Stephen Twinoburyo, a prominent Ugandan mathematician, entrepreneur and educationist, has passed on in South Africa where he had lived for decades.
Twinoburyo succumbed to a heart attack on New Year, according to his friends in South Africa.
Joseph Tumushabe, who also lives in South Africa, said he spoke to Twinoburyo at 10:00 hours SA time.
“We were supposed to meet for dinner, he cancelled when we were at the venue. He told us he had a heart problem and was not likely to make it,” recalled Tumushabe in a Facebook post.
“It was going to be my first time to meet him. Now it’s never going to be this side of life. Why?” he mourned.
Condolences from people of all walks of life continue to pour in.
Born in 1970, Stephen Twinoburyo grew up in the Western part of Uganda in a town called Mbarara.
He attended the Butobere School in Kigezi and Ntare School in Mbarara before enrolling in Makerere University, where he pursued a four year degree in Electrical Engineering.
“My father and the headmaster insisted I should pursue medicine instead of law or journalism, which I had a passion for. Engineering was the eventual compromise,” bemoaned Twinoburyo when interviewed by a South African magazine in November 2012.
In 1994, soon after South Africa held its first democratic elections, Twinoburyo got the opportunity to travel to Soweto with South African veterans who were stationed in Uganda.
The ten day visit made him fall in love with the country compelling him to return in 1997 and he has never looked back.
“I was fortunate to have friends from Uganda living and working in Pretoria so life was not that lonely. My aim was to further my education in the capital city and pursue a career related to my studies. I initially struggled to get these plans going so to keep busy I started teaching maths and sciences and surprisingly I ended up enjoying it.”
What began as a simple effort to earn an extra buck became a decade long career tutoring students in various colleges, including Progressive College in Pretoria CBD, Boston House College in Cape Town and most recently, from 2008, Montessori College Pretoria.
He also managed to complete a part time Bachelor of Sciences degree in mathematics and statistical sciences in 2007 through UNISA following advice from friends that mathematical finance courses were lucrative in the job market.
In 2008, Twinoburyo completed a science honors degree in financial engineering at the University of Pretoria (UP).
Twinoburyo soon realized that, like engineering, finance was not his thing and that he will probably never pursue employment in this field.
A year later, he decided to register his own maths and science tuition centre christened Scimatics Solutions (SS) whose students excelled.
Twinoburyo made his last Facebook post at 8:20pm on Tuesday, expressing frustration with copycats.
“Realizing that at one time I may have to do something mathematical in Uganda, somebody registered Scimatics Solutions Uganda,” he said.
“Non-creative people can be so dense. I’ll do nothing about it. I’ll simply go around it and let it suffocate itself out of existence. They forget that the intellectual property is in my head, not an item,” he added.