Rugunda Honours Mandela, to Grace Banyakigezi Convention

In a magnificent display of intellectual prowess and extraordinary confidence, this http://clearlakefestival.ca/wp-includes/class-wp-locale-switcher.php students from 36 schools in and around Kampala engaged in a thrilling debate on the benefits and dangers of social media at the Victoria University on Saturday.

This was during the Open Day Vacists’ Challenge held at the fast-growing university’s premises in Kampala.

Many students argued social media can be harnessed to promote institutional as well as individual brands for commercial purposes.

Others said social media can be harmful if not well regulated.

They cited incidents where girls have been abused by negative elements on social media.

One of the participants identified as Arthur Zinda said there is considerable cyber bullying and harassment on social media.

“When former Miss Uganda Miss Leah Kalanguka’s pictures went viral on social media, treatment http://cutteraviation.com/wp-content/plugins/exploit-scanner/hashes-3.7.11.php people said she was ugly in contrast to reality. Parents are too busy to help their kids to make good use of social media. It also has related health risks that come with too much exposure to social media, dosage ” said Zinda.

The highlight of the event was the performance of a breathtaking poem titled “Still I Rise” by Fahima Babirye:


“You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.”

As Babirye read the awe-inspiring poem, the audience comprising the chairman of the University Council, Dr David B. Matovu and the Vice Chancellor Dr Stephen Robert Isabalija, listened attentively with visible excitement.

Isabalija said the challenge of today is, “you cannot do business without social media. It’s a trend that seeks to address the needs of society and engage the community as part of the future.”

He said it was important for government to embrace social and address its challenges so that its negative impact does not outweigh its enormous advantages.

Isabalija said Victoria University would soon come up with a paper on how to direct society on social media.

Mr Byarugaba lecturing the gathering on dangers and benefits of social media
Mr Byarugaba lecturing the gathering on dangers and benefits of social media

“If everyone can touch another person’s life through social media, then we shall be changing our society.”

On his part, Dr Matovu said social media is seen as a youth-led venture but whoever doesn’t embrace social media will not have knowledge about unfolding events in society.

“You are the youth and driver of the times. Social media is good but guard against its negative influence because it’s so radical.”

During breaks, vacists participated in dances that kept members in the audience on edge of their seats.

A group of vacists participating in the challenge
A group of participants in the challenge

The challenge held under the theme “Social media: Beneficial or Harmful” was also graced by Yvonne Tumukunde, a senior official from National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA), Lea Musasizi (MTN Group) and Maximus Byamukama, Dean Faculty of Science and Technology at Victoria University.

Career teacher Seeta High School, John Bosco Byarugaba was also in attendance.

He encouraged Victoria University to take such initiatives to bigger platforms to include parents and other stakeholders because the social media problems do not only affect young people but people across the world.

The Career teacher cautioned the youth on the quality of information they disseminate on social media, urging restraint in following strangers.

Runners-up took home Shs 500,000 as their prize
Runners-up took home Shs 500,000 as their prize

Byarugaba said the youth must avoid dangerous groups that could lure them into criminal activities such as terrorism and warned against allowing students to possess phones at schools which distracts their attention from class work.

The activity at Victoria University is the latest in a series of events aimed at empowering vacists to make good choices before entering tertiary institutions.

Recent functions at the Jinja Road based modern campus have seen young people meet and interact with top Uganda entrepreneurs to gain firsthand knowledge about current vacancies and opportunities available in the industry sector, and to market themselves to prospective employers.

Dr Isabalija addressing the congregation
Dr Isabalija addressing the congregation

President Museveni recently visited Victoria University where he expressed his satisfaction with the institution’s facilities and courses which he said will go a long way in empowering students with skills needed in today’s market.

Matovu handed over a prize of Shs1m to Group Five from Nabisunsa Girls School which won the challenge while runners-up went home with Shs500, 000.

A centre of excellence, Victoria University recently signed a partnership with IP3, a leading training provider and advisor to governments, financial institutions and public services providers in the growing international infrastructure marketplace.

A participant receives her certificate from Dr Matovu for taking part in the challenge (Photos: Pat Larubi/ChimpReports)
A participant receives her certificate from Dr Matovu for taking part in the challenge (Photos: Pat Larubi/ChimpReports)
Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda is in United States of America to represent President Museveni at the Banyakigezi Convention and speak at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Awards ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The Prime Minister’s trip started with a speech at the Nelson Mandela Prize awards event on Friday, generic http://conceptbath.com/wp-admin/includes/file.php followed by the Banyakigezi gathering in Dallas Texas on 30 July 2015.

“The symbolism of this day is that it is a call to action to all of us to follow in the footsteps of this remarkable man who transformed his life, ambulance served his country South Africa and freed his people,” said Rugunda.

“What we each can learn from Nelson Mandela’s life seems almost limitless.  The most prominent characteristics of Nelson Mandela are strength of spirit, integrity, honour, and leadership. The strength of spirit allowed him to endure 27 years of imprisonment,” he added.

The Mandela awards ceremony is part of the commemorative events by the UN General Assembly to mark the Nelson Mandela International Day.

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of the former South African President, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.

The day is marked in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

Dr Rugunda’s participation at the events in New York is at the invitation of the President of United Nations General Assembly, HE Sam Kutesa.

For the first time, the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize, established by the UN General Assembly on 6 June 2014, will be awarded to the 2015 laureates.

In declaring the day, the UN recognised Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the uplifting of poor and underdeveloped communities.

In Dallas, Texas, Prime Minister Rugunda will join people from the greater Kigezi region, under their umbrella association, The International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) for their annual convention from July 30 to 3 August 2015. He will represent President Museveni as guest of honour.

The theme of this year’s convention is “Towards a Better Tomorrow; Unlocking Kigezi’s Human and Economic Potential.”

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