Sir Edward Muteesa II museum opened at Makerere Univeristy

The Museum located at plot 95, quarry road Makerere University is housed in the premises of what was an on-campus private residence of Sir Edward Muteesa II while a student of literature at Makerere University from 1943-1945.

Sir Edward Muteesa II Museum was officially opened, Wednesday, February 20, 2024 at a ceremony presided over by Her Royal Highness, Nnalinnya Agnes Nabaloga on behalf of the Kabaka of Buganda, His Royal Highness Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.

The Museum located at plot 95, quarry road Makerere University is housed in the premises of what was an on-campus private residence of Sir Edward Muteesa II while a student of literature at Makerere University from 1943-1945.

During the event, the Buganda Kingdom entourage led by Her Royal Highness, Nnalinnya Agnes Nabaloga handed over historical but rare pictures of the late Sir Edward Muteesa II, during his days as a student at Makerere University.

In her brief and emotional remarks at the ceremony, her Royal Highness commended Makerere University for finding it befitting to honor the name and person of the Late Sir Edward Muteesa II by institutionalizing the museum that will be useful in showcasing the life and accomplishments of the King not only as an alumnus of Makerere University but also as a leader.

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe while formally welcoming guests at the event said he was gratified to note that the idea of a museum had come to fruition. He said the idea of a museum was a result of the realization that if we did not keep our history, we could not build the future.

Nawangwe said that there was general knowledge that Africans were the first civilized people because of the pyramids. For us at Makerere University, this museum is extremely important, he said. ‘If there is any university in the world where a reigning king was a student, Makerere University is proud to have a reigning king as a student; he told the gathering while giving the background to the museum.”

The Vice-Chancellor said there were many reasons why the University honors Sir Edward Muteesa, citing the fact that he was the first President of Uganda and contributed a lot to this country as a freedom fighter.

“I’m very excited today that we are honoring him in this way because this museum will be here for eternity and generations of people of Uganda and the world will come here and experience part of the history of his life,” he opined.

While congratulating the committee that was instituted five years ago to initiate the process of establishing the museum, Prof. Nawangwe appreciated the efforts put into the project to a level of inauguration.

He called upon the public to contribute more items including pictures of the Kabaka before and during his time at Makerere to be included in the museum.

He expressed his appreciation to Her Royal Highness Nnalinya Agnes Nabaloga for accepting to come and officiate at the event and the Katikiro of Buganda for the contribution of Seventy Million Shillings towards the renovation of the structure.

The Katikiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga in his remarks at the occasion said the future is determined by the present, and the presentism is determined by the past.  “

When you talk about the history of Makerere University, you talk about Presidents, including Kabaka Muteesa, Julius Nyerere, Benjamin Mukapa, and Mwai Kibaki. That’s no mean achievement which only shows how Makerere has contributed beyond the borders of the country in training leaders”, he observed.

He said the museum also takes us back to the start of formal education, which is all part of the journey of Makerere University, and applauded Prof. Nawangwe and the team for the wisdom to preserve an iconic and historical place like the residence of Kabaka Muteesa II.

Mayiga further said that whereas Makerere is a place of learning, it enables people to be wise and preserve history which defines the present to have a future that the coming generations will be proud of.

He pledged that Buganda Kingdom will work with the University to ensure that this historic site is preserved and promoted so that the people understand our history better and define the future.

According to Assoc. Prof. Kizito Maria Kasule, a member of the committee, setting up the museum was a continuous process involving the collection of new objects concerning Sir Edward Muteesa, the Ssekabaka of Buganda, who was also the first President of Uganda and an Alumus of Makerere University.

He said Sir Edward Muteesa II museum houses some of the various photographic exhibits collected so far and appealed to people with valuable objects concerning Sir Edward Muteesa ll and Makerere University, to generously donate them.

Prof. KKasule said although traditionally the role of museums was largely to preserve the past heritages of communities where they were located, today the roles not only require preserving history by storing artifacts that have significant cultural, religious, scientific, and historical value, but also to provide an insight into the history of humankind.

He further explained the importance of museums as places necessary to educate current and future generations about the failures of their forefathers to help them avoid their mistakes. Museums, if they are to survive, must also contribute towards local, national, and economic empowerment of the communities where they are located, he observed and that Sir Edward Muteesa ll museum would contribute to the economic, social, and cultural empowerment of the people of Uganda as a center of academic research within Makerere University and beyond.

The institution of Muteesa II museum was started five years ago when Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe set up a committee comprised of Assoc. Prof. George Kyeyune as Chairperson, Assoc. Prof. Kizito Maria Kasule, Ms. Ritah Namisango, Dr. Ritah Edopu, Prof. Philip Kwesiga, and Mr. Ssagala to spearhead its establishment.

The inauguration event was also witnessed by several University and Buganda Kingdom officials that included Prince Wassaja, Owekitibwa Anthony Wamala, Minister in charge of Heritage, Owekitibwa Robert Serwanga, Minster for Youth, Sports and the Arts, Omukungu wa Kabaka, Dr. Collins Sentongo, Naava Maurisca, a granddaughter to Sir Edward Muteesa.

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