Makerere celebrates Uganda’s first literature teacher, Timothy Wangusa


As it marks 100 years of excellence, Makerere University has celebrated the life and outstanding work of one of its alumni, a prolific and celebrated writer, Professor Timothy Wangusa.

At the event organized by the University College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Professor Wangusa, Uganda’s first professor of literature, was described as one of Uganda’s bigwigs of the 21st century.

Professor Timothy Wangusa attended the event at Makerere University on Friday as the University celebrated his life and outstanding work.

“He is a poet, novelist, teacher created by Makerere who has served Makerere in various capacities. Professor Wangusa is an accomplished writer with several published works to his credit. Many of his works have worldwide recognition. His literal works have been agents of social change and always kindle the fire in every heart that dares to dream. His true deserving achievements will always be remembered, after all writers never die. His literal works will live forever,” said Dr. Saudah Namyalo, Dean of the School of Languages, Literature and Communication.

“We have always admired and still do admire your compassion, your commitment and your good humor,” she said.

The event was held in commemoration of Makerere University’s 100 years of excellence and Professor Wangusa’s 80th birthday.

Described as the “master of the pen” who used it in the right way, Professor Wangusa is not only Uganda’s first professor of literature, but also the first person to earn a doctorate in literature from the University. from Makerere.

“We recognize you as a distinguished writer, scholar, teacher and mentor,” said Professor Josephine Ahikire, Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Professor Wangusa has served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Head of the Department of Literature, and a member of the University Council representing academic staff at the university.

Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Prof. Umar Kakumba speaking at the event.

Professor Ahikire said Wangusa’s work has not only impacted Makerere University, but also present and future generations.

“As a writer, you are a household name, and one of the novels, ‘On This Mountain’, has become a book in Ugandan schools, and poems are taught across the county. This means that you have an impact on generations; not just on Makerere University, but on present and future generations,” she said.

She noted that often people are celebrated when they are gone, but added that CHUSS has changed the narrative to celebrate outstanding College personalities while they are still alive.

The event to celebrate Professor Wangusa was chaired by the university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Umar Kakumba.

Kakumba described Professor Wangusa as a decorated figure in many circles, but noted that the one who made Makerere’s name in the world is through writing.

He said Professor Wangusa was one of Uganda’s most prolific writers whose poetic prowess is undisputed.

Professor Wangusa boasts of more than 14 titles to his name and half of them are poetry.

Students from Makerere University give a presentation at the event.

Some of Prof. Wangusa’s poems have become iconic quotes, such as “The state is my shepherd, I shall not want.” This, Kakumba said, is a testament that his work moves readers forward.

“It is a clear testimony that some of your works appeal to many people, and the humor that drives readers and listeners forward. We are proud as management, as staff, as teachers and students of Makerere Universi to welcome you, Professor Wangusa,” he said.

“We are proud that Makerere is your nest, and you continue to demonstrate the importance of research and contortion, a culture that we at Makerere want to continue as we root ourselves deeply into our society,” he said. -he declares.


Professor Timothy Wangusa is from Manafwa District, Bugisu Sub-Region, Eastern Uganda.

He was born on May 28, 1942.

He studied a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of East Africa, Makerere, from 1964 to 1967. Later, he did a graduate degree in English Language.

He pursued an MA in Literature at the University of Leeds in the UK.

He then returned to Uganda and worked on a doctorate in literature from 1970 to 1974, graduating in 1975 from Makerere University. Here he became the first person to earn a doctorate in literature from Makerere University.

Professor Wangusa has worked in several institutions and held several positions.

From 1969 to 1971, Wangusa was a Literature Tutoring Professor and then a Literature Lecturer from 1971 to 1975 at Makerere University.

In 1975 he was promoted to senior lecturer and held this post until 1980.

From 1980 to 1981, Professor Wangusa served as Associate Professor and was promoted to Full Professor of Literature, and held this position until his retirement from Makerere University in 2001.

In 2002, he was appointed Vice Chancellor of Kumi University where he served until 2003.

From 2003 to 2005, Professor Wangusa was a research fellow at Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono.

He held many administrative titles throughout his career including; Member of the Makerere University Council representing academic staff from 1981 to 1984.

From 1981 to 1984, he was head of the literature department.

From 1984 to 1985 he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Makerere University.

Professor Wangusa briefly served as Minister of Education and Sports from 1985 to 1986.


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