Dr. Charles Musinguzi mwene Barabogoza and Dr. Muniini Kwehangaana mwene Mulera, fellow inmates of Kigezi High School Junior (1965-66), in Mburara, Nkore, Uganda on January 24, 2017.

It was our great luck that we should be the group that would close the chapter on the junior high school experience at Kigezi High School. Like elsewhere in Uganda, the system was changed from 8 years of pre-senior secondary school to seven years. So in 1966, primary 7 and Junior 2 students sat the national secondary school entrance examination.

We had joined Kigezi High School in January 1965, preteen boys that were beginning to grasp the concepts of western education and the English language. We had spent the two years of junior high school soaking in new information like sponges and developing friendships that would last a lifetime.

Our exit from Kigezi High School at the end of November 1966 shut the doors to what had been the finest junior secondary school in Kigezi and one of the very best in Uganda. It would become an exclusive senior secondary school. So we were the last in a long line of boys that had been nurtured by the “old school” since its founding in 1922. Among the earlier students had been numerous folks that had had or would have a major impact in the world.

Space does not allow a comprehensive listing of all KHS alumni between 1922 and 1966. (I have a full list, compiled in 1972 by Eridadi Kworoba mwene Kanyonyi, a member of the Class of ’66.)

Those familiar with Kigezi and Uganda would easily recognize names like Nasani Bwankosya and Semu Rwakiseeta (Class of ’22); Erinesti Nyabagabo, B. Mbarinda and Y. Rwabaimozi (Class of ’23); Festo Rwamunaahe (Class of ’26); Yeremiya Bigombe, Norman Kanyarutookye and D. Nzabandora (Class of ’27); Filemon Kitaburaaza, Y. Mbareeba, K, Ntauruhunga, D. Rubarema, E. Kariboobo, Charles Kakyira, Semu Kasigazi and Y. Rwamayaga (Class of ’28); E. Ssali Balaba, W. Semitarabana and Y. Kakwangyire (Class of ’29); John Bikangaga, John W. Rwamafa, K. Ntamutambo and Erisa Bashungura (Class of ’30); Kosiya Kikira and Z. Nyamunanira (Class of ’31); Semu Rugarama Itazya and Matiya Rwankwenda (Class of ’33), Y.K. Buregyeya, Nuha Kakwenzire Buhaburwa and J.W. Katashaaya (Class of ’34), Festo Kivengyere and Peter Kabagambe (Class of ’35); Frank Kalimuzo, Sepi Mukombe-Mpambara and E. Bugaari (Class of ’36), James Katarikawe, Joseph Bitwari, A. Rwagize and K. Kifaku (Class of ’38); Ezra Kisigo Mulera, Festo Karwemera, Justus Byagagaire, Ezironi Kakuyo, Kamu Karekaho Karegyesa, Eridadi Kangye, Eli Nasani Bisaamunyu, G. William Zaaribwegirire, N. Rwabwera, K. Biryabarema, E. Mahega, Daniel Ndarubweine, Nzamukworeka (Class of ’40)………John Nagenda, Matthew N. Rukikeire, George W. Kanyeihamba, Ezra Nkwasibwe, John W. Rwomushana, Joram Katambira (Class of ’53); ………James Kikira Mugisha, Ezra Sunday Suruma, Katuura, (Class of ‘60); …..Ruhakana Rugunda, Eldad Tukahiirwa, E. Tumwesigye, Topher Twesigye and Medad Katashaaya (Class of ’61); Shaka Ssali, Tumusiime Mutebile, Dutki Bakeiha and Kisimba Masiko (Class of ’62); Peter Ndimbirwe Mugyenyi and Patrick Buhenga (Class of ’63); John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, Sam Biruga, Godfrey Kakira Kukundakwe, Jotham Musinguzi, Emmanuel Kaijuka Mutabaazi, Hans B. Mwesigwa and Ambrose Buregyeya Turigye (Class of ’64).

We did not realize it at the time, but to be the final chapter of Kigezi High School Junior was an honour, albeit an accidental one. Of course there were no ceremonies to mark the event. No graduations, no parties, no speeches and not even a special prayer for the departing teenagers who were about to head into the vast unknown  outside the safety of our beloved school. None of that mattered to us. A more powerful experience was alive in its darkest form.

As I have narrated elsewhere, our final days at Kigezi High School were extremely traumatic. A senior one student (together with two accomplices) stabbed Mr. Nasani Rwakaana, our beloved English and Biology teacher, on the night of November 10, 1966. Mr. Rwakaana died the next day. Fifty years later, I still feel a shiver down the spine as I re-live that very dark experience. We had no emotional support from adults. There was no counseling of any kind. We, the kids, supported each other through days of tears and fear and indescribable confusion.

Now listen to this: we sat for the junior leaving examinations a few days after our teacher’s death. When the exam was over, we left the school, with heavy hearts, only sustained by the youthful confidence that came with our carefree lives. (Psychologists would say we repressed the memory and carried on. What effect it had on us is not known, but I cannot think about Kigezi High School without remembering Mr. Rwakaana. We still talk about it as though it was a recent occurrence. When my wife, my daughter and I visited Dr. Charles Musinguzi mwene Barabogoza last month, we naturally recalled that terrible event.)

I remember us walking down the hill from Kigezi High School, with our suitcases on our heads, heading to our various homes. Mine was a short walk across the valley to Makanga Hill where my parents lived. After depositing my belongings at home, I dashed down to the central bus park to bid farewell to my friends. I did not know that it would be the very final farewell for some of my brothers.

One felt as though one had just metamorphosed into adulthood, though one had just stepped into teenage. I spent the next moth in idle living while I waited for the examination results.

By God’s grace, we had had outstanding teachers in Junior 1 and 2 who had prepared us very well for the national examinations. These teachers were Charles Kabuga, Nasani Rwakaana, Stanley Bamwanga Kinyata, David Kanyeihamba, Gaetano Rubarema and Zabuloni Kabaza.  My first cousin, Willian Elisha Makosya, who was in the senior section of the school, had been my personal coach.

The vast majority of the Class of ’66 passed very well indeed and were admitted to the great schools of the day, including Kigezi High School, Kigezi College, Butobere, Makobore High School, Ntare School, Nyakasura School and King’s College, Budo. They went on to excel in those schools and beyond and have served humanity very well indeed. We are scattered around the globe. Some have not seen each other since November ’66. Sadly, many are no longer with us, their premature deaths a painful sore in our hearts.

Here is the Roll Call for the Class of 65/66:
( = Deceased)

1. Bagamuhunda, F.
2. Bakaaruhire, Esau
3. Bakesiga, E.J.
4. Bananuka, F.
5. Banyangyirakyi Y. F. (Yosamu Baguma)
6. Bashabe, E.
7. Basheija, G.
8. Bazeirwe, E.G.
9. Besigye, B.
10. Besigye, E.
11. Besiime, D. K.
12. Biryabarema, Peter B.
13. Bitaine, J.
14. Bunwasi, A.E.
15. Byabagambi, J. W.
16. Byamugisha, G.
17. Byandusya, Franco

18. Byarugaba John Hannington Zaribwegyirire
19. Gahima, James Ngirabakunzi
20. Kaakare J. J.
21. Kabatangaare
22. Kagonyeera, S.
23. Kajoka C.
24. Kamugisha J. E. (Manuel Muranga)
25. Kanyandeku W. (Kalikwisya)
26. Kanyangabo A.
27. Kasule C.W.N.
28. Kateiguta E.J.
29. Katungyi P.
30. Kayaama Henry
31. Korutaro H.
32. Kwehangaana F. (Muniini K. Mulera)
33. Kwizera C.J.
34. Kworoba E.K.
35. Kyomukama L.
36. Magezi E.G.
37. Mirembe John Kasi
38. Mizeerero G.
39. Mugisha E.
40. Mugyema Arthur Mbareeba
41. Mugyenyi C.E.
42. Mugyenzi Jack K.B.
43. Mungyereza N.
44. Musinguzi Charles Barabogoza
45. Mwesigwa C.
46. Ndatuje James Rugyeegye
47. Ndwanirira, A.
48. Ndyomugyenyi J.K.
49. Nsabiyunva J.B.
50. Rihimbisibwe E.
51. Rutagarama E.S.
52. Ruteeshereka E.
53. Rwaboona, Stephen Katashaaya
54. Rwabwigye C.G.
55. Sabiiti W.
56. Sabiiti, F.
57. Sabiiti, Stanley Rugunda
58. Safari M.
59. Tibenda, G.B.
60. Tibenderana G. (Twenda)
61. Tibihika J.
62. Tindigarukayo, James Kazaara
63. Tugume J. Magabo
64. Tuhuumwire G.W.
65. Tukamuhaabwa Z. (Elvis Muhaabwa)
66. Tukwasibwe
67. Tumuheirwe S.
68. Tumusiime N.
69. Tumwebaze Medadi Ruhindi
70. Tumwesigye M.
71. Turyagyenda Henry Bagyema
72. Turyagyenda Y.B.
73. Turyahikayo J.J.
74. Turyamuhimbisa C.J.
75. Turyamureeba D.
76. Turyamusiima
77. Twesigomwe J.
78. Twinamasiko Charles Tamutambo
79. Ziribugyire E.C.

I honour each and every one of you my friends. Thank you for being wonderful classmates, playmates, teachers and brothers. The records of our individual and collective mischief must remain classified until 2066.

We honour those who have died. May their souls rest in peace even as their memories continue to bring us reason to smile, to hope and to remember our youth.

I would love to hear from all of you my brothers of ’66.   Where are you? How are you? What are you up to? I would love to hear from the children and/or spouses of those who have died.  May the Grace of our Lord be with you and may He enable us to meet one more time at Kigezi High School.

MKM

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6 Responses to “Kigezi High School Junior: Recalling the history-making Class of ’66”

  1. Lillian Kimumwe

    Wow! What a wonderful story that is. It is full of great memories, both happy and sad, but that is the journey of life. Indeed KHS was home of so many great men of Kigezi. I recognise most names especially those I remember as our fathers friends. I recognise many of your friends, some I have met and others you used to talk about a lot. Kabatangare, is he the one from Kahondo? If so, he is deseased, sadly. Thank you for this story, full of great memories.

    Reply
    • Muniini K. Mulera

      Thank you Lillian. No, the Kabatangaare mwene Rweranga from Kahondo was a year ahead of me. Yes he died years ago. The Kabatangaare in my class was from Rujumbura or Nyakishenyi. A great person, with a terrific sense of humour even at that age. I have not sen him in 50 years!

      Reply
  2. Elvis Muhaabwa

    Dear Muniini,,
    Thank you for visiting our old Kigezi High School, you reminded me of Rwakaana our teacher, it was a shock but even more so that we knew the boys who did the murder.
    Just as James Tugume Magabo suggested, maybe one day we as the class of 1966 will give a lasting gift to our beloved school both primary and Junior.
    Lastly, I think God has been good to us, many of us are still alive and we are now the senior citizens . Please work on a reunion maybe in 2021 or 2022.

    Reply
  3. James Tugume Magabo

    Thank you Dr Muniini K Mulera for reminding us so vividly our Class of 66 ! Thank you also for your Speech at last year’s ICOB Kabale Convention ! It was passionate and very powerful !! Thank you also for the Sermon you delivered inside St Peter’s Cathedral Rugarama !!

    I join Elvis Muhaabwa in Praising and Thanking God for HE has indeed been good to us : We who are still alive !! Let us all Remember the Families of our Departed Classmates !!

    I think we can pay Tribute to our Departed Classmates and Thank the Almighty God in A THANKSGIVING AND A MEMORIAL SERVICE AT ST PETER”S CATHEDRAL NOT IN 2021 or 2022 BUT 2017 OR 2018 !!
    The sooner the Better !! 50 Years is a long time !!!

    I would like to suggest that ALL OLD BOYS AND GIRLS AND TEACHERS OF KIGEZI HIGH SCHOOL SINCE 1922 JOIN US IN THAT THANKSGIVING AND MEMORIAL SERVICE !
    BANTU MWE MWIJE TWEBAZE MUKAMA !!!

    Then we shall discuss what lasting Gift we can give to our School : Kigezi High School : I SERVE !!
    To paraphrase the famous words of Jihn F Kennedy : ASK NOT WHAT YOUR SCHOOL CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR SCHOOL !!

    James Tugume Magabo
    (Retired Chartered Certified Accountant, Fellow of the ASSOCIATION OF CHARTERED CERTIFIED ACCOUNTANTS )
    Kigezi High School Primary 1964
    Kigezi High School Junior One and Two 1965 / 1966
    Kigezi High School Advanced Level ( Higher ) 1971 / 1972 !!

    Email: jmcshield@yahoo.co.uk
    Tel : +256772517746 and +256706517746

    GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU FELLOW CLASSMATES AND OBZ AND OGZ ! AND TEACHERS AND FAMILIES OF THE DEPARTED COMRADES !

    Reply
    • Muniini K. Mulera

      You have spoken very well James! We are blessed – very blessed indeed! Let us start the process of planning a KHS reunion while we still can.

      Reply
  4. Alfred Kabuchu

    Thank you for the great message and memories on KHS. We are starting the plans for Centenary celebrations. Glad that the celebrations have a soft heart across generations.

    See note below.

    Dear Alumni, Friends and Well Wishers,

    Following the earlier request for your ideas on a centenary project to work on as KHS alumni, a lot of suggestions have been put forward and more are coming / expected.

    These suggestions received so far are have been grouped as follows;

    1. Quick wins (those that can be implemented before the end of 2017)

    2. Short term (to be implemented within 1-2 years)

    3. Medium term (to be implemented within 3- 4 years

    4. Long term ( to be implemented in 4-5 years – in time for the centenary celebrations)

    We now would like to invite all Alumni and well wishers to an Alumni joint meeting on 26th May 2017 at 5:30pm to 8:00pm at Kembabazi restaurant Naguru, to collect more ideas and to discuss in detail and plan together on how to address and meet some of these ideas and how to move forward as a team.

    At this same meeting, we hope to set the parameters and date for our dinner as well as to form some of the subcommittees to execute different activities as we build towards 2022. We kindly invite all of you to attend in person or send in your ideas if you have not been able to.

    We also kindly request you to share this message with other old students and well wishers to keep them informed and involved and in order to give every well wisher an opportunity to “Serve”.

    For any further clarification or queries, please feel free to contact any of the following;
    Alfred Kabuchu – Alumni Board Representative ( +256 772 500 666) or Paul Kanoti ( +256 758 526 684) or Cephas Birungyi 0772 444536 or Prof Mnason Tweheyo 0772 464155 or Cathy Wabomba 0703 895 100, Wyclef Rushaju 0777 178114.

    You can also give your ideas at http://Www.kigezihs.sc.ug. or follow up on some school activities

    Thank you in advance and see you on Friday 26th May as we “Reconnect To Root for 2022”!

    I SERVE!

    Reply

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