Tribute to Prof Dranzoa: Integrity for all

Kefa Atibuni

What you need to know:

  • The late Prof Christine Dranzoa was a well-grounded academic and the founding vice chancellor of Muni University. 
  • She was a recipient of several international and national awards for her excellent leadership, mentorship, and research career.

We may stand stupefied by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and forget that we have our own mountain to get to, and overcome – our second colonisation by China.

The late Prof Christine Dranzoa was a well-grounded academic and the founding vice chancellor of Muni University. 

She was a recipient of several international and national awards for her excellent leadership, mentorship, and research career.

Members of the university community called her “mama” as a sign of respect for her humility, commitment to duty, love and respect for all. She gave an ear to everyone regardless of who you are. 

Prof Dranzoa passed away on June 28. She was buried on July 6 at her ancestral home in Moyo Town. 

President eulogised her as a “clean educationist” and a leading contributor to the establishment of Muni University. He said Prof Dranzoa left a clean legacy as the vice chancellor of Muni University and always spoke the truth.

Many others have eulogised Prof Dranzoa as best as they could. Many described her as a “high-flying and ethical academic”, “prudent, forthright and foresighted leader”, “progressive career woman”, and trailblazing girl-child education advocate”.

It should also be noted that everyone, who interacted with Prof Dranzoa had the opportunity to influence her in one way or another. So a little bit of many of us went with her.

Prof Dranzoa was my immediate supervisor at work. In the last two months, one eulogy, in particular, has remained in my heart.

Prof Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda, the rector of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) while eulogising Prof Dranzoa, wrote: “it is her leadership and integrity during the construction of the beautiful Muni campus, located on a hill overlooking Arua City, that proved to us that the little Christine from Moyo had steel behind her benign disposition”.

Long before I knew I would join Muni University or even work under Prof Dranzoa, somewhere in one of the government offices in Kampala, I presented myself for a job interview on a panel she chaired.

As the interview progressed, I remember her asking me, “Son, on a scale of one to 10,how would you score your integrity?” I hesitated as my mind raced up and down. As if to break the silence, I heard her reassuring voice say, “You don’t have to think too much. With integrity, there are no parts. It is always 100 percent. That means you either have it or you don’t”.  The other members burst into laughter and I smiled in sheer bewilderedment. That is when I realised that indeed my intended answer was actually wrong. 

Muni University Vice Chancellor, Prof Christine Dranzoa speaking to the media on August 25, 2021.  PHOTO | FELIX WAROM OKELLO

If you would like to know, I had thought of scoring myself at 99 percent, leaving a minimal one percent for personal weaknesses. Even though I was not selected for the job, I learnt a very good lesson about the word “integrity”. It is always wholesome.

As you condole with Muni University, let us individually reflect on integrity, which Prof Dranzoa espoused when she was alive.

I will forever miss her bee’s work ethic, sense of humour and stellar dedication to the community. Fare thee well mama, until we meet again.

The writer is the senior communication officer at Muni University.

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