Tripping down memory lane II: Old school pillars

Change is a factor of life. True but when such change is negative (depending on which side of the change you are standing on) it should either be acclaimed or condemned.

Change is a factor of life. True but when such change is negative (depending on which side of the change you are standing on) it should either be acclaimed or condemned.

St. Leo’s College Kyegobe used to be synonymously known as simply College or SLECK.  By the way, the pioneers in education were very clever, they instituted only two colleges, i.e. St. Leo’s College - Kyegobe and St. Mary’s College – Kisubi.

Whereas the former was called SLECK, the latter was called SMACK and only these two were the real thing, I mean, worth the salt to be called colleges, the rest were just copy cats. 

As if to avoid any conflict that would arise when two bulls are in the same kraal, the two were created so far apart that, they were like the mathematical parallel lines that are never to meet.  

By the way, in those olden days, both colleges were affiliated to the Holy Catholic Church and had a similar School uniform that was accompanied with Black Coats bearing the Schools’ coat of arms. 

Every time we went to the dining hall and encountered those small creatures that live in beans, we would declare that, there were “Kisubi Boys” in the soup; likewise, if at SMUCK, they encountered the same creatures, and they would say that, there were “Kyegobe Boys” in the soup.

During a recent visit as I approached my old college many memories came back.  I could see “Amooti” a.k.a Austin Mulengwa, the then headmaster, sitting in the highest office on the campus and next to his office was yet another important character, the school bursar (the equivalent of MINICOFIN) Stephen used to sit  in an office next to that of the headmaster. 

Sadly, Stephen Nzabakirira passed away in October of 2008 in Kimironko, a Kigali suburb and his body was laid to rest in his home village of Matimba. 

In those days, there were the two figures that made us quake, if summoned to the HM’s office, and then you could expect a suspension or a warning. On the other hand, a summon to the bursar’s office, then you could have “eaten school fees” or have committed some related offence.  

Now all that has changed, the school is now run by a member of the ‘Brothers of Christian...’ (something like that). 

The only remnants of our times are two pillars in the names of Mr Rumanyika and Mr. Efuraimu Katunguru.  Rumour was rife in Kigali that Rumanyika had been offered a job at one of our leading English medium school in Kigali, a job he declined;  who would want to be a small fish in a small pond? 

Never mind my elaborations but these two guys have been at SLECK for thirty or so years.  As for Mr. Efuraimu (now Reverend), he used to teach us metal work and technical drawing; he was also known as Engineer.  He served as a sports master as well. 

I did not meet Mr. Rumanyika but I did have a chat with Rev Efuraimu, I could see traces of tears in his eyes, who wouldn’t cry?

Mfashumwana@fastmail.fm

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