In Uganda, it is not easy to find credible historical information. As a result, some of the information available is not accurate. Faustin Mugabe gives a correct account of Uganda’s distorted historical facts
For ages, Ugandans have been misinformed that Gayaza High School, which opened on January 18, 1906, was the first girls’ school in Uganda. Historical records indicate otherwise.
From the memoirs of missionaries who witnessed history such as Alexander Mackay, A.K Borup, Bishop Leslie and in Dr. Albert Ruskin Cook’s book titled Memories Uganda, Namirembe Girls’ Junior, which was established in 1898 at the famous Namirembe Hill, was the first girls’ school in the country. However, it was closed to pave way for the expansion of church projects.
When the school closed, some of the daughters of Buganda chiefs joined Gayaza High School. The remainder joined a new school, which was the first mixed school to accommodate pupils of all ethnicity.
Similarly, Mengo Junior School, which opened in 1895, and eventually became Mengo Secondary School, is also mistakenly thought to be the first school to open in Uganda. From Albert Cook’s paper on Education in Uganda published in 1912, the first school with permanent structures was St. Mary’s Seminary, which opened in June 1891 at Rubaga Hill, but was torched on January 24, 1892 by Protestant warriors commanded by Captain Fredrick Lugard during the religious wars. It was that school that later turned into the famous St. Mary’s College, Kisubi.
On the same note, various institutions have over the years released false information that Sarah Ntiro from Bunyoro kingdom was the first female Ugandan graduate, but this too is not true. The first Ugandan female graduate was Harriet Kawalya Kagwa, daughter of Michael Kawalya Kagwa, son of Apollo Kagwa, a former Katikiiro of Buganda. She graduated in 1951 with a degree in social work from Hotmeyer College School of Social Work in South Africa.
In a telephone interview, Ntiro revealed that a year after she had attained a certificate in education from Makerere College University in 1950, she was sponsored by the government to study in Britain. In 1952, while studying for a bachelor’s degree in history from St Anne’s College Oxford, under the tutorship of Prof. Eric Lucas of Makerere University College and Margret Graham of Bristol University, she enrolled for a master’s degree in education and graduated in 1954.
Due to misinformation or lack of it, Ugandans have also been told that Augustine Karugabe, the first Ugandan to graduate from Sandurhust, a prestigious military academy in Britain, was a major at independence, just as was Akorimo Kanute.
Military records in 1962 indicate that Karugaba was a 2nd Lieutenant and had not even completed his military course at Sundhurst. He was invited to Uganda to be Uganda’s equerry to the Duke of England on Independence Day.
After a 14-day leave, he went back to complete his studies. He became a major in the Uganda Army in the mid-1960s.
Akorimo Kanute (Born January 6, 1931), who raised the Uganda flag at independence, was not a Major, but a Lieutenant. He went to Britain in 1959 for a short course in military affairs and retired from the Uganda army on August 24, 1968 at the rank of Major. He was 37 years old.
-St Mary’s Seminary — first school to be established
-Namirembe Girls’ Junior — first girls’ school
-Harriet Kawalya Kagwa — the first Ugandan female graduate
-Augustine Karugabe — the first Ugandan to graduate from Sandurhust
When was the Nile Perch introduced?
Students in Uganda are taught that the Nile Perch was introduced into the country by researchers in 1956. However, the Uganda Herald newspaper of April 1941 published a story and picture of the Nile Perch caught from Lake Albert.
Isn’t it high time the Government invested heavily in comprehensive research and documentation about our country’s history in order to avoid controversy in future?