Uganda’s oldest teacher dies at 100 years

MASAKA, UGANDA: Ssalongo Yosam Lukwago, who is believed to be one of the oldest teachers in Uganda has died at 100 years, the Daily Express confirms.

According to relatives, Yosamu died at his home on January 4 at Bulayi Village, on the outskirts of  Masaka City and was buried on January 6.

“He had become weak and was receiving treatment .The post-mortem report showed that he had pneumonia,” Mr Derrick Lukwago, the son of the deceased, told this website on Sunday.

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Having been born on January 10, 1920, Lukwago was set to celebrate his  101th birthday yesterday.

Until his death, Mzee Lukwago was the chairperson of the Fathers’ Union in West Buganda Anglican Diocese.

Rev Canon Gaster Nsereko, the sub-dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Kako, who presided over the funeral service, eulogised Lukwago as a man who had a pleasant character, was a forgiving person and ever smartly dressed.

“At 100 years of age,  Lukwago walked briskly, dressed in a suit, complete with a necktie wherever he went,” Rev Nsereko told the mourners.

“He was also a staunch Christian and a professional teacher who always emphasised professionalism and ethics. We will always remember him for his remarkable kindness and generosity,”  he added.

Rev Nsereko also praised the deceased  for his interest in reading and writing before referring to the two books that he authored — “Ebyafaayo bya West Buganda Diocese (History of West Buganda Diocese) and Okwagala kwa Katonda eri Abantu be (God’s love for his people).

Mr Jackson Ssengendo, the former head teacher  of Kako Secondary School, says the teaching profession has lost a great teacher who referred  to fellow colleagues as his brothers.

“He urged all of us to serve as good examples to our students, which was perhaps the main reason he was immaculately dressed in suits every time he was in public. He always spoke well about Mengo Secondary School, which he attended as a young boy.  I also remember him as a very active member of the Fathers’ Union and a marriage counsellor — always telling people to be contented with their marriage partners,” he says.

Veteran journalist John Jones Salongo, 96, described the late Lukwago as a great friend.

 “We met in the early 60s as Uganda prepared for Independence. Some people at that time did not want Uganda to keep her kingdoms after Independence, but Yosam and I bravely supported those working for the retention of kingdoms and we have been friends since then,” Salongo said.

About the deceased
Lukwago was born on January 10, 1920, in Kajuna Village, Buwunga Sub-county in Masaka District. He attended Kako Primary School (1928-1934) before joining Mengo Central School (1935-1939) after which he did teacher education at Bishop Tucker College, Mukono (1939-1941).

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He began his teaching career at Lubiri Primary School in 1942 and taught in different schools for 38 years until he retired in 1980 as head teacher of Kyebongotoko Primary School in Sembabule District. 

Some of his former students include the late Mayanja Nkangi and former prime minister Kintu Musoke.

Last year, the Rotary Club of Mengo  honoured Lukwago with a Vocational Award for Exemplary Holistic Teaching and as headmaster for 70 years.

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