By Norah Mutesi and Taddeo Bwambale
Many students on graduation ceremonies wait anxiously for their names to be read. For many, just hearing your name being read, is a moment enough to behold.
But often, there will be a name, which will be read over and over. This is always the name of the best student, which gets printed in almost every speech. The best student walks away with a plaque, special certificate or a cash prize. They also have an opportunity to walk on the ‘red carpet.’
This time it was Maureen Nakayiza, who emerged Kyambogo University’s best overall student in the recent graduation ceremony.
But remember, there will always be a moving story behind the exceptional performance.
The 22-year-old former Information and Technology student scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.83 out of 5.0; a feat she shared with Nasser Mugwanya also from the Faculty of Science.
Journey to success
“I read hard and participated in group discussions. I also spent time doing research because I had to excel. But I never expected to be the overall best student,” she says in an interview with the ‘New Vision.’
“Campus life is characterised by freedom, where nobody minds what others are doing. But somehow, it affects the perfomance, because of the leeway to do what we want,” she says.
“But I worked hard at all levels to obtain a Government sponsorship, knowing that this would ease the burden of my university education, since I only had a mother to bank on,” Nakayiza adds.
Nakayiza’s journey to success can be traced to her earlier performance in her life.
Born in 1990 to Hannington Kasujja and Sylvia Namusoke in Makindye, a Kampala suburb.
Her turning point was when she lost her father, Kasujja in an accident in 2008. Kasujja was a brother to the ‘New Vision’ Deputy Photo Editor, Enock Kakande.
“Since then, I realised I needed to work hard because life was becoming hard. I was driven by the desire to take care of my siblings and my mum, people who have always been there for me in all times,” she says.
Nakayiza says before the death of her father, she did not know what it meant to live without a father.
Nakayiza plans to set up a computer business in future; when she gets funds. She aspires to start her own IT consultancy business.
She sees herself as an IT professor who will help transform Uganda’s economy into a better one.
Her friends know her as a hard working person, obedient and respectful. She also says everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
Like any other graduate, Nakayiza is still looking for a job. She is currently an attendant in one of the supermarkets in Zana; a Kampala suburb.
She is the first born in a family of five. Her mother describes her as a humble and God-fearing girl. “My daughter respects people the way they are. She is intelligent and handles all matters in a mature manner though she looks young. It must be her character which helped her excel,’’ Nakayiza’s mother says.
Nakayiza is inspired by hardworking people like Emmanuel Kalule a former employee of Bank of Uganda, Uganda Investment boss Maggie Kigozi, her mum and Enock Kakande.
Over all best student in Kyambogo, scored a CGPA of 4.83
Studied a bachelor’s in Information and Technology
Joined Taibah High School Kawempe for O’level and scored 14
Joined Gayaza High School for A’level, and got 22 points
Wants to enroll for a masters degree in IT