Country eulogises veteran economics teacher Okumu

Clement Okumu Omubba. Photo | Kitunzi Yahudu

What you need to know:

  • Mr Wangah Wanyama, one of the late Okumu’s nephews, said on the fateful day, the deceased was in Kamuli District supervising the ongoing O-Level final exam until around midday.

Economist Clement Okumu Omubba, who died last Saturday at 70, has been eulogised as an intelligent, soft-spoken, understanding and hard-working man.

A teacher by profession, “OO”, as he was fondly referred to, taught Economics in many schools across the country.

Some of the schools at which he taught include Tororo Girls High School in Tororo District, Dr Obote College in Lira, Nabumali High School, Nkoma Secondary School and Mbale Secondary School in Mbale District; Sir Tito Winyi Secondary School, Bukedi College Kachonga (BCK) in Butaleja, St Paul’s College Hoima and Old Kampala Secondary School, where he retired as deputy head teacher.

Shocking

Although he was known to be sickly, Okumu’s death came as a shock, especially to his family.

Mr Wangah Wanyama, one of the late Okumu’s nephews, said on the fateful day, the deceased was in Kamuli District supervising the ongoing O-Level final exam until around midday.

“He boarded a taxi and travelled back to his home in Sonde, Mukono District. Unfortunately, he died shortly after he arrived home. He died while complaining of heart pain,” he said.

Mr Wanyama said a post-mortem indicated that his uncle died of heart failure.

He eulogised him as an honest man.

Despite being one of the finest Economics teachers the country has produced, Okumu chose to live a humble life.

“His passing was just as quiet as he was in life,” Mr Sam Hibinga, who taught with Okumu at Tororo Girls, said. He added: “He kept a low profile, but helped many young people achieve their dreams.”

Okumu often encouraged parents to take their children to school and he sponsored some needy students to pursue their careers.

Mr Joseph Owori, a former student at BCK, said Okumu is one of the teachers who left a lasting mark on the school.

“He would teach three Economics topics a day. Whenever he was in class, no student would want to get out. Surprisingly, even students who were not offering Economics would enter his class just to listen to him,” Mr Awori said.

Mr Wycliffe Kunya, another Old Boy of BCK, said during Okumu’s time in class, nobody slept and there were no murmurs except, some occasional laughter as he made fun of African leaders whenever he talked about public debt.

“Okumu had an immediate effect on my understanding of the principles of economics,” he said.

Mr Fredrick Dongo, an educationist, said once you attended Okumu’s lesson, you had the confidence of an A-student.

“Actually, I got an ‘A’ in Economics. He was such a charming teacher of Economics,” he said.

Mr Derrick Kau, a former student at Kampala Secondary School, said Okumu was such a humble teacher.

Mr Bernard Osenda W’Osenda, the managing director of Mbale Comprehensive High School, said Okumu was an astute teacher, smart professional and a great mentor.

“His academic prowess, oratory and insight to author, teach and coach Economics, can be equaled to none,” he said.

Ms Hellen Akello, an Old Girl of Tororo Girls High School, said the country has lost a great teacher.

“His role in the education sector can never be forgotten,” she said.

Okumu, who is survived by four children, was born on March 29, 1952, in Genguluho Village, Namayingo District. He was buried on Tuesday at his ancestral home in Genguluho, Namayingo District.

PROFILE

Clement Okumu Omubba, fondly known by friends and relatives as ‘‘OO’’, went to Lumino Primary School in Busia District, and Busoga College Mwiri before proceeding to the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Economics in 1975.

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