Sharma who was once the dean of studies at St Louis University in Cameroon has authored more than 100 books. He is a medical professional and a researcher
Walking into the office of Victoria University (VU) vice-chancellor, I expected a bushy-bearded, bald-headed and bespectacled academician. To the contrary, Dr Krishna N. Sharma is a well-groomed, soft-spoken Hindu gentleman.
After exchanging pleasantries, he signals me to take a seat across his desk. A huge book written by Lao Tzu is next to him.
“If I may ask you,” Dr Sharma obstructs, “What brings you to Victoria University?”
I swallow hard at the unexpected question as I scan my brain for an appropriate response. “To interview you for a story,” I retort.
With his roots in India, he is a celebrated writer and at only 32, he is the youngest vice-chancellor in Uganda.
Asked about his history, Sharma runs his neatly manicured fingers through his close-cropped shimmering hair as if searching for details using an invisible mouse. He clears his throat and in an eloquent narrative, he starts:
“I was born in Mohammadabad in Gohana, in India. I am a physiotherapist. I write, but I am not used to talking about my work history. I was the head of department at Jeevan Jyoti Institute of Medical Sciences in Allahabad, India.
“However, Africa is not new to me. I was once the dean of studies at the St Louis University in Cameroon. Besides being an educator, I have authored more than 100 books. I am a medical professional and a researcher.
Twelve of my books were rated bestsellers in the US, India and Germany.”
Besides serving as the editor-in-chief of The Scientific Research Journal of India, Dr Sharma is also founder the general secretary of the Online Physio Community, India and editor of the annual magazine Medic-O-Zone, among others.
Married to Dr Ankita Kashyap with whom they have a daughter, Arisha, like most Indians, the Sharmas are a closely-knit family and keep in touch with the extended family of grandfathers and mothers.
“It is fine with me to greet an elder by touching the feet,” says the academician.
“And I will not hesitate to dash to the kitchen to brew coffee or tea. I have no problem doing some of the household chores.
“My hobbies are reading, writing and making new friends.”
Talking about his character, Sharma says he is a perfectionist.
“I am a perfectionist without room for error given my background in print. But I will not hesitate to travel and meet new people besides touring certain tourist attractions. While in Uganda, I go to the temples, dine on Indian cuisines and meet fellow friendly country folks.”
Asked about his dreams in five years, Sharma bounces back to the academic world.
“I want Victoria University to be a place of excellence. I like the urban setting and yet it is quiet. The staff here is multi-national and multi-racial.
Asked about Sharma’s character, John Kato, a scholar, responded with a widely shared view at the urban university.
“A vice-chancellor can be who he is; like Dr Sharma, they should not try to create some inauthentic teaching personality,” argued Kato.
Kato added: Sharma aspires to be ideal, by not doing the expected. He does those good things an academician can do.
Richard Obeid, a lecturer, says Sharma fits the shoes of his predecessor and has got the academy in good shape.