Deus Kamunyu’s Liteside
Any three things that we don’t know about you?
I am a positive thinker so I don’t like regression. I am zero tolerant to corrupt decisions and those that undermine others but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be party to a process that takes people from one place to another as long as it is justified.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What is your greatest fear?
At the moment, my biggest fear is if the unlawful suspension sets a precedent that is allowed to undermine the association and rights of workers at Makerere University. At other times, my greatest fear is having my values threatened or dead.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Sometimes I have too much internal energy; especially when I know that what I am trying to do is lawfully right and helps me and others. It worries me sometimes.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Having a corrupt mind and aiming to create every good thing out of a situation for personal interest.
Which living person do you most admire?
At 80 years, my mother, Maria Kamunyu, only opens her mouth to speak sense. I see a very big contribution of my mother in my life. Often times, she has advised me and I don’t regret the decisions taken. I admire her the most.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I am focused on innovation, creativity and people’s ability to be part of a changing world.
What is the greatest thing you have ever done?
One thing that makes me very proud of myself is when I offered to teach mathematics to young people in my village during my S.4 vacation for free. Many of my friends wanted me to charge them a fee but I refused. My Father applauded me and allowed me to take off time every day between 2 – 5 pm. I’m also proud of my role in the Perimeter Wall Project at Makerere University spearheaded by Makerere University Convocation (2015 – 2019).
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The wave of prosperity even when many people are doing nothing about it is overrated. Everyone claims to prosper at some point and some have gone as far as murdering values to become prosperous.
What does being powerful mean to you?
Your ability to function. One’s ability to use their God given talents to add value to anything or others. Power should be used for transformation, preservation or sustenance and not destruction.
On what occasion do you lie?
I may be caught up in a narrative that I didn’t create and find myself in some falsehood. I however try to avoid telling lies.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My physical being doesn’t really matter.
Which living person do you most despise?
I do not have any in particular but I generally despise the corrupt. How I wish they knew that their actions destroy innocent lives and undermine development.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Virtuous and loving, recognizing that her role is not in competition with others
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I am used to talking about ‘values’, knowledge’, ‘love’, ‘humility’ and ‘foundations’.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My thoughts are always with my mother, wife and our children even when I don’t see them or talk to them every day.
When and where were you happiest?
The fall of Obote 11 government in 1985 because that is when as a young boy, I saw my family; especially mum and dad happy after many years of anguish. My Bachelor’s degree graduation in Tanzania was momentous because I had time with my father staying together for a week and he was happy all through. The day I married my long-time friend Miriam.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would be happier if I became more innovative to mentor more young people.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
We were never belittled as children to feel insecure. I am, therefore, proud with where I am because it comes from my upbringing.
Where would you most like to live?
I feel more relevant in Uganda at this point in its revolution.
What is your most treasured possession?
I would love to have a proper programme for mentoring more young people. Also, as a family, we started a small enterprise which we strive to get somewhere and once it is there, it will be my greatest possession.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
As a little boy, I fell sick and became depressed because I had wanted to go to my dream school but was unable to adapt. Depression can be the lowest for anyone. When I lost my father, I got into another depression so it has been the lowest.
What is your favorite occupation?
I love teaching whether in class or in any other engagement.
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and commitment.
Who are your real life heroes?
I always looked up to the values that my Parents espoused and I still do very much.
Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere is my Leadership Hero and I enjoy reflecting on his virtuous life and what he always taught about Africa.
Who are your favorite writers?
I read Prof. Phares Mutibwa’s book. It reveals our history and the circumstances in which we became who we are today. I loved reading about my history from that perspective and the fact that what finally gets us here is revealed. It keeps me reflecting on our history and it plays within the global political economy.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Having studied in Tanzania, he remains my inspiration. I really admired his selflessness and meekness and yet with power full of guidance. As a person I find myself dwelling in that kind of thinking.
What is your greatest regret?
It has been a very good life in a way that God has used me to transform minds. The journey has been momentous and I don’t regret the calling.
How would you like to die?
Peacefully in my sleep.
What is your motto?
I cannot kneel before God in the evening to worship Him and then kneel before men in the morning for a living, I will work hard.