Mak honours Mutesa II with museum

Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja (left), Nnalinya Agnes Nabaloga (centre) and Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga stand next to the statue of Sir Edward Muteesa II during the unveiling of the Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum at Makerere University in Kampala on Wednesday.  Photo | Isaac Kasamani

What you need to know:

  • Sir Edward Muteesa II, a former student of Makerere University, was the 35th King of Buganda Kingdom from 1939 until his death in 1969.

Makerere University has bestowed majestic honour on its alumnus, former Buganda King Edward Frederick Mutesa II.

The country’s premier university converted one of its long-standing structures, the Muteesa II Building, into a museum and named it after the king.

Sir Edward Muteesa II was the 35th King of Buganda Kingdom from 1939 until his death in 1969.

He also doubled as the first president of independent Uganda from 1962 to 1966, when the government forces attacked his palace at Lubiri and he fled into exile in the United Kingdom.

During the official opening of the museum at Makerere University on Wednesday, Prof Maria Kizito Kasule, the chairperson of the University Museum committee, said the museum would curate the history of Sir Edward Muteesa II as the first president of Uganda, an alumnus of Makerere, as well as the King of Buganda Kingdom.

The renovation of Muteesa’s Building started five years ago and has so far cost more than Shs150m.

The Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum sits on Plot 95, Quarry Road, Makerere University. The site was the on-campus private residence of Sir Edward Muteesa II as a student of Literature at Makerere from 1943 to 1945.

Muteesa II was also a talented footballer, cricket and tennis player at Makerere.

Prof Kizito said turning the building into a museum will not only help to preserve the King’s and institution’s history, but also contribute to social and economic empowerment of the community.

“We appeal to people who have art and crafts and information concerning the history of Makerere University and Sir Edward Muteesa II to come to our rescue. We need that information to enrich our museum,” Prof Kizito said.

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the university vice chancellor, commended Buganda Kingdom for its contribution towards the renovation of the Ssekabaka Muteesa’s building.

“That museum is invaluable to all of us in Uganda and I am inviting all of you to come and witness the history of our first president and one of the leaders of the struggle for independence,” he added.

Prof Nawangwe said this while Makerere University yesterday joined the rest of the world to mark the International Mother Language Day. Prof Nawangwe encouraged Ugandans to embrace and promote their cultural heritage.

“Makerere can only be stronger if we embrace our cultures, “he said.

The International Mother Language Day is observed annually to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

Buganda King Ronald Mutebi applauded Makerere for honouring the contributions of his late father and marking International Mother Language Day.

“As the custodian of culture, we cherish, protect, and develop our mother languages. We thank the nation of Bangladesh for initiating the idea of mother language at the international level,” Kabaka Mutebi said in his speech presented by Nnaalinnya Agnes Nabaloga.

Buganda Prime Minister Charles Peter Mayiga said promoting mother languages is a sign of acknowledging our cultural diversity, which is seen as a foundation of the modern African state.

“Every time we neglect our mother tongues, we inadvertently know the similarities of different nationalities. We need to acknowledge the similarities because it helps us to build consensus, which is the truth and genuine source of national unity. People who ignore their history can learn nothing from their experiences,” he warned.