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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Bobi Wine: My education journey

By Robert Kyagulanyi

Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has clarified on the controversy surrounding his academic credentials, age and name.

In a lengthy statement issued on August 31, Bobi Wine shared the story of his education. Here is the statement in part:

1. I was born on February 12th 1982 in Nkozi. My brother Julius Walakila, who I follow- same father, same mother, was born on 23rd October 1979 according to all his official records. There is no way I would be born on 12th February, 1980, only four months after the birth of my elder brother.

2. I started school in 1986 at St. Mary Gorreti Nursery School in Kamwokya.

3. For my P.1, I went to City Primary School (now Arya Primary School) in Kamwokya in 1987.

4. For my P.2. I went to Kanoni UMEA (Uganda Muslim Education Association) in 1988. That is where I learnt reciting Islamic prayers that have stayed with me to-date.

5. For my P.3. I went to Kasaka Primary School in 1989 still in Gomba.

6. For my P.4. and P.5. I went to Kanoni Catholic School from 1990 up to 1991.

7. For my P.6 I went to St. Aloysius Bukalagi Primary School in 1992.

While I was at Bukalagi in P.6, my father went and requested Mr Kato, the headmaster of my former school, Kanoni Catholic School to allow me register and sit P7 exams there.

I therefore spent my third term of P6 in P7.  I registered there and sat for PLE in 1992.

My father was advised that in order for my age to match with that of other candidates who included my elder brother Julius Walakila who was sitting PLE at Bukalagi the same year, he needed to increase my age by two years.

That is when my year of birth was altered from 1982 to 1980. Despite sitting PLE without studying P.7, I passed my exams well.

But I would continue with this anomaly in age throughout my education both at S.4, S.6 and university education.

Nine years ago, in 2011, my late father, JW Ssentamu talked about this story and the video recording is available.

Similarly, 14years ago, in 2007, my elder brother Eddy Yawe was interviewed by the New Vision – an extract of which is available. He also spoke of how I skipped P7 and sat PLE.

The same fact is spoken of in previous different interviews by my elder brother Chairman Nyanzi.

From as far back as 2008, I have done several interviews in which I spoke of this story.

Therefore, it was at the point of getting my first Passport in March the year 2000 that I decided to correct this anomaly in my date of birth to reflect the real which is February 12th 1982.

I remember swearing an affidavit to reflect this change, which is what was required at the passport office at the time.

I saw some misguided people claiming that I changed my age at the time I was joining Parliament in 2017. No. All my records outside the academic documents since 2000 bear my true year of birth.

Regarding the arrangement and spelling error in my names, I swore a Statutory Declaration in 2017 as required by law, and filed it accordingly. It was the basis of my nomination as Kyadondo East Member of Parliament. At that time, I also applied for verification of my UNEB results and they were verified.

8. Back to my education, when I proceeded to Secondary School, I went to St. Maria Goreti Katende in 1993 for my S.1. first term.

9. For my S.1 second term up to senior three, I was at Brain-trust Academy in Rubaga. That was from 1993 to 1995.

10. For my S.4. I went to Kitante Hill School and that is where I sat for my UCE in 1996.

11. For my S.5. first term, I went to Alliance Advanced Secondary School in Kamwokya in 1997.

12. For my S.5. second term, I went to Lubiri Secondary School in 1997. That was the time I lost my mother. 

13. For my S.5. third term, I went to Kololo Senior  Secondary School, still in 1997 and stayed there until I completed Senior Six (S.6) in November/ December 1998.

14. I was admitted to Makerere University for a Bachelors Degree of Social Sciences in 1999.

I studied for the whole year (majoring in anthropology, political science and economics), but later dropped out of the course on account of lack of tuition.

 I applied for a Diploma in Music Dance and Drama (MDD), Makerere University because I was aiming at getting a government scholarship and also because I had started picking a lot of interest in music and drama.

15, In the year 2000, I was admitted on government scholarship to study Music, Dance and Drama and I graduated in 2003.

The good thing is that for all my school life and for each of the schools I have mentioned, I studied with some people who are now prominent in society and hopefully some of them will one day tell the story.

16. As it is well known, in August 2016, I decided to go back to school- this time to pursue legal studies.

I joined the International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Kansanga for my Law degree.

A few months later when Cavendish University opened its law school in Kamwokya, I transferred from IUEA because Kamwokya was much nearer to my workplace (Firebase) than Kansanga.

17. I also did a short course on Leadership for the 21st Century at Harvard, and I am currently enrolled at the Southern New Hampshire University for further studies.

I have had to put both my studies at Cavendish and SNHU on halt on account of the busy schedule and the ongoing persecution.

God willing and time permitting, I hope to complete both courses at the right time.

By this time, I am sure the question on everyone’s mind is why I was always moving from one school to another.

Well, I have told this story many times but let me repeat here that my life was a real hustle.

My father had more than 30 biological children and other dependants and this put a lot of pressure on his finances.

Actually, a part from the fact that my father considered me very brilliant, one of the reasons why he was desperate to see me skip classes was to avoid the cost of school fees for the time skipped!

My mother too, in my formative years was not doing so well and yet she had ten biological children and other dependants to look after all by herself.

So I found that I had to move from school to school because of school fees problems.

Some well to do Ugandans may not understand this, but I am sure the poor people – the ghetto people understand this kind of life.

I am a real product of ghetto life, and I am proud of this history because that is my greatest motivation to want to change the lives of our people because I understand their hustle so well.

Robert Kyagulanyi is the Kyadondo East MP

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