By Albert Tibweba
KAMPALA. It was a night to catch up on the old school days as former students of St Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) convened at a reunion dinner at Royal Suites Bugolobi.
For the Old Boys of the prestigious school, most of whom are in their early and mid-40s, it was a moment to feel like a young boy in Senior One or at most, the cantankerous candidate in the coveted Senior Four. If one accidentally walked into the room where these ‘happy men’ were meeting, you would mistake them for a rowdy Senior Three Class whose Mathematics teacher won’t show up to teach for the day. But these are CEOs of top businesses and other entities in the country – the boys who were at SMACK between 1988 – 1992, the same time Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations was at the school.
The reunion, an annual event started with an informal drink up near the Royal Suites Swimming Pool before they converged in a Conference Hall to reflect on their times at SMACK.
Throughout the time in the hall, nothing could dampen the mood as they cracked jokes, remembered nicknames held by various members of the 88/92 class among other fond memories.
Although it was an evening to catch up, it didn’t go without a contest as the Master of Ceremonies Dennis Mbidde commissioned a ‘roll call’ to find out the House that was represented by the highest number.
At the end of the tallying, it was Kakooza House that carried the day with 12 members present at the time. They were rewarded with a crate of beer but by the end of the party, Kiwanuka House could have won with up to 16 members as some of its members arrived moments into the dinner, in fact, members of Kiwanuka demanded a fresh roll call. Mugwanya House and Loudel House were both represented by 10 members each.
Various speakers emphasized the need to keep together as Old Boys of the school and to be each other’s keepers.
Mr. Robert Ssemakula, a Head Boy during their time noted that some of their OBs were facing various challenges, urging his colleagues to support them whenever called upon.
The President of St Mary’s College Kisubi Old Boys Association (SMACKOBA), Mr. Charles Odoga hailed Lt Gen Kainerugaba for his humility during his time at SMACK, saying, the students never experienced an incident of a ‘first son’.
“We were all young kids and we really never had an incident of a first son,” said Mr. Odoga.
Earlier, Mr. Mbidde who is a former FUFA vice president noted that Gen Kainerugaba has always been a good person, urging the General to maintain his personality.
Mr. Mbidde cited cases where children from privileged families in past regimes would wreak havoc at school.
"You know of a case where a student came to school with a pistol and at one time pointed it at the class teacher," Mr. Mbidde recalled. Mr. Mbidde was referring to the infamous incident at Savio Boys school Kisubi.
Lt Col Mcdans Kamugira, the Head Civil-Military Cooperation in the office of Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations who represented the General as Chief Guest delivered Gen Kainerugaba’s apologies for missing the reunion due to national duties that he had to attend to.
Col Kamugira informed the SMACK OBs that their classmate had planned to be with them for the dinner but it was for mandatory circumstances that he wasn't personally present.
“I have sent him whatever has been happening and told him what he has missed, and he has identified some of his OBs and promised to meet you soon,” Col Kamugira told the attentive SMACK OBs.
As part of continued efforts to support their school, the SMACK 88/92 resolved to sponsor the football coach to enable the school’s competitiveness in various tournaments.
Gen Kainerugaba made a cash contribution of Shs10million that was delivered by Col Kamugira.
On his part, Col Kamugira expressed joy at the love the SMACK OBs have for their school, encouraging them to keep the spirit.
He also urged the members to love their country.
“What I can tell you is to love your country because even when you go to China, you will be identified as a Ugandan.”
Col Kamugira also told them to keep networking because their network is their worth in the business world since most of them, during introductions, indicated that they are also running private businesses alongside their formal employment.
Col Kamugira applauded the organizing committee for the initiative of the reunion and thanked them for inviting the General.
He also saluted the SMACK OBs for recognizing Gen Kainerugaba’s elevation to the new rank in the recent UPDF promotions.
Mr. Justus Katatumba who represented the head teacher of the school Brother Deodati Aganyira, thanked the old boys especially Gen Kainerugaba and Mr. Edgar Byamah for keeping the flag of the school high.
He urged the Old Boys to continue supporting the school and its activities.
Some of the OBs that attended the reunion include Mr. Edgar Byamah, Mr. Cedric Babu, Patrick Kizito, and Mr. Sam Mpuuga among others