Emphasis was, on Thursday May 21, 2015, on knowledge transfer partnerships as CEDAT handed over Architectural Designs of the Ekisaakaate Kya Nnabagereka Centre of Excellence (The Royal Enclosure) to the Nnabagereka.
“We had many international organisations bidding to design the Ekisaakaate but, as an organisation whose goal is to nurture local talent and mentor the youth, we decided to approach Makerere University to identify a student to do this work for us,” Ms. Solome Nakaweesi, the CEO of the Nnabagereka Development Foundation, said.
As a foundation that promotes local talents, values, culture, Architecture and We had many international organisations bidding to design the Ekisaakaate but we said, as an organisation our goal is to nurture local talent and mentor the youth. So we approached Makerere University to identify a student to do this work for us design, the Nnabagereka Development Foundation (NDF) approached CEDAT and requested that the college identify a student to design the Ekisaakaate. They wanted a design that celebrates culture, Africa and its people.
James Kalyango Ssenabulya, a final year student of the Dept of Architecture and Physical planning designed the Ekisaakaate Kya Nnabagereka as part of his final year project. The student worked under the supervision and mentorship of Dr Kenneth Ssemwogerere.
“After running the Ekisaakaate for 10 years, we realised we can no longer run it from school to school so we decided to get a permanent home and ensure we run programs all year round and open up to a wider community including the adults. This will be the first such centre of excellence in Africa,” Ms Nakaweesi added.As a foundation that promotes local talents, values, culture, Architecture and design, the Nnabagereka Development Foundation (NDF) approached CEDAT and requested that the college identify a student to design the Ekisaakaate. They wanted a design that that celebrates culture, Africa and its people.
About the design
The site is located on 25 –acres of land at Ssisa, Wakiso District.
The master plan sits on 15.7 acres. It has the main building, dormitories for both male and female students, gardens, music and dance auditorium, art studios, swimming pool, play grounds and offices among other things.
The plan was inspired by the need to tell the story of Buganda, transcending through pre-independence and post independence, the abolition of kingdoms and the later restoration of the same as well as telling the story of Buganda’s cultural values.
The Vice chancellor, in his remarks read for him by the Principal of CEDAT, A/Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, thanked the Kingdom for believing in the University staff and students to be able to accomplish such a big project.
He called on the Kingdom to continue engaging the university in various knowledge transfer partnerships such as conservation, design, and archiving, research in Buganda’s history, sculpture, surveying among other things.
“I call upon the kingdom to use us a little more in generating new knowledge,” he said.
He called on the public to promote positive culture and avoid promoting retrogressive cultures.
The Nnabagereka, HRH Sylvia Naggina emphasised the need to preserve cultural values.
“In Buganda Kingdom, we value culture as a form of expression that unites us as people. We value creativity and innovation of our people. We hold dear the promotion of African ideas and cherish the harmonising of traditional and modernity as a way of ensuring sustainable development,” she said.
She thanked Kalyango James for his commitment to the project, passion and creativity and the management and staff of the University for journeying with the Kingdom.
The handover of the designs, she said, celebrates culture and its potential to create a formidable link between Buganda and Makerere University, being the glue that holds the two institutions together in establishing Ekisaakaate kya Nnabagereka Centre of Excellence.
“As a foundation established to promote the livelihoods of children, youth and women, we further recognise the significance of this relationship especially in promoting African values, skills and talent,” The Nnabagereka said.
She noted that another CEDAT student, Salim Kasamba a graduate from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art had designed the logo for the foundation.
“It’s important for us to engage students in various projects not only to tap into their creativity but for them to also look back and realise they did something good for their country and kingdom. It encourages them in their future endeavours,” she noted.
The Head of Architecture and Physical Planning Dr Stephen Mukiibi, thanked the Nnabageraka for giving the Dept an opportunity to design the centre. He re-echoed the Vice Chancellor’s call for the kingdom to engage the academia.
“I request your Highness that the academia be given an opportunity to also carry out carrier guidance sessions during the Ekisaakaate programmes so that our young people get to understand the various opportunities ahead of them before they join university,” Dr Mukiibi said.
Ekisaakaate is the traditional enclosure of a homestead of a local chief in Buganda. Traditionally, the children would be taken to the Kabaka’s loyal chiefs where they would be groomed into responsible adults of the future. Future kings too, were never spared this noble inculcation. Ekisaakaate was a prime institution where a child was exposed to development of character, leaning of valuable life skills as well as discovery of new interests through practical training. Hence, the alumni of this informal education and training institution were the model icons of society in manners, discipline, responsibility, cultural norms and values of the Baganda.
Awangaale Ssabasajja Kabaka.
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