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88 6 Editorial 7 From the PTA Chairperson 8 From the Board of Governors 9 The Gayaza Old Girls’ Association 12 Gayaza today 16 The Staffrooom Project 19 A note from Miss Warren 22 Prof. Nsibambi: Gayaza’s virtues
P RO F I L E S
24 Filda Ojok, Gayaza’s teacher 28 Josepha Tibenderanda Ndamira: Gayaza in the boardroom 30 Joy Mirembe Abola: A pioneer 36 Patricia Munabi: Fighting for women 38 Fugee Atuhwera: Discover you 39 Julia Lule: Helping the deaf to hear 42 M onica Kalyegira Mugenyi: Judge and homemaker 46 Rachel Arinaitwe Mwine: Pursuing excellence 48 Cecilia Ogwal: UPC’s Iron Lady 52 Solome Basuuta Ndikatuuga: Touching hearts with music 56 Dr. Philippa Musoke: Saving lives with research CELEB RATI N G THE
Gayaza Times A LU M N A E M AG A Z I N E
OCTOBER 2015 Sh15,000
MISS WARREN ON MAKING DO
GAYAZA OLD GIRL Making a difference in every facet of society
THE SCHOOL WE LOVE AND REMEMBER
Giving back: FOCUS ON THE STAFF ROOM
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ON THE COVER Julia Lule, Monica Kalyegira Mugenyi, Rachel Arinaitwe Mwine
60 Louise Nakayenga: The young businesswoman 64 Catherine Nakawesa: From engineer to dancer
YO U R S TO R I E S
70 Victoria Sekitoleko: Selective memories of Gayaza 72 Charity Bigaruka; to your gifts be true 75 A teacher to remember 88 Blasts from the past 89 Pulling one over Metu 90 My first day at Gayaza 92 Treading where angels dare not 96 Caring for our breasts 98 Do you remember...?
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Gayaza High School Anthem
Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good His love is eternal In peace and war, in fire and flood His love is eternal In time of plenty and times of need Trust him, you will find him a friend indeed His love is eternal, so never give up X 2 Give thanks to the Lord, because he is kind His love is eternal In light and darkness, he has you in mind His love is eternal In time of failure and when you succeed Trust him, you will find him a friend indeed His love is eternal, so never give up X 2 Give thanks to the Father, give thanks to the Son His love is eternal Give thanks to the Spirit who makes us one His love is eternal Lord of the future and Lord of the past Now and forever Heâ€™ll hold you fast. His love is eternal, so never Give up X 2
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>>>> GOGA EXECUTIVE 2012 – 2015
OUR >>>> CELEBRATING PAST, BUILDING
e are honoured to celebrate 110 years of founding. As the nation’s first all-girls’ school, generations of bright young women from our school have made, and continue to make significant contributions to Uganda, Africa and beyond. We salute these many achievements, and will continue to strive towards becoming a leading girl-child school that influences the future. We pay tribute to the Christian Missionary Society and members of our community for the many contributions they have made, and continue to make. We also honour the past and current headmistresses, teaching and support staff of the Junior and High School who have helped shape it in unique ways. An amazing job they have done in providing outstanding services to all who come through the Schools’ doors. Over the years, they have worked together to support, empower and encourage individual girls to gain life skills, develop coping strategies, and discourage destructive behaviours. Many alumnae of GHS are yet to fervently put their faith, zeal and time into the betterment of Gayaza Junior and High School, but we shall continue beckoning them until we make the numbers which we certainly have. As GOGA plans to assist GHS expand the staff room and construct staff houses, Gayaza Junior School has embarked on establishing a second
campus and they all will need our support. The second Junior School campus, when complete, will open the door for more girls and enable them tap into the Gayaza culture and gain the social and non-market benefits of education. In line with the school’s motto, Never Give Up, we shall use the power of perseverance and knock on your doors until we build the critical mass necessary to move GOGA ahead as a strong, active and vibrant association. “There is power in numbers and there is power in unity.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hearty congratulations and thanks to the advertisers, contributors, writers and editorial team that made this GOGA magazine a beautiful reality. I take this opportunity, on behalf of the GOGA Executive to acknowledge and thank Namirembe Diocese, Church of Uganda, GHS Board of Governors, School Administration and Staff, Old Girls, Parents, Friends and Well-wishers for the invaluable support given to GOGA and all our activities and projects. I pray that it shall continue and that we shall see the actualisation of all our projects and continual fulfillment of our mandate as an Association. l
Florence Masembe Kasirye - President Mary Nyamusana - Vice President Doreen Orishaba - Vice President Sarah Mayanja - Treasurer Gloria Kasigazi Bushuyu - Deputy Treasurer Edna Rugumayo - Deputy Treasurer Rachael Ddungu Lubowa - Resource Mobiliser Susanna Ndikuwera Celia Byagagaire Turahi Representative 1974 Kiwana Kiwanuka - Deputy Resource Mobilizer Elizabeth Ahabwe - Deputy Resource Mobilizer Belinda Kabakoyo - Secretary Juliet Akot - Deputy Secretary Robinah Kizito - Deputy Secretary Clara Amaguru - Public Relations and Communication Lydia Balemezi - Representative 1965 Edith Natukunda - Togboa Damali Twesigye - Representative 1990 Agatha Turyagenda – Representative 2003
>>>> GOGA MAGAZINE TEAM Susanna Ndikuwera Florence Masembe Kasirye Celia B. Turahi Elizabeth Katigo Jackie Ochola Marion Adengo Muyobo Patricia Kiconco Sarah Mayanja Irene Besigiroha – Design and Editing Timeless Images – Photography
DR. FLORENCE N. MASEMBE KASIRYE President, Gayaza Old Girls Association 2012 – 2015
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>>>> FROM THE PTA CHAIRPERSON
he Gayaza High School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a vital support arm of the school’s administration whose objectives
REBECCA BUKENYA SSABAGANZI (1981-1987, Corby and Mary Stuart)
Gayaza High School Vision: An Empowered, Resourceful, and God fearing community. Mission: To deliver professionally quality education based on a strong Christian foundation in order to produce girls competent for leadership.
are: l To encourage and advance the education, enrichment and well-being of the students, l Strengthen the relationship and understanding between parents and teachers concerning the welfare of the students, their discipline, progress and careers, l Complement the efforts of the school administration in maintaining and improving the facilities of the school through self-help projects, l Provide a platform for discussing matters relating to students’ academics. Their roles during each two-year term of office include: to uphold and promote the Vision, Mission and Values of Gayaza High School; provide a platform to participate in school activities and decision making process; and ensure a functional link between parents teachers and school administration which is an avenue to air concerns and ideas either through the PTA Executive and/or the school administration. They also plan and organise social or fundraising events in support of the school’s development. Provision of the kind of education that allows the girl-child to reach her full potential is very dependent on the quality of teaching, mentoring and guidance provided by teachers. Gayaza, today, has a teaching staff of 75. These do their planning, marking, meeting and all other functions required of them to deliver a life-changing education in a space that was built and designed, more than 50 years ago, and intended for a maximum of 35 teachers. It is unfortunate that to-date it is the same facility still in existence. Staff accommodation is also wanting for this staff body where currently 35 teaching staff must find housing away from the school yet they leave late and have to report by 7:00am.
This is in addition to the academic role and related tasks expected of the teachers. In recognition of this, the PTA with Gayaza Old Girl representation, feel that this situation must be addressed. The Gayaza Old Girls Association (GOGA) is convinced that in spite of continued excellent results, it is a matter of time before the working conditions affect staff output. The Association has taken up the challenge to expand the existing staff room to plan and provide space for 150 teachers – working and meeting spaces, lockers, pigeonholes, a small nursing facility for breast feeding mothers that have no accommodation at the school, storage and sanitation facilities that befit a motivating working environment for the teacher in Gayaza High School. I also take this opportunity to appeal to GOGA members to always be present at the Annual General Meetings, take up responsibilities and uphold the school values while we render support for sustained quality education at Gayaza High School.
n conclusion, the entire PTA team appreciates GOGA for the initiative to expand the staff room cognisant of the contribution of a working environment to the performance and resultant output for both the teachers and ultimately the students. On behalf of the PTA we pledge our full support in this effort and extend our heartfelt appreciation to GOGA membership here and in the Diaspora, the technical team and the entire organising committee. We remain indebted to you for you are turning the idea into reality, which action calls for commitment and persistence. We hope that together with GOGA we shall see to the completion of the staff room project in order to give our children the best quality of education and the teachers an experience worthy of an Education Officer at Gayaza High School. Never Give Up!! l
THE PTA TEAM (7TH JUNE 2014 – APRIL 2016)
1. Rebecca Ssabaganzi - Chairperson and Old Girl 2. Dr. Evelyn Kahiigi - Vice Chairperson 3. Mr. John Chemonges - Treasurer/ Developments 4. Mr. Moses Kafeero - Member and supports treasurer 5. M s. Grace Namuddu Kabunga - Member and Old Girl Rep./Health and Counsellor 6. Dr. Dan Semambo - Member i/c Development projects 7. M rs. Christine Kintu Mulimira Member i/c Housing Committees 8. R ev. Onesmus Asimwe Faith - guidance for continuity in PTA
9. Ms. Teddy Sebunya Najjemba - Teachers Representative. 10. M r. Edward Sekyewa - Teachers Representative and Benevolent Fund 11. M r. Musiime Christopher- Non-teaching Staff Representative. 12. M rs. Victoria Kisarale- Head Teacher, implements and guides PTA discussions 13. M rs. Annet Kaboggoza Musoke - D/Head teacher, implements and guides PTA discussions 14. M r. Ronald Ddungu - D/Head teacher, implements and guides PTA discussions
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>>>> REFLECTIONS ON MY LEADERSHIP ROLE AT GAYAZA ROBINAH KYEYUNE, Chairman Board of Governors
hat do you intend to leave for an imprint on Gayaza’s legacy …?” I have pestered Kisa as she is commonly known at Gayaza. I may put my head round the staffroom door, and point out that the teachers are sitting in each other’s lap on top of the piles of the girls’ exercise books, for lack of space. Or, I may point out the green between the dining room, Lukooto House and the Senior Laboratories, remarking how the dining room could be expanded over this patch. Another time it may be the library: “We need to find new stock for this facility.” I suppose that the head teacher’s plate being always full she has found it easier, at first, to say: “I have spent energy and other resources completing several projects started by my predecessor.” And that’s all right; being a policy representative, I cannot be an implementer as well. Recognising her need for space to reflect, I have gone to other areas. Yet we find time to return to these ‘plans’ when she brings them up for discussion later, when we both reflect on the strategic plan. Another common practice has been our ‘heart-to-heart’. We start on the phone, to agree when I can visit to discuss management issues. The office has been a good venue but, short of that, a log in the compound or, farther away, a quiet spot in town with some tea is just as good. Management documents like minutes of board meetings, employees’ contracts, or letters may be the subject of discussion. It may be the perceived threat of a student strike over the mean size of
the ‘grub box’, this spread by parents. I may ask about compliance with the district education office’s requirements or the ministry’s policies. Are we professional? Are we safe, should our supervisors turn up and inspect us? By unspoken yet clearly understood mutual agreement, there are no secrets. Our dialogue is for us to share information, and for coaching on good practice. While policies guide the school leader, the institution is a reality shaped by its experience in physical time and space. Our conversations help the Head Teacher to externalise her decisions for a sounding board, and they teach me how to articulate or even justify any options we have endorsed for, say, admission of Senior One or Five, the choice not to participate in a popular national or international event, or advice for the removal of a student or teacher whose actions were not consistent with the values of Gayaza. Even her promise of, “I shall look into that and get back to you” as we conclude a conversation is reassurance that we are connecting, a rewarding gesture as I try to evaluate my support for the school. Overall, I suppose I consciously reach out to the Head Teacher to make sure that nothing important slips through, especially since many perceive us as friends, given our journey through Gayaza in the 70s, in Sherborne House. No taking things for granted. We have to look for significance in some of the otherwise very commonplace things that we and others, at every school, do daily, all the time, and ask ourselves what we can do better. It is about connecting to preserve our position of excellence. And, in many ways, about mutual respect and acting out Paul’s instruction in Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders …. If you obey them they will do their work gladly; if not they will do it with sadness”. l
Gayaza High School Board of Governors - 10/6/2015 10/5/2018 Dr Robinah Kyeyune - Chairman Mr Guster Kayinja Foundation Body Mrs Hannah Kakembo Foundation Body Mrs Barbara Waligo Senkatuka Foundation Body Mr Paul Richard Kabanda Foundation Body Mr John Chemonges - Foundation Body Mrs Rebecca Ssabaganzi Chairman PTA Hajji Suleiman Walusimbi Local Council 3 Representative Ms Catherine Nsodo - Local Government (LC 5) Representative Mr Richard KyakoonyeTeacher’s Representative Ms Rose Nalule Dr Florence Masembe Kasirye - Old Girl’s Representative Mrs Victoria Kisarale - Headmistress Mrs Annet Kaboggoza-Musoke Deputy Head Teacher Mr Ronald Ddungu Deputy Head Teacher
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THE GAYAZA OLD GIRLS’ ASSOCIATION
The power of an alumnae organisation DR. FLORENCE N. MASEMBE KASIRYE, 1963 – 1974, President, Gayaza Old Girls Association 2012 – 2015
he concept of school alumnae or old student associations is not a new one and in some countries, old student associations have had significant influence on the development of the institutions they once called school. In Uganda, however, the concept of giving back has not set deep enough roots. Making charitable donations to our former schools is not simply a feelgood thing. If we do it right, those donations can drive change in our schools and within our alumnae organisation. When we build a culture of giving and combine efforts with other well-wisher individuals and businesses, we stand a better chance of driving real change, the kind of changes that can help solve challenges faced at our former training institutions. One may believe that they can stop thinking about what happens at Gayaza High School, but we all have a vested interest in our school’s wellbeing, even after we have gained from it. We should aspire to see that our alma mater grows in stature, making it a better place. We need to think about what our former school and its ongoing reputation say about us, and the value of the certificates we hold (Hank Coleman). As the school grows in prestige, all of us who obtained certificates from this institution bask in its glory. However, if the school fails, all alumnae are tarnished by the poor reputation (Shari Fox). Former (old) students of a school therefore have a place in the education system, whether at primary or secondary level. The history of a school lies not only in its buildings or artifacts but also in the very people who have passed through its hallways. The fond and, sometimes difficult, memories that the school evokes continue to linger in our hearts as stories to be passed down generations. Whatever the reason to shy away from any association with our former schools, it is time to give these physical landmarks of our past lives a rethink. A
Some association activities sense of loyalty, an acknowledgement that we are who we are because of the education and culture acquired at our former schools should motivate us alumnae to give back. If you are able to, you should not only give your alma mater the gift of money, but also the gift of time. This helps support the next generation of students and alumnae. We owe it to our children and nation to preserve, maintain and improve what those that came before us gave to us. With your support and participation we can achieve our goals of expanding the staff room, constructing staff residences on campus and ensuring that the girls are able to all sit in the dining room and enjoy a meal together. Ugandan schools today, more than ever before, need financial support as well as volunteer assistance from their alumnae. Giving back to your school can provide you with dividends in years to come. We should all join hands and take part in preserving our school’s legacy. Our lifetime contribution can be in advancing the education programs to develop well-equipped alumnae for the modern world. These are the future movers and shakers of Uganda and the world at large. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill Never Give Up – Banno. l
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Career Fair The first Career Day was organised by Gayaza alumnae on Saturday June 27, 2015 at the school. The girls received insights from professionals in diverse fields ranging from security, medicine, law, aviation to oil and gas.
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ALICE KARUGABA CEO 1959 - 1962 HAM MUKASA October 2015 I Gayaza Times I 11
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A blend of old and new
Gayaza today School chapel
The sewing room The new main gate The dining room
The swimming pool
The Ruth Nvumetta Kavuma class block
The school drive
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IMPARTING LIFE SKILLS
A FRESH APPROACH TO EDUCATION RONALD DDUNGU, Deputy Head Teacher, GHS
ayaza High School has designed an agricultural programme that empowers the students with basic agriculture and life skills through a series of activities that take the students out of their classrooms to work within the school farm units and with farmers in their community. These activities have been integrated within the formal curriculum areas for sustainability. The objectives of the programme are: 1. To empower the students with practical agricultural skills and change their mindset about the sector in order to increase employment opportunities and contribute to food and income security in their homes, 2. To mobilise and engage the relevant stakeholders along the selected value chains around the school to provide the required services for the sustainability of the programme, Turn to Page 14
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3. To increase and sustain agricultural production by the school farm and the community around us, 4. To establish a marketplace (both a virtual and physical), where participating stakeholders along the selected value chains market their products and services. Senior One students are introduced to vegetable growing. Working in teams of three, they are given a particular vegetable to grow that they later on sell to the school dining room or to parents on visiting days. In future, groups with similar crops will be organised in form of companies through which they will market their crops and also learn the actual dynamics of planning a business. Senior Two students work in the animal units and learn how to look after the dairy animals. These students are engaged in growing maize and other fodder plants and follow the process of converting these into feeds for animals and later on milk. They learn to milk cows; feeding; measuring animal weight and body temperature; and recording the milk from every cow. In Senior Three the students are introduced to the poultry unit, specifically, commercial Kuroiler keeping. They start with day-old chick brooder management to picking the eggs and dressing the birds for sale. They also learn to vaccinate the birds and mix drugs. The banana plantation started with the Senior Five students’ class of 2014, where each student planted a banana sucker. The
We would love to be the greatest supplier of fresh and organically grown bananas within our area, feeding different markets and also look forward to developing many other value added products
class learns banana growing, agronomic management practices like weeding, pruning, mulching, staking, manure application and amongst others as their banana plants continue to grow. Organic manure such as poultry litter and bio-slurry from the bio-gas digester are used in the plantation. The waste from the piggery and dairy units has sustained the production of bio-slurry although, sometimes, cow dung is bought from neighbouring farms to increase on bio-gas production, which enables the school to reduce on the cost and use of LP gas and firewood. All this enables the student to fully understand the issues concerning environment awareness and protection, including energy saving and climate smart agriculture. Suckers obtained from the Senior Five matooke garden have been used by the members of staff to start their banana plantation following the model of a personalised plant per teacher. This teachers’ garden is also at fruiting stage and the teachers are learning how to market their produce. The banana farming model has been introduced to Senior Three and Senior five and the school now has a 500 plants garden. The target is to have all the 1,100 students, 75 teachers and 100 non-teaching staff owning a personalised plant next year. We would love to be the greatest supplier of fresh and organically grown bananas within our area, feeding different markets and also look forward to developing many other value added products. l
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Girls in the computer lab
Sports Day 2012
School activities Youth Alive Club
Culture Day celebrations
Sports Day, Cox House Gayaza Performing Arts Festival 2011
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The staff room today
TOMORROW’S STAFF ROOM
GOGA has undertaken to build the Staff Room Extension. These artistic impressions have been accepted by the school. We implore every Old Girl to give generously towards this cause. Other upcoming projects at the school that will require our input are the Busuuti Hall and Expansion of the Dining Hall.
1 To participate BANK: Housing Finance Bank ACCOUNT NAME: Gayaza Old Girls’ Association ACCOUNT NO: 0100371662 * Always notify the GOGA Executive when you make a deposit stating the amount and purpose of your deposit.
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GOGA TECHNICAL TEAM WORKING ON THE PROJECT Architect Patricia Khayongo Rutiba (GHS 1988-94) Dream Architects P.O Box 6106, Kampala +256 772587956 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Architect Phyllis Kwesiga (GHS 1988-91) KK Consulting Architects 0772439828 firstname.lastname@example.org Architect Sanyu V. Nakiganda (GHS 1991-1997) D-Zyn Plus Ltd, 0782963247, P.O. Box 1855, Kampala Mob: 0782963247 / 0702963247 email@example.com Engineer Rebecca Nakiyingi. (GHS 1996- 2002) Contact: 0776444455/0701447755 firstname.lastname@example.org Quantity Surveyor Diana Nagawa Tamale (GHS 19971999) +256782161533 email@example.com
1. Old block 2. Pigeon holes 3. Aerial view 4. The back 5. Lower end 6. Extension
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The gift of giving MARION ADENGO MUYOBO
assets. They are barely sufficient to satisfactorily run daily operations at ow many times do you find the school. yourself uttering the words: “I GOGA has identified, among the am too busy”; “I have no time numerous needs, the urgency for a new/ for that; “I cannot waste my time with expanded staff room to cater for the that”; “I have no money for that”; “that increased teaching staff and provide a has nothing to do with me”; “so and modicum of comfort and dignity to the so should be able to take care of that”; teachers that bear the responsibility “so and so is there to take care of that” of keeping GHS’ flag flying high on or drumroll… the worst! “Government their shoulders. Imagine teachers at derived joy from it because they kept should take care of that” aka “tusaba GHS marking books under trees! coming back. They are part of the team Too many of them do not even have gavumenti etuyambe” aka TGE. that grew the GOGA brand at the high accommodation at the school. Not many of us take time to reflect school then. on our own lives, what is around us I look forward to participating in I had the opportunity to go back for and beseech every Old Girl to put their and how lucky we are. A growing the first time a few years ago when I number of us heed calls to go support individual fingerprint on: The Staff won school fees in a Rotary raffle and this initiative or the other. Whether Room Expansion Project; expanding decided that the beneficiary would it is the Rotary Cancer Run or a the Dining Room; Building the Busuuti be a Gayaza girl. I later participated major corporate marathon, we are Hall; Building new staff houses; in organising the GOGA Career Day there. What that means is that deep House Committees that maintain our 2015 and organising the GOGA Dinner Houses; Annual GOGA Career Days down inside all of us is the spirit to Dance, 2015. In this I have met, observed Regular GOGA talks and prayers; and give. Yes there are too many requests and worked with many old (more are and demands on your life, time and All aspects of the school’s life. older) girls that have been continually finances. So what do we give priority Giving back may yield no benefits, giving unbelievable amounts of time, and in what area? no recognition nor tangible reward. energy, ideas and financial resources to Your biggest and sole reward is the Many left Gayaza and have never the school over the years. gone back. In many cases they do not realization that you have made a want anything to do with the school significant, or at the very least, a am convinced that if we are to instil positive change in someone’s life. I because of something a staff member the edge, energy and initiative that would like to see more Gayaza Old or fellow student said or did to them. is so sought after by employers The brand Gayaza High School is Girls take part in the affairs of Gayaza and investment partners and is, quite indomitable because in it are High School. It is our – you and I – turn traditionally, the hallmark of a Gayaza to give back! Never Give Up! l the aspects that laid the foundation girl then Old Girls must participate for the majority of us. We may not in the affairs of the school – academic, appreciate it or may even be unaware social, spiritual, extracurricular and that what the school values wove into developmental. Should we not step up us set us up for life. These values are Godliness, Respect, Time Management, to the plate continually, this brand will Perseverance, Integrity and Excellence. be lost to us. The question arises, why are you – yes you Gayaza Old Girl – laid I remember, from my time at GHS, some Gayaza, OGs who used to actively back or not effectively involved in the take part in the schools activities while affairs of your alma mater? It was clear at the 2015 PTA Annual I was at Gayaza. Mrs. Joyce Mpanga, General Meeting (which all Old Girls Mrs. Rhoda Nsibambi (RIP), Miriam are constitutionally invited to and Kutesa’s mother, Siima Nalwanga’s mother (Mrs. Mugambi), Dr. Christine expected to participate in) that funds raised through school fees are simply Kadama and Mrs. Sarah Bagalaaliwo. insufficient and, if used within the law, There were many more. These ladies cannot be effectively used to maintain volunteered their time, resources, and improve the school’s physical expertise and skills and obviously
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‘‘ MAKING DO! Each girl had a rough notebook which had to be used in pencil, rubbed out and used in pencil again, then in ink on top... only then was a new one issued.
SHEELAGH WARREN, HEADMISTRESS, 1973 - 1990
t Gayaza we always seemed to be short of something and so had to learn to “make do”. Buildings were always too small or non-existent. The Junior School had a hall, which served both schools for a time. We dreamt of building our own and even laid a foundation stone outside the old block; but there was never a way to get the money and we made do with the terraces outside the library for plays and concerts, risking Miss Sebaduka goes off shopping the rain. When the old block was condemned were all in the HM’s house for half a as unsafe, some girls slept in a garage century. and other funny places while the next While the chapel was being built permanent dormitory was built, and assembly had to be in the open air rooms intended to be common rooms as the old chapel was by then far too ended up as the music room or extra small. bedrooms, and nearly all single beds Recruiting teachers was never easy. were replaced with double-deckers, When Amin drove out the Asians even in HSC wings. in 1972, most of the Europeans went When the roof of the kitchen was within the next year. We once had 16 blown off in a storm, the cooking teachers for 16 classes when O-Level was organised outside and stayed exams began. We sent S2 home early, there - perhaps to this day? When I which caused a minor rebellion. arrived in 1957,the mud brick, thatchEven before that, we found roofed Junior I classroom had neither ourselves making do with teaching door nor windows and was often subjects we had not trained to teach, flooded. The first S5A were taught in like Mathematics and Health Science. the sewing room and later in Mary I once wrote S6 Chemistry reports, Stuart’s big room. S5S had to make do after the Kabanyolo staff had kindly with a laboratory as their classroom. marked their papers! So when more If ever we had enough teachers, Ugandan graduates, including men there was never enough housing for and people from outside Buganda, them. There was no staff room till bravely began to come on to the staff, the 60s and that was built for 20+ it was a huge relief. Even then, some teachers, not 60+. Library and office found surviving in Uganda so tough
that they migrated to Kenya, hoping for a meaningful salary, sometimes leaving without notice. President Amin brought in some Pakistani teachers, but their English was rather limited. But we “made do” and stayed near the top of the exam league tables. In 1957 the girls were playing rounders behind the office, using the trees as posts, the first tennis courts were home-made and patiently rolled. Hockey was played below the block where the ground sloped down towards the farm road and was full of indentations. The Ann Cutler Games Field came 40 years after it was promised, in 2000, just as she left. Scholastic materials, as they were grandly called by officialdom, were always in short supply and precious. In the 1950s each girl had a rough notebook about 100 pages thick, which had to be used in pencil, Turn to page 22
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Memory lane rubbed out and used in pencil again, then in ink on top: only then was a new one issued. Later girls brought their own exercise books, whereas in the days before the economic war each subject had its own colour. French yellow, Geography - green, and so on. Even then, every line was to be used, none left blank. In the 80s, when everything was “unobtainable”, except at a price, we used the back of one exam paper to print the next one, and an unfortunate TP student who asked the office to use a whole sheet illustrated with one petri-dish for a test was thoroughly told off. All sorts of scraps were used in Art and Home Economics, and all Science equipment was shared, so when in public exams students had one to themselves they were quite astonished. I remember visiting a school I was supervising during UCE where the students had never used a test tube till they did Chemistry Practicals. When we suspended Sunday uniforms during the war years, it was interesting to see how many girls suddenly had white trousers to wear on Saturdays! Matron found quite a few discarded sleeves hidden away.
GAYAZA PRAISE IN THE UK
ow we fed the school during the Economic war was by a series of miraculous provisions. There were tins of Food Aid, which Miss Sebaduka kept for special occasions, and she somehow managed to produce extra protein for the “candidates” each November. Mmenvu and tea were about the only items that were always available, so bananas were offered as “biscuits” or “cake” at coffee time among the staff. Sugar was in very short supply and once the girls were heard chanting outside the DR: “We want sugar.” So Miss Sebaduka took some of them with her on the next trip to Kampala. They came back exhausted and there were no more chants. We took to warning girls when things were very difficult and I once found a group of prefects standing outside the chapel when I came out and thought to myself: “Now what?” But they had come to commiserate with me for all the problems. Only once in all those years was a meal late. And that was on that Sunday afternoon when that storm had blown off half the kitchen roof. A message came to the chapel to say tea would be late! After that we decreed no tea on a wet afternoon, to make sure of supper! Most of all - no water! This meant endless trips to the borehole by kitchen staff and often the whole school. Irregular electricity supply - when cuts would plunge us all into the dark without warning yet we had no generator. For about ten years we had no telephone wires and when they were restored someone would steal them. Most of the time all fuel was hard to come by, which seriously curtailed outings for socials or matches. We managed, somehow, by the grace of God. We were never disappointed in our trust in Him, and we learnt to appreciate what we did have all the more. If you still have to “make do”, don’t worry, just Never Give Up! l
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First four Cambridge certificate holders: Phoebe Mukasa, Norah Mugalu Matovu, Sarah Magara and Joyce Masembe Mpanga
The list of admissions to S1, 1969 in the Uganda Argus
Tennis legend Arthur Ashe visits
A bit of drama Gayaza Singers
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11 GAYAZA VIRTUES RT. HON. PROF. APOLO ROBIN NSIBAMBI
t gives me great pleasure to write this paper showing the good attributes of Gayaza High School, an excellent School which has existed for one hundred and ten years. I served on the Board of Governors of this school and Rhoda, my late wife and I assisted the school in improving its dairy farm, drawing our experience from our dairy farm at Buloba. I benefitted a lot from this school because I married Rhoda who attended this school. She imbibed excellent Christian values from the school and from her parents, and was a diligent and effective Head Prefect of this school. When I married Rhoda, she was aware that I was a Head Prefect at King’s College, Budo. We exchanged views on how we would use our leadership skills to bring up our children. Other benefits from the school include the following: First, our four daughters studied at the school. They are Rhoda Kasujja, Lydia Mulondo, Eseza Ssali and Juliet Kasujja. Second, Janet Nnakku, the late Lucy (Mutawe), Betty (Ssekkadde) and Mary Nsibambi, my sisters were educated in this school. Third, my late mother Eva Nsibambi and the late Mrs. Erina Kayanja, my mother in law, studied at this School. Fourth, Solome (Sentongo), Lydia (Hatega), Jessica (Baziwe) and Sarah (Serufusa), sisters of Rhoda, my late wife also studied at this great school. Solome Sentongo (formerly Kayanja) was a Head Prefect at this school. What are the outstanding attributes of the School? First, it inculcated Christian values into the girls. Attending chapel was and is compulsory. Miss Cox wrote in the book Gavaza High School. 1905-1995: “The Chapel was the very heart of the school, both symbolically and spiritually.” Easter Sundays were memorable to the girls. The Chapel Choir got up before 4:30 a.m. and met quietly at the chapel wrapped
Naughty girls were made to stand under a punishment tree for a period which depended on the gravity of the punishment
in sheets, carrying lanterns, candles and torches then went to proclaim in song “He rose, he rose from the dead”. A Gayaza Easter was very precious to many over the years. Furthermore, the girls marketed Easter outside the school. Second, there was no tolerance for indiscipline. Initially, naughty girls were given a few strokes on the bottom with a strip by Miss Dorothy Allen who joined the staff in 1926. Later on, caning was abandoned. Indeed, Miss Joan Cox, a very influential Head Teacher, used to counsel wrong doers who became ashamed of their misconduct.
he would pray with the naughty girls who would reform. Later on, naughty girls were made to stand under a punishment tree for a period which depended on the gravity of the punishment. Mrs. Victoria Kisarale, the current Head Teacher of the school, pointed out that another punishment is that the hair of an undisciplined girl is cut off. According to her, the students dread cutting off their hair.
An outside view
The Punishment Tree today Third, the school practises effective time management. One of the major weaknesses of most Ugandans is that they do not value arriving on time and carrying out assigned tasks within a given time frame. Teaching effective time management should start in homes and it should be practised in kindergartens, schools, universities and during public and private functions. Rhoda and I taught our daughters to keep time, a precious practice which was cherished by Gayaza High School. Fourth, Gayaza has a tradition of high academic performance. As a result of this, the head teacher is under pressure from parents who wish to have their children admitted at this school. Fifth, initially Gayaza and King’s College Budo were schools for daughters and sons of chiefs from the Kingdom of Buganda. Later on, the school started admitting girls from other areas of Uganda who interfaced with each other closely in the boarding school. This development has enhanced the realisation of trans-ethnic integration, a process under which different
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ethnic and religious groups form one territorial nationality. It is gratifying to note that it was Gayaza which first had members of all tribes performing each other’s dances and soon the students were dancing Malawian and Zambian dances as well. Sixth, Gayaza has encouraged cocurricular activities which supplement academic learning. These include swimming, tennis, music, drama and dairy farming. Miss Hobday who was a musical genius, enhanced the quality of music at Gayaza High School. Indeed, the School Choir went to Britain in 1963 where they performed at concerts and their songs and quality of singing were highly appreciated. They were invited by The Church Missionary Society (CMS). Seventh, the School got involved in the local community. Teachers and girls volunteered to visit the lonely and under-privileged in the villages. The village visits Club which was founded in 1952, gave up Sunday afternoons to visit the poor. They swept their houses, collected firewood and fetched water. This experience linked the School to the community and the School ceased being an ivory tower. It is gratifying to note that the School has continued carrying out these activities for the community. Eighth, inter-school visits mostly with King’s College, Budo, Namilyango College and Busoga College, Mwiri exposed the students to what was taking place in other Schools. For example, King’s College, Budo is a co-educational institution which enables girls and boys to relate to each other properly. Ninth, democratic leadership practices were eventually established at Gayaza. Initially, the Head Prefect and Prefects were appointed by the Staff. However, a new system was put in place whereby girls elect their leaders who are then vetted by the teaching staff. Tenth, the role of head teachers and teachers was critical in positively shaping the destiny of the School and the behaviour of girls. The initial Head Teachers were very well educated British women who were not married. They spent all their time attending to the problems and opportunities of girls and teachers. For example, Miss Cox, who was a headmistress at Gayaza High School, visited me when I was a Senior Warden of New Hall (now
SOME OUTSTANDING OLD GIRLS l Mrs. Victoria Kisarale, Headmistress, Gayaza High School l Mrs. Ruth Kavuma, a former Headmistress Gayaza High School. l The late Mrs. Rhoda Nsibambi, former Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Language Education, Makerere University. l Hon. Irene Muloni, a Minister of Energy and Minerals. l HE Elizabeth Bagaya, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs. l Mrs. Victoria Sekitoleko, a former Minister of Agriculture. l Hon. Betty Bigombe, a former Minister of State for Water. l Hon. Cecilia Ogwal, Member of Parliament l Hon. Mrs. Miria Obote, a former President of UPC and wife of the
late President Milton Obote. l HE Prof. Joyce Kikafunda, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Britain. l HRH Sylvia Nagginda, wife of Sabasajja Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi II l Mrs. Noredah Kiremire, a former Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics, Makerere University. l Professor Joy Kwesiga, the ViceChancellor of Kabale University. l Mrs. Erina Baingana, a former Secretary of the Public Service Commission. l Mrs. Joyce Mpanga, a former Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Sports. l Mrs. Christine Kiganda, a former Deputy Chairperson of Makerere University Council. l Mrs. Allen Kagina, Executive Director of UNRA
Nkrumah Hall) at Makerere University and drew to my attention a rowdy student who was disturbing a girl at her school psychologically. We sorted out the problem. It was evident that she took pains to study the girls and to get to know their parents. For example, Miss Cox spent a weekend at our home at Makerere University where she interfaced with our children in a loving manner before they joined Gayaza High School. She was distressed, however, because the girls were given a lot of homework, which strained them.
have held in Uganda. The contribution of these people has been appreciated. In conclusion, Gayaza High School is an excellent school which nurtures girls in Christian values and discipline. Its academic performance has been consistently very good and its cocurricular activities benefit students. The contribution of the founding British head teachers laid a firm foundation for the School. They did not get married to men but focused their attention on nourishing the school. Girls from this school cannot be part of the hooligans who have tarnished the name of Makerere University and other universities. The Ugandan head teachers that are married have also made a significant contribution to the School but they have had to strike a difficult balance between the demands of their families and the demands of the school. “Never Give Up” which is the motto of the school, explains why the members of staff and girls must persist when grappling with problems afflicting the School. In marking a hundred and ten years of Gayaza High School’s existence, Gayaza Old Girls’ Association wishes to raise funds in order to extend the staff ßroom. Esther, my wife, and I wish to donate one million (1,000,000/=) shillings towards this worthy goal. My wife Esther and I commend to the School 1 Samuel Chapter 7 verse 12. It reads: ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us. Ebenezer.’ l
ayaza never overburdened their girls with excessive homework. This problem persists in many schools in Uganda and by the time girls and boys reach university some of them are academically exhausted. They perform poorly at the University. The British head teachers were ‘married’ to their jobs. After they left the school, it hired Ugandans who are married. They have the difficult task of balancing the demands of School and the demands of their families. Lastly, old girls of Gayaza High School have made a distinct contribution to Uganda in academic, political, economic and other fields. The examples boxed above show very important posts which the old girls
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P RO F I L E S BY S U S A N N A N D I K U W E R A P H OTO G R A P H Y BY T I M E L E S S I M AG E S
, Gayaza s teacher Initially, she thought she wanted to be a lawyer, but ultimately chose a teaching career and went on to teach for 13 years at her alma mater. Today, she is a Senior Lecturer in History.
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ilda Ojok had purposed to be a lawyer when she was in O-Level. By the time she left Gayaza High School after A-Level, however, her mind had changed. “Out of a class of 30, I was the only one that put teaching as first choice,” she says. Her decision to become a teacher was perhaps due to the fact that she greatly admired her own teachers. “We had very good teachers. These days you look at some teachers and wonder what has happened to Uganda. We were taught in such a way that it required little effort to learn, not the cram work that happens now,” Filda says. She describes a history lesson in which the teacher, Miss Ann Philpott, teaching about the rise and fall of the empires of West Africa decided to dramatise the story. “She started at the door with hands raised. ‘Ghana rose, flourished and fell.’ By the time she got to the end, she had moved to the other end of the class. That really amused us. She made the learning of history such fun! We all loved history.” Filda, who taught at Gayaza High School for 13 years, is currently a senior lecturer of history at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in Kyambogo University. Prior to this, she was the Dean of the Faculty, a position she held for 16 years. “I can sincerely say that teaching to me has been like a calling. I have really enjoyed it.” Filda confesses her love for people and desire to ‘put something’ in a child’s life. “It has been my passion to see a child’s life change as he/she grows older. Teaching has given me a very good experience with people.”
‘‘ I can sincerely say that teaching to me has been like a calling...
As young teachers, Filda and her colleagues were helped along by a team whom she refers to as “the four generals”. These were Miss Sheelagh Warren, Miss Ann Cutler, Miss Janice Hobday and Miss Quinn. “They really mentored us as teachers. Miss Warren would insist on proper pronunciation of English words and even pinned up grammatical errors on the staff room notice board.” “The first two years of teaching in Gayaza were very demanding. When you have a supervisor like Miss Warren who was a perfectionist, you are on your toes to get things right.” The multiple responsibilities of having to prepare lessons from scratch, marking students’ work, having to perform other duties including taking care of a house was hard and Filda recalls having health problems as the work took its toll on her. “The doctor would examine me and say: ‘There’s nothing physically wrong with you,’ and yet my entire body was in pain.” She looks back with appreciation, though,
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SOME OF HER MANY STUDENTS
>>>> Dr. Sylvia Tamale, the first woman dean in the Law Faculty at Makerere University
because she believes the experience prepared her for subsequent roles that she would take up. One of Filda’s most memorable experiences as a teacher at Gayaza was the 1979 ‘Liberation War’ that led to the overthrow of Idi Amin’s regime. War broke out in October 1978 and went on until April 1979. She particularly recalls the terror caused by the Soviet BM Katyusha rocket launchers that the Tanzanian army used. “You heard those bombs in your heart, not in your ears. We used to call them Saba Saba.” Unlike their fellow students who lived in Kampala and were picked up by their parents, some of the girls from the rural areas remained at the school. The teachers had the responsibility of caring for them throughout this frightening experience. “Those were the years before telephones. The girls did not even know whether their parents were alive.” Filda learnt at this time the gravity of her responsibility as a teacher. “You were the person the students looked at. They looked in your eyes to see if you were frightened. If you were, then they too would be frightened.” The teachers, under the leadership of then headmistress, Miss Warren, had to keep the students busy, cheerful and optimistic. “It is from there that our motto,
>>>> Poet and Literary scholar, Dr. Susan Kiguli who is also a senior lecturer at Makerere University
On how a Gayaza girl should measure success: “Someone should ask themselves: ‘Have I done my best?’”
‘Never Give Up’ came from. People do not know that,” says Filda. “It was a matter of constant persistence against all odds.” Asked her opinion on how a Gayaza girl should measure success, Filda says: “Somebody should ask themselves: ‘Have I done my best?’ I do not support the idea of trying to force people to do miracles.” She believes that the role of the former students of Gayaza High School should be to keep the school accountable. “We need to keep the school accountable to the values that were given to us by the founders. When they are going out of balance, we should be able to say: ‘You are neglecting this. This is what made us different.’”
Justice Lillian TibatemwaEkirikubinza.
Filda appreciates the commitment with which the missionary teachers passed on their Christian faith and values to the students and the wholesome education she acquired from Gayaza. Students as well as teachers were responsible for their surroundings. “I remember at the end of senior one, winning the prize for keeping my portion of the banana plantation cleanest.” In addition to farming, Filda would like to continue mentoring younger teachers as she goes into retirement. She is keen to pass on whatever knowledge and experience she has to teachers and students in her native Nwoya district. It is difficult for Filda to point out what she would consider as her single greatest achievement. “It is not my achievements, but what God has allowed me to do. He has kept me satisfied in this profession for so long. I value the fact that I have remained a Christian. God saw also me through the years of administration as dean in this faculty.” Her involvement in the lives of many students also brings her a lot of pride. “To part with your students and to meet them later as friends, I think that is great. That is something a teacher cherishes.” l
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GAYAZA IN THE BOARDROOM Josepha Tibenderena is the head of Internal Audit at Umeme Ltd. She makes no apologies for setting the bar really high
t 34, Josepha Tibenderana Ndamira is the youngest member of UMEME Ltd’s Executive Committee. She is the Head of Internal Audit at the energy distribution company that has over $400 million in assets. It comes as no surprise. Josepha will do what she sets out to do. This is one of her defining qualities. If there is a target to be achieved, she will follow it to its end. She makes no excuses when she needs to deliver. She recalls a situation earlier in her career when she had to sit for her Certified Internal Auditor qualification at the same time as she was planning her wedding. “I was determined, not only to pass the exam, but to do it well,” she says. Gayaza taught Josepha to take responsibility for herself, her surroundings and personal brand. “Gayaza would teach you without you knowing that you were being taught,” she says. The
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opportunity to get involved in sewing one’s own uniform, badges and to participate in housework was priceless. “I always wanted my uniform to be in place, my belt well starched. We were only given one uniform every year so if you did a bad job sewing it, you were stuck with that for a long time. You learnt to be responsible for how you looked and also for the cleanness of your living area.” The last of four children, Josepha had always enjoyed the comfort of being taken care of by her family. However, this was to change when, as was the practice in Gayaza, she was given the responsibility of taking care of a new student when they joined in Senior One. It would be her first experience in mentoring others. “Gayaza taught me that when you are successful, you can reach out and help someone else succeed.”
JOSEPHA, THE MANAGER As a manager, Josepha is unapologetic about setting very high standards for her staff. But she is also fiercely loyal and supportive of them. “I set the bar high. I know that they can reach it because they are competent people but I also realise that they will not reach it easily. I push hard sometimes. But I support my team 100% both in and outside the office.” “My life experiences have convinced me that the world is big enough for many success stories.” To this end, Josepha is convinced that old girls have a crucial role to play in the school that has contributed to their success. “Former students have a responsibility of upholding the values of the old Gayaza. It was built to educate future queens. We need to preserve that brand.” Josepha also believes that the Old Girls must get involved in contributing their specific skills to areas that present a need.
My life experiences have convinced me that the world is big enough for many success stories
“Young people today are challenged by issues like drug abuse. We have counsellors among us who can lend their skills and experience to the school to support the administration. Many of us through education and travelling for work encounter the latest technologies being used for teaching. Can we access these for Gayaza?” Asked whether she would send her now four-yearold daughter to Gayaza, Josepha’s answer is emphatic: “Yes.” “I fall back on lessons learnt in Gayaza as I bring up my children. I am keen that they are involved in housework and cleaning up after themselves.” Attending Gayaza would make her daughter third generation Gayaza girl. One thing that Josepha hopes will not change is the strong Christian foundation on which Gayaza was built. She recalls the words of Miss Ann Cutler, who challenged her students to ‘bank in prayer’. “Even today, I think in terms of accumulating savings in prayer for my family, my career, my children, their friends and teachers, and so on.” Christian values of integrity and honesty are a major part of what Gayaza can contribute to society. “Sub-Saharan Africa is grappling with issues of corruption and injustice. We will see someone build a mansion and have an expensive car after only two years of working. It can take 30 years of consistent hard work to acquire wealth. There need to be people about whom others can say: ‘I know beyond doubt that this person will never take a bribe.’” l
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When we say we have given something everything we have got, we have probably only scraped the surface of our potential.
A PIONEERING SPIRIT T
From writing to climbing mountains, Joy Mirembe Abola is always pushing the boundaries and having fun while at it.
he thing I notice as I speak to Joy Mirembe is that tackling new ventures seems to come naturally to her. From starting businesses and designing products to writing articles and climbing mountains, Joy scales new heights with an ease and confidence that eludes most. What is interesting about Joy, though, is that unlike many thrill seekers who will want a new challenge as frequently and as short lived as possible, she takes time to prepare for her projects, and commits to them for a while. I ask what her current role is and she says Business and Finance Consulting with Akamai Global. I know that this is a company that she and her husband, James Abola, co-own. Started in August 2005, they have grown it from conception to the award-winning financial consultancy it is now. They design and develop training products in personal money management. In 2008 and 2009, Akamai Global received the Kikonyogo Capital Markets Award for Investor Education.
MULTIPLE ROLES Our conversation keeps turning up more and more interests that Joy has or is developing. She pauses the interview to take an important call. She mentions, off handedly that it is about a clothing business she runs. We do not pursue that; there is not enough time to talk about all the things she is doing. I want to talk about her writing. In 2005, Joy began to write ‘Min Atek’, an article in the Daily Monitor newspaper. Every week for the last 10 years, she has come up with a topical issue on parenting and written meaningfully about it. “Writing has always been a passion, therapy for me,” she shares. In July 2015, Joy and James released a book they have co-written entitled, ‘Money and Marriage’. “It looks at the uncomfortable questions that people in relationships don’t ask, fear to ask or assume that all parties involved know,” Joy explains.
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THE ABOLAS The Abolas are a formidable team as is evidenced by their success in collaborating on several projects. They have had to work well together in order to achieve the pioneering nature of their work and life. Right from the beginning of their marriage, it was the two of them taking on the world. “To this day, there are people who complain that the bride did not wear a gown,” they write in their book, Money and Marriage. Joy and James had made the decision to plan a wedding that did not leave them in debt so Joy opted for a Ghanaian dress instead of an expensive bridal gown. This teamwork has carried on. The couple have chosen not to have live-in domestic help and this has meant that having order in their home is everyone’s responsibility. “I give credit to James,” Joy says. “He is a very involved party.” GAYAZA Several times in the interview, I am keen to establish a Gayaza connection. This is what the interview is about, after all. I am starting to sense though that Joy would have been okay whichever school she had chosen to attend. It is almost a relief to hear her attribute some of her success to the opportunities that she had in Gayaza High School to develop her talents and leadership skills. “Gayaza allowed me to thrive in many ways,” she says. “I did a lot of presentations at seminars for my class. That is also when I really thrived in music. I was team leader for the school’s Chapel Choir and Gayaza Singers.”
he approached music with the same confidence and energy that she approaches life. She tells of an experience that required her creative mind, and selling skills. Joy was doing her external music exams and was supposed to present a solo traditional folk song to the English examiner. “Bobbie (Miss Janice Hobday) had presented me very proudly as one of her excellent students and we had trained and prepared. But once I was before the examiner, I completely forgot the lyrics and the tune.” Thankfully, the nervous energy was transformed into creativity and Joy put on the performance of her life. “I created a tune of sorts, mumbled some things and danced enthusiastically.” The examiner was definitely sold because he awarded Joy an A score for that piece. Interestingly and hard to believe, Joy recalls that she experienced low self esteem in her high school days. “I think it was because when I came to Gayaza, I did not come from a well off background. My mother was a single mum. You inevitably compared yourself to the other students.” Joy, however, speaks fondly of finding a home in Gayaza. Having few siblings who are very widely spaced in age made for a somewhat lonely existence at her own home.
“Gayaza was nice and warm. But it was the embodiment of so many things; the relationships with friends, the activities, the dancing, the music.” AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT Joy believes that a major part of what she received in Gayaza was the spirit of excellence. “We were required to be involved in day to day things. The culture of doing things for yourself and being expected to do them well then becomes a part of you.” As a mother, Joy requires this same standard from her two children, Abigail and Andrae. “You finish using the bathroom, you clean it up and you clean it up well.” The children have gotten used to their mother’s exacting standards. She is determined to do the best job she can to raise them. Aside from wealth, Joy’s other passion is health. She encourages people to eat well and follows her own advice on diet and regular exercise. She offers me a drink from a suspicious looking concoction she is having. It is surprisingly delicious and I am keen to find out what’s in it. “There’s butternut, pineapple, red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, nsusuuti, carrots, beetroot, katunkuma, apples, lime and ginger.” As our conversation draws to a close, I believe that I can predict that this current passion is also going to go somewhere. I know beyond doubt that she is going to start a company, design a product or write a book about it. It is the Joy Mirembe way. She confirms this. “In the next 10 years, I will throw myself into my work on health, reaching a much bigger and wider audience even at the regional and global level.”
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>>>>SCALING THE HEIGHTS
oy and some friends have recently been in the national press, talking about their experience of climbing Mount Rwenzori. Before Mount Rwenzori, she climbed Mountains Muhabura and Elgon as part of preparations for the bigger climb. The preparation regime initially included climbing up several flights of stairs, long treks of between 20 and 25 kms and training in hilly areas. After months of planning, saving up and getting their bodies in shape for the climb, on Saturday 18th July 2015 the group summited the highest point in Uganda, Margherita. Joy says that this test of endurance and tenacity taught her that even when we say we have given something everything we have got, we have probably only scraped the surface of our potential. l
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>>>> Catherine Kanabahita
ayaza has over the years produced ladies that have broken many of the glass ceilings that have, through the centuries, stopped women in their tracks. One of the leading ones is Catherine Kanabahita Guma. Catherine served as the Director of Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD) at Makerere University and Coordinator of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme. As director of the GMD Catherine has been a progressive voice for gender equality on her campus and community at large. Her major accomplishments include institutionalising practices, responsive policies and regulations pertaining to the advancement of female enrolment, and career advancement for female faculty and staff campus wide. Catherine and her team also secured grants in the amount of $26 million to provide merit and needbased scholarships to students across the Africa to study at Makerere University. She has also partnered with five universities regionally and internationally through organizations like The African Universities Gender Resource Network. Her involvement with nongovernmental organisations, both locally and abroad, are numerous. They include the Uganda Women’s Network and the Forum for African Women in Education. Catherine is currently a Fulbright Scholar-InResidence (S-I-R) at Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta Georgia. Her assignment is to integrate gender and African perspectives into research, teaching and community engagement with Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) Programme assists US higher education institutions in expanding programs of academic exchange. Keep the torch blazing Catherine!
Gayaza High School, 1982-1988, Head Girl 1986/1987
Mable Nakitto Tomusange
Gayaza Junior School, 1985-1987, Head Girl 1987 Gayaza HIgh School 1988-1991
y name is Mable Nakitto Tomusange. I am married and a mother. My background is in Library and Information Science. I have 14 years’ work experience in management and accident/injury prevention, particularly among children and the youth. Currently, I am the Executive Director for the Injury Control Center- Uganda and Director, Safekids Uganda. I am an editor for the ‘Injury Control Newsletter’, a contributor of injury articles and have published scientific papers on injury. I was a board member of the National Road Safety Council and currently a board member of Transport and Licensing Board under the Ministry of Works and Transport. I am the East African Regional Representative of the Injury Prevention Initiative for Africa. I am a member of the Safekids network, a member of Safe Communities network and a member of Women in Transport, and a member of Civil Society Coalition for Transport. I also manage a Health and Safety Consultancy Firm. I was in Gayaza Junior School for three years (1985-1987) and served as head girl in 1987. I joined Gayaza High School in 1988-91 for my O level education, and was the Hutchinson House Leader. I joined Makerere College School for advanced level education and served there as head girl. I then joined Makerere University and was the Entertainment Minister for Mary Stuart Hall. I have been a leader all my life. I believe Gayaza identified this gift, harnessed and nurtured it very well right from junior school. I am who I am because of the nurturing I received in Gayaza, and I am proud of it. l
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Living for sport Hadija Namanda
W Hadijah with Tendo and Kirabo
hile at Gayaza, Dijah, as we still call her, excelled in every sport and was subsequently Sports Captain, 1992-1993. Even after we left, she has continued to fly our flag high and participate in and influence sport in Uganda and Africa. Hadija went on to be elected Sports Minister Africa Hall, Makerere University and three-time sports personality of Makerere University sports. Hadija scored a first as the first female international Volleyball referee in sub-Saharan Africa and is a Level 2 Volleyball Coach. She still plays with Kampala Amateur Volleyball Club â€“ Ladies and is the Second Vice President, Technical, Uganda Volleyball Federation Hadija played on three Uganda National Teams - Table tennis, Badminton and Volleyball. Her best table tennis rank
On referee duty in Africa was 9th after the 1996 Africa Senior Table Tennis Championships (Seed 9 Africa in sports lingo). She currently serves as General Secretary of the Women in Sports Commission of the Uganda Olympics Committee. Hadijaâ€™s passion for competitive sport is evident in her training her children how to swim from before their first birthdays. Her children have gone on to win dozens of medals in local and international galas. Her son Tendo Mukalazi was the Uganda Sports Press Association swimmer of the year 2012 at 10 years of age. Her daughter Kirabo Namutebi won the accolade in 2013 at seven. Keep the flag flying high Dijah! l
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FIGHTING FOR WOMEN Patricia Munabi is the Executive Director of the Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), a women’s rights organisation in Uganda. She is passionate, focused and committed to the fight for women’s emancipation. Patricia, who joined Gayaza in 1985 and left in 1991, shares how her time there impacted her life...
he Gayaza experience that stands out in my mind is the practice, when one was in Senior Two, of helping to integrate Senior One students into the lifestyle and culture of Gayaza. From you, the Senior One students learnt the nitty gritty of life in the school, the rules as well as the coping mechanisms. This was a fulfilling experience for me as in hindsight it was the beginning of practicing mentoring. I am different from my Senior One self in that I was quite shy back then perhaps because I had joined Gayaza from an upcountry school. Today I am a confident gogetter pursuing my passion. Back then, I cared so much what people around thought of me and it inhibited me from doing some things. Today once I am convinced in my heart and my conscience is clear that what I am doing is the right thing I will go for it unbothered about what others will think. If I could do it again, I would make a greater effort to learn French. At that point I didn’t envisage how important it would be to learn another language. French was a difficult subject for me and in my view I don’t think my teacher gave enough energy to those of us who were struggling to put in an extra effort. It therefore seemed very burdensome to me. Thinking about the Gayaza I experienced, I think that
Today I look back (at Gayaza) and appreciate the skills and knowledge which come in very handy in my life, as I play my gender roles
what we had then should not change. It was fantastic. The curriculum was all round, laced with interesting extra-curricular activities. These were compulsory and maybe we didn’t value them then but today I look back and do appreciate the skills and knowledge which come in very handy in my life, as I play my gender roles in the home but also in my professional life. Today there is a lot of competition among schools and there may be a temptation for the school to do what many schools are doing. One thing I hope never changes is the all-round curriculum especially in view of the current context and the need for individuals to be opened minded, analytical and able to think “outside the box” in order to survive. The other thing I hope never changes is beginning the day at 6:00am rather than have to wake up very early as this can cause exhaustion of students leading to lack of concentration as the day wears on. Old girls of the school who are doing amazing work across sectors and should try to avail internships to students in Gayaza as part of mentoring and enabling them understand the work environment. In 10 years to come, I see myself continuing to make a contribution to changing the situation of women maybe not in an NGO setting but in another sphere. Although quite some progress has been made, the situation of women in the world and Uganda in particular, is still dire especially if one looks at the different demographics across sectors. I am also convinced that more needs to be invested in the economic empowerment of women because once a woman is economically empowered it transforms not only the family but also the community and society at large.l
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wera Tu h u m At
in a snapshot
Discover yourself! Years in Gayaza – 1995 to 2000. I am creative, motivated, God fearing and loyal. Claim to Fame – I attained a first class degree in Electrical Engineering at Makerere University. Have worked at Ericsson for 10 years. Roles I play – Wife. Mother of four. Daughter. Sister. Friend. What I’d do differently in Gayaza – Not be such a baddie (rebel). It wouldn’t have hurt (much) to comply a little more. I’m happy that Gayaza is moving with the times and embracing technology. What shouldn’t change in Gayaza – Emphasis on putting God first. Our uniform. Role of Old Girls – Uphold the traditions of the school.
How different I am from my S.1 self – I’ve still got natural hair!! I was a child then. I’m a woman now with many experiences. Making a comparison would be unfair. Memorable Gayaza experiences – Nativity plays every year. Easter Carols. How others could achieve excellence in science and technology – Gayaza gives one a head start. However, self discovery rather than following the crowd is key. Ask yourself: What makes you tick? What’s God’s purpose for you? If it’s a career in science and technology, go for it. What I have passed on to my children – Our school motto, ‘Never Give Up’ Next 10 years – I’ll say that I will be amazed by how far I will have come in 10 years. Final words – I deeply desire and aspire to reach my highest potential. To be the best me. For all my roles, I purpose to do my very best. l
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Julia Monday Basuutakyabwe Lule (nee Mukasa)
HELPING THE DEAF TO HEAR
ulia was born on Monday 15th October 1917 in Mengo Hospital. Her most vivid childhood memories are when she was selected to present the floral bouquet to the Chief Guest from England who commissioned the Bishop Tucker Theological College main building at Mukono on April 25, 1925, where her father was the first Ugandan tutor. She also remembers seeing Rev. (now St.) Apollo Kivebulaya several times at the Nsibambi residence at Bulange on some of his stopovers from Mboga Zaire.
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She started the pioneer classes for deaf African children in 1960 in one room offered by Mengo Primary School
>>>> 19271937 Years Julia was at Gayaza HIgh School, where she served as Head Girl
She started school in the pioneer nursery school founded by Miss Hill at Bishop Tucker Theological College. She advanced with it when it developed into the Primary School for Girls at Mukono. At age 10, in 1927, she joined Gayaza High School in Primary Two, where she spent 10 years. Like her mother Sanyu Mulira before her, Julia assumed the Head Girl rank in her final year. She completed the education cycle offered by Gayaza and joined its affiliated college, Buloba Teachers College in 1938 completing her professional training as an infants’ teacher in 1939. After Julia married Asaph Lule, an Education Officer in Kabaka’s government in 1940, they travelled widely around Uganda doing education work. Julia focused on infant education and started many nursery schools the most outstanding of which was at Makerere College in Dr. Welbourne’s premises. This nursery school boasts alumni in various prominent positions in Uganda and abroad today.
er nursery school teaching was the precursor to more advanced work in education. Two of her nine biological children, Mary and Peter, were deaf. They presented Julia with the most extraordinary challenge that was to change her life fundamentally. She focused all her energies on finding a solution to the challenges Mary and Peter as well as of all deaf children in the country faced. Through persistent lobbying Julia was given a scholarship by the Kabaka’s Government at Mengo to study deaf education for two years at Manchester University in UK. Returning home in 1959, Julia started the pioneer classes for deaf African children in 1960 in one room offered by Mengo Primary School, then headed by Mrs. Rebecca Katakule Sebunya (RIP). After independence the school assumed national status as Uganda School for the Deaf. Julia opened the door for both abandoned
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An event to mark Julia’s 90th birthday
Facilities for hearing impaired learners have been spawned from the school she started.
deaf children and teachers who were willing to specialise in this new branch of education. Both her public and private lives were taken up by activities supporting the education and welfare of deaf children. The school, now a full-fledged primary school situated at Ntinda, has so far given rise to 14 other primary schools, units, annexes in the whole country and two secondary schools for hearingimpaired learners. Kyambogo University now offers courses in Special Needs Education, including education for the deaf. Her pioneering work in deaf education has earned her the title Mother of Deaf Education and of deaf children in Uganda.
NAMIREMBE PARENTSʼ PRIMARY AND NURSERY SCHOOL (MIXED DAY AND BOARDING)
“Quest for the highest”
Junior Computer Laboratory
“Our Mission is to provide education service and to produce an all round God fearing child”
Piano Lesson in progress
An Ariel View of the Upper School compound
Lower School Compound
Children’s Play Room
ADMISSIONS FOR NURSERY TO P. 6 (2016) ARE IN PROGRESS Contact us at: Nakulabye Muteesa 1 Road, just about 400m from Nakulabye October 2015 I Gayaza P. O. Box 29928, Kampala - Uganda, Tel: +256 414 531 019, Mob: +256 778 451 089, +256 772 668 248 Website: www.namirembeparents.co.ug, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Monica Kalyegira Mugenyi
THE TYPICAL GAYAZA GIRL
n 2013 when the 15th Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State was held at Speke Resort and Conference Centre, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) appointed Hon. Lady Justice Monica Kalyegira Mugenyi as Judge at the Court. In February 2015 the 16th Summit of Heads of States elevated her to the position of Principal Judge. The court sits in Arusha and for four years, this wife and mother of four will have to work out how to split her time between Tanzania and Uganda. I meet Monica in her home. We have arranged a photo shoot and she is intrigued by the fact that we are going the whole nine yards with this. We have lights and various lenses to experiment with. We will take several shots because the photographer is a perfectionist. CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
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>>>> After hours
When she is not busy working, Monica loves to listen to music. She particularly enjoys classical music, her favourite composer being Johann Sebastian Bach. She hopes to someday find time for choral singing, a hobby she had whilst in high school. She likes to read autobiographies, self development books and Christian literature. Although she was not a committed Christian when she was in Gayaza, Monica appreciates the Christian culture in the school. “I pray about my work: my cases, my preparation and my judgements. I find that this is the strongest pillar in my career.” It is not the first time Monica and I are meeting. This time, however, I will understand better this lady who describes herself as friendly but also a stickler for rules. Her home is neat and clutter-free. She pays attention to the smallest detail;colours are well chosen and artifacts are combined deliberately. There is warmth though; not the cuddly feeling born of stuffed furnishings, but the awareness that your visit has been anticipated and that the host hopes you feel welcome and comfortable. Monica is not quite ready to start. She has been out all morning doing some final shopping for her children who are returning to school the following day. She tells me of the care she takes to find good deals and get value for her money. Seeing her like this confirms to me what I thought when I first met Monica: she is the quintessential Gayaza girl, the sort of woman the founders of Gayaza High School would
have hoped for. One who is excellent in whatever she puts her hands to, whether managing a home budget or delivering court judgements at regional level. “The typical Gayaza girl will excel at home making,” Monica says. “It was not all about academics. Gayaza was meant to produce a wholesome person.”
he story is told that when Sir Apollo Kaggwa requested the Church Missionary Society to open a girls’ school in Buganda, he was met with resistance from his fellow chiefs. They thought that if their daughters attended school they would turn out to be lazy wives. The founders of Gayaza therefore had the responsibility of ensuring that whilst they educated these girls, their crucial role as home maker was not undermined. “There is something about the school that adds a finesse to whatever your home gave you,” Monica says.
She loves gardening and she talks me through her decision-making process in choosing the different beautiful plants in her garden. Monica is full of praise for a school culture that encouraged simplicity and a down-to-earth attitude. “Gayaza today has not lost that culture. The girls are still wonderful people to be around. You are able to relate to each other even across different years.” Monica also believes that she has tapped into lessons learnt in Gayaza to form her work ethic. “We approach our work with a view to making a contribution and a difference so that we leave the place better than we found it.” As a member of the Judiciary, Monica and her colleagues have been charged with the responsibility of resolving disputes, protecting human rights, interpreting the Constitution and promoting the rule of law. “I am committed to performing my responsibilities as efficiently and
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Monica left Gayaza in 1988, obtained a law degree from Makerere University and subsequently a Master’s degree in international trade law from the University of Essex, UK. She worked as a legal consultant in private practice, as a manager of Corporate Services at the Uganda Road Fund, the Attorney General’s Chambers and in the Privatisation Unit. She hopes to pursue a PhD in the next few years.
I do my best and I don’t cut corners. I also listen to and learn from others.
Although successful in her chosen career, Monica recalls that whilst in Gayaza, her intention was to become a Literature teacher. Ironically, Miss Sheelagh Warren, whose approach to the teaching of Literature Monica greatly admired, was the one who steered her towards a career in Law. “She thought I would be a better lawyer than a teacher, but I told her I didn’t think so.” Her strong will, however, was no match for Ms. Warren’s wisdom, commitment to her job and skill in dealing with hard headed teenagers. “She asked us to write an essay titled ‘Why I would like to join the legal profession’ with another part, ‘Reasons why I would not like to join the legal profession.’” Having made a stronger case for becoming a lawyer, Monica was awarded an A plus and the future would bear witness to Ms. Warren’s insight. Following in her teacher’s footsteps, Monica loves to mentor younger people, passing on all that she has learnt to the next generation. To her own children, she hopes that she will pass on the high standards of decency, modesty and interpersonal skills that Gayaza taught her. At Gayaza, Monica was Dining Room (DR) effectively as possible and sometimes work late Prefect. She says she learnt a lot from the into the night to complete a judgement.” responsibility that came with the post. The DR Monica describes herself as a stickler when prefect had to routinely report girls that were it comes to timekeeping. When she was first late for or missed meals and this taught Monica appointed Judge at the High Court, she made a to undertake her duties with honesty regardless habit of arriving at work by 7:15am. of who might get affected. “This commitment to “I work best in the morning and I didn’t want to honesty in decision-making regardless remains cheat by giving my job less than the best. Honesty with me today,” she says. Whilst she is full of matters to me and I always want to be productive.” praise for the humility of Gayaza girls, Monica For one who loves people and enjoys spending recognises that in some ways, it may stifle the time with friends, the work of a judge is inevitably competitiveness that a harsh world requires lonely. Since everyone they meet could potentially come before them in court, judges by necessity do in order for one to move further in life. “Girls should be taught to be a little more aggressive. not mingle much. In addition, from every court judgment will emerge a winner and a loser, enemies I once requested someone to write out my CV for me and I could hardly recognise my own may be made and accusations of corruption are rife. Ethically, judges are not allowed to speak back. accomplishments!” Gone were the subdued tones that she had personally favoured. “We have to read a lot. I do my best and I don’t She concludes: “The work place is rife with cut corners. I also listen to and learn from others. intrigue, backstabbing and vices that are When one has done one’s job conscientiously, you unprofessional. The typical Gayaza girl will rise know that you have done an honest job and then above that and maintain her dignity.” l you don’t owe anyone an explanation.”
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Excellence. Nothing less. Rachael Arinaitwe Mwine is a news anchor with NTV Uganda and a radio presenter with Power FM. She shares her lessons from Gayaza Three adjectives that would describe me... Simple. Persistent. Practical.
to be careful around boys whom she referred to as ‘hyenas’!
My best friends would describe me as.... Sweet, sensible and calm.
What I think should or shouldn’t change in the Gayaza I experienced? I wouldn’t want anything to change. The Gayaza experience was wholesome. Gayaza girls are a brand. That brand is created by the experience at school and the values that are passed on. It is something that girls are taught right from day one. I hope the brand is never watered down.
I was in Gayaza from... 1997 to 2001 My interesting Gayaza experience Sosh (Social). I’d never been to a dancehall before. We put our parents under pressure to find us the best clothes and shoes. On D-day the rest of the school rushed across the compound to see what we wearing. It was exciting taking a trip out of school to spend a day with boys. Ways being in Gayaza has held me back... None that I can think of.
15 minutes with... RACHEL MWINE
If I could do Gayaza all over again I’d take sports training more seriously. I always felt like I was being punished. Perhaps I’d have mastered a sport. How different are you from your senior one self? I’m definitely less naïve. I grew up in a pastor’s home. We had a strict curfew. All I did was go to church and then return home. I thought if I was nice to people they would be nice to me. The world doesn’t work like that unfortunately. I also care less about people’s opinions of me; my work in the limelight has helped shape that attitude! The teacher whose words I go back to in my mind is… Mrs. (Joy) Mwesigwa. She would lecture us on how
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Old girls should... Keep the values from the Gayaza experience alive, contribute to the development of the school financially and otherwise and speak into the lives of the current students, inspiring them to run their race and finish well.
Gayaza taught me... Persistence. I find that I need that in my work. Never giving up. A Gayaza girl should be considered successful if they have… Achieved excellence in career and family. Excellence was emphasised in Gayaza. How I handle celebrity as a Gayaza girl? I have maintained simplicity. I’m not swayed by pressure to look or be a certain way. If I need to, I’ll take a boda boda. Even when I’m having a bad day, I will not hesitate to stop and greet a stranger who approaches me because they have seen me on TV. At the end of the day, my work would mean nothing if no one was watching. l
In the next 10 years... I’ll hopefully, present BBC‘s ‘Focus on Africa’ programme.
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All about Rachel etc
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Gayaza girls are a brand. That brand is created by the experience at school
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CECILIA BARBARA ATIM OGWAL
The Iron Lady She is a trailblazer who is passionate about creating opportunities for those that follow in her footsteps to blossom into their full potential
hen one sits down for a chat with Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) ‘Iron Lady’ Cecilia Ogwal, they come away with tit-bits of a rich life that forces recognition of the trailblazer that she is. Her education, professional and political journey has been one of immense challenges, breaking glass ceilings and deliberately forging paths through granite for other women to follow and also achieve their potential and dreams. Cecilia Atim’s Gayaza story started when as a student at Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, she entered a then annual essay competition sponsored by Brooke Bond and, lo, she won the national first prize for girls! The prize had, thus far, been the preserve of Gayaza High School and Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga and King’s College, Buddo. First Prize for the boys was won by Laban Erapu from Ntare School. This was the first time the first prizes were going to schools that had not won before and this caught the eagle eye of Miss Joan Cox who subsequently sought Cecilia out at the prize giving ceremony, sat next to her and engaged her in a conversation “probably to gauge the quality of English spoken by the prize-winner”, Cecilia thinks. Eventually, Miss Cox declared: “You speak very fluent English.” “Thank you!” was Cecilia’s reply. Miss Cox then gave a personal invitation to Cecilia to come to Gayaza High School for her advanced level studies. Thus Cecilia became the first Roman Catholic Girl at the school and the only one allowed out of
the school gate to attend Mass at the nearby Catholic Parish. This was another break in tradition since girls would only go out at the end of the term. Before this, all girls from Sacred Heart SSS were traditionally absorbed by Trinity College, Nabbingo. The deal had to be negotiated with Cecilia’s father who was not sure that his precious daughter “would be safe in the hands of the Anglicans”. Prior to this, Cecilia had pulled off another first as the first girl to win the Mathematics Scholarship Award for Northern Uganda that was organised for P6 Leavers by the Verona Fathers. Cecilia credits her attributes like discipline and a strong reverence for and relationship with God to her time at Gayaza (1964-65). At the completion of her A’Levels she applied for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Royal University, Nairobi. Prior to that, women were not admitted into the programme. Cecilia Eva Mukasa (GHS), Mary Ddingiro and Elsie Mukiibi girls were the first women to be admitted into the prestigious course. That same year, two ladies of Asian origin from Tanzania were also admitted. Cecilia and Eva Mukasa went on to earn the first upper second honours Bachelor of Commerce degrees in the course. One Asian man achieved the feat along with them. What had been a preserve of men had been proved surmountable by two young women. Cecilia was awarded the Indira Ghandi Memorial Turn to page 50
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profile Award for Best Performing Female Student in the field of management and marketing, an event which was reported in the East African University Calendar of 1970/71. After the fall of the second Milton Obote Government, Cecilia stayed behind and held the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) together in spite of the militaristic, political environment, intense opposition from within and criticism and lures from without. She led the fight for multi-party politics in Uganda. Along the way she was offered several positions in the government, including the Vice Presidency before the appointment of Hon. Dr. Specioza Wandera, which she turned down in the interest of her strong commitment to moving the nation to multiparty democracy. The President (while at Akii Bua Stadium in Cecilia’s Constituency at the time) is once said to have asked the people of Lira: “How did you raise this girl? How can one build a house, attempt to give you the keys, you refuse them and insist on remaining in the abandoned house (wii obur - Langi, ekifurukwa – Luganda)?’
n 2007 Cecilia became the Ugandan representative to the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific – European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly ACPE-EU JPA. She observed that though one of the co-chairs of the JPA was a woman, Gladys Kino, there were no women at the Bureau that administers the JPA. Cecilia solicited signatures to lobby for the mandatory inclusion of women. This effort bore fruit and there are now two women representatives – one from ACP and another from the EU. At ACP-EU JPA, despite condemnation of Kenya by the African Union and European Union for the post-election violence (2007/8), with both organisations calling for a repeat of the election, she stood up as a lone voice to oppose the recommendation as it would make the situation worse and pleaded for support of the Kofi Annan Initiative. Her persuasion proved effective and caused a change of hearts by both the ACP and EU groups. The Kenyan Delegation eventually joined the JPA and moved a motion to express appreciation to those that played a role in bringing normalcy to Kenya. The name of the Ugandan President was left out and Cecilia, again, tactfully moved a motion on the floor to amend the motion and have them include President Yoweri Museveni as one of those that played a key role. That left many people in awe because they knew she was a member from the opposition. She told them it
For the record... Cecilia seeks to set the record straight on three issues.
I was never Miss Uganda, but was 2nd runner up Miss Brooke Bond Tea, 1969. It was a tea making competition.
I am no longer a member of UPC but now a full member of the Forum for Democratic Change.
I was the de-facto opposition leader until the Constitutional Position was created in the 8th Parliament (2006). I, however, lay no claim on the latter.
was “about Uganda, not President Museveni.” Cecilia regularly told the opposition team that party politics ends at the airport before one boards the plane and that was particularly so for the Pan African Parliament. After that they all belonged to one party called Uganda and spoke with one voice on all matters concerning Uganda. While at the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Cecilia again scored another first. She secured a session to celebrate and acknowledge Uganda’s 50th Independence Anniversary (no country had ever done that) with special focus on Uganda’s contribution to stability on the continent, particularly citing the AMISOM Mission. Cecilia was attacked for Uganda’s stance against homosexuality during this Session. Cecilia also, based on an external auditor’s report, helped overhaul the corporate governance system of PAP. When her term was complete, a special sitting was called in March 2014 to pay her tribute for her work at PAP. President Mandela was also eulogised at the same sitting. Cecilia was so moved; she cried throughout the session and hardly heard most of what was said. Feminine all the way! She has not been spared some of the challenges the typical Uganda woman encounters in her quest for professional success. She recalls how she missed a job at Uganda Development Corporation because she was five months pregnant! Though she came top in the interview, the decision makers thought that she would not be able to drive around Uganda in her condition. Someone should have reminded them that pregnancy was temporary. They later offered her other options in middlemanagement, which she declined. In another instance, Cecilia excelled in a promotion interview at the Import and Export Corporation. There was, among the interviewers, a person who was well acquainted with her husband, Mr. Lameck Ogwal. In a vain attempt to protect the marriage, they almost denied her the job because “she would be getting a salary that was bigger that her husband’s civil servant scale salary and that it would create strife”. Cecilia politely offered to divorce him and marry a simple farmer since the ‘civil servant’ was not part of her dream when she was choosing her course. Wisely, they gave her the promotion and she moved her family from the civil servant apartment to a mansion in in Tank Hill, Muyenga. Her husband supported her promotion and has been her steadfast supporter and cheer leader through her exploits and challenges.
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In her position as Import Licensing Officer she was able to help Miss Cox import school items, like the sweaters which were imported at the time. She eventually invited Miss Cox to her Muyenga home. During the visit and in response to Mr. Ogwal’s question on what she thought of Cecilia’s homemaking, Miss Cox responded “Cecilia seemed so carefree, steadfast and serious about her work, I never thought she would make a good wife!” Cecilia says that she leaves her status at the gate and as soon as she enters the compound she is Mr Ogwal’s wife and mother of Mr Ogwal’s children. She is still very traditional and conservative and does not even eat chicken, as dictated by the Langi culture. Passionate about women and opportunities, Cecilia, has tenaciously helped forge the way for women. As Chairman at the Uganda Development Bank (UGADEV), 1981 – 1986, she restructured the bank in response to recommendations from an external organisational audit, creating more departments to improve efficiency. New departments were carved out of the existing ones and Cecilia deliberately appointed women that were qualified and already working at the Bank to head them. These were Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, Hon. Syda Bbumba and Christine Kwoba-Abungu (RIP). Interestingly, Victoria, in spite of her qualifications, had been in the same position for 12 years. The reason given for denying her promotion was that her husband was a rebel. Cecilia challenged them by asking if they knew how many women he had in the bush while Victoria was working hard to raise the children.
SHE HAS SERVED AS... l Lira Municipality MP l Woman Representative Dokolo District l UPC Chairman Interim Executive Council, Chairperson of the Presidential Policy Commission, Acting Secretary General l Constituent Assembly Delegate l Chairman Uganda Development Bank and Uganda Development Corporation
Cecilia, while still Chairperson at UDB participated in the American Visiting Programme in 1982. It is then that she met women in banking in New York and received advice on how to design financial institutions which would benefit women in light of their unique business interests and needs. She borrowed the concept from Kenya. Like many a wise woman who realises that she does not have the expertise to go it alone, Cecilia sought professionals in banking (Christine Kwoba), lawyers led by Justice Mary Maitum and others like Mary Okwakol to achieve the dream. Thus, Uganda Women’s’ Finance Trust, now Finance Trust Bank, was born. Cecilia sees no political distinctions when dealing with women’s opportunities and issues. She encouraged Specioza Wandra Kazibwe, during the valley dam scandal, to “Stay the course. If they have serious accusations, let them sack you. However, do not resign!” It broke her heart to hear that the motion for Specioza’s replacement with a man was moved by a woman! She refused an Appointment as Minister of Commerce in Yusuf Lule’s 68 day government and latter cabinet positions in the NRM government because she felt she had a more positive role to play in opposition. She firmly believes that politics is not for material gain but a chance to achieve for others what they cannot without help, an opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless and a chance to create a chain-link, with you at the top. She says that the price paid by the women that have gone before us for the justice and fairness must beget benefits for the greater population for all and not just individuals. Cecilia’s strong commitment to faith and God was a guiding factor in her campaign to rid Lira Municipality of grass thatch on all places of worship. By the time she left the Constituency, there was no place of worship that had a grass thatch. They were all roofed with mabati (iron sheets) as is befitting a place of worship. Cecilia is now committed to achieving the same in Dokolo where she is the Women’s Parliamentary Representative. Cecilia is a mother and grandmother and insists that the word ‘orphan’ is not tolerated in her home. All children, biological (she has seven) and otherwise are treated equally as children. The girl who came to Gayaza on the personal invitation of Miss Cox has made Gayaza proud as she has rendered distinguishable service over the years as a wife, mother and grandmother, de-facto leader of opposition, legislator and public servant. l INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH KATIGO
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SONGBIRD SOLOME She released her first album earlier this year, and credits her high school teachers with some of her musical success
n May 1st 2015 Solome Basuuta Ndikatuuga launched her first Album, ‘The Love Story’. Singing to a packed audience at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala she belted out song after song on her favourite subject; love. “I always sing about love; what I think about it and how God’s love changed me and can change people. I believe that we should do everything with the knowledge that we are loved greatly and we should also do it out of love; whether you are leading people or feeding children.” THE GAYAZA EXPERIENCE Solome joined Gayaza High School in 1996. Back then she was a timid, impressionable young lady who thought A-level students were much like gods. This, however, did not stop her from thoroughly enjoying her teenage years. She laughs a lot as she recalls some of the darkly humorous stories of her school days. “There was a rumour going round once that Kony (rebel leader Joseph Kony) was going to pass through Gayaza. Apparently the rebels were to attack the people at the top of double decker beds first. They would then seek out the more beautiful and light skinned girls.” With tensions heightened, it would not take long for commotion to break out. “We were having night preps when someone heard movement outside our class and screamed, ‘They are here!’” The school was thrown into chaos and many girls opted to sleep on the floors that night. “When I arrived in senior one, we were taken through what the older girls referred to as ‘Introduction to Gayaza High School.’ In my dormitory Hutchinson, we were ordered to eat little pieces of hard corn using a fork and a knife,” she recalls with amusement. “The others thought of these things Turn to page 54
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AWARDS Solome has recently been nominated for two Ugandan music industry awards; Rising Artiste in the Hit Awards and Best Gospel Singer in the Rising Star Award.
MUSIC MADE IN GAYAZA...
as bullying but for me it was a lot of fun.” In fact, she still remembers the song she was made to compose using only her name in place of lyrics. MUSIC ALL AROUND Music has always been a part of Solome’s life. Her father, mathematics Professor, Edward Mugambi sings and plays piano and her mother, a Gayaza girl herself is a good singer too. As a student, Solome was a member of the chapel choir and the Christian Club Choir. Even though she was brought up in a family that appreciates music, she is grateful for the opportunity of having experienced the rich musical environment in Gayaza. “Gayaza exposed me to music,” she says. She tells of her teacher, Mrs. Beatrice Geria from whose teaching she learnt the fundamentals of music. “We were trained classically. Music is very rich there. I haven’t gone to music school yet but I still use her principles. I am a better singer from the lessons learnt in school. I know how to breathe correctly for instance.” Asked what she hopes has not changed from the Gayaza she experienced, Solome is quick to point
out that she particularly liked the different colour uniforms that the students wore. “I am always colourful. For me, the more colour the better.” She missed the beauty of Gayaza when she left to study at another school for her A-levels. “The first thing I noticed there was the lack of greenery. There were buildings everywhere.”
olome thinks that aside from the emphasis on academics, Gayaza needs to continue to give an all-round education to the girls. “No one told me I was being groomed to be a wife but I was taught housework and other life skills. I regret never having learnt to peel matooke especially since my mother expected that I would,” she laughs. Most importantly, though, Solome hopes that music is still central to Gayaza culture. She believes that the role of the former students of Gayaza High School lies in reminding the current students of the high standards that have been embedded in the culture of the school throughout its history.
Solome’s success as a singer is not unusual for Gayaza. The school has for a long time contributed to the body of singers in Uganda. The list of young artistes includes Sandra Suubi who won the recent Airtel Trace Music Star competition, Samantha Ocero and several others. Kampala Singers, as well as the choirs of Namirembe Cathedral, St. Francis Chapel Makerere and All Saints Cathedral have all had several Gayaza girls as members over the years. The school owes much to the efforts of its committed music teachers like Misss Janice Hobday, Misss Kate Nalule, Miss Charity Bigaruka, and the recently deceased Mr. Michael Mubiru.
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THE FUTURE Since leaving university, Solome has worked at Bank of Uganda and risen to the rank of Head, Website and Social Media unit. She has until recently been in charge of the Central Bank’s web presence. Describing herself as extravagant, Solome approaches everything that she does with gusto. “I rarely do something that is small. I am always thinking big.” It is with this same passion that she has made the decision to pursue a full time career in music. “In 10 years I hope to have released at least three more albums. I’d like to mentor younger people in music but also in life generally.” l
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SAVING BABIES BEFORE THEY ARE BORN
Dr. Philippa Musoke is a researcher at the forefront of lifesaving medical interventions. Forty years ago she was a young lady at Gayaza, picking up lessons that influence her to this day.
t proves rather difficult to get Dr. Philippa to talk about the past and Gayaza. She was there more than 40 years ago and having lived abroad for a decade, a few years after leaving Gayaza means that connections to the school were weakened. There is more to this, though. Dr. Philippa generally does not think about the past much. Who can blame her? She has more recently been part of teams that have carried out cutting edge research. Their findings, when implemented, have saved Ugandan lives and will continue to impact people globally for a long time. Dr. Philippa Musoke is the principal investigator at Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University (MUJHU) Research Collaboration. She is the site leader, which means that she is responsible for all the research that goes on there.
Dr. Philippa is a board certified Paediatric Infectious Diseases specialist working with the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University. She is also an Associate Professor at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. There are still some things that stand out in her memory of Gayaza though. As a lover of the outdoors, Philippa enjoyed the school’s beautiful setting. “The compound is large and we used to walk around especially in the evenings. It was exciting to be out.” An interesting mix of personalities, Philippa who describes herself as calm remembers dancing a lot whilst at Gayaza. “I danced at socials, I did traditional dancing and even used to be on the school Kiganda dance team. I did them all.” Turn to page 58
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Choose (as a career) something you really enjoy doing because even if it is tiring, you know you like it.
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profile She is also appreciative of her teachers at Gayaza. “We had a teacher called Miss Cobb who taught us sentence patterns that I could never understand,” she laughs. “I write a lot for my work and I remember that and wish I’d paid more attention to her.” Philippa enjoyed Chemistry and years after Gayaza, when she struggled with Biochemistry at medical school, she recalled the words of her teacher. “Our Chemistry teacher, an Indian man always said: ‘You can do it.’ He’d always believed that I was good at the subject.” Philippa was one of only 20 girls that made up the class of 120 when she joined medical school at Makerere University. There are more women doing medicine today, with classes sometimes comprising more girls than boys. After medical school, Philippa left for the USA to continue her training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and at the University of Louisville Kentucky. She returned to Uganda in 1995 at a time when more than 20,000 babies were being born HIV infected each year. Armed with experience and knowledge she was ready to make a positive impact on healthcare in the country. Many HIV pregnant women in Uganda will not have access to antiretroviral drugs. This will mean that in 34% cases, they will pass on the infection to their child at birth.
In 1999, a study was conducted at MU-JHU. Findings showed that when a single dose of Neverapine was administered to an HIV infected pregnant woman at the onset of labour, the likelihood that she would pass the infection on to her unborn child was reduced to 11%. With ARVs included in the therapy, this figure was further reduced to less than 2%. Philippa was involved in this work and considers it to be one of her greatest achievements.
his and other research that Philippa and her teams have carried out over the last 20 years have been developed into health policy in Uganda and implemented worldwide through the World Health Organisation. “Obviously it has given me academic success. But it has also enabled me to provide a breakthrough for HIV infected pregnant women to have negative babies and for them to be healthy,” Dr. Philippa says. In their Health Performance Report released in 2014, the Ministry of Health stated that the number of babies born with HIV/AIDS each year had reduced to 8,000 from 15,000 in the period 2012 to 2013. Philippa continues to mentor young doctors and encourages postgraduate students at the medical school to do further research in her areas of interest.
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Gayaza helped me to prioritise what is important...
She believes that the former students of Gayaza High School have a role in mentoring current students, providing career guidance or even fundraising. “If you are committed to a place and you know what it did for you, you are willing to support it.” Dr. Philippa attributes some aspects of her work ethic to lessons that she picked up in Gayaza. “You learnt as a young lady to work hard and to excel in academics. When I joined Gayaza, Miss Cox was headmistress and then there was Miss Warren. They were really committed to excellence.” Juggling her job at the helm of the research site and her different roles in the Medical School makes for a very busy work day. “Gayaza also helped me to prioritise what is important and not what is urgent,” she says. As she nears retirement, Philippa looks forward to spending more time doing the things she enjoys like gardening. She acknowledges however that when one is a researcher, it is difficult to decide when to leave as projects take soe years to complete. “I like my job but it is very exhausting. In fact that is what I tell people concerning their careers. That you should choose something you really enjoy doing because even if it is tiring, you know you like it.” l
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SHE MEANS BUSINESS
At 25, Louise Nakayenga is running her own antique furniture outfit
ouise Nakayenga’s decision to be selfemployed after her graduation came as no surprise. Whilst at university, she run a jewellery making business, sourcing glass beads from Nairobi, doing the joinery and then selling them mostly to students at Makerere University. Louise has in the past also used her skills as a classical pianist to earn money. She has played at Serena, Lake View and Sheraton hotels. Having taken piano lessons whilst in primary school, she developed her skill further at Gayaza High School and is a Grade 7 level pianist. With young people making up 77% of its people, Uganda has the largest proportion of her population of under-30s in the world. Unfortunately, according to the African Development Bank, 83% of young people in Uganda are unemployed. Young people are increasingly being challenged to practice entrepreneurship in order to escape
unemployment and contribute to Uganda’s economy. At 25, Louise is doing just that. She is the proprietor and designer at Star Creations, an Antique furniture company. She embarked on this journey while she was at Gayaza. Together with fellow students they started an Entrepreneurship Club in 2008. Helped along by the Late Professor Senteza Kajubi, former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, the club exposed the girls to financial literacy and ideas on activities that could be turned into businesses. During visitation days, the girls would do car washes or sell jewellery they had made in order to raise money for their club treasury. “At one point, we’d raised enough money to build a latrine for a nearby primary school,” Louise recalls with pride. Turn to page 62
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When you leave Gayaza, you believe you are the best
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Some of the pioneer members of the club went on to do business while at the university. Louise mentions one of her colleagues who started a fast food business at Makerere, one who supplies food to people at their workplaces and another who makes and sells crafts in New York City. Even in their chosen professions, some of Louise’s colleagues have decided to go it on their own. She singles out one of her classmates who runs an architecture business in Tanzania. The school administration also gets involved especially in encouraging the girls to view agriculture as a possible income generating option. “Everybody is given their own portion at the farm to grow vegetables. They sell the produce during visitation days and get to keep their earnings.”
ouise’s exposure to design and entrepreneurship was originally picked up from her mother. Mrs. Betty Mugoya has played a major role in getting her daughter to where she is now. The two have a common love of design and beautiful surroundings. Mrs. Mugoya was one of the first landscape designers in Uganda after having attended a course in the United Kingdom. She continues to do run a landscaping business with the help of her daughter. The two complimentary businesses share space in Mpererwe. The antique furniture showroom is surrounded by all manner of potted plants, flowers, fountains and garden trinkets. Her knowledge of the business she has chosen was achieved mostly through self-education. Whilst in South Africa, doing a year’s course
in landscape design, she read an e-book on the theory of antique designing. “I’d always had an eye for nice furniture. But I got to learn about the history of furnishings from different parts of the world.” On her return, Louise, through her mother’s network, met and employed an antiques designer. Together, they have turned their passion into an income generating venture. To market her products, Louise successfully hosted a launch of her business and through that, built up publicity and a network through which she continues to receive orders for her work. Like any other new business owner, Louise has had her share of challenges. “When I was just starting out, I got an order to supply a hotel but I had to turn it down. At the time,
You have to be 100 per cent self motivated. You can wake up and you are not in the mood to work. You could get into a habit of working only when you want since no one is chasing after you.
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I didn’t have enough sources for the specific wood I required and the time was too short for me to supply them.” Her clientele is mainly individuals who buy pieces for their homes but she has now achieved the capacity to take on larger orders. The lack of a regular income is sometimes difficult to deal with. She also acknowledges the importance of discipline when one is self-employed. “You have to be 100 percent self motivated. You can wake up and you are not in the mood to work. You could get into a habit of working only when you want since no one is chasing after you. Then you start getting orders out late.” When asked whether having been in Gayaza has held her back in any way, Louise is quick to point out that Gayaza’s influence
has mostly been positive. She appreciates the networks that Gayaza helped her build through which she has accessed new clients. “When you leave Gayaza, you believe you are the best. You meet people who are very talented but you still remain confident. We sometimes concluded school assemblies by responding with the words, ‘The Gayaza girl does it best,’ to the headmistress’ challenge, ‘Who does it best?’” Ironically, her criticism of the school seems in direct contrast to this. Louise does not think Gayaza girls speak up enough. “Sometimes we do not speak our minds. We could get stepped on. It’s not that we are scared but maybe we just aren’t fighters. But I have learnt to speak up, especially if a decision is going to affect me financially.”l
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS... “I don’t want to remain in a comfort zone,” says Louise. Like Kisa (Mrs. Victoria Kisarale) used to tell us: ‘When you are at peace, prepare for war and when you are at war, prepare for peace.’ Louise hopes to find bigger space and expand her showroom in the next two years. She would also like to increase her capacity to be able to take on larger orders. “I want to create a place where people come to see the furniture and they don’t want to leave. “I have not yet achieved what I want but I know that if I remain consistent and hardworking, I will get there.”
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An engineer who changed career when she found herself...
ENTHRALLED BY DANCE
atherine Nakawesa trained as an electrical engineer and has a degree to prove it. Today, she is a dancer. Many would find her chosen career path curious while some may even think it ridiculous. After all, for a long time governments throughout the world have done their utmost to increase the number of girls choosing a career in science and technology. Cathy’s interest in the arts seems to date back to her days in Gayaza. When asked about her memories of high school and learning her mind immediately goes to her fine art and literature classes. “I remember Mrs. Kiwanuka, my English teacher asking me to read out my compositions.” She also mentions Mrs. Semitala, her art teacher as one who was willing to praise good work and give well communicated feedback. “She always had a smile and a glint in her eyes She would say things like: ‘This person is not afraid of the paper.’ She saw the gift I had in art.” “I love Art. Even back then, it was the class you went to and you knew you were free. Even in the layout of the room; you didn’t have the back of someone’s head to look at. It was an open space. There was a lot of light and air. Almost no structure; you had clay on one side, half painted walls on the other.” She also points out that what she
I really think that dance found me... I have a theory that a calling is a thing that calls you
found impressive about these two teachers was the confidence and calm with which they handled their classes. “They took charge of their classes without being so imposing.” On completing Senior Six in 2000, Cathy was accepted into Makerere University to study Electrical Engineering. Then she discovered dance. Cathy smiles as she remembers her introduction to dancing. “I really think that dance found me.” “I have a theory that a calling is a thing that ‘calls you’.” she laughs. “It’s not something you dig around hard to find. It pulls you in a way and you find that you excel at it.” It was at the end of her first year at the university. Most students had left for their Christmas break but the engineering students stayed behind to do some more industrial training. “I was wandering around Makerere and found these dancers who were doing something that looked like ballet.” Without asking for permission, Cathy started to mimic their movements and in that short time Turn to page 66
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profile had learnt all their movements. They would later ask her to perform with them when one of their members fell sick prior to a concert. After that, she started to look for opportunities to dance and schools where she would train. Cathy’s first job after she graduated was not to be in Engineering. She joined Saatchi and Saatchi an Ad agency and worked as a copywriter for four years. “I would run away at lunch time and go and dance.” FINDING FULFILMENT Through dance, Cathy has had the chance to travel all over the world. Two places stand out in her mind though. “There’s a village in Senegal called Toubab Dialaw. I believe that there are places in the world where you can feel the presence of God more than in others. Something about that place feels like there’s an open heaven. Maybe it is the beauty of it.” Seoul, South Korea is another place that left an impression on Cathy. She visited the city to participate in an artistic residency. She was struck by the fast paced life and work ethic of the people. “I got into the city and felt like it was light years away in the future. Compared to Uganda, everything is moving a thousand times faster. People are working twice as hard, keeping longer hours, leaving work at 10pm on an ordinary day.” Cathy’s work is not all flair, international trips and ethereal moves. She finds herself doing the mundane that running a company involves. She is one of the directors of Viva Uganda Limited. “It is a health and wellness company and we want to see healthy, fit and happy people.” Their programme, Viva Dance is currently being run in various schools in Uganda. It is Cathy’s job to run the programme. “I’m calling the teachers at the school to make sure the club is on and space has been provided. I’m looking at roll call sheets and if the children haven’t come, I’m thinking: ‘Why haven’t they come, are they bored?’ What do we need to change? Some haven’t paid, should we send them away?’ How do we make sure we are still in this school next term?’ It doesn’t get more mundane than that.” GAYAZA: THE HIGHS AND LOWS Cathy is grateful for her time in Gayaza, but she does not think that people have necessarily missed much by not attending the school. “I think that whichever school you have been to, if you can somehow create a good experience for yourself, that’s good enough.” She appreciates,
We have notable Gayaza girls in leadership... How about the less obvious accomplishments
however, that Gayaza established in her a desire to do well in whatever she embarked on. “There was that sense of ‘I must win. I must excel.’ If I was 15th last term, next term I should be 10th. I carry that with me. When I am given a task to choreograph a dance, I think: ‘Last time I did something on beauty. What new concept can I do now? How can I beat my own record?’” Cathy hopes that the old girls of Gayaza would use their success stories and experience to help shape the aspirations of the current students. “I remember listening to the stories of old girls during Christian Club. I remember listening and starting to form my dreams around what they were saying.” Cathy is keen to point out that a delicate balance has to be kept here. Because of the strength of Gayaza culture, one could find oneself influenced to only pursue what they deem acceptable according to Gayaza standards and not their more unusual but God-given path. “We have notable Gayaza girls in leadership, in
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>>>> About Cathy l A dancer, choreographer and dance teacher, she holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University. l She has attended: The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London; L’Ecole Des Sables in Senegal, CDC La Termitiere, Ouagadougou; University of Cape Town and Kampala Ballet and Modern Dance School. l She has performed at and participated in various dance collaborations, workshops and research projects in Tunisia, Kisangani, Brussels, South Korea, Tel Aviv and Nairobi. l In 2013, she received the Danceweb Scholarship at the Vienna International Dance Festival. Out of over 1,000 applicants from 71 countries she was one of the 66 chosen to take part in the ImPulsTanz programme.
government, people running big organisations. How about the less obvious accomplishments?” She goes on to challenge other aspects of life that she found herself questioning whilst in Gayaza. She found some of the attitudes of the Christian girls in Gayaza during her time there rather bewildering. “When we were burners (S.1 students) the older girls in Kivebulaya asked us to perform for them. I remember wanting to impress them.”
he sang Inner Circle’s hit song at the time, ‘Sweat (A la la la la long)’ “I remember a strong sense of religion in the school. Within those first days you had to decide very quickly: ‘Are you saved or not?’ and if you are saved, you must not sing pop music’. I remember trying so hard to stay within that saved bracket. My prayer is that there would be a deeper understanding of God, that He is not just dos and don’ts that they must adhere to.” She also hopes that interaction with boys is handled with a more realistic approach.
“We were told boys are hyenas,” she laughs. “I think there is a way girls can be empowered better to deal with boys. I wish we’d had more socials and that social was not deemed ‘unchristian’.” Cathy however credits Gayaza as having given her the confidence to work well in male-female environments. “I’ve found myself working with companies where the majority of dancers are boys. During this creative process, I noticed sometimes that somehow the girls were being put down. As though the boys were the ones to decide the moves and the music. I was shocked by this! For me, having a say in these decisions was not something to be debated about.” THE ARTS – OUR SOUL Cathy is convinced that dance, and the arts are a powerful tool in shaping the culture of society. “The arts influence the way people think as well as their behaviour.” She gives the example of the way young people’s choices in fashion, expression and lifestyle mirror trends in pop music videos. However, thoughts of culture and society are far from Cathy’s mind when she dances. When the music starts and her entire body contorts in unwieldy patterns or is thrown into the air in a glorious jump, influence is the last thing on her mind. “It is a place of joy,” she says. “While you have economics and politics that drive a nation, there is the soul of someone; the person who wants to get up and dance when they’ve won a big contract. That’s art right there. It’s the place where we find release to celebrate life.” l
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Frozen in time...
The primary school chapel
THROUGH THE YEARS The High School chapel
<<< ‘Dressed to kill’ for social with St. Mary’s College Kisubi, 1981
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Prefectsâ€™ body 2000
S3 confirmation class 1989
Girls from junior and secondary, 1955
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your voices VICTORIA SEKITOLEKO 1964-1969
ounded in 1905 with only four girls, Gayaza High School (GHS), a girlsonly school in Uganda provides an intellectually challenging education in a supportive and creative environment. The school motto is “Never Give Up”. Therefore the role of the school is to inspire girls to achieve their best by excelling in whatever they do and go on to lead society while enjoying a distinguished and fulfilling life. “Offering girls basic education is one sure way of giving them much greater power of enabling them to make genuine choices over the kinds of lives they wish to lead. This is not a luxury. It is a human right,” says UNICEF. Both my semi-informed parents believed that an educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen. She will also be more productive at work, better paid and a better family provider. This is why this high achieving, creative, Christian school, currently with over 1,100 students, was our dream school. It was actually my farming family, former policeman father and former primary school teacher mother’s dream school for their third daughter - me! You see GHS was consistently among the top performing schools
SELECTIVE MEMORIES OF GAYAZA 50 years ago... and counting
I loved working on the school farm and studying Home Economics where we had a live resident child for our studies. “Our son” turned out very well.
in Uganda. Which parent would not wish that for their daughters! Upon my arrival at Gayaza in 1964, I found that students were encouraged to participate, enjoy and achieve outside the classroom by taking part in sporting activities, music, clubs and societies like the debating club and many other educational, social, recreational and international opportunities. I was a member, and later, president of the debating club, a class monitor and was later a democratically elected School Prefect for Sherborne and Mary Stuart. I loved working on the school farm and studying Home Economics where we had a live resident child for our studies. “Our son” turned out very well. GHS has a House system which is randomly assigned, but becomes part of one’s identity at the school. I am from Corby and Mary Stuart houses. This is in addition to high levels of achievement;
Gayaza girls are trained to particpate in chores
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Gayaza High School... keeps reinventing itself and remains connected to the community... Christianity; sound common sense; self-assurance; and respect for others being an integral part of our strong tradition for 110 years. It is my dream to support GHS to maintain and build upon these standards. I wish for GHS to remain a leading, progressive, Christian, friendly, caring school, with a wide range of curricular and other activities (like the School Farm) available to all Ugandan best students, neighbouring community and our country Uganda. This was the dream school for my two daughters and I am hoping my granddaughters will share our dream
o is MY DREAM above relevant to today’s young girls’ education? A resounding yes! Yes! Yes! During our school days there was only one school system. Irrespective of what primary school one went to, the syllabus was the same, the teachers good and the selection system was fair. If you performed well, you were admitted to the dream school of your choice. That education ably prepared Uganda’s citizens, mothers, voters and leaders. That was then. Now, parents have to make individual choices on whether to take their children to a private nursery/primary/ secondary school or Universal Primary or Secondary Education school; or to international syllabus nursery/ primary/secondary or government syllabus institutions.
This influences the university a child will finally go to and even their career path. It, of course, depends on the family’s income and location. Unfortunately, this is leading to an elitist education that favours the minority rich and the urban. I believe Gayaza High School gave me the foundation which resulted in my graduating in Agriculture, becoming a successful banker for 13 years, politician / cabinet minister for nine years and an international civil servant with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations for 17 years. Now happily retired, I am serving as the Chairperson for the Uganda Agribusiness Alliance and Executive Director of the Speakers’ Forum where we train people in public speaking. In 2015, is our education system from nursery school to high school preparing our children to go to college and creatively find new solutions to new problems so that they are able to thrive? For Gayaza High School, yes! This is why it remains my dream school. It keeps reinventing itself and remains connected to the community; the student body is national and most teachers, superb. Africa is on the move. Uganda is marching along, Gayaza girls are you ready to stand up and stand out? Sure! Never to give up? Of course, we NEVER GIVE UP! l
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To your gifts be true
What I’ve learnt
CHARITY BIGARUKA 1986-1992 “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”- Proverbs 18:16
ecently while listening to Bishop Dale Bronner, I understood that a person’s gift, as referenced in the above verse, is the thing by which that person is known. Will Smith is known for acting, Michael Jordan for basketball, Tina Turner for singing. Now, Tina Turner may be an excellent cook, an excellent juggler, or may be excellent at other things. However, the thing for which we know Tina Turner remains singing. Therefore, your gift is the one thing people associate you with.” (End of paraphrase). What do people think of when they think about you? The thing you do, that you were meant to do, will open doors for you. The thing you do, with self-abandon, oblivious of the passage of time, with reckless love, if you use it for God, you need never worry, because God will put you exactly where He wants you - in a place where you will have no need for prestigious titles or positions . His reward will be better than a six-figure income when you go where He wants you to go, or do what He designed you to do. I have walked life’s journey always hoping to arrive at a destination I am confident to boast about, a sort of climax, when my life’s dreams would have been achieved. As I get older, without having been lazy, slothful or backslidden from my Christian Faith, I see the paradigm change all by itself. Over and over, my priorities have been rearranged by the opportunities available, coupled with my own readiness (or lack of readiness) to embrace them. When I left my country to come to the USA, my dream was to study Law at Harvard. Almost 20 years later, I am still not a lawyer. God alone knows if this will ever happen. Sometimes what we reach for may remain unattainable, and this, in itself, is a blessing. Not only does this keep us humble, but we are more likely to judge our own motives for desiring to do or be those things in the first place. The longer it took me to get into Harvard Law School, the more I realised I wanted it primarily for the wrong reasons. I desired Law for the sake of status. God is still a jealous God who desires our pursuit to be Him, to please Him, and to reflect Him. Anything done for the glory of man is sin, being devoid of God. It is not
a sin to be rich, or to have honour. In fact, God desires to bestow wealth, riches, honour and more on His children who seek Him first. My peace of mind did not come until I realised that God is even more interested that I live a rich, full and honourable life than I am. However, my mandate in life is not to seek those things. These attributes come as a result of seeking and grabbing hold of His wisdom first and foremost. Proverbs stresses, in an urgent and poignant way, the importance of acquiring God’s wisdom. In Chapters 3 and 4 of Proverbs alone, we see that God’s wisdom assures us of life, health, riches, honour, a life of peace and safety, and there is much more. Proverbs 3:16 says: “Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.” Moreover, the next chapter says get wisdom and understanding even if it means running completely broke in the process.
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Unfortunately, the wisdom of God often looks like foolishness to man. And those who seek wisdom may sometimes look like fools. I cannot tell you how many times I have been tempted to tread the wide road, but the wisdom of God always grabbed me by my collar, or restrained me, literally holding me down like an errant child. Hence, my fear of ending up in the wrong place, pursuing degrees or any other achievements to satisfy the pride of life, has caused me to stick with music. Music seems to have been an invisible cloak I was born wearing. So, I am an old girl of Gayaza High School. Thoroughbred as in Senior One through Senior Six. I went back and taught for two years! I write about myself not because I consider myself more important than my peers, but because an article was requested of me. For whatever reason, I have obeyed, and I hope God receives the honour. When I joined Senior One, I had begun piano lessons with my father and had learnt a lot. Two years later I joined Gayaza Singers. As a choir member who also played the piano, Miss Hobday, the music teacher, gave me several pieces to learn, including one titled “Five Eyes”. This piece, in the dreaded key of C Sharp, was every pianist’s nightmare. But after I had endured and conquered the process of learning it, Miss Hobday told the choir to give me a round of applause saying I had played a very tough piece. I will never forget how much this compliment meant to me. It was greater than any accolades, degrees, or certificates I would ever achieve and I felt truly motivated to stay the course, and to endure those difficult classical pieces.
hrough the years, I have understood better what I didn’t as a teen. A few of my contemporaries made disparaging remarks to me, and once in a while, some of them showed me outright resentment because of my music hobby, making awful jokes about it. For a while, these friends succeeded in influencing my belief that I needed to be embarrassed about having a musical inclination. Only recently have I begun to realize that this is the sort of thing jealous teens can do. As a parent, I now see that students in those teen years can be obnoxiously cruel to each other over nonsensical issues. Isn’t it absurd for a student who is doing their best to shine in some area to be persecuted for it? Amazingly some of the teenagers who showed me such strong resentment are now mothers, and have sent their young children for piano lessons.
Sometimes what we reach for may remain unattainable... Not only does this keep us humble, but we are more likely to judge our own motives for desiring to do or be those things
Charity in her S3
Another lesson: a few years back when I was new in my church community (Newtonville, Massachusetts), some members at the church where I was a new Music Director bought electronic keyboards, and took up piano lessons. Some asked me for lessons but got discouraged by my answer when they asked me how long it would take before they played like me. My educated guess is that seeing me play encouraged them to learn. However, as with all things, few are willing to pay the price. Every gift or discipline requires patient cultivation and must be nurtured patiently to fruition. And the very things we do not take seriously may be the ones others envy. Let me say this differently: your faithfulness in whatever God has gifted you with will minister to others better than the titles attained to impress man. Therefore, I believe we should never stop doing the things we do naturally, those things by which we are known. Those are the very things that make the world a better place. We used to sing the song: “Shine Jesus, shine, Fill this land with the Father’s glory”. If the Lord Jesus is going to shine in our lives, He will do so through our shining for Him by obedience to Him, and through service to others. We will not achieve this by being anyone else, except who He has created us to be. God is willing to use us regardless of how scholastically accomplished we are. He cuts out our path ahead of time. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” In His plan there is no accident, coincidence, luck, or serendipity. When he gives you a talent, you are mandated to multiply not bury it. Perhaps your dream is to be a lawyer, engineer or politician - name it. Your dream may be to go back to school some day and get your third or even first degree. Perhaps you want to start a Fortune 500 business, be on television, or to travel to the outer space. Simply delight yourself in the Lord, and continue to please him at whatever you do. He will give you your heart’s desire, in the right time. As you delight in Him, He will put you in a place where pleasing Him is more important to you than achieving your desire. Then He will grant your desires. Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desire of you heart. My prayer is that at the end of our service to God, He will say to each one of us, “well done thou good and faithful servant!” l
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Teaching staff, 1955. Below, 1962
Teachers in pictures
Victoria Kisarale, Ruth Kavuma, Dorothy Kakembo, Anne Cutler, Sheelagh Warren, Joan Cox and Miss Bolton
Miss Cox with Deborah Kiwanuka
Gayaza staff sing in the chapel, with Betty Nayiga (Class of 2001) at the piano
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A TEACHER TO REMEMBER Behind every success story is a teacher, diligently and quietly working behind the scenes to help butterflies break free of their cocoons and take flight. Some old girls share fond memories of the Gayaza teachers that impacted them the most...
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MISS CUTLER SHAPED MY FAITH
arrived at Gayaza High School with a lot of expectation because I had longed to cross the path between Gayaza Junior and High Schools. Thank God I passed highly and was admitted to the secondary section. The following morning I went to the stream to which I had been assigned, to find a composed and meditative lady whose dog followed her everywhere. She welcomed us and requested that each one state their name. When we got to the end of the class she then started from the beginning repeating our names. Out of 30 names she remembered at least 25! Later I met the same teacher at the sewing room allocating uniform colours. She shouted “brown” when I got to the end of the queue, a colour I didn’t like much! During my stay at Gayaza I enjoyed her lessons though some of them were held at 6:30am! She became a great confidant the higher I got in class, attending Bible study at her house and seeking guidance when ever I needed it. When l joined the chapel committee I thoroughly enjoyed working under her supervision; planning the worship sessions and organising the visiting club where we spent the chapel collections. She was instrumental in starting me off my Christian journey... willing to guide and answer any questions I had. I remember her very warmly and hope that there are still teachers who go beyond the call of duty to guide and support students in their social and spiritual development. This is Miss Anne Cutler. Thanks to you; you are partly the reason I am still a Christian!
Florence Kanyike, 1972-77
Miss Cutler (left) and Miss Warren earlier this year. Right, Miss Cutler does some coaching
She made it a point to learn every girl’s name
ANNE CUTLER – THE
resh out of primary school, I and about 100 other girls with suitcases, blankets and grub arrived at Gayaza High School in February 1969 on our first day at the school. Those days, we did not need to carry buckets, basins, jerry cans, mattresses and boxes of water that make today’s school children look like they are moving house every beginning and end of the holiday. When I look back, I must say that we were brave little girls, venturing out into the unknown and not knowing what to expect. At the same time, our world was a much calmer one with no computers, no Internet very limited telephones (of the land line type), no mobile phones and if you wanted to communicate, good old ‘snail mail’ was your answer. More than forty years on, my memory of those first days at school is rather hazy, but one thing that I recall as if it happened just yesterday, is the presence of the Games Teacher, Miss Ann Cutler. By the end of the first day, she had made that presence felt by most of us. Uniforms, including PE uniform,s were handed out. She had also already scheduled sports classes for everyone. At that time, there were three streams of about 35 girls each in Senior One to Senior Four and then two streams each in Seniors Five and Six. There were also a variety of sports on offer and these included, hockey, lawn tennis, table tennis, netball, badminton, athletics and country dancing. Each stream was accordingly time tabled. There was also the sports equipment that had to be organised and given out whenever any sports activity took place. This equipment included tennis rackets and balls, hockey sticks, badminton rackets, bands for netball and country dancing, table tennis bats and balls and a variety of other things. Sports used to take place early in the morning and in the evenings after school as well as on Saturday morning. The girls, the equipment, the time and the space where
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MISS MULHOLLAND, THE LEGENDARY MATHS TEACHER
I EPITOME OF DEDICATION the sports were to take place all came together like a professionally choreographed performance. Today’s military commanders would have marvelled at the discipline and precision that Miss Cutler displayed in organising sports at Gayaza. Beyond the schedules, Miss Cutler coached, cajoled, encouraged and sometimes bullied those she could see were talented in any sport to practice and realise their full potential. She organised practice and competitions away from school and I fondly remember travelling by the old green Gayaza Bus to Namulonge to practice tennis while others went to swim at the Namulonge swimming pool. I also remember how she made sure we took part in national and regional competitions. We competed regularly at the Lugogo tennis courts and on one occasion when we were in S2, Miss Cutler put Flora Masembe and myself on the then East African Railways train to Nairobi to compete in the Kenya Tennis Open. She made it a point to learn every girl’s name and could be heard asking ‘Victoria’ or ‘Jennifer’ to “tuck their tummies and bottoms in”. Miss Cutler hated unladylike behaviour and chewing outside of the dining room irritated her to the maximum. She would send anyone caught chewing to the pastures with the accompanying remarks, ‘Go to the fields near the cattle and chew the cud like they do.’ The offender would then have to spend the entire forty or eighty minutes of the lesson in the pastures. Miss Cutler had a lot of influence on our lives and the way we turned out and carry ourselves in adult life. The ‘Anne Cutler’ games field named after her is therefore a befitting tribute to a woman who contributed so much to sports, and the up-bringing of thousands of young women in Gayaza.
Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa
heard about Ms. Mulholland when I joined Gayaza High School for Senior One. She was one of the European teachers at the school and because she only taught A-level students, there was an aura of mystery about her. She had long hair that she wore in a single plait and was usually dressed in a skirt, shirt and sweater that looked much like the advanced level students’ uniform. She wore the comfortable, trademark Clarks sandals of our muzungu (European) teachers of the day and lived in a house by the hockey pitch. We were told that she was Scottish and a Quaker, a Christian denomination that I had never heard of. It was also a well known and widely stated fact that Ms. Mulholland’s Mathematics students had excelled in national exams for decades. I finally had the privilege of attending her classes when I joined senior five as a PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) student. Ms. Mulholland was soft spoken, punctual and simply a wizard at mathematics. She solved mathematics problems with lightning speed and would patiently go over the step-by-step method commonly referred to as solving problems from first principles. She would not hesitate to refer to a student that slept in class as a ‘dizzy duck’. She emphasised to us that passing Mathematics was about practice and loaded us with homework that she expected to be completed and handed in by the end of the school day. I was the Mathematics class captain in my year and Ms. Mulholland made it a point to locate my dormitory and room. Any assignments handed to her by 4:00pm would be personally delivered to my room by 5:30pm of the same day. If I had failed a number, Ms. Mulholland would sit with me and go over it till she was sure I had got it. Many times she brought fruits from her garden for me, particularly when an assignment was done well. She made it a point to always take her class to Mathematics seminars in other schools where Gayaza was often given the most complex topics to discuss. I know that she took pride in showing off the mathematical genius of her students. She also involved her students in national mathematics competitions that many excelled at. Inevitably, I became an A+ student and I still love Mathematics and work from first principles to this day. It was therefore with much sadness that I later learnt of Ms. Mulhollands’ demise. She will forever remain in the fond memories of mathematics students and forever be a part of Gayaza’s successful history.
Jackie Ochola, PCM/1994
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Mona MugumaSsebuliba (1994 – 1999) Mrs Kisarale; she brought a new age type of teaching which was friendly and interactive. She helped build our confidence especially as she handled us in our A-level. I am glad that we have remained friends and meet up to catch up from time to time. Gloria Gasaatura (1998 - 2001) Mrs. Vikki Kisarale – For waking me up early for class. I am still not a morning person, but the loud voiced alarm clock was appreciated. I vote Mr. Ronald Ddungu for best Mathematics teacher. He broke down the subject for me.
My favourite teacher was... Hellen Nalunga (1997-2000) Mr. Ronald Ddungu is the reason I am what I am today. I hated Mathematics and he helped change my attitude. Today I am willing to solve any mathematical problem because I love the subject. Mrs. Ruth Kavuma made me feel like a woman can do anything in this world and that there are no limits whatsoever. I loved the way she presented herself during school assemblies and I admired her pride as a woman. From her I learnt selfconfidence. This has contributed greatly to the person that I am today. I am the Operations Manager of Metropolitan Republic, an international advertising agency.
Hadija Namanda (1987 – 1994) Miss Cutler gave me a taste and touch for all the sports in Gayaza. Miss Nalule gave me a touch for netball. Mrs Kateshumbwa gave me a touch for most sports, especially the field events, athletics and netball. Mr Asea gave me the touch for volleyball.
Sarah Cynthia Namutebi (2001 – 2002) Mr. Masaba, the Biology teacher. I came to Gayaza as a ‘bucket’ and was afraid of almost everyone. This had a big impact on my academics and yet I was studying a tough combination (PCB/M). I always performed fairly in Biology. Mr. Masaba counselled and encouraged me to work harder. He told me to believe in myself even in time of failure and to always gather strength and rise up again. I took his words to heart, and contested for the post of class prefect and won. This was a difficult thing for a bucket to achieve, but because of his words I believed in myself and went for it. I got 12 points in my A-levels which was were not a very good results, but those words still rang in my head. I went ahead and pursued a BSsc. in Computer Science and got a very good second upper degree - CGPA 3.98. Today I am a network administrator at Centenary Bank and those words still encourage me. May he live long and bless more souls.
Ada Kahangi Kimanzi (1982-1988) 1. Ms. Beatrice Adimola 2. Ms. Filda Ojok 3. Mr. John Masaba Those were a true reflection of how teachers in Gayaza were: strict, but good listeners; seemingly aloof, but very welcoming. It is amazing what these three teachers did for us.
Dr. Ruth Senyonyi (1975 -1981) Ms Filda Ojok was my history teacher both in O and A-level. She taught with passion and with a genuine concern about her students. I loved her style and her salvation was evident to all. That is why by her influence and example, in S5 I decided to put education as my first choice and joined the profession that I still practice with passion. I have been named best teacher by many I have taught and it is because
of the example that I saw in this marvellous lady. In my first second and third years I did some teaching at Gayaza and stayed at her home. She was meticulously clean (house and pans) and was a wonderful cook. Then I taught alongside her, lesson well planned and very clear. She was and still is my role model. Ms. Ojok - thank you for allowing me to see you at work and thank you for the influence you had in my life. I teach and I teach well, just like you. May the Lord bless you!
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Sarah Walker (Kaboggoza) – (1994 – 1999) Mrs. Beatrice Geria. She fuelled my love for music. Mrs. Ruth Kavuma was my S2 Mathematics teacher - Mathematics is still my favourite subject and I still tutor students. Ms. Charity Bigaruka challenged me to think outside the box and apply myself in piano. I still play every week at my current church. I loved Ms Rosebud Nagimesi’s Literature class. Senior Three was when I started to write seriously. I had two poems published in a book some years ago. Mr. Ronald Ddungu aided in solidifying my understanding of Mathematics concepts that I have used since then.
Kayaga Prosper Sendagire (2000- 2003): Mrs. Ruth Kavuma. In Senior One, when we had just arrived, we had an assembly in the chapel where she addressed us. She stated how “special” the Senior Ones of that year were. She said it in such a soothing and motherly way, that I felt special throughout Senior One. I was in Cox House and we had (serious) bullies but Mrs Kavuma’s words gave me peace. She also issued a stern warning to the bullies and they stopped teasing us.
Solome Nanziri (2000 – 2002) Miss Muheirwe, the History and Economics teacher. She did everything possible to help us understand the subjects. Mrs. Kakembo (Deputy Headmistress) was not only a teacher, but also a mother who understood everyone’s problems. Stellah Doreen Nakayongo (2000 – 2003) Mrs. Mwesigwa. I performed badly once and was so saddened by it. Mrs. Mwesigwa told me never to lose hope or to give up. From that time on, my grades started to improve and continued, even when I joined another school, until university. When I am faced with difficult situations, I do not let go easily. Sylvia Tamale 1976 -1981 Ms. Janice Hobday taught us English Language in A-Level. Whenever I correct my Law students’ “mbogos” her image is looming in my mind’s eye: “I before E except after C”; “Up with cope I will not put”... She also taught me the wonderful number-rhyme peg system for memorising concepts in revision!
Margaret Bitarabeho (1977- 1980). Teacher Musisi, Geography. He was very pleasant and always wore a smile. God Bless him. Mr. Kyazze, a very serious Mathematics teacher. He walked upright like a soldier and delivered results. Mrs. Kaddu Mukasa, a pleasant Art teacher, beautiful with a figure to match. Miss Babihuga, very strict but good sense of humour. Lovely Miss Hobday, beautiful voice and our Cox house teacher. Last but not least, Ishagara the shop guy. His kabs were yummy!! Christine Numembi Kabugo (1969 to 1974) Miss Ann Cutler, an all-round physical education teacher. She moulded me to also become an all-round sportswoman. A teacher who knew all of us by our full names and could recognise you even if you had put on a hood or anything else to disguise yourself.
Sarah Nagadya Gilbert (1989 – 1994) Mr. Odipio. His calm, gentle and generous nature made him so approachable. Mathematics was never my forte and I struggled with it. However, he gave me some coaching and encouragement and made me believe that I could actually do well in the subject. I ended up with a Credit 3 in Mathematics in my O-Level exams. Now, that is what I call Mentorship. Mrs Gumisiriza, who even though she did not teach me, was always very kind to me in terms of inquiring about me and how I was doing. She came to the UK a few years ago and it was like seeing a second mother.
Mr. Kizito for his ever smiling face that showed kindness. Miss Beatrice Adimola, she too was so good to me. Mrs Beatrice Geria was great at leading fellowship. Miss Cutler and Miss Warren were great at fellowship, but unfortunately I did not forge a personal relationship with them. I was so terrified of them. Years later after Mum died and I was sorting through her things, I came across a letter Miss Cutler wrote to her in which she mentions something along the lines of ‘We hope to hear more from Sarah and know how she is getting along as soon as she finds out we don’t bite’.
Irene Namuli - (1994 – 1998) Mr. Ddungu made me like Mathematics. I liked his style of teaching, the way he encouraged and never gave up on me. He helped me to pass mathematics in Senior Four. Turn to Page 80
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your voices Stahrers teac Dr. Olive Sentumbwe Miss Cutler left an everlasting impression on me that dancing is actually good exercise for the body and it can be taught systematically. Miss Cox taught me that cleaning up and appearing very neat and organised includes looking at the tiniest decorations you have in the home.
Peninah (Penny) Simba (1976 -1981): Miss Janice Hobday taught us music and made me love and enjoy singing in the Chapel Choir, Gayaza Singers and Triple Singers. She was a very warm and friendly God fearing lady. English Literature became, and still is, my favourite subject because of the teachers I had who made the characters and scenes in each novel/poem/play come alive and helped me identify and enhance my passion and interest in reading and writing. Miss Warren, Miss Hobday, Mrs Jessica Nkuuhe ( nee Babihuga) Miss Kanyogonya, and others.
Elizabeth Ddungu Rwakitarate (1983-1989) Miss Cutler, was all business and relevant, faithfully checking our height and weight each beginning of the year, and commenting about it respectively. This life skill has stuck in my life, not forgetting my love for dancing early morning P.E! Mr. Dan Kyazze RIP, the neatest gentleman both in how he dressed and how he wrote on the blackboard in Chemistry lessons. Florence Baingana (1972-1977) 1. Miss Mulholland, the Mathematics teacher. I loved her because she loved Mathematics to distraction and she taught me to be proud to love Mathematics too. Many times girls are unconsciously taught/socialised to believe that Mathematics is not for them. Miss Mulholland, and Miss Quinn dispelled this myth. I also liked how strange Miss Mulholland seemed. She was very kind and we even had tea and took photos with her but she was definitely strange. It was OK to be strange. 2. Miss Christine Sebadduka the cateress. She was always cool and calm; very soft spoken; and had an eye out for each and every one of us. I was assigned to the peeling group the very first night in Gayaza!!! She was not too harsh with me when I destroyed a good
Dr. Loyce M Okedi (1972-77): Miss Cutler was the best house mistress. She was so dedicated to see that Ham and Apollo was a home away from home - well kept, clean and fresh. She would surface even at midnight to see that we did not overburn (read at night). At games, she could tell who you are from your heels. A great Bible teacher for us who took Bible knowledge and at Bible Study, it was a must to get to know God more personally. By HSC, she treated us more like ladies. Mr. Musisi taught History and Geography and respected us all. He was dedicated at teaching us and believed we could all excel.
amount of matooke. 3. Miss Warren was our headmistress but she also taught us Literature in English, and probably some of the English classes. She soon discovered my love for reading and realised that I had read most of the books in the library. She opened her personal library to me and that is where I discovered Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, maybe even The Godfather books that I had no idea were being written, or that we were even allowed to read. Miss Warren then requested that I work with Darlson Lutwama, preparing the flowers for the chapel as well as for Miss Warren’s house. Once I had been trained by Darlson, I was assigned to Miss Warren’s House. I can recall the first time I prepared the flowers, I was so nervous that when I took them into the house, the
Miss Hobday was always nervous when we were being examined...
vase slipped out of my hands and broke. I was then delegated to the gardens. Miss Warren asked me to weed her mint garden, I cleaned out the whole garden, mint and weeds, then raked it smooth, it was clean and empty. I was feeling very proud for a job well done. When Miss Warren came to review, she almost had a heart attack. I had to find the mint and replant it. Miss Warren did not give up on me though and I was a Prefect eventually. Of course there is Miss Hobday who made music so much fun that I even took on piano lessons, Miss Cutler who made PE so much fun, there was something that each of us could do. Mr Wafula and his crazy accent that brought Biology alive. Miss Biribonwa who brought out my love for History, especially African History. Miss Biribonwa also took us for Poetry.
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Charity Kivengere (1967 to 1973) Anne Philpot, our History teacher as well as class teacher in S2 and S4. She simply made History come alive when she was teaching. Very knowledgeable about her subject matter, she talked in a very animated style, describing events in such a way that you simply lived them yourself. We usually did not want her lessons to end. An amazing teacher who made all of us love History.
Alesi Adroa (1985-1991) Dr. Knowles, the Physics teacher. I was in Senior Two and she was teaching about tension and compression. She got a piece of the stiff, white packaging material usually placed around electrical gadgets for protection, placed it on the table and proceeded to climb up and step onto that thing to demonstrate what compression is all about. It may have been quite dramatic but the point sunk in, evidenced by the fact that I can still remember it up to
Carol Nzaro Bitature, S6 class of 1986 Mine has got to be Miss Hobday! Passionate about what she did. She made me take music up to A-level. She was always nervous when we performed or we being examined because she wanted us to excel. For some reason unknown to me the students called her Bobby. Thank you Miss Hobday, my love for music has stayed with me and grown.
Robinah Nazziwa My best teacher was Mr. Ogavu Titus, the French teacher. He was so fatherly and understanding. Mr. Ogavu was very expressive during class. That is why I had to take French at A-Level. Even today when we meet or chat, we do our thing in French. I really value his services to date. I have copied some of his teaching techniques and I also express a similar attitude towards my students - knowing well that students come from different backgrounds.
Rachel Masembe Musoke (1956 - 1961) Miss June Lloyd who was my Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics teacher. She inspired and encouraged us all the way to greater heights. She often said “If you all fail I will pack up and go back home” Our class was the first one to do Physics and Chemistry at O-level.
Phyllis Nsibirwa Mukasa (1968 – 1974): Miss Janice Hobday. We all loved it whenever we had to sing the Lord’s Prayer with her at school assembly. I remember her playing the piano in the music room.
Dr. Florence Bakibinga Sajjabi (1980-1986) Miss Filda Ojok taught me history. I admired her lifestyle. She was a true Christian at heart, down-to-earth, friendly, but most of all, I admired the way she was able to simplify and explain material. In fact, she was a role model for me - she is the one who inspired me to become a teacher. I would look at her lifestyle and the way she taught, and I wished I could be like her - to be able to influence others and explain material in such a manner that everybody would understand. I realised from her that when one is a teacher, one holds the entire world in their hands because it is the teacher who shapes attitudes and imparts knowledge, and thus creates the new world. I am currently a lecturer at Uganda Management Institute and also teach Sunday School.
I realised from her (Ms. Ojok) that when one is a teacher, one holds the entire world in their hands
Miss Warren was our head teacher but also took us for some of the English classes and General Paper at HSC. She taught us correct English and opened our minds to think deeply about several issues. She was also a firm administrator, something that I would recall and draw upon during the seven years that I was a Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance & Administration) at Uganda Christian University. I believe that Miss Warren secretly had a soft spot for me because at the end of our time in Gayaza, I received a book from her for excellent comportment and appreciation of the environment which my year mates thought was simply made up because I was her ‘biscuit’. Well, I don’t know. BUT, she also attended my wedding! Mr. Dan Kyazze was our Maths and Chemistry teacher. He was quite strict but had a soft and humorous side to him that seemed to be a mismatch to his other side. Mr. Kyazze was a wonderful teacher! He could simplify very difficult concepts. Perhaps in this way, and subconsciously, he also influenced me towards teaching. Mr. Kyazze also taught me to play the guitar - free of charge.
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KNOWLEDGE FOR OUR TIMES
SUSAN KYEMBA KASEDDE, (1986-1991)
think Gayaza had a way of attracting very good teachers and staff. And those very good teachers usually stayed on. I think of how we were at that stage: 700 giggly, hyperactive adolescent girls with hyperactive imaginations and all the time in the world to think up and act out our drama on a real-live stage. Our teachers were brave and wonderful, good-natured people who stayed on and did their jobs every day, knowing all the while that at any one moment in time, they were a character in someone’s plot and the cause of someone’s perplexingly ill-timed giggles. Mr. Fred Kizito was our Physics teacher. He loved Physics and his love for it was infectious. Soft-spoken, kind, always jolly and always accessible, Mr Kizito took the mystery out of Physics, arming us with the knowledge that if you learned Newton’s three laws of physics you’d learned all you needed to know to master the entire subject. True or not, that was all the encouragement I needed and I was hooked, inspired and in love with physics. It seemed to explain the world around me. Mr. Kizito took his fair share of the girls’ teasing. He is an amazing singer and at that age we didn’t know how else to celebrate an amazing talent other than to laugh and tease someone about it. He dealt with that with ease and a smile, serving up more of his bass during Chapel service and sending the girls into aforementioned ill-timed laughter. God bless him! Mr. Benon Bisamunyu. Confidence. Humility. Passion. Commitment. Patience. These are the things I think of when I remember him. I hated History. To me, it had none of the magic and instant gratification of complex biology, mathematics, physics or chemistry equations unfolding before your eyes to reveal a simple solution “x=3”. Yet Mr. Bisamunyu would turn up on time and energised to deliver what felt like an overly animated class lecture on an invasion or migration from hundreds of years ago. I found his excitement over the revelations of discovery of buried pottery and iron work quite inexplicable. I’m sure I was not alone. I simply went through the motions of History
class. Tolerating it. Wishing I could drop it. Praying I would pass it. Not working hard at all to really read and learn it. Not quite seeing the point. If there is one class I wish I could take once again, it would have to be History. I completely missed the point that at the time I was sitting through an opportunity to hear, discuss and reflect on the decisions and experiences of everyday people like myself that had led our nation, our global community, our civilisation onto the path we are walking today. All of today’s complex geopolitical relationships are a continuation of the migrations, invasions and struggles for self-assertion and cultural dominance that Mr. Bisamunyu taught us about. Lessons from Mr. Bisamunyu scream all around: struggle for resources leading to population explosion, movement and power struggles; government systems and struggles with succession; the complex relationship between religion, power and politics; hallmarks of cultural dominance: art, music, language, written word, social order; the changing forms of foreign influence (trade, religion, education, assistance) and the long arm of revenge. Others have mentioned the other amazing teachers. I wish a lecture series could be held occasionally at GHS in honour of these many dedicated teachers. There are so many of their students who could now come back to speak to issues related to the many subjects and illustrate just how what we learn in class is so relevant in the world today.
Mr Kizito loved Physics and his love for it was infectious
Susan today (in glasses)
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THE GAYAZA TEACHERS POLISHED US SURAIYA SANYU TUSHABE, Kivebulaya, Mary Stuart (1987–1992)
pending three quarters of our adolescent years at boarding school, we needed teachers to be more than just that. We needed them to be parents, counsellors, mentors, coaches, and role models. Our teachers at Gayaza were a guiding force through those vulnerable formative years, and to think they were younger than most of us are now! Having moved to a different culture and faced the demands and pressures of acclimatising, I am inspired, and have even more respect for our missionary teachers. The sacrifice - investing their prime years in a school, girls and families far away from their homeland! They must have grappled with the difference in amenities, cultural expectations, cuisine, creating new relationships, and the psychological challenges that come with being a transplant. When I think about Miss Warren, Miss Cutler and Miss Hobday, I am inspired to sow my life in the hand of a mighty God, who multiples all. Surely, the greatest investment, is laying down your life for others. I must say the teacher who has inspired me the most by constantly reinventing herself and presenting her multifaceted self over the years is Honourable Ruth Nvumetta Kavuma. The beautiful, young Ruth, a Physics and Mathematics teacher
took the helm of Gayaza’s administration as the first indigenous Headmistress. This is no mean feat, as I can imagine she had to constantly confront external nay-sayers and internal doubt and selftalk. She held her ground, leading in her unique style and doing the whole worklife balance stuff too. Ruth then went on to spread her influence as a girl child advocate, Member of Parliament, and now a champion for maternal health. I remember she always had a sense of style and kept up with the times. Of course I am partial to her, as I had breakfast at her house twice a week for our headmistress-head girl update on student concerns. I am inspired by her to live my “nine” lives. My experience at Gayaza, with both the teaching staff and the support staff, was positive and impactful. I can attribute my resilience, improvisation and of course leadership skills to Gayaza High School. The polished presentation and tact that has opened many doors for me, I am proud to say was nurtured at Gayaza. Respect for structure, hierarchy and authority was also instilled in Gayaza and has served me well over the years. If I were to summarise in one word, the impact of Gayaza and its dedicated teachers on my life, it would be “Polish”. The ability to stand head and shoulders above the rest, because of the values and presentation built in me at Gayaza. Never Give Up!!
We needed teachers to be more than just that... we needed them to be parents, counsellors, mentors...
PHENOMENAL JOY MALE BY JULIET AKOT LUCIMA, (2003-2008)
n 21st February 2003, a little 13 year old found herself facing a lady, having been late to start Senior One after a series of unfortunate events. Tall and almost imposing, her kind eyes smiled at me as my tear stricken face watched
my mother leave me. Little did I know she was the Headmistress. Mrs. Joy Male just like her name turned out to be joyful, kind and with a larger than life heart. She never scared anyone, but rather had a welcoming smile. Even when she tried to look tough it ended up being funny. She led the calmest assemblies, taught Geography like it was second
nature and always found a place in her heart to make us feel at ease. I could say she left Gayaza too early but we were blessed to have enjoyed four years of a mother, teacher and friend. We had to let her go but she is forever in the hearts of the lives she touched with her smile and kind but firm words. Mrs Joy Male is a phenomenal woman and she rightfully deserves her place in history among Gayaza’s great educators.
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SOARING ON THE WINGS OF MY SCIENCE TEACHERS PHILIPPA NGAJU MAKOBORE 1999-2002
t is amazing how years fly by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday I was wearing a brightly coloured uniform and walking to the Chapel for early morning assembly from Sherbourne. I was an active piano player and a member of the French club in Senior Two. I enjoyed the sciences, particularly Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, thoroughly so it is only natural that I have vivid memories of my dedicated teachers in those subject areas. My Senior Two teacher, Mrs. Kateshumbwa, was fairly strict, but thorough and clear in her instruction. I enjoyed her classes, especially Mathematics. She laid a strong foundation for me to excel in Mathematics in my later years. Mr. Ddungu played a pivotal role in breaking down the complexity of certain Maths principles. He made it very enjoyable and I was particularly appreciative of the extra time he took to create ‘Math camps’ outside of class. In Senior Four I took Additional Mathematics and I will never forget calculus classes with Mr. Odipio. In a recent newspaper article he was named 11th best Mathematics teacher in the country which I believe he is very deserving of. Miss Twinomucunguzi (at the time) was my Chemistry teacher and she was always patient and cheerful, I enjoyed balancing chemical equations and all the titration experiments. After my years at Gayaza I finished my last year of high school in Canada and went on to pursue Electrical Engineering with a focus on power electronics and control systems at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. Having lived in Canada for over seven years I looked forward to eventually coming home and making my contribution to our country and ultimately my old school. I joined Uganda Industrial Research Institute in early 2011 and spearheaded the creation and implementation of the Instrumentation Division that would focus on the R&D of electronic applications that would address developmental challenges in our country specifically in healthcare, agriculture and energy, healthcare being a top priority. Our approach was to develop partnerships both locally and abroad to form multi-disciplinary teams for the
co-creation of appropriate and affordable technologies for Uganda. In just four years the division has grown to a team of nine Electrical and Computer Engineers and Technicians. We have also gained significant local and international visibility, notably through four awards from the Consortium of Affordable Medical Technologies, Centre for Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA; finalists for our project,: Automated Low Cost Diagnostic Tool for Pneumonia at the Saving Lives at Birth: Grand Challenge for Development 2015 in Washington, DC (top 6% out of over 750 applications); Award of a Venturewell Sustainable Vision Grant in partnership with Columbia University in New York to develop neonatal devices for Uganda with an overall aim of commercialisation; and a UN Women’s Young Innovator’s Award for technology benefitting Rural Women Smallholder farmers. I have a strong attachment to my alma mater and I look forward to starting a Women in Engineering (WiE) Chapter with my fellow engineering alumni from Gayaza so that we can encourage more girls to pursue Science and Technology.
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EQUIPPED TO DO OUR BIT AND MAKE GAYAZA PROUD chapel, the chapel choir with their PRISCILLA MUNGAYA KIGUMBA >Priscilla >>> Mungaya Kigumba angelic voices singing from the gallery,
he question – ‘What is the purpose of education in the 21st century?’ is often met by answers like: ‘To search for truth’, ‘To improve the human condition’, ‘To meet the countries workforce needs’. Is a Gayaza education the same as is delivered elsewhere? Education is delivered by systems and people, and Gayaza has a long history of dedicated servicemen and women, who have made us proud to commemorate the school today. I will pay tribute to a few who have had significant impact on my education journey. Mrs Ruth Kavuma, the first nonmissionary Headteacher at Gayaza. I often wonder how many people would be able to walk in the shoes she graciously fit into and walk she did very well. What an achievement! The Gayaza flag never flew higher, and certainly Uganda’s workforce needs were met. She was big on discipline and very poised at every occasion. Always on time, I can still hear her assertive voice across the chapel communicating the weeks’ activities and points of interest. She left a big impression on many of us who wanted to be like her when we grew up. We love you Mrs Kavuma. Miss Mulholland – a mathematics wizard if I ever saw one. My first lessons with her were a blur as I was often lost in thought, wondering how her brain worked and whether mine would ever catch up. I have never met anyone so engrossed or captivated if you like, by Mathematics. Her understanding of the concepts and explanations thereof were so effortless, in her quiet tone of voice she would unlock mathematical truths as if she were recounting folklore. Tests were very frequent in her class, perhaps her way of gauging whether she was communicating effectively. She would mark the papers overnight and then return your test
(GHS – Kivebulaya/ Ham & Apollo) holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering. She is a practicing engineering consultant and project management professional. She is a member of the PMI – Uganda Chapter. Her passion for quality education led her to cofound Orel-Vine International Academy, a Christian-founded Cambridge School.
paper the next day announcing to the entire class what you scored….. particularly loudly I might add if your score was unsatisfactory. Motivated by fear, I worked hard to ensure I would be in the upper percentile. Kajiiko – sick-bay attendant. Depending on when you were in Gayaza, you had to know Kajiiko, the most friendly and selfless attendant I have met. He was the ‘Go-To’ man if you needed anything to make your stay at the sick-bay more comfortable. I often think that healthcare workers the world over would have learnt a lot from a humble man like Kajiiko. In his mind he probably thought he had the lowest job on-campus, in the hearts of the Gayaza community, his was the most important – restoring hope to the sick. He was a friend, father and nurse all in one. When I think about Ms Janice Hobday, I am taken back to the
I think healthcare wotkers the world over would have learnt a lot from Kajiiko
Ms Hobday at the front holding the ‘Ancient and Modern’ hymn book and in her usual humorous manner correcting the non-musically enlightened on how not to sing ‘Just As I Am…’. She would speak not just with her lips but her entire body. Mr Sentongo. Physics teacher. Motivator. Physics is a very popular subject among scientists at A-level so it is only fitting perhaps that one of the most popular teachers on campus delivered it. One of the unique things about Mr .Sentongo was he was not satisfied with average grades; he dared you to excel, to aim higher, to do better. His lessons were also the most interesting. They say that in order to teach someone you must communicate to them in the language they understand. Senti, as he was fondly called, mastered to art of communication in ‘our language’. It was not only uplifting but motivating. Grade As in Physics are not commonplace at A-level but where you find one, don’t be surprised to learn the student was taught by Mr Sentongo. Keep walking sir! I am very proud to have gone through Gayaza and encountered many other outstanding people: Miss Kiguli, Mrs Kiwanuka, Mr Ogavu to mention but a few. How would I describe the school then in terms of system? Gayaza is a missionary school and the Christian foundation is the bedrock of the institution, the fuel in the engine. I liken attending Gayaza High School to fuelling up with a grade fuel that burns but is not consumed. Where others run out and are constantly refilling; your tank is always on full. With the challenges facing the 21st Century and our local communities, in the effort to improve society and the human condition, there is an army of servicewomen from Gayaza High School doing their bit and making us proud. Never Give Up Girls!
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A TRIBUTE TO MRS. MARGARET NAJJEMBA KIBUUKA Longest serving African headmistress of Gayaza Junior School (GJS) PETER JJEMBA KAGGWA AND LILLIAN ANNE GWOKYALYA (1966-1972)
rs. Kibuuka joined GJS in 1992 as Deputy Headmistress after teaching at several schools and teachers’ colleges. Her work was exemplary and, in 1994, was promoted and installed as GJS’s 11th headmistress after the retirement of Mrs. Florence Nviri. When Mrs. Kibuuka retires in 2016, she will have served for 22 years and shall be, after Miss Alfreda Allen who served for 25 years from 1905 to 1930, the headmistress that has served for the second longest time. Head teachers occupy an influential position in society and shape the teaching profession. They are lead professionals and significant role models in the communities they serve. Their values and ambition determine the achievements of schools. Their leadership has a decisive impact on the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievements in and out of classrooms. They secure a climate for the exemplary behaviour of pupils, and set standards and expectations beyond the schools. Head teachers are personally answerable within for the academic, financial, ethical, moral, social, organisational performance and conduct of the school. Accordingly the qualities, knowledge, skills and systems of head teachers are critical for schools’ success. Margaret is blessed with positive qualities. She is God-fearing, honest,
visionary, clean, orderly, courageous, passionate, emotionally intelligent, compassionate, dedicated, resilient, curious and result-oriented. She also has loyalty, humility, sacrifice and appropriate humour. Being a head teacher at GJS demands many skills which Mrs. Kibuuka exhibits. These include time management, critical thinking, creativity, listening, organisation, communication, leadership and resource management. Over the years, Mrs. Kibuuka has effectively used her talents, knowledge, skills and character for the benefit of pupils, staff and community at GJS. She demonstrates optimism, positive relationships and attributes towards pupils, staff, parents, governors and members of the local community. She exhibits clear values and moral purpose, focused on providing holistic, world class education for her pupils. She leads by example, vividly exhibiting GJS’s core values of Godliness, Integrity, Discipline, Respect, Responsibility and Perseverance. She constantly keeps the schools mission and goal in focus. These are “To Produce Responsible and Self-Reliant Women” and “To be a Leading World Class Quality Girls Primary School in Uganda and Africa” In the area of systems and processes, Mrs. Kibuuka welcomes strong governance and actively supports all the school’s organs to understand their roles and deliver their functions effectively. She ensures the school’s systems;
She puts pupils’ upkeep and welfare at the top of her priorities
organisation and processes are well considered, efficient and fit for purpose, upholding the principles of transparency and complementarity. She also does her best to provide a safe, calm, well-ordered environment for all pupils and staff, focused on safe guarding and developing their exemplary behaviour in school and wider society. She ensures that the school’s programmes and activities follow a strategic plan for framework which articulates the goals, the actions needed to achieve the goals and all the other critical elements developed during the planning exercises. Mrs. Kibuuka circulates and displays the school’s termly internal and external programmes at the beginning of every term, manifesting commitment to forward planning.
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Mrs. Kibuuka is a role model of a high achiever head teacher. She accomplished and achieved a lot at Gayaza Junior School through being constantly conscious of her purpose, putting to use her personal strength and utilizing the strength of others through team work. Gayaza Junior/High School was started as a model girls’ boarding school and Mrs. Kibuuka has kept it as that in all aspects. The 110 year old school has a new look all the time. Parents choose schools for their children mainly because of academic performance. Mrs. Kibuuka has maintained the academic excellence of Gayaza Junior School. During her leadership, from 1994 to 2014, GJS’s P7 1st Grade percentage has ranged from 89.6 to 100% despite the increase in numbers plus ever increasingly challenging internal and external factors. In addition to maintaining and improving the school’s academic standards, Mrs. Kibuuka broadened the school’s curriculum emphasising holistic education’s 3Hs (Head, Heart and Hands) as well as the 3Rs (Relationship, Responsibility and Relevance) which contribute to the educating the whole person for all of life. As a result, many first class secondary schools make sure they admit some Gayaza Junior products to be the positive change agents for other students who come from purely academic schools. GJS products act as role models, especially in the areas of self-control, character, reliability and responsibility. Another major factor considered by parents when taking children to boarding schools is the upkeep and care for the children. Under Mrs. Kibuuka’s leadership, GJS is renowned for impeccable cleanliness, neatness and orderliness exhibited everywhere and throughout the year. She puts pupils’ upkeep and welfare at the top of her priorities. While many institutions in Uganda are challenged in the area of
finance management, Mrs. Kibuuka scores highly because of being honest, transparent, efficient and effective. Stakeholders can evidently see that funds are utilized well. Programmes, projects and activities are implemented efficiently and effectively without stagnating. Another area of success for Mrs. Kibuuka is the human resource. She ensures that GJS has teachers with really good credentials and that they are well remunerated, empowered, exposed and positively challenged. She is consistently assertive with them and keeps her word.
rs. Kibuuka’s legacy includes the unique achievement of making GJS the first Church-founded, Governmentaided primary school to start a second campus. In support of her vision Namirembe Diocese, Church of Uganda, enthusiastically provided 60 acres of land for the Jungo Campus. GJS Jungo Campus’ objectives include increasing capacity without compromising academic, environmental and infrastructural standards; boarding the school’s curriculum, identifying and developing pupils’ talents, establishing a vocational training centre for the pupils; establishing self-reliance, cost reduction and income generating projects; and making GJS bigger and bolder as a leading world-class total education primary school. In addition, Mrs. Kibuuka has accomplished and achieved a lot in terms of the infrastructure and physical development of Gayaza Junior School. We thank God for Mrs. Kibuuka’s legacy, achievements accomplishment and examples as a successful, long serving head teacher at Gayaza Junior School. It is gratifying that, in appreciation of her excellent service, the school’s centenary complex was named after her.
SOME OF HER INITIATIVES 1. Making the old head teachers’ office storeyed, self-contained and furnished to world class standards. 2. Making the school environment dust-free, with plenty of greenery and educative sculptures. 3. Building a spacious kitchen with energy-saving stoves. 4. Constructing a welldesigned 2,000 seating capacity amphitheatre. 5. Strengthening and modernising the school’s first main building, built in 1905, which was turned into the School Museum. 6. Constructing a modern storeyed building, named after Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, which houses classrooms, the School Library and Computer Centre. 7. Constructing a new 200-bed dormitory with modern toilet facilities for pupils and modern selfcontained rooms for house mothers. 8. Renovating and modernising all old dormitories with fire escape windows. 9. Starting a water-harvesting project in the school. 10. Expanding the sports grounds. 11. Constructing a concrete block security wall around the school. 12. Modernising the very old head teacher’s residence. 13. Constructing several VIP toilets for pupils and teachers. 14. Constructing the four-storeyed centenary complex which houses classrooms, a modern spacious staffroom, the head teacher’s office, boardroom, water-borne toilets and other facilities. 15. Constructing a modern main entrance to the school and a back exit gate. 16. Putting up new staff houses. 17. Modernising the school farm. 18. Purchasing many vehicles for the school. 19. Establishing corporate attire for members of staff, paid for by the school. l
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Class of 1999 Prefectsâ€™ Body
Marching at Independence, October 9, 1962
Drama Club: The cast of Romeo and Juliet
Gayaza Junior School, back in the day
Volleyball at Gayaza
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PULLING ONE OVER METU EDITH KAMYA MPANGA
he wasn’t one of the teaching staff but she was no less crucial to the running of the school. She was the inimitable School Matron, fondly known as “Meetu” to most, although a few others preferred the less endearing nickname of “Do-Si-Do” which she acquired, I gathered, on account of her characteristic walk, with her arms folded across her chest as if dancing to the “Do-Si-Do your partner and your partner Do-Si-Doe” routine as commanded through one of Miss Cutler’s country dancing tunes. Part of Meetu’s job was to conduct unannounced visits to dormitories in order to monitor hygiene, tidiness and the observance of health and safety rules. The visits generally happened during class time. No problem with that at all, except that if you’d carelessly left your paraffin stove lying about, you were in danger of losing it to Meetu if she spotted it during such a visit. We were not allowed to have stoves in the dormitories but girls occasionally smuggled these in. However, once confiscated by Meetu, the contraband would not be released until the end of term. Well, the year was 1979. I was in S3, a Corbian, resident in Room 2 of the B wing (or simply B2). One of my roommates, a girl called Annette S., owned a paraffin stove, which we all found extremely handy in those days of regular posho and beans. One fateful day Annette’s stove fell prey to Meetu’s keen eye! It was way too early in the term for us to contemplate living without it so several members of B2 convened an emergency meeting to decide what to do about this crisis. The Stove Rescue Plan was hatched. The meeting resolved that, at the weekend, B2 members would dress me up as Annette’s aunt who had come to collect the stove, which (ostensibly) was
The other side of life
One confiscated stove. A bunch of naughty teenagers. One unsuspecting school matron. urgently needed for use by a relative who was an in-patient at Mulago Hospital. This was in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Idi Amin, and such a story was quite plausible in those chaotic times. On the appointed day, Rose L., a B2 member, decked me out with a glamorous maxi dress. We then approached Rose L., a Hutchinsonite, to lend us her long-haired wig for the occasion. Peruth M. offered a lovely handbag, while Celia K. kitted me out with expensive shoes. Flo M. sprayed me with a sweet perfume and, after Annette’s amazing job as my make-up artist, my glamourisation was complete!
ne B2 member, Rita W., a junior prefect, tried to dissuade us from executing the mindlessly dangerous “advé” but the nightmare scenario of living without our stove dimmed our caution. She kindly kept her lips sealed, though, leaving us with terrible guilt about putting her in such a situation. With Annette in tow and both our hearts beating like drums, I nervously knocked on Meetu’s door. We had made Annette carry a “kikapu” with some utensils to appear as if these were being returned home after the cooked food I had brought her had been scoffed. Meetu, who looked as if she had just been
woken from a deep sleep, invited us in. I sat on the settee while Annette knelt on the floor in feigned respect to me. Meetu and I exchanged pleasantries to begin with. In her semidrowsy state, the poor dear mistook me for a parent! After Meetu and I had warmed to each other, I broached the delicate subject of my visit. Meetu then reported to me that she had confiscated this stove several times but Annette just kept on re-offending. At this I played the irate parent and severely scolded Annette for not telling us that stoves were forbidden. She hung her head in mock shame as I ordered her to apologise to Meetu. Having accepted the apology, Meetu then handed over the needful, wishing my imaginary sick relative a speedy recovery. I thanked her politely and said goodbye. In truth, we couldn’t get out of her house quickly enough! To complete the act, Annette and I walked all the way up to the gate (or “VM” as we called it) - just in case Meetu spotted us heading back to Corby - then took the back routes, via the hockey pitch and science labs, to Corby. Safely back in B2, all we could do was laugh and laugh and laugh, believing our secret to be safe with us. Unfortunately by night time, the story had gone round the school like a wild fire. It was panic time! Meetu had a close relative in the school, and I feared she would spill the beans. I spent a sleepless night, bemoaning my silly prank and worrying myself sick at the potential consequences. However, I later learnt that Meetu’s relative had managed to see the humour in the whole thing and had laughed along with everybody else. Whew!! l
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My first day at Gayaza
Impressions that last BRENDA NAKATUDDE-YOMBO, Corby House 1993-1997, Hutchinson House 19971998
he day 9th March, 1993 is very vivid in my mind. It was one day before my 13th birthday. Very excited about the opportunity to study at the best girls’ school in Uganda, I arrived at the school gate. The drive was lined by older girls wearing uniforms in a multiplicity of colours that I have seen only at Gayaza High School. The mauve and plum blew me away and the different shades of blue were breathtaking. My parents were very surprised when the girls quickly unloaded all my belongings, saying to one another: “Ooh! She is supposed to go to Corby, Room A2.” I, in the meantime, nervously wondered what all this meant and whether my belongings were safe with these strangers. As my belongings disappeared through into thin air, we signed in and were handed a welcome packet and told to walk down to Corby House with one of the kamwakas. It was a great trek past the well maintained lawns, the trimmed pavement edges and the magnificent buildings (the famous Mehtha Library and the Gayaza Chapel). Corby House felt like a place that we would never get to,. We eventually got there though and seated outside the entrance to Room A2 was Farida Mukasa, aka Fafa, the
Corby House Prefect at the time. She gave us a very big smile and welcomed my parents and I to Corby House. Inside the room I was to receive another surprise of my life. My mattress and all the other items that I thought I had “lost to those strangers” were safely set up in the room and my bed made! (Remember those famous hospital corners?). The height of this hospitality showed up when I became very thirsty and needed a drink of water. I was advised by my kamwaka to go out to the vera (verandah) and get a drink. To my amazement, my jerrycan was full of water; these strangers had also gone the extra mile to fill it. Since Fafa was still sitting at the same spot, I asked her if I could take a drink of water from my own jerrycan! Weeks later, I shared this story with my roommates (Gillian Nantume, Victoria Kiwanuka, Cathy Namuddu, Margaret Namulindwa, Mariam Naiga, Mary Namukasa, Gloria Sebikaari and Irene Nampiima) little knowing that it would be the subject of much laughter through the years. Among my other experiences which we laughed about over the years is one where my backpack fell into a bucket of water, soaking all my books and Bible in the process. One of my roommates suggested that I re-write my notes since we had not covered much ground in class yet. They also suggested that I re-write my blue, hardcover Good News Bible that we had been given for the Bible class. All this to say that the hospitality that I received at Gayaaza was of the kind that will stay with me for a lifetime. Nowhere else have I received a welcome that compares to it. l
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A place where dreams were born BRENDA OKECH
very old girl will surely have fond memories of their first days at the school! I was all pumped up with excitement and taking in all the different sights of my dream school. The politeness and kindness of the smart girls in uniform, who helped me with my luggage and then laid my bed with me was really special. Some have become lifelong friends. Many girls came in with their white socks pulled neatly to their knees only learn that socks were not so ladylike! Being at Gayaza ended many habits including wearing socks outside sports. In those first days we did a lot of running because in our eyes Gayaza was a mega place with huge sports fields for hockey, athletics and sports like rounders we had never heard of and large farms where we actually used the hoes we were told to bring to school. The dormitories were all spread out and there were many laboratories that seemed to be on another planet. We would run across from a class lesson to an experiment in the laboratory. It was not long before one noticed the girls who got to wear skirts and blouses - the A-Level girls! They never run and most walked with a
very distinct swagger! We always stepped aside to let these important people sail through. In time we were those girls, never running, happy heads held high and gliding around the school with ease. Many other things became second nature to us like not walking on the grass and no littering. Gayaza always had a way with words. There were no rules against speaking local languages. Pronouncing an English word wrong was a scandal. There were so many slangs and ‘special’ Gayaza words. One could say we almost came up with a language of our own! Then there was a name puzzle where teachers and students alike had their names shortened with or without their knowledge. Do you recognise any of these names? Floki, Floba, Mese, Braps, Bisiben, Curvy, Ovuga, Sexy, Aujourdhui meme or KCC! Gayaza was indeed great fun and even what looked like sheer torture then is now truly a blessing in disguise. We were taught and mentored and can now share all the solid lessons to put God first and be responsible citizens. The blessing song from Numbers 6:23-26 composed by the late Irene Nambi Sseppuuya is a regular prayer on our lips. With God on our side we can dream, pursue big dreams and of course we never give up! l
M I C H A E L & PAT R I C I A N A H I RYA N T E G E ( 1 9 8 8 - 1 9 9 4 )
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THE ‘10 TO TIME’ RULE Ida Wanendeya
ne of the greatest impacts Gayaza had on my life is timekeeping. During my time at Gayaza we had the ‘Ten to time’ rule which I still value. What does this mean? If you have an appointment or commitment, arrive ten minutes to time. That gives you a chance to settle down, catch your breath, rethink what you have prepared to say and in case you are not very sure of the exact door to knock at, you have time to find it. I can go on and on as it was explained to us 60 plus years ago. Where do we get this African or Ugandan time thinking? l
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TREADING WHERE ANGELS DARE NOT ELIZABETH KATIGO Corby House, 1988 – 1994
y arrival in Senior One at Gayaza High School was four days after the rest. That set me miles back with the sewing of my uniforms. The sewing project showed up my hitherto ‘excellent’ sewing skills! The shock of being issued a yellow uniform to wear and keep clean for five days a week after having a daily change in primary school was way up there in the rank of horror experiences. I had not starched anything in my life and did not even know how to do it right. After asking around for this ‘starch’ from room to room, one blessed Sarah Kikoni (Senior Four) kindly gave me some of her own. Being the know-it-all I was I did not ask for help. I mixed the starch in water, soaked the belt in it, placed it on my bed sheet, placed the hot iron on it and waited for it to dry. I can see that smile! Conclusion – There was a hole the shape and size of an iron in the sheet and a nice, brown burn on the inner side of my yellow belt. The borehole! The energy and time expended to draw up copper-ish water was simply not justifiable. Thankfully, Corby House had water most of the time. Fetching water from the Makenke well during the days of ‘drought’ was excruciating. Lucky for me, I had all these kind girls (bless them) in my dormitory who would share their water after fetching it from Makenke. I learnt how to use microscopic amounts of water for ablution. Cutting grass with a hoe! Ingenuity extraordinaire! One of my dorm mates (names withheld) tried to do it with a sideways swing like one would with a blade slasher. You should have seen the girls cutting the lots adjacent to hers scamper for safety! I had heard horror stories of Senior One students in other schools being asked to blow out electric bulbs; ‘spell their names in French letters upside down in the Chinese way’; wash piles of laundry for seniors; fill water cans with a spoon; and that story you are itching to add. I never quite understood why someone should eat from their plate and then pass the dirty plate to me to wash! Corby House teasing in 1988 or ‘initiation’ into the school, however, was mostly a fun experience. They asked the Senior One students aka Bunsen Burners to sing songs that, to-date make me smile or even, laugh outright. The Senior Two
The shock of being issued a yellow uniform to wear and keep clean for five days a week....
students drummed away on buckets, basins and water cans as we created our own music, sang songs we already knew and even learnt a few wacky songs. I will share a few. Ki gwe burner?/Wangyi nyabo eyakera esomero./Ngamba gwe bunsen./Wangyi nyabo eyakera esomero./Yayuya burner./Wangyi nyabo eyakera esomero./Climax burner! Climax Bunsen! … as you danced away to the beat! ‘Kodina kodina x3 wakashasha kodina/Lizzie nkuze x2 Okumanya nkuze nange ntuus’okwekyanga./Kale w’ekyange x3 wakashasha kodina’ There was one that we sang as we marched round the dormitory, with the Senior Three students at the time, dancing to an interesting choreography. “Est qu’elle est ta monitor? Oui, ta monitor x2/Bend a little. Abu! That’s better. x2/Bend a little x3 Abu! That’s better! Do not ask what they mean. We did not. We simply sang and had fun. The ‘teasing’ sessions happened only in the first weekend but they forced us to get to know each other across classes, rooms and houses. They helped break the ice for the shy ones. They identified the bold and talented. Notably, those that took out time to ‘tease’ us became our fast friends to-date. I, however, do not condone teasing in any form! It is wrong and should never be allowed or ignored in any school. There are
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better ways to receive Senior Ones. I hope it is a thing of the past in today’s Gayaza. I cannot skip the inter-house music and drama competitions. These forced creative juices out of the least likely. The dances were great to learn and perform. The vernacular songs we learnt at break-neck speed were a challenge to many girls’ tongues. I am still discovering the lyrics for some of the folk songs we sang. My first supper at Gayaza is probably one that I should recount for the tremendous life lessons started then. I was used to eating for at least 45 minutes both at school and at home. You can imagine my surprise when the ‘Please clear up!’ instruction was announced in like 5 minutes. I literally starved for a few days and eventually learned to focus on the eating task, be social at table and eat in a ladylike manner at a decent speed. It is a basic survival tool and serves me well on a daily basis. I had my earlier education among a matrilineal African people whose culture is big on equality, justice and respect for hard work, performance, achievement and to be fair, age. I was shocked to be pulled back when I attempted to walk out after the prayer and announcements. I stood by in chagrin as the ‘green skirts’ filed out of the dining hall and we had to wait our turn. I grit my teeth at the perceived injustice of it for a long time. I had to be reminded repeatedly to leave the path for A-Level students, hold my tongue before them and basically know my place in the scheme of things. That was hard to swallow but learn
the principles I did. That respect must be seen to be acknowledged was a hard lesson that I am still honing. In the fullness of time, I wore the green skirt and assumed the privileges that came with it. I have since seen the damage and disruption that is caused in homes, extended families and workplaces by people who do not to realise that society must be organised and managed in a certain way and pecking order for it to run. They fail to wait their turn to be the leader, boss, parent, elder or supervisor and in turn create mayhem. Time, training and varied life experiences are necessary to carry out different roles with the decorum, responsibility and wisdom required for those places.
, and a good number of old girls, have reached advanced ages while still single and have no children. Misses Warren, Cutler, Quinn, Mulholland, Adimola, Ojok and others - wonderful ladies that lived dignified, godly, fulfilled, happy and productive lives that had an amazing impact on so many lives. I note that they still encouraged us to pray for spouses and never besmirched the idea of marriage. Great ladies to look up to, I say. There are those that may tell the story differently. I am expressly thankful for the privilege of these and many other experiences, lessons and skills learned at Gayaza High School. The teachers, non-teaching staff and their families provided a safe and mostly loving environment, and sometimes tough instruction to mould us into the ladies Uganda is proud to acknowledge. I would do it again.l
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THE LESSONS THAT MADE ME
It was raining, so she was late getting to the chapel to sound the drum, earning herself a lifelong lesson in leadership. It was just one of the many lessons she learnt in Gayaza... PRISCILLA MIREMBE SERUKKA, 1977 – 1983. KENNEDY HOUSE, HUTCHINSON HOUSE
was privileged to be a third generation of girls in Gayaza (my mother was a Gayaza girl and, so was her mother). I can never forget my years in Gayaza. They formed me considerably and I attribute my success in life today to the foundation I got in Gayaza. SALVATION The most precious gift I got while in Gayaza was salvation. From the first day, we were told about salvation in the name of Jesus. At the daily morning assemblies, daily evening prayers, fellowships (we called it Christian Club), Bible Studies, etc, the Word and the love of God were shared. Finally, in May 1981, I gave my life to Jesus. This started a brand new life for me; filled with purpose, adventure, hope, joy and impossibilities being brought to my reach. Diligently, in Gayaza we were taught to read and memorise the Word, share the Word, fast and pray. Precious to me were the Easter Sundays when members of the Chapel Choir went around the village, covered in white sheets and with a candle singing hymns of worship celebrating the risen Lord. Thirty-two years down the line, I have not hidden my candle under the bush, I still share my faith starting from my own household and my work place. LEADERSHIP /RESPONSIBILITY I was privileged in Senior Three to be one of the six junior prefects and again to be a senior prefect during my ‘A’ level. As a junior prefect one of my responsibilities used to be the evening bells that marked the start and end of clubs as well as the famous PE (physical education) and country dancing as well as the early morning bell/drum marking the beginning of housework. In Gayaza, when the early morning rain came, it was very heavy and on one memorable occasion I got up very early to the pounding rain. I put on boots, a raincoat and got an umbrella but waited for the rain to subside a little. Eventually, I realised it was not about to and I was already late for the drum. So I quickly run to the chapel to hit at the drum informing the school it was time for housework. At
the drum I met a very red faced headmistress Miss Warren, who screamed at me: “The whole school is late because of you!” I learnt that the rain was no good excuse when I had a discharge to fulfil. I learnt to take responsibility and be a ‘no-excuse’ leader. CARING FOR THE UNPRIVILEGED As I came to the end of my Senior Three, I was unfortunate to lose my father. It was a very big blow to me. In those days in Gayaza, there were very few orphans. However, Gayaza (or some lovely saints in Gayaza that I never got to know), paid for my school fees and also gave me pocket money and toiletries right from the beginning of Senior Four to when I completed Senior Six. All I needed to do, was to get to school. This was done for all of us who were orphans. This was a great help for my Mum who went into exile at the same time and yet had seven of us all still in school. We also used to have a club that visited elderly people who did not have much help. During my A-level I was privileged to be a part of this visiting club. We had an elderly lady assigned to us whom we used to visit with Loi Kitamirike. We used to wash her clothes, clean her house, fetch water for her, chat with her, pray with her and also take her things like soap, sugar and salt. Picking from this, today I have been able to personally help a number of children who were struggling with school fees. I have worked with Stromme Foundation for the last twelve years and our work aims at bringing hope/
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Poetry corner BY MARIETTA JUKO
THE LONELY WARRIOR
A RAY OF HOPE
The Battle is over, but the lonely Warrior forges on. Blinded by anger and deafened by fear He cannot hear the quiet, ominous silence Surrounding him
Spirit of the living God hear a distant cry and call from thy torn bosom; I, a grain of sand in the multitudinous realms of earth tossing and turning about yet failing to understand the everlasting turning turmoil...
The Battle is over but the lonely Warrior rages on. Shooting at invisible targets and recoiling At undefined adversaries Wearily he slumps down in a nearby Trench and tries desperately to recall And remember the day. Where am I, Why am I here? If he could remember how it began. The Battle is over, but the lonely Warrior is not yet aware
giving opportunities to poor and vulnerable people in the poor/hard to reach communities of East Africa. HOME MANAGEMENT One of the subjects I enjoyed most during my ‘O’ level was Home Economics. Initially, my enjoyment was derived from the cooking sessions where we would make and eat yummy food. Looking back now, in Home Economics I actually learnt a lot of the home management I do today. BEING INVOLVED In Gayaza, we had very many clubs: Debating, Geography, YWCA, Triple Singers, Chapel Choir, Gayaza Singers, Visiting Club, etc. I was in a number of clubs and I think part of my enjoying my school days came from being involved in many things. I was never bored and also got exposed to many things and people. The virtue of being involved has followed me to date and I have a full life. RISING UP TO CHALLENGES In Senior Five, I was moved from Kennedy House to be Hutchinson House Prefect. In those days, Kennedy was a very clean and orderly house while Hutchinson was the very reverse and housed some rowdy girls. This was a big challenge as I had good friends in Kennedy and desired to be part of a winning team. I teamed up with a good friend, Dorothy Kisaka (then Kasega) who had been made Cox Prefect but was in Hutchinson and we agreed to make an exchange. We went to Miss Warren to tell her about our ‘bright’ idea. She listened to us, her eyes darting to and fro, and then told us that the more she listened to us the more she realised that they had made the right decision and so I was to move to Hutchinson. She encouraged me to raise up a winning team in Hutchinson and this I did. The life lesson, I learnt was that we do not win by running away from challenges but rising up to the occasion. Space does not me allow to enumerate all the priceless lessons but etiquette and striving for excellence were some of the others. l
yet in the clutches of the silence of the night as darkness looms, do I perceive a light? Yes; through my dull and blurred vision I do see, coming towards me a distant shimmer of light. Oh! What I would give to make that shimmer bright and shine forever
WHAT A RIDE! FLORENCE GALIWANGO, Ham and Apollo, 1996-1999
he day you walk through the majestic gate, many young girls walk in with you. Some are strangers, others you knew from primary school. Nothing ever prepares you for the adventure that Gayaza High School will bring. The journey is like the story of Gulliver’s Travels. At one point you are the smallest person and then before you know it, you are one of the giants in school. You walk in a girl, among many strangers, but walk out a friend with many sisters. One of my greatest memories of being in school was when I was first introduced to a drink known as ‘Gayaza lemonade’. It was on my second day at the school. My first experience of it left me captivated and my taste buds delighted. The presentation was flawless, in a plastic cup with the lights perfectly off. I realised this drink really was life. Another awesome memory is learning that an elephant could be as light on its hooves as a feather. It was during the early morning 6:00am Scottish dancing lessons by Miss Cutler as instructor on dances like the ‘Petronella’ and ‘Do-Si-Do’. I realised that, while everyone else was as light as a feather when dancing, the elephant in me was simply happy to respect gravity. Nevertheless, even the elephant developed a gravity defying lightness that was almost magical. Everyone has their memories of Gayaza High School, some were good and others better but we all walk away as sisters with a bond that can never be severed. l
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In touch with our breasts DR. NANDAWULA KANYEREZI MUTEMA M.D. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND PHYSICIAN 1979-1982
tanding in front of the mirror, she recalled what she had heard at the talk earlier in the day at the women’s club. She touched her left breast and felt the same lump she had felt the day before and daily for several months. She hurried to bed, hoping it would not be felt. It wasn’t! Somewhere else in the neighbourhood, another lady felt with alarm a lump in her right breast. Her sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer two years before and from fear, she had not gone in for her annual breast exam nor a mammogram. She had been to the same talk earlier that evening at the women’s club where they had been urged to get to know their breasts. She decided that day to do her own breast exam. Yet another lady sat with fear as she had several lumps in her breasts. She has had these for as long as she could remember. “Could it be? They have not changed, I have had them for forever. I have not lost weight. I am young. My family does not have breast cancer or any cancer for that matter. No it cannot be.” Breast cancer is a malignant tumour that originates in the cells of the breast. The breast is mostly made up of a collection of fat cells called adipose tissue. Each breast has 10 to 20 lobes with multiple lobules which are the glands that produce milk in lactating women. The lobes and lobules are connected by milk ducts which carry the milk to the nipple. Within the adipose tissue are a network of fibrous connective tissue, blood and lymph vessels as well as nerves. Throughout the body, cells multiply in an orderly and well controlled manner. Aging cells die and are replaced by new cells. For reasons not clearly known, but related to damage in the cell DNA, cancer cells grow in a disorderly and uncontrolled manner which leads to development of tumours. It is not clear why one woman would develop breast cancer and another would not. Even when diagnosed, most women and their doctors never get to know what might have caused it. However it is known that women and indeed men with certain risk factors are more likely to develop breast cancer. This does not mean that if one has a risk factor they will definitely get breast cancer, neither does it mean that if you have more than one risk factor you will definitely get breast
The risk factors UNAVOIDABLE l Gender. Women are at higher risk than men l Family history of breast or ovarian cancer l Personal history of breast cancer in one breast l Early menstruation before age 12, and late menopause after age 55 years l Predisposing genetic mutation like BRCA1 and BRCA2 l Dense breast tissue AVOIDABLE l Lack of physical activity l Poor diet l Overweight and obesity l Excessive alcohol intake l Radiation to the chest before age 30 l Combined hormone replacement therapy Having outlined the above risk factors, 60 to 70 % of women with breast cancer do not have any of the risk factors mentioned and only 30 to 40 % of women diagnosed have one or more of the risk factors outlined. Early detection, diagnosis and management of breast cancer is key to survival.
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>>>> SCREENING FOR AND MANAGING BREAST CANCER
Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. If detected early and managed well, many women would survive
Mammography, a specialised form of X-Ray, is the main screening tool. It has the ability to find lesions which could potentially be cancer way before they are palpable. All women over the age of 40 years should have annual or biennial mammograms. Self-breast exam, while encouraged, has not been shown to decrease the incidence of breast cancer. However in an environment where mammography is not routinely done and in all women below the age of 40 years whose breasts are too dense for mammography, it is an important practice. It should be done by all women with developed breasts on a monthly basis preferably a week after the menstrual period noting the presence of lumps or skin changes which should then be discussed with a medical practitioner. An annual breast exam by a medical practitioner is of added value. Most women under the age of 40 diagnosed with breast cancer are diagnosed either because they noted an abnormality on their own, or it was found at their annual medical exam. In situations where a lump is felt or an abnormality noted on mammography, ultrasound is utilised. It helps differentiate
a solid lump from a fluid filled cyst which is usually benign and can be monitored. A solid lump on the other hand with characteristics of cancer ought to be biopsied for definitive diagnosis and grading by the Pathologist as should suspicious mammographic lesions. Management of breast cancer is based on the tumour type, size, grade and stage. Surgery to remove the tumour may be a lumpectomy where just the lump is removed, mastectomy where the whole breast is removed or even bilateral mastectomy in those women who have a genetic mutation. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are adjunctive treatments used as well as hormonal treatment based on further studies that determine whether the tumour is fuelled by naturally occurring chemicals in the body like Estrogen, Progesterone and other known chemicals. Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. If detected early and managed well many women would survive. The three women mentioned above have a very clear path to diagnosis and management. Examination by a medical practitioner, Mammography and Ultrasound with biopsy if indicated is advised. l
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I truly believe I went through Gayaza in a haze. As I have grown older, I struggle to recall names and faces so I have opted to place people in a timeline depending on what name they call me. If you call me “Floki”, then I knew you in Gayaza. I have such fond memories of that time. I asked a few friends to remind me of those good old days ….
DO YOU REMEMBER? ELIZABETH NTEGE l Kiro Mo: Pooling all the leftover grub plus all you could get at the shops to create a veritable feast the day before end of term. l Running to Juma’s, behind Sherbourne to get the kabs straight out of the frying pan. l Frying eggs with a candles, using Kiwi shoe polish as the masiga and metal container as a pan. Caskat – Katogo with Cassava and Maskat – Katogo with Matooke. l Sitting at the end of the dining table watching as the food and sauce made its way down the line from the table leader to you, only to receive bits of Posho and three beans with weevils floating in water (Oliver Twist moments). l Groot - Slimy tinned chicken, yellow posho (to this day I don’t eat ugali) and tinned beef. l “Starvé” – Hunger. Who can forget the anticipation and waiting for the chit from VAM announcing that you had a visitor. l Hiding the Kinumbo under a lorry behind Hutch because someone shouted that Warren was coming to check the dorm. l Being sent to the punishment tree for trying to commit suicide because one had jumped out of the dining room window that was 2 ft high and 6 ft wide. l Sister at sickbay assuming that every stomachache was either as a result of Kinumbo or Ma. Her famous question: “Mwoli? Mwova? oba Mwogenda?” l Kantayi – A tight belt around your waist. Making starch for the school uniform belt from left over cassava nicked from the DR. l On 16th September 1984 (my Birthday), it was announced in the dining room that Prince Harry of Wales had been born the day before to Princess Diana and Prince Charles of Wales. The booooos from the Anti-royalists. l Hauling water from Konko or Makenke and by the time you got back to school you had half a bucket left l Ripping a Mills and Boon novel into pieces so you could share the pages with friends to read after lights out. l “Beating” Bushera with hot tea and “Bobling” Cooking rice in a kettle
l “Opening” your hair every Friday and the famous Gayaza puff !!! l Straightening your hair using a hot fork on a candle or a flat iron and if your lucky an electric comb, then using rolled paper strips as hair curlers. l Wet look achieved through lots of vaseline and water. l Sprinkling sugar with blue dye from your biro to make blue crystals for your hair. l Rest hour - Being punished for moving on campus during this time. l Cho breeze and smoking the latrines. l The Kamwakas and the Burners not being allowed to cross the bridge. l Reading the punishment book - no preparation on the part of the reader as sometimes Chinua Achebe appeared on the list courtesy Mettu. l Miss Mulholland always tricked on April Fools day that her luggage had finally arrived at the staff office. She was the best Maths teacher but her dirty fingers left streaks in our books and you had to squint to read her handwriting. l Wearing a white uniform and decorating your bed on “confir” with bed sheets. l “Open” – Dancing to a Sound Solo in the dark outside Warrens house. l “Social” – Oh!! how we prepared for that, borrowborrow, learning new dance strokes, travelling on the back of the truck to the boys school and the dreaded Cinderella dance. l Digi – A walk only certain girls could pull off. I, on the other hand was all about Digi-loss. l
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The exciting journey into the lives of some Gayaza High School alumnae