Simon Wadamba, as many of his peers say emphatically, is a teacher. “That is his DNA,” says Aisha Abdallah, the director of Merowa Junior School which is located in the heart of Kabalagala in Makindye Division, where Wadamba teaches Social Studies from Primary Five to Primary Seven.
Born a teacher
“He wants his pupils, whoever they are, regardless of their abilities, to be top performers. No wonder in the four years he has taught Social Studies at the school, the subject has been the best performed in Primary Leaving Examinations. And nobody does it better,” confirms lower primary Literacy teacher, Irene Bamutendereze.
“He was born a teacher,” adds Abdallah “And one who is loyal to his work in addition to being honest and respectful to authorities and subordinates.”
The 29-year-old Wadamba is born in a family whose tap root is passing on knowledge to others. His grandfather was a head teacher at Kachoma Primary School in Budaka, from where he (Wadamba) was taught by his father Gisbert. Four of his 11 siblings are also teachers.
Beating the pressure
It was easy for him to be inspired yet peers discouraged him. “I had this friend, who always told me I would end up poor, if I ever became a teacher,” Wadamba, who has risen from being a classroom teacher at Merowa, to becoming the Director of Studies for just two terms in 2017, before he was recommended by the departing head teacher as the right person to take the school forward recalls.
Curiously, due to his administrative duties, Wadamba does not spend all those hours in the classroom like many of his colleagues do.
According to Abdallah, he performs administrative work for most of the day and has three classroom hours everyday. Nevertheless, he has imparted valuable lessons — and especially to his junior colleagues and pupils alike.
He is a motivational speaker to his pupils and he tells them about life, love and planning. Yet the most compelling submission was from Bamutendereze, who says, his confidence in delivering sensitive material is adorable.
Wadamba, who attended Ngoma Secondary School in Mbale before pursuing a Diploma in Education at Kaliro National Teachers College, where he graduated from in 2014, started his career at Rainbow in Mbale where he taught Social Studies and Religious Education for one year.
Made for the classroom
Teaching is a journey he prides in. “I love teaching that I do not see myself quitting. I am actually planning to upgrade,” he says.
He is motivated by two people he has met in his pursuit of knowledge. He first fell in love with the presentation skills of his primary school teacher Samuel Waila, whom he says was so good at presentation that, “we never wanted him to leave class.”.
Joseph Waibi, a lecturer at Kaliro, who also made him proud of the profession. That is the reason money was a secondary motivation. “Money can come to anyone who plans for it, he adds with pride, saying he has learned to diversify. He has a two-hectare farm in his home area where he intends to start growing rice, cassava and rare poultry, among others.
Wadamba also leads a number of projects at the school and like, Abdallah said, “in my experience, most young people never get anywhere unless they think big. I am happy he has big dreams for the school.”
“I had a vision to become a good teacher and I am happy things are moving more than I ever imagined,” Wadamba reiterates, adding that it was about proving his peers wrong and becoming the best he can.