KAMPALA - Patriotism, if well understood and embraced, can enhance national transformation as well as sustainable peace and development.
Interestingly, there are some admirable Ugandans who assimilated the principles of patriotism, even before the policy became much pronounced.
One of them is Roy Rusticus Busuulwa Nsereko, a former marketing assistant and sales manager at Uganda Coffee Marketing Board.
Nsereko best demonstrated his commitment to the development of Uganda after his relocation to the UK in 1980. He founded and operated a coffee company, Coffee and Trade Agency, through which he helped Ugandans to market their coffee.
He also enhanced Uganda's development through his active involvement in the activities of the Catholic Church. The establishment of Rubaga Cathedral National Foundation (1989), an organization that mobilises Catholic professionals to support and maintain the projects of the Church, is attributed to Nsereko. The eventual establishment of Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi is also attributed to the goodwill, hard work and support of Nsereko and his colleagues.
The former headteacher of Trinity College Nabbingo, Coltilda Nakate Kikomeko, is one of the ardent admirers of Nsereko.
"His moral, financial support and charity contributed enormously to the legacy of Trinity College Nabbingo. We, the alumni of TRICONA, have sweet memories of our pioneer Ugandan headteacher, Margaret Mary Nakatudde Nsereko, who laid a firm foundation for indigenous Ugandan administration at the school.
"Under Nakatudde's leadership, the school developed. She had an unrivalled commitment to the girls.
During the civil war in 1979 and the guerilla war of the 1980s, she accommodated many girls from various parts of the country, whose schools had been destroyed during combat.
"She actualised the founders' vision and commitment to girlchild education. She helped many needy girls from neighbouring communities. But, of course, we know that she would not have been able to deliver on these achievements without the support and goodwill of her husband, Roy Nsereko, whom we remember with even greater admiration."
Dr. Victor Wantaate admired Nsereko's sense of virtue.
"My father was blessed with virtues such as decency and reliability. He loved his tradition, culture and values, which he successfully bequeathed to us. He loved God and was passionate about serving people. He had a deep conviction in the power of education. He was an interesting dad, who loved music and dancing. Sometimes he would even challenge us on the dance floor.
"Dad loved travelling. He would go to places such as New York and Latin America, where he would also meet legendries, such as Muhammed Ali and Pele, the football legend. Dad also had a stunning religious involvement. He was an active parishioner of St John Vianney Catholic Church, Clayhall, UK for 35 years. He was also the parish council chair for more than 10 years. He inspired some of us to join the church's choir. He had a rich sense of humour. He always wore a smile. He loved to enjoy his life. He also enjoyed good food."
The President General Emeritus of DP, Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere, said: "Nsereko was my contemporary and friend. He was a man of noble virtues. He was friendly to everybody. I never heard him shout at anybody. He loved to socialise. He always welcomed visitors, young and old," he said, adding that Nsereko was steadfast in his commitment to God and the country.
"He was a champion of truth, justice, and democratic governance. Even when all other people had lost hope, he offered himself and his resources to sustain our crusade for the restoration of democracy."
"Today, we need people like Nsereko. People who will not succumb to the temptation of monetary or job offers; people who will not bend to military intimidation, people that will stick to what is right and just for the country."
Nsereko was also praised by an official of the Kkobe clan of Buganda, who lauded him for reconciling and organising the leadership of the clan. He also lauded him for grooming young people, such as Augustine Kizito Mutumba (Omutaka Namwama), who became the leader of the Kkobe clan.
Nsereko passed on in London. His body was returned and a requiem mass was held at Rubuga Cathedral in Kampala. He was buried at his ancestral burial grounds at Kitabaazi, Nabusanke in Mpigi district.
Kabaka eulogises Nsereko
The noble works of Nsereko and his commitment to Buganda and Uganda attracted the attention of
Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, who sent a message of condolence to Nsereko's household. The Kabaka spoke highly of Nsereko's love for the kingdom and his support and care to the kingdom's subjects in the diaspora. The message was delivered by the speaker of the Lukiiko of Buganda, Patrick Luwaga Mugumbule, during the requiem mass at Rubaga Cathedral.
Nsereko was a life-long member of DP, a founding member of Rubaga Cathedral National Foundation, and a Trustee of Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi (UMU). He was a member of Lion's Club, both in Uganda (from 1968) and in London, serving as president of his local London Chapter for several years. Nsereko was also an active founding member of the Uganda Martyrs Christian Community in London and served as the deputy to the representative of the Kabaka of Buganda in the UK and Ireland.
He is survived by his wife Nakatudde, daughters Margaret Nambago, Caroline Nambooze, Anita Douglas, Elizabeth Hunt and Catherine McAnena; sons Albert Busuulwa, Patrick Ssewakiryanga and Victor Wantaate; 12 grandsons and four granddaughters, as well as four great-grandchildren. May His Soul Rest in eternal peace.
Nsereko's fact file
He was born at Masindi Hospital (1932) to the late Dr Victor Blunt and Calala Tebasuulwa Busuulwa.
Attended Namilyango Juniour School and Namilyango College (1947-53), where he completed his Junior and senior secondary school education. While there, he projected himself as a keen mathematician, an excellent marksman in the King's African Riffles and an accomplished boxer.
He later joined the Madhivan Commercial School in Kampala and promptly after, was offered a position at the Shell-BP as the salesman for Kampala region. As an employee of Shell-BP, he completed an outward-bound training course to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and subsequently completed the four-day round trip
Below is Nsereko's requiem Mass at Rubaga Cathedral in pictures. Photos by Mathias Mazinga