By Mathias Mazinga
In 1942, when Bishop Edward Michaud founded Trinity College Nabbingo, there were no structures. Classes were conducted under a mango tree and there was a general belief that the school was founded to train young girls to be married off to chiefs.
From inception, Nabbingo’s stewardship was under the Missionaries of Africa, who later entrusted the administration to the Catholic Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. The baton was later handed over to the Canonesses Sisters of St. Augustine.
The school had one of its turning points in 1971, when its leadership was handed over to an alumnus, Margaret Nakatudde Nsereko, as its headmistress.
Nakatudde’s appointment thus placed her in the school’s history books as the first Ugandan lay head of the school.
She often took controversial decisions. For example, in the 1980s, Nakatudde admitted several male students, something that some of the Catholics were unhappy about.
But she reasoned: “Was it not better to let these boys, whose respective schools had been closed because of the civil war, to continue with their education in a girls’ school? Would you not pull your calf out of the ditch just because it was a Sunday?”
One of her supporters, Augustine Mutumba, said of Nakatudde: “She was a manly woman. She did things that even men feared to do. I remember, one time, people who supplied the school with food failed to turn up. Realising that the students were going to go without food, she drove her Mercedes Benz and packed the food in the boot. She was indeed a crisis manager.”
Nakatudde was also a courageous and decisive administrator. During the Obote II regime, in the 80s, many soldiers tried to force Nakatudde to admit their children to the school. She, however, stuck to the rules and principles of the administration.
She was also a lady with a big heart. She accommodated many of her needy and war-displaced relatives at her school residence and paid their school dues.
Nakatudde’s big heart also reached out to the residents of Nabbingo, many of whom she employed at the school.
She is married to Roy Nsereko, now a retired marketer. The couple has raised eight children Albert, Margaret, Patrick, Anita, Victor, Elizabeth, Carol and Catherine who are currently living in the UK and the US.
After 16 years of service, the curtains were drawn on Nakatudde’s service at Nabbingo.
She was succeeded by Teopista Yiga, who was later succeeded by the reigning head teacher, Coltilda Nakate Kikomeko.