ASSUMPTA Nagenda-Musana was talented at Fine Art, and could have pursued it at university. But her father, Prof. Francis Nagenda, suggested that she considers architecture.
â€œIf Dad had not encouraged me to do architecture, my career would have been different. My Mum, Grace Nagendaâ€™s passion in art and fashion design also inspired me,â€ she says.Â
Following her high school studies at Trinity College Nabbingo, no university in Uganda offered architecture. However, her father advised her to apply for a scholarship.
She got a scholarship to pursue architecture in the former Soviet Union. In 1989, she joined the Kalinin Polytechnic Institute, Russia, where she studied Russian, Fine Art, Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. In 1990, she enrolled at the Kharkov State University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Ukraine to pursue a Bachelors degree inÂ architecture.
After the five-year course, she embarked on a mastersâ€™ degree at the same university, for two years. She returned home in 1995 and enrolled for internship at Land Plan Group, an architectural firm.
Two years later, Nagenda was a part-time lecturer at Makerere University and made full-time assistant lecturer in 2002. In the same year she got a scholarship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency to pursue Licentiate and PhD degrees in architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, which she completed in 2004 and 2008, respectively. She then became a lecturer.
She is the first and only female in Uganda with a PhD in architecture.
Assumpta has worked on several projects.Â â€œMy favourite projectÂ was re-designing the Elizabeth ApartmentsÂ on Bukoto Rise. Iâ€™m pleased each time I pass by them,â€ she says. She is married to an architect, Daniel Musana, and they have a son.
First female Architect with a PhD