Monday, May 4, 2020
My brother the genius ... fare thee well until we meet again
We first met with Paul in mid February of 1978 joining St. Stanislaus Mugwanya Preparatory School in Kabojja for Primary One. We started off with finding our survival skills having been thrust into a boarding school at a very tender age. Kyegombe as we all called him then, soon proved himself to be a class apart. He first broke away from the pack with his fine art skills, being the only one who could draw cars, people and other objects with a three dimensional appreciation unlike many of us that drew stick men.
It soon became obvious to all that Kyeggie as he was later known was indeed a genius. He took on the chaps in the higher classes in Debates, Mathematics Competitions, Art Contests and nearly always the results were obvious even before the first whistle.
At St. Savior Junior School Kyeggie emerged as a great footballer and soon earned himself a place in the Junior Team and his House Team. He was also the reference for all the pupils at the school as every Teacher cited him as the example of a smart hard working pupil. Defining genius, Paul was a permanent member of the Debates Clubs and all Interschool Academic Competitions. Academics and Sports aside, he would later become an Altar Boy to the surprise of many, having not been a Catholic and yet these were Schools run by the Brothers of Christian Instruction.
We became much closer with Kyeggie at Savio. Our parents became friends too. In fact his late Father loaned us one of his company cars when we did not have one. When I was Class Prefect in P6 and P7 Kyeggie was never one of those on my list of noisy chaps to hand in to the Teacher during study preps nor ever on the list of those who failed to get a pass mark in any of the exercises. If fact Kyeggie only got punished for academic reasons for either losing a mark compared to a previous performance or not having scored top marks. We envied him. Indeed one of his worst moments was failing to top the country at PLE in 1984.
At SMACK Kyeggie gave no further chance to his competitors and soon sealed his place as the constant at the top both locally and nationally throughout our secondary school life like many have described. He excelled at everything he set his mind to. Probably the only challenge he faced known to us was music.
We shared a study cubicle - Dyno in HSC together with John Lukwago, Edward Nelson Kamoga, Martin Luther Zziwa, Kenneth Kintu and Anthony Makumbi who was a year lower. Being around him just gave you the confidence because your back was covered and no number was impossible to solve. He demystified the science subject combination at A-Level when he scored quadruple A in PCM/Fine Art. I thank Kyeggie for having been my study mate and peer-mentor throughout school. We even developed similar handwritings not by chance but through daily practice of the calligraphic MacLean handwriting an effort led by Kyeggie. David Mabirizi, Samson Kironde, John Lukwago and Opul Dickson were among the others on the handwriting team. My being a successful Doctor today is thanks to his constant encouragement and example. He worked hard and I had no excuse but to exert myself. Although I was never at the front end of the class, the hard work finally paid off.
We shared life's lessons with Kyeggie and when he got a scholarship to the UK we mused that he was now going to bring back an English girl. This never happened and when he returned after a while in 2001 he found me just married. We embarked on a hunt for his partner only to be called to start his new job in the US. We kept in touch although not as often as we should have but we followed up on each other's achievements in life. I never got a chance for him to introduce to me to his son Solomon but I pray we get a chance to meet with Solomon one day. Just know we love you so much Solomon and that your Dad was a great man and a great example for all of us. The cancer rocked his ship. Being the fighter he was, he recovered and set sail again only to be surprised by another storm that claimed the ship!
Kyeggie, we shall miss you and you remain an inspiration to us. When He calls on you, there's no turning back. Till we meet again may the Lord receive you with divine mercy and grant you eternal rest in peace! Amen. Good bye, Kyeggie!
Dr. Patrick Kyamanywa
at May 04, 2020
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