One and a half decades into the 21st century, the reading and writing culture in Uganda is still where it has always been — at the very worst.
Uganda Technology and Management University’s Professor Venansius Baryamureeba, grumbles that the country has made great strides in the education sector but Ugandans remain amongst the world’s poorest readers and writers.
As a result, he says, the old adage that the graveyard is the richest place on earth is even more vivid here in Uganda.
“There’s a great deal of extremely successful people in this country.They have a wealth of transformational ideas, which they sadly choose not to document, and when they die, they take it all with them to the grave,” he said.
The 45 year old Computer Science Prof was speaking to Chimpreports after he launched his first book titled “They Will See Him” at Hotel Africana yesterday.
They will see him is the direct translation of his last name Baryamureeba, which his father gave him upon sensing his future potentials.
“My father always told me that I was born to lead, to excel and be great,” he said.
Indeed his last 25 years after school have seen him establish himself, highly successful as an educationist, businessman and partly as a politician [He contested unsuccessfully for the Ibanda South MP seat in 2001].
The book documents his life story from childhood through the numerous offices, at the helm of Uganda’s biggest education institution [Makerere University] to this date as the proprietor of a blossoming Uganda Technology and Management University [UTAMU].
Only less than 150 pages, the Prof believes the book is ideal for the type of audience he’s trying to reach.
It’s an easy read; I also inserted so many pictures there, so that those who get dizzied by words can just read the captions. One can go through the whole book in just one day,” he told us.
“At forty five, I think I have done a lot of good things and I felt I should document them, so that my countrymen especially the youths can read, and I hope some of them will be inspired.”
He added, “I think that witting is very important. I congratulate our president, Yoweri Museveni; I hear he’s written about four books. I have been discussing with my village-mate Patrick Bitature about this. Imagine if the likes of him, the James Mulwanas and all, had documented their success stories for all of us to share.”
In his memoir, Prof Barya tells the story of breaking barriers and succeeding where many have failed; his “short walk to success,” the story of a child born to lead, and to be seen for his works.
Speaking at the book launch, one of his former students and Western Youth MP Hon Gerald Karuhanga described him a new generation professor, a go-getter and exceedingly inspirational.
“When I was in school, we used to know professors as those people who never combed their hair, who looked shabby, but if you are looking for the latest suit in town, you only have to look for Prof Barya.
NBS television boss Mr Kin Kariisa, also a former student, hailed Barya for pulling him to great heights, after convincing him to join the institute of Computer Science at Makerere University.