Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe held a thanksgiving ceremony on Saturday, 6th January 2018 at Busiwondo Village in Busia District.
The thanksgiving ceremony was aimed at commemorating Prof. Nawangwe’s election as Makerere University Vice Chancellor.
The function was presided over by the Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Ezra Suruma who was the day’s Guest of Honour.
The guests included Chairperson University Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem and members of the University Council, State Ministers, Members of Parliament, Political leaders, Members of Management, Makerere University staff and a host of other dignitaries and invited guests.
Pastor Titus Kamya-a nephew to Prof. Nawangwe while giving his opening remarks, thanked God for steering his Uncle through the competitive race to the Vice Chancellorship and eventual election as Busia’s first Vice Chancellor.
“It is a serious matter to give thanks to God. When you give thanks, you are glorifying God; you are pointing to God and not yourself as the source of your achievements. Thank you Professor Nawangwe for coming back to give thanks to God publicly and may God bless you indeed,” said Rt. Rev. Dr. Michael Kyomya the day’s preacher as he began his sermon.
Quoting the parable of the lepers from Luke 17:11-19, the Retired Bishop of Busoga Diocese observed that just like the nine lepers who did not return to thank Jesus for their healing, not many people want to point to God for their achievements. He therefore urged all present to emulate Prof. Nawangwe by always giving thanks to God for all that He does for them.
As part of the thanksgiving service, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and his family donated altar furniture to St. John’s Church Busia as its construction nears completion. Receiving the donation, the Retired Bishop thanked Prof. Nawangwe and his family for the good gesture to love and serve God. “I bless you in the name of The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” consecrated Rt. Rev. Dr. Kyomya.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Michael Kyomya (L) blesses Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and the Hasafu Family after their altar furniture donation to St. John’s Church Busia was unveiled
“We return all the glory, all the honour and all the exaltation to God for everyone who has participated in making us what we are, by using you all in your respective capacities,” remarked Mrs. Nawangwe as the family began their acceptance remarks. She thanked the University Senate and Council for choosing the best candidate for the Vice Chancellorship, observing that “God is using you to favour my husband.”
Mrs. Nawangwe further testified that in the run-up to the VC race, she assembled an army of prayer warriors who fervently prayed for her husband to win the election. “All that we could do as a family was to pray and we thank the Almighty God that the time we spent before Him was not in vain,” she enthused.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) and his wife Mrs. Susan Nawangwe (R) applaud during the thanksgiving celebrations in Busiwondo Village, Busia Municipality
In his remarks that followed, Prof. Nawangwe thanked his wife for rescuing him from the tide of Communism and Socialism that had threatened to sweep him away from God. “I thank my wife for taking me from so far. She has transformed me and I am now saved and able to say ‘Praise the Lord!’” beamed the Vice Chancellor.
“I thank God who I now believe used the minds of these great men and women to find me worthy of being elected as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University,” shared Prof. Nawangwe as he paid tribute to the Chancellor, Chairperson and Members of Council, Members of Senate, Leaders of Staff Associations and Student leadership.
L-R: Council Members: Hon. Thomas Tayeebwa, Dr. Sarah Ssali, DVCAA-Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang and Chair Council-Eng. Dr. Charles Wana Etyem listen to proceedings at the thanksgiving
“I thank President Museveni who said at my Installation Ceremony that ‘the last shall be the first’ which is indeed a fulfillment of my father’s dream that one of us his children would one day also follow in his footsteps and become a Headmaster,” continued Prof. Nawangwe.
He thanked the people of Samia-Bugwe, the St. Augustine and St. Francis Makererecommunities, the Makerere Imam and Muslim community as well as his family for all the prayers that culminated in his successful election. “We shall use all the wisdom from the East to transform our University and leave it better than we found it” pledged Prof. Nawangwe as he concluded his remarks.
“Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has invited us to come here and through this function, thank Jesus for what He has done in his life. All things come from God and the achievements and successes that we are celebrating here today all come from God,” remarked Eng. Dr. Wana-Etyem as he addressed the guests.
Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem (2nd L) presents the University Counicl Appreciation Award to Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd R) as Dr. Sarah Ssali (L) reads out the wording and Hon. Thomas Tayeebwa (R) witnesses
The Chairperson Council continued to thank God for uplifting Prof. Nawangwe; a Mugwe – the smaller grouping of the Samia-Bugwe community, to the highest office of University leadership, reiterating President Museveni’s biblical quotation that indeed, ‘the last shall be the first’.
Eng. Dr. Wana-Etyem reassured guests present that Prof. Nawangwe’s election was not by mistake but rather based on the fact that he was the best candidate for the position. He reminded Prof. Nawangwe that the entire country was now watching his performance and urged him to take Makerere University to the next level. He noted that Makerere University was not an easy institution to lead by virtue of its diverse constitution but expressed confidence that Prof. Nawangwe’s inclusive leadership style held the key to enable him succeed.
The Chairperson Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem (5th R) introduces Members of Council R-L: Mr. Bruce Kabaasa, Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha, Hon. Tayeebwa Thomas, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Dr. Sarah Ssali, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, Dr. Umar Kakumba, Dr. Winston Tumps Ireeta, Dr. Tanga Odoi, Mr. Charles Barugahare and Mr. Musoke Joseph
The Chairperson was thereafter joined by 10 members of Council and together, they presented an Appreciation Award to Prof. Nawangwe, in recognition of his distinguished service to Makerere University. Council members present included; Mr. Bruce Balaba Kabaasa, Hon. Thomas Tayeebwa, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang-Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Mr. Charles Barugahare-University Secretary, Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha, Dr. Sarah Ssali, Dr. Umar Kakumba, Dr. Winston Tumps Ireeta, Dr. Tanga Odoi and Mr. Musoke Joseph.
Earlier, Mr. Okello Waata-Clan Leader of the Sirwa Clan had presented Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe with the Inaugural Award of Excellence, in recognition of his excellent academic and professional achievements. The presentation was witnessed by His Highness the “Omwenengo”, Philip Wanyama Nahama, the cultural head of the Samia-Bugwe community.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) flanked by his wife Susan (2nd L) receives the Inaugural Award of Excellence from the Sirwa Clan Leader-Mr. Okello Waata (2nd R) as Dr. George Were Hasafu (R) witnesses
“To be grateful is an important source of joy,” quoted Prof. Ezra Suruma, further explaining “To be grateful, you have to receive the gift of sight to see value in what God has given you.”
Delivering his remarks as the Guest of Honour, Prof. Suruma had earlier expressed his gratitude to Prof. Nawangwe and his family for their invitation to the thanksgiving ceremony. “I am especially glad that Prof. Nawangwe has recognised the value of what God has given him. He has opened a chapter for the rest of us to be thankful to God.” said the Chancellor.
Prof. Suruma extended warm greetings from Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to Prof. Nawangwe and his family, and announced that the Prime Minister would donate a cow towards the fundraising drive aimed at completing St. John’s Church Busia.
Prof. Ezra Suruma (L) directly addresses Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) during the thanksgiving celebrations; commeding his simplicity and humility
He thanked the Makerere Community present at the function for honouring the Vice Chancellor’s invitation to his thanksgiving ceremony. “Your presence here is a demonstration your support for Prof. Nawangwe and this spirit of unity is going to open a greater and more important chapter in the future of Makerere University,” said Prof. Suruma.
Following a sumptuous lunch, Prof. Ezra Suruma was joined by Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem and Prof. Barnabas and Mrs. Susan Nawangwe to cut the thanksgiving cake, an artistic impression of the Main Administration Building.
Article by MAK Public Relations Office