When Nabisunsa Girls School was started in 1954 it was on humble grounds. It started as a junior school and four year later developed to become a secondary school.
The girls’ school was founded by a prince, Badru Kakungulu, an Old Boy of King’s College Budo who felt the Muslim girl child needed a good education and in a school founded on Muslim grounds.
So slowly the idea of Nabisunsa Girls School was built into structures, from one building, to two, three and now a fully-fledged secondary school, located in Banda, off the Kampala-Jinja highway. The first enrollment was of only 52 girls, 25 in secondary and 27 in primary school.
Hajjat Aisha Lubega adds that Muslims were not comfortable taking their children to Christian-founded school. “The biggest fear was that the girls would be converted to Christianity so Prince Kakungulu founded this school to cater for the Muslim students,” she notes.
Hajjat Lubega is one of Nabisunsa longest serving head teacher’s having taken office during the early 1990s. She reads from the school’s history that it gets its name Nabisunsa from Prince Kakungulu’s mother whose name is Nabisunsa.
“He donated the land, muted ideas and started off with big donations, mobilized funds from government too, as well as supervising the construction of the school,” Hajjat Lubega, herself an old girl of Nabbingo Girls School, explains.
Prince Kakungulu’s idea was much mirrored on those of a traditional school like King’s College Budo or girls’ school at the time, like Gayaza High School or Namagunga Girls School. He wanted the Muslim girl child to get as much exposure and fine education as other girls so Nabisunsa was to be founded on a similar foundation.
The school was officially opened by the Commissioner for Pakistan, SA Afzal who said that the school was a milestone on the road of success for Muslim education in East Africa.
He is quoted in a local publication at the time to have said, “To have a school of a kind for the Muslim girls in Uganda is great credit to those have worked for it.”
According to literature about the school’s history Prince Kakungulu wanted brave, determined and devoted girls who were dignified and confident. The premises upon which the school was formed were cultivated on and still form the basis on which Nabisunsa Girls will be differentiated from any other girls.
Hajjat Lubega is emphatic on this, “It is not a brain thing. The difference is the confidence level of the girls this school produces. We produce a product of a girl who is assertive yet not aggressive.” She adds that Nabisunsa alumni present themselves as confident, ambitious and composed yet God fearing and loving.
And Hajjat Lubega adds that Nabisunsa girls have been misunderstood because they are loud and make sure they can present themselves and their point which she says is another of the values they instill in their students.
One of the prominent alumni of this girls’ school is Honorable Syda Bbumba, a politician and Member of Parliament for Nakaseke County North, and an accountant and banker by training. And list includes more alumni who are now serving in prominent public position and other fields, but most of them remarkably identified for their outspokenness, brilliance and confidence.
Its first headmistress, Miss Dimblebee, from the Church Missionary Society followed these principles to the dot. She was head teacher at the school for a year until Monday, 2, June, 1958.
And right from its start support was offered from different institutions and individuals. The Uganda Muslim Education Association which was already in existed as a Muslim education secretariat supported the girls at Nabisunsa in cultivating the Muslim doctrines and way of life.