IN 1979, MANY BAYANKOLE/ BAKIGA DIED BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW KISWAHILI— AUTHOR MZEE LAWRENCE BARYARUHA
By Wilber Muhwezi Kasibante
As the ministry of education prepares to roll out Kiswahili as a compulsory subject from P1 to S. 4 beginning next year 2023, www.mknewslink.com managing editor interviewed Mzee Lawrence Baryaruha about the three Kiswahili books he has published.
WHO IS LAWRENCE BARYARUHA
He was born on 26th Sept.1947 at Katungu now Ishaka Division Bushenyi Ishaka municipality Western Uganda.
After completing O’level, he was admitted at a railway training school in Nairobi in 1968 where he completed his course in 1969.
He was posted to Mombasa at a railway station on probation from where he was transferred to Dare Salam and then Mbeya.
He completed his probation at Mbeya and became a confirmed staff of East African Railways.
HOW DID LOVE FOR KISWAHILI COME IN?
When he was in Tanzania at Dare Salam and Mbeya, he used to like sports and as they did sports, he kept learning from colleagues
When he was posted to Kampala to continue with his job of Uganda Railways, he had mastered Kiswahili and for one year, he would go to UBC the then only radio station in Uganda, be recorded and then teach Kiswahili.
He would go home and listen at the time of his program to criticize himself which helped him master Kiswahili the more.
In Obote II regime, he stopped working, came back home and decided to compile a book in Kiswahili.
He showed all he had written to the renowned singer and catholic icon Benedict Mubangizi (RIP) who greatly helped him to divide the content into three sets to have three books which he successfully published.
HOW DID KISWAHILI HELP MZEE BARYARUHA’S FAMILY TO SURVIVE 1979 TANZANIAN SOLDIERS
After ousting President Idd Amin Dada in 1979, most of soldiers from Tanzania remained in Uganda and when they would go to the villages to get food, locals would fail to understand them because of language barrier which forced them to shoot them.
However, when they approached Mzee Baryaruha’s area of Katunga, he interpreted for them which saved the whole area from the rough hands of Tanzanian soldiers and no one was killed in the area.
LOOKING FOR PUBLISHER
It became very hard to get someone to help him publish the three books; prof. Kabwegere took him to UNDP but he never succeeded.
Thanks to God, his daughter Juliet Baryaruha (Julie) got a job with Uganda Nile breweries and gave him 8 million shillings of that time and he published the three sets at once.
After the publication of the books he wanted to meet the president and he had made an appointment to meet him but leaders within greater Bushenyi sat on his appointment.
MZEE BARYARUHA AS SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER OF KISWAHILI
In 2003, Mzee Baryaruha was called by the head teacher and director of St. Mary’s voc. School Kyamuhanga Fr. Felix Tumuhaise to teach Kiswahili in O and A levels. By the time he left in 2009, the last student got credit four at O’level.
AS UGANDA ROLLS OUT KISWAHILI, HOW CAN IT BE MADE A SUCCESS
Adopting Tanzanian president Mwalimu Nyerere’s (RIP) approach of all the teachers learning in Kiswahili and teaching in Kiswahili.
Adult literacy programs in Tanzania were all conducted in Kiswahili
He hails prof. Emmanuel Mwesigwa Karoro and Mr. Kamuhanda for pioneering teaching of Kiswahili at National teachers college before spreading it to the country and entire continent.
Mzee Baryaruha can be contacted on his whatsapp on 0774021031 and 0701021031
www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website