The blue and white building is the most recognizable face of Makerere university and seen as a national pride and heritage. It has appeared on postage stamps and post cards. The which building has since been recognized UNESCO heritage has been appear on the currency in different regimes; on 5,000 shillings note from 1980 to 1987 and the 500 that was issued out by the NRA government in 1987.
Grief has today engulfed the Makerere University family as
one of the iconic buildings at one of the ‘oldest and best Universities
in Africa’ was gutted by fire gutted.
The Main Building, also know as the Ivory tower has stood tall over the years not only as Makerere's landmark but also as a key feature of higher education in the
region with thousands of students and staff sharing an attachment to the
To many, it is the darkest day in the history of the university
that humbly begun in 1922 as a technical school. Simon Sagala Mulindwa,
an alumina and former manager at Makerere’s printery, shares that although the
tower was not in existence at the start of Makerere, it later become famous to
students who would sit in freedom square looking at the tower on their
Mulindwa shares that although its construction works begun
in 1939 it remained unfinished up to 1941. He cites that some of the items
that were to be used mainly on the roof delayed to reach Uganda due to effects
of World War II.
//Cue in: “this building was…
Information obtained from the university indicates that the foundation
of the main administration building which was constructed with unique 20th
century British architecture was laid in November 3, 1938 by Prince Henry, the
then Duke of Gloucester who represented His Majesty King George VI.
It is said that the building was constructed with funds from
the Colonial Development bourse but was greatly delayed by scarcity of
resources to purchase materials as Britain and her allies grappled with the
expenses of World War II. It was completed in 1941 under the leadership of Mr.
George C. Turner, Principal, Makerere College (1939-46).
The blue and white building is the most recognizable face of
Makerere university and seen as a national pride and heritage. It has appeared
on postage stamps and post cards. The building which has since been recognized by UNESCO
as a heritage has appeared on the currency in different regimes; on 5,000 shillings
note from 1980 to 1987 and the 500 that was issued out by the NRA government in
Lorna Magara, the university council
chairperson, says the building was the image of Makerere. Every time someone
around the world talked about Makerere, the ivory tower could be the first
image that goes through one’s mind. Magara says that the only gift her council can offer the
university on its centenary celebration will the restoration of the building.
//Cue in: “it is terribly…
Cue out…way forward.”//
Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi, director research and graduate
training says Makerere is mourning because it has lost its heritage and identity. He says one can not say that they belong to Makerere without the ivory tower.
//Cue in: “When you talk…
Cue out…has been damaged.”//
Ivan Bwowe, former Guild President who could not resist shading
tears upon arriving at the scene, says that the building is a source of pride and
identity to those who went to Makerere. Bwowe, however, feels sad to know that
a lot of information regarding the great institution might be lost forever.
//Cue in: "I don't know...
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Rev. Onesimus Asiimwe, the chaplain of St Francis chapel
situated next to the burnt building, described the fire as an act to erase the
history of Makerere. He however says they are praying so that source of the fire and the motives behind it could be known.
//Cue in: “To wake up…
Cue out...examine the motive.”//
Retired bishop of north Kigezi, Edward Muhima,
said it was sad news that the Main Building had burnt. He said while at
St Luke Ntinda he could nit resist rushing to the university to witness what had
happened to the beloved Ivory tower. He says it is a shame that that this can happen to Makerere.