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Old Boy’s story that inspires us to invest in the redevelopment of his rural school.

Old Boy’s story that inspires us to invest in the redevelopment of his rural school.

Photo:  Mrs. Enid Twinomusinguzi & Mr. John Twinomusinguzi  


We were very privileged to witness the formal opening of a brand-new ICT/E-Learning Centre at Kihanga Secondary School in Mparo on Saturday March 9. The colourfully joyous event, presided over by Bishop Gaddie Akanjuna of the Anglican Diocese of Kigezi, was the realization of an idea that was conceived a year ago, then incubated and successfully delivered after nine months by the Diaspora International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB), the Board of Governors and the Headteacher of Kihanga Secondary School, and the Alumni and Friends of Kihanga.  


It was an example of collaborative work founded on true volunteerism, honest leadership and management of public money, and intentional commitment to serve others without personal gain. ICOB, a Washington-based and registered not-for-profit organization that was founded in Toronto on July 4, 2003, provided seed funding of USD 30,000 (117 million shillings). Alumni and friends of Kihanga in Uganda raised USD 37,000 (143 million shillings). The Board of Governors and the Headteacher, together with some alumni, and two representatives of ICOB–Apex constituted a Kihanga Redevelopment Team that steered the process. It was a transparent, accountable and efficient process, guided by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act of Uganda, and the equally strict guidelines of the Kigezi Education Fund, an organ of ICOB-Apex. The result was a state-of-the art centre, with 58-networked, internet-connected computer terminals, the first phase of what is expected to grow to a minimum of 100 terminals. The centre will be open to students at the three Kihanga schools, and at neighbouring schools at Katungu and Noozi. 


On the same day, a joint website for Kihanga Boys’ School, Kihanga Girls’ Primary School, and Kihanga Secondary School was activated. Designed, developed, and delivered on time by Desmond Arinaitwe, the Managing Director of the Kampala-based Hightech Infosys Limited, the website is intended to be the living, active digital face of the three schools at Kihanga.  Over the next few months, the website (, along with modern e-learning technology, will bring the students at these rural schools into the modern age of information, and communication technology and offer them a chance at fair competition with their peers in the better-resourced schools around Kampala.


Mr. Tony Ekodeu, an Executive IT Architect at IBM Canada, who guided the Kihanga Redevelopment Team during the project’s gestation period, has volunteered to provide the teachers at the three school at Kihanga with foundational learning about ICT and e-learning. Ekodeu, a Ugandan Canadian with over 25-years’ experience in the IT industry, challenges us to give what we have, without personal benefit. He exemplifies the tradition of the “strangers” from the Church Missionary Society (CMS) of England and the Roman Catholic Fathers from France and Italy who opened schools like Kihanga that transformed the lives of our forebears. 


After establishing two schools in Kabaare in the early 1920s, Dr. Algernon Stanley-Smith, Dr. Leonard Sharp, and Ms. Constance Hornby, the pioneer CMS volunteers in Kigyezi, sent Andereya Tibereeba Nduruma wa Katooka ka Rutwigi, a Mukiga Christian Missionary worker from Kasheregyenyi, Ndorwa, to plant a church and school in Mparo. He founded Kihanga Vernacular Elementary School in 1932, with Kezekiah Kasiisiri as its first headteacher. Over the next twenty-five years, the school, led by headteachers that included Adonia Ndarubweine (1934-38), Yakobo Rwamayaga (1939-1940), Burimpakari (1941), Katungwensi (1942-1943), Lazaaro Katakura (1944-1947, and1951-1953), Majoro (1948-1950), Ntawuruhunga (1954-1955), and Festo Rubahimbya (1956-1958), became one of the outstanding centres of primary education in the Uganda Protectorate. It was under Rubahimbya that a Junior Secondary School was added to Kihanga in 1957. 


One of the pioneer students at the Junior Secondary School was John Kikyere Twinomusinguzi, whose presence at the launch of the ICT/E-Learning Centre on Saturday was especially significant. Born in Kasheregyenyi, Kamuganguzi, Kigyezi to Dorcas and Festo Kikyere on March 23, 1943, Twinomusinguzi joined Kihanga Junior Secondary School in 1957. Among his teachers at Kihanga were Festo Rubahimbya, a much-loved teacher of mathematics and geography, and Fred Bijurenda, who left his teaching job at King’s College, Budo, to help establish the junior secondary school in his home area of Mparo. “Bijurenda, who taught us geometry and English, electrified the school,” Twinomusinguzi told me. Mr. Bijurenda would go on to serve Uganda as a senior public administrator, rising to the rank of undersecretary in the ministry of Works.


Twinomusinguzi’s academic journey eventually took him to Ruskin College, part of the University of West London, located in Oxford, England, where he studied economics and political science.  He was then admitted to St. Peter's College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, to read philosophy, politics, and economics, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After a brief stint as a teaching assistant at Makerere University, he joined the East African Development Bank where he had a successful 10-year career. 


Twinomusinguzi relocated to London, England, where he served as Assistant Director for Economic Affairs, then International Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat for nine years. He returned to Uganda in 1990 to head the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) until 1997 and capped his public service with a three-year stint as Secretary General of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In retirement, he set up Premier Management Consultants specializing in development finance and served as a director with the Microfinance Support Centre. He also also served as Chairman of the Church of Uganda Five Talents, a microfinance institution.  He is now a farmer, rancher, and the author of Ntebeza Eby’Aba Kare, a collection of Kikiga folktales, proverbs, and rhymes. 


Among Twinomusinguzi’s classmates at Kihanga were boys who were destined to distinguished careers. These included the late Godfrey Kalimugogo (a career diplomat and author of highly enjoyable novels), the late Dr. Enoka Tumwine (a dentist), Prof. Wilson Byarugaba (a biochemist), Ben Muziriga (an engineer), and the late Rev. James Ndyabahika (a theology scholar and teacher.) Dr. Gadi Mukwenda wa Rubabure, who joined the junior school in 1958, became one of the finest obstetricians of his generation.


Kihanga, a rural school in the remote highland country of Mparo, successfully prepared these and many other outstanding individuals because it was very well staffed and equipped with resources that enabled its students to stand head-to-head with peers from all over the country.  It is a history that inspires us to try and restore the three constituent schools of Kihanga to the family of Uganda’s greatest academic institutions.  


With the ICT/E-Learning Centre installed, the Alumni and the Board of Governors are now turning their attention to the next step, namely, a comprehensive strategic plan for transforming the Kihanga School System into a holistic, integrated centre of educational excellence. The dream to have a positively transformed school system by the time Kihanga celebrates its centenary in 2032 is achievable if the schools’ alumni and community make the necessary sacrifices to do what Nduruma, the CMS missionaries, and the early headteachers did with limited resources. 


© Muniini K. Mulera

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