‘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.

Advertisements

Charity run fails to impress

dsc_0272-1BY BRIGHT NIWAHA

The first ever Rotaract charity run that took place on September 24 was characterised by a low turn-out of participants. Moreover, the one kilometre run began later than planned with less than 30 people.

However, a number of fun activities were later conducted. These included games like chair- dancing, kwepena, tennis, volleyball, bottle-filling, relays, among others. The run, organized by the Uganda Christian University Mukono Rotaract Club and Play- for-Charity, was held at the university sportsground to fundraise and reach out to the underprivileged.

According to the President of the Rotaract Club of Mukono, Mr Joachim Mumbere, the move had a humble beginning since it was the first of its kind by the UCU Rotaract Club. “The run was organised to help the underprivileged, specifically the women prisoners in Kauga Prisons, and the Little Voices Africa Orphanage in Mayuge District.

The cash collected from the run will be used to these institutions to enable them get basic needs, education requirements and improve their health facilities,” he said. The chief runner, Ms Cynthia Asiimwe, a Rotarian in Mukono, says that she is happy that students can think about helping the community they live in.

“Do not give up because of the low turnout. This is just the beginning,” she says.

One of the participants and UCU alumnus, Tony Okello, though happy to have run for a cause, was not quite pleased about the organisation of the event.

“I am however disappointed with the poor mobilization. More people should have been convinced, vigorously, to be part of the event and to also give. Being the centre of excellence in the heart of Africa, UCU organised events should be on point!” he said.

He added: “Many entities, including the bank I work with, are always happy to join such events because they are included in their goals and strategies. They would be glad to engage in such social responsibility activities.” Shallon Manake, a student, said the university administration should have impacted much in organising the run since it is such activities that market the name of the institution.

The 2016 – 2017 guild polls commence in high gear

BY BRIGHT NIWAHA

Preparations for Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono’s 2016 – 2017 guild elections are in high gear according to the vice chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Desmond Feni.

 

The process kicked off on September 5, 2016 with a call for applications for the position of commissioners who will aid in the election season.

Feni stressed that vetting of the applicants shall be done by the electoral commission

committee and successful candidates will participate in running the electoral activities.

“The applicants are many and we take in between 40 to 50 commissioners depending on our budget. We assess every individual who hands

in the application, observe his or her personal character and screening is done, after which successful applicants are trained,” he said.

Activities include: civic education training, picking nomination forms, vetting, and

faculty vetting for presidential aspirants. Other activities are the vetting of the joint selection board, declaration of successful candidates, campaigns, and finally voting.

Elections shall be held on November 4, 2016.

Lecturers’ teaching tactics reinforced

 

page-4
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Dr Benon Musinguzi, addressing the ecturers during the workshop (Photo by Bright Niwaha)

 

BY BRIGHT NIWAHA

The Directorate Teaching and Learning, in conjunction with the Faculty of Education and Arts, conducted a pedagogy workshop to equip teaching staff with skills as the 2016 advent semester resumed.

The two-day workshop was held from September 5 – 6 in the former law library, under the theme: “Ensuring quality learning through effective instruction”.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi, in his opening remarks, urged staff to propagate UCU’s identity and be familiar with the university policies in order for them to set a good example among the students.

“We are not ashamed of the testimony of our Christian identity and we should all be conversant with the motto, vision, mission, core values and theme of the university,” he said.

He added that lecturers must address the intellectual aspect of the development of the complete person, and advised them to not just focus on academics but also cater for other needs like the emotional and health aspects.

“Remember that our main customer is the student. We are here to serve the student so go out of your way to make their experience here

memorable. Serve them with diligence, and the highest level of integrity.”

“The profits of a teacher may not be immediate but are realised over time. Every upward progress in the status of your student is your upward progress too,” Senyonyi said.

He urged the lecturers to familiarise themselves with the university policies on issues such as the dress code and ensuring a paperless work place, among others. “You are privileged to have such training and I thank the Dean, Faculty of Education for organising it. I did not get such training and I am surprised that my former students are grateful because many of them were my guinea pigs. Therefore, this is a chance for you to get the skills and enable you do a good job,” he concluded.

Dr Benon Musinguzi the Deputy Vice- Chancellor Academic Affairs, noted that most lecturers are not trained teachers and should, therefore, undertake pedagogy training as an important aspect of their university education.

“Lectures are teachers regardless of specialization. All teachers need knowledge and skills to teach and assess learners. Our students have excelled in the field because they are academically better than the rest and because of the way you model them,” Musinguzi explained.

Musinguzi advised the lecturers to read and understand the education philosophy for UCU (2008), which marked a fundamental shift from ‘teaching what we know’ to teaching towards the goal of producing the ideal graduate through holistic instruction in line with the theme,“a complete education for a complete person’.

Mr Peter Mugume, one of the organisers of the training told The Standard that the pedagogy programme is a 2011 initiative of the Vice Chancellor, aimed at training lecturers and tutors to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment of performance in the university.