and sometimes inefficient medical services from service providers also lead to losses on the farm.

Kato’s farm has five full time workers that help in mixing feeds and water, making regular bird checking, collecting eggs, removing droppings and other duties as assigned to them.

“I am also mostly available on the farm to closely supervise what takes place here and ensure proper management,” he said.


Kato was able to realize profits from his farm after a period of one year.

“Initially I used to go out into the community to look for market for my eggs but now I sit here and wait for buyers. That is good progress for me,” he said. “I am now able to get about Shs 10 million as my net profit per month. I share this with the family and take part of my share to the church to support God’s ministry,” he said.

He attributes his success to God and he said that without God one cannot do anything.

“I have conducted my business God’s way to serve different purposes and also reach out to the needy.”

He advises the youths to put God first because He is the foundation of everything. He also encourages them to not despise small beginnings but start small and aim for bigger things.

“I urge farmers to tithe because God is the source of every profit they realize in their businesses. You must give back to God in order to be successful and prosperous.”

Future plans 

Kato’s aim is to get his own piece of land in order to try his hand at other projects.

“With growth will come employment for more people especially the youth so that we tackle the unemployment problem, which has ravaged our society.”