Janet Museveni's book titled 'My Life's Journey' competed with four books by other authors - and emerged the best.
PIC: First Lady Janet Museveni receives the 2018 Uganda Book Award from Nasser Kakumba (centre) and Samuel Majwega in Kampala. (Courtesy photo)
KAMPALA - The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, has received an accolade that her book titled ‘My Life’s Journey’ fetched as the best Biography/Autobiography book in the Uganda Book Awards 2018.
The accolade was handed over to her on Friday at Nakasero State House by the president of Book Forum of Uganda, Nasser Kakumba and Samuel Majwega, the chairperson Uganda Publishers Association, who were together with other members of the Uganda Book Awards team.
Museveni’s book competed with four other books by other authors in the category of Best Biography /Autobiography Book of the Year 2018 and it emerged the best.
The nomination exercise was done by 25 bookshops across the country.
The First Lady said she was humbled that her book featured in the book awards and was nominated as one of the best.
“I thank God that He kept us alive and took us through such a journey and in time enabled me to tell this story," she said.
An honest story
Museveni also thanked Fountain Publishers proprietor James Tumusiime, who she said encouraged her to put her story on paper. She also thanked her family for supporting her in putting together the work.
She explained that apart from being a First Lady, her background has been a humble one and she knows the suffering that Ugandans have gone through.
She described ‘My Life’s Journey’ as a book that tells an honest story.
Being a First Lady is perhaps just an opportunity that God has given her to change some of the many things that are wrong, she added.
“God has His purposes why He chooses people and maintains them to do His work until it is done."
Libraries key for young people
The First Lady thanked the Uganda Book Awards for the initiative to promote the reading and writing culture, and encouraged them to find a way to put up libraries especially in the rural areas, so as to interest the young people in reading, sharpen their thinking and change their lifestyle.
“If we had libraries in some of the towns around the country, then the young people would be inspired to read”.
On behalf of the Uganda Book Awards team, Nasser Kakumba congratulated Museveni upon winning such a prestigious award.
He said there were 21 categories of books this year and the authors of the winning book in each category were awarded at a function held at Hotel Triangle on December 7.
Some of the winners included Dr. Martin Aliker, Pr. Robert Kayanja, Hamis Kiggundu and Lilian Tindyebwa.
The main reason they organize the awards is to promote the writing and reading culture amongst Ugandans and the education ministry, Kakumba said, can ensure that the reading culture is boosted right from primary school.
“We propose that besides pupils and students reading with an aim of passing exams only, let school time tables have a provision of non–academic reading," he weighed in.
"Time should be allocated for students to freely read about business, moral development, unemployment, health, Uganda’s history among others with the supervision of their teachers.
"The ministry can also consider buying some books written by Ugandans for the students and pupils. Those books will help provide knowledge to our students in, for instance, areas of unemployment and moral development besides class work”, added Kakumba.
It is understood the Book Forum of Uganda has started on a project of digitizing some of the Ugandan books to increase access to books written by Ugandans both locally and internationally.
The project, according to Kakumba, still needs a lot of financial support.
He also requested the education ministry to support and be part of the activities of the Book Forum of Uganda and the revival of the Annual Book Fair.
On his part, Tumusiime said he was happy that some of the books they published, including Janet Museveni’s autobiography, have been recognized.
He said 'My Life’s Journey' is very popular and it helps to show that one can be a First Lady and also be human with a story that can be shared to inspire people.
“A well written biography can inspire, motivate, instruct and build skills," he said.