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57-year-old painter goes back to school

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th August 2008 03:00 AM

FOR 40 years, Godfrey Wamala was a painter, a job he learnt as an apprentice at 17 years.

By Nicholas Kajoba

FOR 40 years, Godfrey Wamala was a painter, a job he learnt as an apprentice at 17 years.

Why he abandoned his profession at the ripe age of 57 to join Primary Seven at Kiwatule Parents Preparatory School, has excited the administration and fellow pupils, leaving his two wives in shock.

The father of 11 children, with one of the youngest children his classmate, says it is the sheer failure to interprete the land laws and the discomfort that engulfs him whenever people communicate in English that prompted his decision.

“With the current land issues, I have sought opinion on how to protect my land, but none was convincing. I have therefore decided to study and become lawyer so as to interprete the constitution better. Only then will I be of great use to the vulnerable people,” said Wamala, who will only attain the feat at 70 years, if all goes to plan.

Smartly dressed in the school uniform, a green trouser and white shirt and matching necktie, Wamala looked keen on taking notes as the rest of the class were answering questions.

One month into his new found career path but Wamala thinks all subjects are tough at the moment, though he is making headway in Science and Social Studies (SST). He vowed to study harder even at the expense of marital bliss. Out of job, his dilemma is how to raise the sh110,000 fees per term and still support his family.

The school headmistress, Ssempala Kizito, says Wamala was subjected to a mandatory interview and he passed.

Born in Kasawo, Mukono district, he dropped out in candidate class at Kayini Primary School in the early 60s after his deceased parents failed to raise school fees. “He is very punctual.” “We know his problem and have agreed to put in extra effort so that he catches up with fellow candidates,” Vincent Kirya, his class teache, said.

His presence has, however, caused some pupils, his “grand-children” to lose concentration as they spend valuable time teasing him.

They call him Jajja Musajja (grand father) but he only smiles back. They prefer to spend break time with him.

The school is private and was started in 1996 and has about 600 pupils.

57-year-old painter goes back to school

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