Saturday, April 25, 2020

DREAM BIG..BIG DREAMS ~ Dr. Edward Nelson Kamoga and family

Dear Paul,
I was heart broken to hear that you had succumbed to your illness. It was such a gut-wrenching feeling. 4 years ago when you hosted me in your beautiful home…I did not know It would be the last time we see each other. It was a blast though that encounter. I will forever treasure it. We shared so many beautiful memories about our childhood. Goodness. Then, it was 38 years of knowing each other from Mugwanya Preparatory School Kabojja in 1978 through Savio Junior School and St.Mary’s College Kisubi in 1991.

We shared about school, football, politics and of course our kids. You took me around Atlanta like am told you did for many of your friends that visited the black Mecca. The most memorable activities we did together was you taking me to indulge in the most passionate thing we both loved, football. You reminded me of how I let you shine on the field with those through passes…with your usual complements…”Man, musajja gwe wali Socrates” What a memory…We both shared our dreams about seeing your sons being giants at the game we love…Ezo sente siimbi …That’s not bad money (That footballers make), you said. But anyway, we agreed that it’s just but a dream. Even then, you still said we can help our kids dream big. 
Before we parted, you gifted me your “Yes Can” art Obama memoir. I requested you to sign it on behalf of my kids. I was not surprised by the words you left for them. ”DREAM BIG..BIG DREAMS MAKE BIG REALITIES”. When I returned, I shared the book with my kids and they were so touched and amazed by the beautiful art …but also that uncle Paul, the guy I called my genius brother from another mother advised that they should not stop dreaming. 
We had planned to do some things together, but unfortunately this has not come to pass. Yes, those dreams my brother. I hope I will continue navigate this life and attempt to accomplish as much as I can …then I will tell you all about it…when I see you again…my brother, my friend…my genius.  
Atlanta Skyline by Paul Kyegombe

Dr. Edward Nelson Kamoga and family (Rita, Mercy and Nathan) 
Pretoria, South Africa

Hold onto the memories. ~ The Semakula's

Your caricatures were great. You added colour to the world through your beautiful art. We shall forever hold dear the autographed book Yes we Can Paintings and speeches (2009) that you gave to Robert. You touched many of us through the soccer games. Summer 2016 will be a memory to treasure for the girls. Rest well Solomon's dad. Dear Solomon take comfort in the Lord for He alone can ease the pain. Hold onto the memories.

Atlanta Skyline by Paul Kyegombe

Ssemakula: Virginia, Robert, Ssinzi,Mpeera and Kangi.
Kampala Uganda

Rest in Peace Uncle Paul ~ The Nsubuga Family

Uncle Paul was a man of pure courage and strength. For the years that we knew him, he was our “coach” for not only soccer but in our personal lives as well. It was hard to see him ever slowing down for any task for not just himself but also for others. If it is one thing that I wish I could have done was to be there for him as he was for me. 

I am indeed thankful that I knew him for the person he was. In fact, probably the best things I have seen from him was his artistic mindset and abilities. Anyone who is reading this, please take the chance to see his art work, you will be amazed. God really crafted uncle Paul so well that his artwork clearly shows how far God can put his power through us. On that note, Uncle is living in the best situation for any of us walking on this Earth. He is looking at us right now, I am sure that he wants us to be encouraged and to keep going on every day. If it is one thing that is evident, it is that in this current dynamic of the world, we are to serve and to always continue to serve. We should serve like how Uncle Paul did for this community. To not only emulate him but honor his legacy.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28)
    For his family, I send my deepest condolences. I know this is a very difficult and unimaginably hard time. God has interesting path on how He does his works. Uncle Paul is with all of the Saints and most importantly, he is in great hands 

A special message for Solomon: I have faith that you will carry the work ethic that represents your amazing father. I also trust that you will bring a similar impact to what he has done for us in many ways. Lastly, I know for a fact you will continue to keep his passion for the love of soccer. For every Goal scored, it will be a great one.  
St. Louis Skyline by Paul Kyegombe

-Themba and on behalf of the Nsubuga family
Atlanta, GA USA

Gone too soon but still leaving his impact! ~ Lillian Kiwanuka

I met Paul about 10 years ago when I commissioned some work I needed for a project.  Since then I have been an avid admirer of his works and determination.  We are placed on this earth to find Gods purpose for us and to share our gifts.  Not everyone is blessed to do that. Paul has done that. We thank God for his life and his legacy. And pray for his son that he will always know he was loved and has a legacy to follow !

Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze,...........He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.
Ex 35:30-33,35

Rest In Peace Paul🙏🏽
Barack and Michelle Obama by Paul Kyegombe
Lillian Kiwanuka
Kampala, Uganda

Rest in peace my dear friend ~ Kabali Kamya

So much to say and not enough time or space! My rewind stops back at when you were backing your car up the Kirunda’s driveway to load up the many presents given to you and your son’s mother at her baby shower when she was very pregnant with your baby boy Solomon.

Yes my dear friend, this is the day I met you! Lydia, Kiddu and I had just moved here from San Francisco and you were one of our first welcoming friends.  You and I got very close right After you founded the Atlanta cranes organization.Your love and welcoming for everyone never ceased to amaze me! Not only did  you love your friends but you made it a point know about, and bond with our kids. You were always interested and asked questions about how my son was doing at school and on swim team.I was so touched last year when you insisted on accompanying us to UGA to take our Kid to college for the first time, when you were very ill!! 

Every Christmas holiday when the wife traveled to Uganda, you would call me every other day to make sure Kiddu and I were okay. Thank you for your love. I really miss you my friend.I miss sharing juicing recipes with you, I will miss those alternate names you have called over the years..., Mukulu Kabs,Mystique,Guru, and lately, Patron.

It is so heart breaking that we can only say goodbye to you via  TV screen, closure is going to be hard, but that is the way God planned it.  Rest in peace my dear friend, my Coach , my little brother,Love you man!... your pal always, 

Kabali Kamya ( PK crane).
Atlanta, GA USA

Fare thee well Kyeggie, Paulo, Plougher ~ Vincent Makmot

It feels surreal writing about our dear Brother, Class Mate and Friend Paul Kyegombe whom we called Kyeggie, Paulo, Plougher, etc esp as we are yet to recover from the news of his passing that struck us on the night of Tuesday 14th April 2020 and caused great sorrow to us, many of whom had first met Paulo soon after we joined St Mary's College Kisubi [SMACK] as young Teenagers in Senior One on Monday 18th February 1985. We thank God for the opportunity to have experienced our formative years with him.

Looking back to the time we first met in early 1985, it was immediately clear why Paulo had come out as the 2nd best Pupil in the Primary Leaving Examinations of 1984 as he went on to dominate us in Academics. One of the things that struck me the most was how hard he worked to excel in Academics esp from Day 1 of the School Term as many of us often tended to "chillax" and then waited to study very hard from "first principles" very close to the end of Term by studying late into the night or even the whole night [what we called transnights] or waking up very early in the morning usually between 3am and 4am to study [what we called "banging early birds" following on from the old English Proverb of "the early bird catches the worm"] yet Paulo as well as others such as Dr Samson Kironde a.k.a. Sox, Dr Dickson Opul a.k.a. Opeluxy, Frederick Kasadha a.k.a. "Fred the Mathematical Fly", etc who were like him i.e. having studied from Day 1 of the School Term would be chilling at that time simply revising from their carefully written summary notes - what we called "data" from studying throughout the Term incl already solved questions [what we called "cut numbers"] from the ends of the Topics in the Text Books such as the famous Physics Textbook by Abbott or the Pure Maths Textbook by Backhouse! It's something that I am trying instil in both our Children and the Children of Family & Friends I interact with [much to the Children's chagrin I dare say] but hopefully the habits will be formed and stick well into their Adulthood.

The other thing that struck me was Kyeggie's great humility despite his being very gifted - he almost always went the extra mile to encourage us his Class Mates to seek to be the best that we could be by reminding us that we were indeed very capable and hence need not be despondent when we had suffered setbacks esp in our Academics but rise up instead and work even harder to excel, and was thus very receptive when approached by other Students to explain things that they hadn't understood in Class. He also went ahead to occasionally correct some Teachers when they may have "mis-explained" some topics - not all Teachers took it well and he was once chased out of a Maths Class ... luckily, the Teacher later realized that Paulo was right. 

Whereas a lot has been said about Paulo's academic excellence, what is not said as much is how he still found time to be a very active Sportsman plus a Cartoonist given how hard he actually worked to excel in Academics! We shared the same Class Stream from S2 to S6 where his more mischievious side came to light as he used his passion and skill in Fine Art to draw what are akin to today's "Editorial Cartoons" in the Newspapers, to capture the topical issues of the day for young Students in School - such as who did what faux pas on the Sports Field; which School House had lost or won a Tournament; how different Students fared at the "Socials", Seminars, Trips, etc; who had had a run in with the Teachers or School Administration; etc but then took the "precaution" to name the Cartoons as "Not Him"even if it was clear to all and sundry who was being caricatured! Most times the "victims" used to laugh it off and his Cartoons [as well as those of our other Class Mates Noah Edwin Mwesigwa a.k.a. Sodium and Alfred Julius Agaba a.k.a. Alfredo] came to be something we would look out for. 

The measure of the man indeed who abided by the SMACK's Motto "Duc in Altum"meaning "Launch into the Deep"! He always sought to excel in whatever endeavour he embarked on while keeping a healthy balance between academics and non academics as well as keeping in touch, and this is something we can honour him by via emulating him.

We, and others who have been around Paulo over the years, have truly stood on the shoulders of a giant and we will do our best to be good Uncles, Guardians, Mentors, etc to his dear Son Solomon. 

Fare thee well, Paulo! May your soul rest in eternal peace!

Chicago by Paul Kyegombe

Vincent Makmot.
Abuja, Nigeria.

Thank you Coach K ~ The Kavuma's

Coach K made those T-Shirts for our family. We will for ever remember him. May his soul rest in peace.

The Kavuma Family
Atlanta, GA USA

Rest In Peace Coach K ~ Sanyu, Gwen, and Martin Kigudde

We first met Paul about 16 years ago when he had just moved to Atlanta. We quickly bonded over the similar fields of practice our professions shared.  Over the years the friendship blossomed into almost a brotherhood.  Paul was one of the first people at the hospital when Sanyu was born.  He was there for many of Sanyu’s major milestones like Birthdays and graduations.  He had a special way with kids.  Always pouring his energy into children, that was the foundation for the Atlanta Cranes.  His home at “Najjanankumbi” Smyrna always felt so welcoming.  When he learned something, he was eager to shared with anyone who would listen.  He knew everything about everything - he really did.  And good luck winning an argument or changing his mind.  “Mpuliriza” was his favorite opening.

As outgoing as he was though, he faced his final health challenges privately, but with a positive attitude and a bright smile.  Looking back, it is fitting that one of his favorite sayings was “Health is wealth”.

We will always treasure the special times he spent with us.

Rest in peace “Coach K.”

Sanyu, Gwen, and Martin Kigudde
Atlanta, GA USA

Friday, April 24, 2020

We will miss yo so much, Mr. Paul Kyegombe A.k.a Coach K. ~ Damali Lwanga

Paul has been a person who welcomed everybody; he made people feel good at all times, he would not give up on his people,  and he always had time for everyone.

I wasn't a regular attendant at the soccer field,  but every time I went there, he would weicome me and say "Damalie webale kugya. You should come more often, but it's good you have come." 

We will miss him greatly.  May God shine his light upon him. May his soul rest in peace. 
May God comfort him family.

Damali Lwanga
Atlanta GA, USA

An Amazing Friend and Coach ~ Edith and Stanley Kyeyune

Coach Paul was incredibly altruistic, generous and insightful.  He saw tremendous potential in each one of us and persuaded even compelled us to do better. He made us all believe that “Yes We Can”. He was congenial, easy to talk to and made everyone feel like a long lost relative.
Coach Paul surprised Edith and me when he appointed us patrons of Atlanta Cranes, the esteemed Uganda Soccer club in our Atlanta community. We did not know what our roles would be but that was a minor detail as far as he was concerned. We later realized that he had figured out a way to include us in this wonderful group although we could not play.  This is who Paul was, he was a visionary who did not want anybody to be left out. Whenever we went to the games, we felt like were integral part of the team.  And though we did not play, we participated in other activities, such as warmups, walks and typical “Ugandan” conversations with other people who were not playing.
I, Stanley, enjoyed thought-provoking conversations encompassing global matters with Coach Paul whenever we met.  
I, Edith, as a fellow runner was inspired to improve my running by the encouragement and practical guidance from Coach Paul.
 We will miss you Coach Paul.  May your soul rest in eternal peace.

Edith and Stanley Kyeyune
Atlanta, GA USA

Unforgettable Gentleman ~ Lydia Kamya.

What can I say when everyone ‘s heart is so broken to pieces. Paul, you touched so many lives from all walks of life. I never imagined that the Atlanta community could endure so much pain, your indescribable death has left us speechless with a lot of unanswered questions. So much has been said and all of it is true to the core. How can a person possess all the beautiful qualities ranging from looks, intellect, ambition, huge heart , I can go on and on and yet stay humble like you were?? 

 You inspired us all in one way or another to be our very best especially our children. You and I had so many conversations over the years but will never forget some in particular : you believed that my son (Kiddu) is the smartest young man destined for great accomplishments and you wanted your baby boy Solomon to get some education pointers from him, coming from an intellectual like you was and is indeed an honor.  You always mentioned what college you would like your son to attend and I questioned you about it. You went on elaborating that Solomon has already visited the college so he can get a head start. That was pretty interesting considering he wasn’t even in Middle School. You always made everyone feel so special, I will miss your infectious smile, your ability to listen and encourage others despite what you were faced with. It must have been so difficult during your final days, knowing you will never see your son again but deep down you knew that Solomon has a wonderful family and a whole community that will always have his back. You will always be with us through Solomon. I hope that you knew how we all treasured you, loved you and respected you!! Rest In Peace Coach -our friend. 

Lydia Kamya
Atlanta, Georgia.

In Loving Memory of Paul Kyegombe aka Coach K ~ Tamale Family


We are still at a loss of words over losing you. The pain when we heard the news was so gut wrenching but we continue to seek the Lord's strength as we we come to terms to it. You fought a good fight and we admire your tenacity as you battled this illness. You never gave up at any one time. That's just who you were. 

We've been friends of Paul since we  met in 2003 and over the years our families grew closer as our sons Zach and Solo grew inseparable. You have been an authentic, loving, caring and constant friend and we greatly enjoyed your friendship. You have been there for us through some of the most pivotal moments as a family. Both the good (our wedding, birth and upbringing of the kids) and the bad (family loss and illness). You loved the children in the community and they loved you back. You always pushed them to excel and not to settle for any less. I'm sure this a lesson they will carry into adulthood.

Your optimism and positive outlook on life will always stay with us with you lamenting 'It is well'- 'Kiri bulungi' 'Ndi bulungi' or 'Ojakubba bulungi'. 

One of the fondest memories our family will cherish is your Friday evening visits with Solomon. You always came bearing gifts like a bottle of wine or dinner for the families to share. We always stayed up late debating on some of your favorite topics in politics like #45 DT and whatever he had been up to that week. And of course your favorite Icon #44 Barack Obama.

There is so much we could talk about when it came to you and we will continue to treasure those memories. You are a part of us and we will miss you. We thank you for loving us especially our children Zach and Zara. They will miss their Uncle Paul so much. As God Mother and Uncle, we promise to continue to look out and be there for Solo and family. 

Rest easy our beloved friend.

Tamale Family (Tamale, Birungi, Zach & Zara)
Atlanta, GA USA

Character ~ Steven Magero

The true mark of a man is character.
Kyegombe was very content in his abilities and a very kind person.
His open heart and down to earth nature was a sight to behold. A true gentleman, that Almighty God has decided to recall.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.

San Fransisco Skyline by Paul Kyegombe

Steven Magero
Lourdel House
Kampala, Uganda

The legend of high school folklore ~ Milly Kayongo

Paul Kyegombe - he was the legend of high school folklore. 
You heard about him before you met him. Growing up in Gayaza where the traditional alliances were with the well-known Budonians, by the late eighties – we had heard of them. Those brilliant SMACK boys that would be our rivals for the USCE championships.
We had our stars and they had their stars. Paul was one of theirs. His unique talents and academic prowess were well known and admired. He excelled almost at everything- Math, the Arts, Sciences.     And so, it was that at the A level’s he won that ultimate prize. AAAA! As we started the adventures of young adult life and college, our paths diverged. I went onto Medicine- where I would meet several of his contemporaries- while he pursued Architecture.
It was later in Atlanta that we would meet again. Like many in the Ugandan diaspora in search of the American dream, Atlanta - the Black Mecca- seemed a natural draw. Before long- I learned that the famed Paul Kyegombe had moved to Atlanta. I was excited to see him- with nostalgic memories from high school - I wondered what exploits he was up to now.
And indeed, he was doing great things, working with an Architectural firm in Midtown. We met for lunch at one of the Peachtree’s and I was eager to introduce him to my friends. To the tightly knit group of Ugandans we had formed at that time. I knew the girls would like him- a brilliant young bachelor and an architect. And they did! 
The connections were boundless. We made potluck dinners in stuffy apartments and exchanged stories of growing up in Uganda. Life was good. And before long, Paul found his girl- a beautiful nurse with whom they would have a fine boy Solomon.  As the community grew, and families moved into the largesse of the Atlanta suburbs, Paul was at the center of it.  With his can-do spirit- nothing could stand in his way. An active community member, he created the now famed Atlanta Cranes, designing the graphics for team jerseys at a printer in his office. Soccer on weekends became a staple of the Ugandan community. The glorious days of Atlanta seemed unending. 
Those too were the years of the Obama Presidency. Paul loved the Obama’s! They are the most featured of all his portraiture artwork- including the now famous Coffee Table book. It must have been his own indefatigable sprit that drew him to the Obama’s. President’s Obama’s “Yes, We Can”could well have been the mantra of Paul’s life. Unrelenting, determined. He pursued goals and accomplished them.
Even in the fight against this illness- those qualities that made him so special- were evident. I returned to Atlanta in May 2019, after friends told me about the surgery. It had been hard, but he was soldiering on.
We met at the Virginia -Highlands Art Festival. A beautiful spring day for the outdoors.  Paul had a booth, with his artwork -portraits and skylines on display. And so, we talked Art, America, Uganda and Politics- all the wonderful things that he loved to have spirited debates about. A lot had changed- the disease had taken its toll- but he was positive as always. He would beat this.
I wanted to buy a momento of his artwork. Instead he donated me a piece; of that famous Atlanta Skyline- one of those MidTown high-rises where he started his career. It was the last time we would enjoy together.
I will miss you my friend. I will miss your brilliance. Your relentless and dogged spirit in all of life- whether in health or in sickness. Farewell my friend. You were like those shooting stars- that shine so brightly and then are gone too quickly. Heaven for sure has you in its arms.

Milly Kayongo
Washington DC, USA

WHY? ~ Bonny Galabuzi

That is what we ask
The truth is ,
we may never be able 
to know for sure why
But we do know
that there is no single
"Should have done" 
"Could have done"
"Or did or didn't do"
That would have changed that why.
All that could have been done was done. 

So Coach K or PK as Martin would call you

I  am learning how to live
In a new way 
Since you have been gone 
I am learning how to live
With the things left unsaid
knowing I  got to say them
With every tear that I shed

I am learning how to live
By embracing the pain
Knowing that you live
Through the memories  that

I am learning how to live
Knowing I will never see your face again nor hear your distinctive voice
And I have peace knowing 
You are in a better place.

For I hated seeing you wither away. It pained me though I did not tell you.

I am learning how to live
Knowing you are in Gods care. It gives me strength to move on and makes the pain much easier to bear.

Au revoir mon ami
Goodbye my friend
Weraba munange

Omuyovu muzukulu wa Mukalo.

Obama by Paul Kyegombe

Bonny Galabuzi
Atlanta, GA USA

Coach P ~ Robert Ssemakula

I experienced Kyegombe both as a student in St Mary's College Kisubi back in the 1990s. And then briefly when I visited family in Atlanta as an adult a few years ago ...where he coached me and others at Sunday soccer. 

Indeed as many have stated, he led from the front (Coach P, was the first to arrive at the Atlanta Cranes training ground. He led the warm ups , the main training and the warm down.)... All the while cracking wise jokes on everyone and encouraging all. He made things look simple. 

It's also stated that he was generous. After the training session, he gathered everyone around his portable camping chair and unveiled boxes of fried chicken. All adults and kids feasted. 

We were just there fwaaa with one of the world's best architects. 

Then he entered his simple car and drove to his mansion. For which, the perfectionist he was, he took a year off work to personally supervise. 

He was such a perfectionist that not many people would live with him for extended periods I gather. So i learnt he lived mostly alone. 

He designed things. He painted on canvas. He wrote a artsy coffee table book on the Obama's and hillarious Tshirts. 

And thats how he lived his life. On his terms. From dominating exams and debates (at a party in Atlanta, he weaved from politics to soccer and everything in between, using hillarious analogies that left anyone debating against him both bemused and a little, well, dominated). 

He set his own ways to the end. A self contained mind. I learn he never even shared his illness and cancer issues with people. He contained that to the end. Like he mounted his own paintings on his self designed house, his will dominated even after life. He asked to be cremated and not to bother people with a funeral. 

I feel he gave more to the world than he took. Like this world class memory of him we are all struggling with. 

RIP Coach P. 

Bob Marley by Paul Kyegombe

Robert Ssemakula,
Kampala, Uganda

Thursday, April 23, 2020

My tribute to Late Coach PK ~ George Odongo

I remember in late 2016 when I had newly arrived in Atlanta, a close friend gave me directions to ATL soccer venue. I drove to Alpharetta on one cold Winter Saturday afternoon, and Coach PK was the first person I met and we exchanged pleasantries. He later introduced me to the rest of the team members present that day. He welcomed me with a warm heart like he knew me before. From that day I felt at home in ATL Cranes community upo now. I knew him as a very warm, welcoming and focused person. His achievements at SMACK speak to that. 

We will miss the commitment and ingenuity of Coach PK! 
May His Soul RIP.

George Odongo
Atlanta, GA.

A Fine Friend ~ Gaius and Rosebud Buziba

Our life paths met with Paul’s 17 years ago when he visited us  – from that chance encounter Paul, you remained that friend who always reached out at pivotal points in our life such as when we were building our family residence in Alpharetta, GA. 

 You were one of our first guests in our newly built home lending your fine architectural expertise with  snippets of great ideas and applause. 

 You loved progress, were forward thinking, good willing, and meant well…the feeling was mutual!! When you designed and built your own home our family’s invitation like that to the soccer games was always open ended.  

Thank you for wanting to draw a painting of our home – in hour hearts and minds – the thought was the deed! 

You were undoubtedly one of the finest minds that walked through our doors and the Buziba family joins everyone in mourning your very early demise.  

Rosa Parks by Paul Kyegombe

Gaius and Rosebud Buziba
Atlanta GA, USA

We will miss you Paul ~ Herbert and Nora Mukasa

We cannot truly find the right words to describe the emotions, sadness or feelings that have gone through our minds since the day we learnt of your illness and eventual passing.
Paul, God sent you to this earth for a higher purpose. The talents, the intelligence, drive and genuine care for the human race. You used these gifts to make the world better for those lucky enough to have crossed paths with you and beyond.  I myself, my wife Nora and our children Alan, Bridget and Nathan feel blessed to have gotten to know you at such a personal level. The words of wisdom that you dispensed to my children will forever continue to fuel their lives and are forever appreciated.
Starting the Atlanta Cranes soccer program will forever be your legacy. Your foresight in doing this for the Atlanta community with all the benefits that have come with it are a testimony to your talents. Your competitiveness brought out the best of those you met, be it a debate, tennis, soccer and I will forever treasure that 100m dash challenge that turned out to be a high of one the soccer picnics that you started. You sought the best out of everyone. You have been a pillar in our community; the shoes you leave are too big to fill. You accomplished, in your short life, things that many who may live longer never will come close.
To your beloved son Solomon, we pledge to be a part of the village in his life.
 God has called you back he felt he did need you back.  You fought the good fight, you finished the race and kept the faith. Godspeed my friend, our friend, we miss you, will miss, until we meet again.
May your soul forever rest in peace.
Nelson Mandela by Paul Kyegombe

Herbert and Nora Mukasa
Atlanta, GA USA

My Dearest Friend ~ Stephen Segwanyi

Paul my dear friend ❣️

What a tragedy that you are gone from our sight for ever. You touched me, my wife and thousands more in ways you'll never know.  You are greatly missed and will be forever. The gap you've left can never be filled. 

Thank you for welcoming me to Atlanta with open arms. From day one, you made it look like we'd known each other for the entirety of our lifetimes. That smile, will be missed. 

You were a philosophical kind of guy with whom I enjoyed to discuss all kinds of topics ranging from health, sports, Uganda, friendships, God and most of all politics. You always had the last word and that was ok by me. 

When we last visited Atlanta, you made it a point to host Juliet and I for dinner. That's the kind of friend you were.
The last time I saw you was in DC at the Buganda convention and never imagined it would be the last. 

Rest in peace my brother and friend Paul. 
Till we meet.  

Stephen Segwanyi
Kampala, Uganda

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A Letter to My And Yours, Paulo ~ Bishop Kagale


What now looks like my final goodbye to you was around a year ago while you were in the hospital. I remember the first time I came to your room right after you had been transferred from the ICU. You were sitting in the chair by your bed, looking pensively outside the window. When you saw me, your face beamed with your brilliant smile, and you said, “ha Bishop nawe oze?” I replied, of course, you are my VIP today. Then for some reason, it dawned on you that I worked at the hospital, and you said wow you work here? “Man, this hospital is fantastic. They have given me a new lease on life”. 

You showed me your scar, and I remember tearing up because it dawned on me that you had been in the fight of your life, and as typical Paul, you had come out swinging! 
You told me the story of how the doctors had given you hope, and to me, you looked like a million bucks because I knew you had fought and won. So from that day on while you were in the hospital, I would come, pick you up from your room and walk you down those hallways. Do you remember that?  Our conversations would go something like this, "Bishop kino ekintu kibadde nkitwala naye I am thankful because I have a new lease on life". 

I remember in one conversation I complained that I liked the hospital, but the traffic was a killer to which you admonished me saying "traffic kye ki? Just get your music to listen while driving and know that traffic is a part of life".

I have been reflecting on all of that am thinking you told me you had beaten this thing…..I am still speechless, but I have learned a lesson not to get too busy with life and to always check on the people I care about more often.  I am heartbroken because I think I could have done this differently….I am a Hospice Nurse I could have sat with you.  I am a nurse. That’s my superpower I did not get to use it with you.

Rest in Peace, My Friend…You will be missed

Your Friend, 
Atlanta GA, USA

Love you Uncle Paul! ~ Golden Kanyike

Uncle Paul gave me this Halloween costume in 2019.

I love you Uncle Paul!

Golden Kanyike
Boston MA

Will miss you Uncle Paul ~ William Kanyike

Uncle Paul was a great man. He was my Godfather and I have known him for as long as I can remember.

We've had so many great memories over the years. A couple of times he came over to my house to visit. This is how we developed a very close bond.  We shared a lot of laughs and he taught me many valuable lessons that I will never forget.

Uncle Paul we miss you and love you.
Rest easy!

William Kanyike
Boston MA USA

God Bless you Uncle Paul ~ Roy Kanyike

Its sad to hear Uncle Paul has passed away.  The last memory I had with him was at summer splash in Waltham, MA in 2018.

Uncle Paul was my Dads best friend. I got to see the amazing artwork he produced.

To Solomon my brother, I am so sorry about your loss. I hope to get a chance to meet you soon. Your Dad told me we are about the same age and that you were going to spend  the summer with us in Burlington.

God Bless you Uncle Paul.

Roy Kanyike
Boston MA, USA

My recollections of Kyeggie ~ Agaba Julius Alfred

When we arrived at St Mary’s College Kisubi in February of 1985 I was part of a batch of small boys from Buganda Road Primary School which was considered one of the best primary schools at the time never mind that for us we knew it to be actually the best. We were a small batch of people like Samson Kironde, Vincent Makmot, David Kayondo, Yusuf Kirabira, Patrick Sserwadda, Mawejje and a few others I forget.

We genuinely believed we were on another wavelength. After passing Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) with distinctions, kids normally feel they are on cloud nine. The St. Savio Junior School boys also felt the same ,more so because St .Savio Junior School is just further down the hill at Kisubi and is also run by the Brothers of Christian Instruction.

Paul Kyegombe (Kyeggie) was one of the St. Savio boys alongside people like Joseph Semakula, Nelson Kamoga, Patrick Kyamanywa, Richard Bugembe, John Lukwago, Godfrey Semugabi, Kevin Mugisha and some other great guys who have come to be my friends for over three decades now. St. Savio boys feel a sense of entitlement when they come up the hill to St. Mary's . My brother Dr. Peter Kyomuhendo was a St. Savio alumni and he exhibited that air a lot at home. He had come up that same hill two years earlier in 1983.

Paul Kyegombe had been the second best student in the whole country in the PLE exams of 1984 we later learned. He was regarded as extremely brilliant , something we quickly acknowledeged in our first year at Kisubi.

So in our first year in Kisubi there was that rivalry that soon faded when we settled in and we all became students at Kisubi and our primary school mentalities faded. I have always referred to St. Mary’s College Kisubi simply as Kisubi.  I, and I believe many of my contemporaries would agree, that when one went to Kisubi there was only one destination - St Mary’s College Kisubi. The Junior school down the hill was simply called Savio. I have never shaken off that mind set. My apologies.

One thing I admired about Paul Kyegombe was his level of organisation. That fella was organised. Right from how he arranged his books in his desk, his handwriting, cleanliness and attention to detail. He was a meticulous fellow, something that was in full display in his class work, paintings and drawings. We used to call revision work ‘cutting numbers’ especially in maths or physics and he was our consultant. Even his rough workings were neat! I believe to date that the level of organisation a kid displays in their work directly affects their performance. I have told my children about the remarkable Kyeggie.

No wonder when we did our O Level exams in 1988 he set another record at Kisubi with six aggregates in six subjects. He went on to set yet another academic record in the A Levels of 1991 when he scored quadruple A's. In Physics Chemistry Maths and Fine Art. Just awesome!.

He was a jovial guy and loved sports. Perhaps one thing that he contributed most to the sports season at Kisubi were his rib cracking cartoons every after a match which he would paste on the window along Kiwanuka House. Woe unto you if your house was on the losing end of a match. Some humourless guys threatened violence but that was all.

He later expanded his humour to social gatherings we would have with girls from Nga (Mt. St Mary's Namagunga) or Bingule (Trinity College Nabbingo) or Sunsas (Nabisunsa Girls). He carried on this art
through higher school where such cartoons would be pasted on the doors of Cube D (dyno). I was once on the receiving end of such a cartoon when Kagaba Muhumuza Nkurukenda tricked me into handing him the girl (chick, was the word) I was dancing with by announcing at the DJ’s desk( not box) that my parents had come to visit me. I remember the DJ was Charles Lubega of Guvnor, an old boy of Kisubi.

He helped me popularize the chess tournament when I was Chess Captain in 1989. He developed an eye catching logo that helped attract juniors and seniors to the tournament. He never really got round to playing chess but I tried to convince him to play. I think he was more interested in the physical games.
Those days people who played various sports for fun or to just break a sweat with out getting into theschool team were called ‘survivors’. I don’t know why that was so. So Kyeggie was also a fellow‘survivor' in table tennis and lawn tennis. Another memory I have of Kyeggie was when ,while ‘surviving’at table tennis outside the main hall under a big jambula tree, he nicknamed me kaps’. A shortening of anot very flattering word. So whenever we would meet in class or the higher school block and even afterthe Kisubi years we called each other ‘kaps’. But it stuck with me.

I never saw him disappointed many times. One time I saw him disappointed stands out like a sore thumb. In form 5, he was set to become the Head Prefect and the Brother Head Master F.X Tinkasiimire blocked his path arguing that he was not Catholic and Kisubi being a Catholic founded school had to have a Catholic Head Prefect. I have never forgotten how that draconian rule was applied.

Later, when we reached form six, being the humorous guy he was, he declared operation brainstorm to pass the 1991 UACE exams. This was a reflection of the Operation Desert storm that the US was conducting against Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Kuwait at the time. I remember we called him Gen. Kyeggie Schwarzkopf after the American Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf who was commander of the Operation Desert Storm.

After acing the UACE exams of 1991 he soon left for the UK and I lost contact with my friend for some years. He later returned briefly and worked with Sentoogo and Partners but then he took off again, this time to the US. I never saw him in the flesh again. I later heard he was an Architect based in Atlanta Georgia. He had also become an accomplished artist which I believe was a profession closer to his heart more than anything. Apparently he was recognised by President Obama. 

He had also started a footballteam of ‘survivors’ in Atlanta called the Atlanta Cranes. Recently he was a member of our OBs WhatsApp group but was rarely active. I also found out he had a son Solomon, a spitting image of the guy. I have seen a picture of him with some old boys in the US and learned with distress that he was in a fight with the horrible cancer.
Then yesterday 14th April 2020, the worst news broke that he had lost the fight. 

Fare thee well my friend Kyeggie. I know you are in a better place.

Lady Liberty by Paul Kyegombe

Agaba Julius Alfred 
Kampala, Uganda

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Classy and generous Friend!! ~ Bajje Serugunda

I met Paul when we were approximately 14-15 years old in Old Kampala at a mutual friends home. He always had a good sense of humor and did love himself some soccer. I was at Kings college Budo and Paul was at St Mary’s Kisubi. We kind of used to always run into each other during the school holidays and seminars. And by the way even back then, Paul had that big smile and was always a very welcoming fellow.

After high school, Paul left for the UK to study Architecture and I went on to Makerere University. Fast forward and we met again in Boston MA in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s. Paul then relocated to Atlanta GA in 2003 where we met once again when I also relocated in 2004.

He welcomed us to Atlanta as if he had been here for 20 plus years, he loved Atlanta so much as a city. The first  thing he did was convince me to play golf. We played golf every Friday afternoon and in the beginning I really didn’t want to. He was very good at convincing and teaching me the sport. Shortly after that he started gathering his friends to start a soccer club. Most of us had kids under 3 years old. He encouraged us to bring our kids including his own (Solomon) to push balls back and forth. 
Although I grew up watching soccer,  I never really actively played the game. Paul got a bunch of us with our toddlers in toe and pushed us into seriously playing soccer. We always tried to tell him "Boss, this is just a work out"  but Paul would push and push!. At some point our wives joined the team. Soccer in the Atlanta community became an addiction because of his vision. All the the kids, mums and the dads looked  forward to this “addiction”  every Saturday afternoon.  Even when we had guests from Uganda, they would have to come to the soccer field for a doze. 

I just don’t know how we are going to manage without Paul??  Soccer has become a way of life for us because of him and we have to keep the flame alive.  Paul was very meticulous and methodical at what he did in life. Simple things such as showing up for a function on time (something some of us would fail trying). This leads me to the work I did with him in running the affairs of the team or club.

I have been the treasurer of the team since we started. The team is made up of 6 guys that organize our annual functions (Picnics and Gala’s). Paul in his humble way, would drive us all crazy.  He would show up to meetings with the final product already done in his mind and you just had to catch up. He always presented his ideas in such an organized fashion you just couldn't stop the train. At the end of the day we all caved in,  including the entire team!

He was very generous with his time and personal resources. Paul was always showing up with new Ugandans in the community. I don’t know who is going to bring us new friends now?? Just ready to help any one that listened. Paul would pick up a conversation with any one from any walk of life. A classy gentleman with a warm heart. An exceptional father. I always used to tease him that he should have been a Budonian to which he would reply, "Bernanke (my nickname), ekyo tekisoboka!!"

I could go on and on about my dear friend and brother. Paul, thank you for what you were to us and to me personally. We shall all be there for Solomon and he will be OK. I miss you man and miss that bright smile. I am sorry for showing up late to the games! 

Sleep well Paul!!

Bajje Serugunda
Atlanta, GA USA

Monday, April 20, 2020

Shared memories of Paul ~ The Nyakairu family

While losing Paul is devastating, our family cherishes the good times and memories we shared together to help navigate the grief. 

Although George knew him longer, the boys and I grew to know and adore him in the last ten years. 

In some winter months, he would drop off Solomon before the Atlanta Cranes soccer games and pick him up later. Solomon’s visits were a source of melody for his cousins Adrian and Aiden. It was those times that we bonded over dinners filled with laughter, chats and friendly debates over politics, health and whatever current affairs were happening around the Globe. He was a breath of fresh air and we always looked forward to the visits. 

His memory will live on with us, Solomon and his family. 

Rest well Paul. 

The Nyakairus (George, Rebecca, Adrian, and Aiden)
Atlanta, GA USA

My brother the genius ~ Dr. Patrick Kyamanywa

My brother the genius ... fare thee well until we meet again We first met with Paul in mid February of 1978 joining St. Stanislaus Mug...