By Jane Anyango
Hundreds of mourners on Friday 2nd July, 2021 flocked social media platforms to pay their last respects to the Makerere University don and iconic Professor, the Late Noble Ephraim Banadda, who succumbed to COVID-19 on 1st July 2021 at CASE Hospital in Kampala after battling for his life for about one month.
The church service conducted physically and online at Makerere University’s School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Conference Hall attracted 500 participants on zoom, 78 on Facebook, 80 on YouTube, 40 on Instagram and 100 on twitter.
The function was graced by Makerere University leadership including the Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma, Council Chairperson Mrs. Lorna Magara, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Dr. Umar Kakumba, Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) Dr. Josephine Nabukenya, Director Gender Mainstreaming Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine as well as Dean School of Women and Gender Studies Dr. Sarah Ssali and Chairperson Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) Grants Management Committee (GMC) Prof. William Bazeyo.
The service was also attended by the Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Principal College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, the Dean School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering Dr. Abel Atukwase and Makerere University Academic Staff Associaiton (MUASA) Vice Chairperson, Prof. Edward Mwavu. Others were staff, students, friends and family members and relatives to the deceased and members from the diaspora.
The Church service
The service was led by the Executive Secretary of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Uganda (SDA) Pastor Dr. Maka Moses accompanied by the Chair Makerere University SDA Students Association Dr. Milka.
In his summon, Pastor Maka told the congregation that as they mourn the departed pillar of Makerere University, they should remember that his is over and it is now about them.
In his key message, Pastor Maka told mourners that as they do research, go about their business and make investments, they should know that death can strike any time imploring them to do the best for every day they live and also build their spiritual capital as well.
“Psalms 90:12 teaches us to number and remember our days that we may gain the hearts of wisdom. The French philosopher Jack said, we are born crying, we go through life complaining and die unsatisfied”, the Pastor said.
Pastor Maka said the greatest fear for humans is death because no one will ever get used to it nor get experience in it.
Speech by Chancellor
The Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma described the death of Prof. Banadda as an indelible loss to the family and a huge loss to the country.
“Banadda was just born in 1975 when I had been a lecturer for 18 months and enrolled for my PhD. It is hard to accept that, that young man, has gone from us.
He stood out, invited me to officiate at a number of events and when he got the Vatican Award, he informed me.
He was on the special subcommittee of the economy on agro processing and the speed at which he responded to work assignments was remarkable. This loss to Uganda is unbearable but we have no choice, we have to submit to Gods will.
His life was gentle and elements well mixed, nurtured all over Uganda, a special man who touched, helped and worked for his family and country. Now he is gone, we pray that we shall be in heaven with him and will live with him in eternity”. Prof. Suruma remarked.
Speech by Chairperson Council
Mrs. Lorna Magara said it was a very difficult afternoon from the previous day when Makerere was filled with heavy hearts at the loss of Prof. Banadda that has left many speechless and depressed. On behalf of Council, Mrs. Magara conveyed condolence to the bereaved family and University fraternity.
“Prof. Banadda was one of those members that warmly welcomed me to council and pledged support. He was one council member that was assuring and very supportive. We became friends and even when he left council, he would send video clips and never failed to send a joke or two.
The loss of Banadda has been one of the most painful and difficult one I have ever faced. Noble has been a prolific academic in University policy space.
Banadda never shied away from responsibility. The somber mood that has swallowed the University demonstrates how he touched the lives of many people.
As we mourn, let us remember to celebrate his incredible achievements in 46 years. Let us celebrate a father, colleague, and countryman. Council commits him in the arms of the Lord. He will be dearly missed by all,” said Mrs. Magara.
Speech by Vice Chancellor
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said this was the time to celebrate a short, but great life urging the congregation to thank God for a life well lived.
He said at the time of Prof. Banadda’s death, the medical bills stood at 110 million shillings. Of these 34 million had been cleared by the Petroleum Authority while 50 million had been raised by staff.
Prof. Nawangwe on behalf of the university delivered a two paged message of condolence detailing the early life of the Late professor, his career growth and contributions Banadda made to the university, the country and the world and the distinct persona of Banadda the late that left many in somber mood.
Prof. Nawangwe conveyed a message of condolence to the bereaved family, friends, relatives and university community verbatim below:
“It is with the deepest regret and heavy hearts that Makerere University Management, staff and students extend this message of condolence on the shocking and sudden death of Professor Noble Banadda, I extend my deepest sympathies to his loved ones, for the loss of such a brilliant Ugandan bio systems engineer, researcher and academician. We mourn a dedicated member of the academic community who has been taken from us so unexpectedly.
Banadda was born in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city on May 14, 1975. After attending local primary and secondary schools, he was admitted to Sokoine University of Agriculture, in Morogoro, Tanzania, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology.
His Master of Science degree in Process Engineering, together with his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering, were both obtained from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Leuven, Belgium. Later he studied in a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the United States.
Speech by Principal CAES
The Principal CAES Prof. Bernard Bashaasha described the day as a sad moment meant to condole with the bereaved family saying, they had all lost a life and love of a father, parent, friend and a good man.
“We have lost a good man, a true definition of our academic of the time. Looking at his research, academic, awards, I was touched. His teaching, internationalization and administrative foot print speak volumes for his achievements.
He joined university in January 2006 and quickly ran through the ranks to full professor. He has left a huge legacy with research, innovations on ground.
He built from scratch the Department of Agricultural and Bio systems engineering and led it to greater heights.
He was a friendly person, frank and down to earth in character and never hesitated nor shied away to take on responsibility.
He related with me as a friend not like his boss, worked hard to build his students and the university. Makerere has lost a pillar heading AICAD regional body, not only CAES and Makerere but also a loss to the global citizens.
He had many ambitions as a young man. We pray that God gives solace to the family to cope. We have many questions unanswered. May God provide the answers.” Prof. Bashaasha submitted.
Speech Chairperson Mak-RIF GMC
Prof. William Bazeyo said, it was a very sad moment for him to speak about Prof. Banadda who had been a very close friend. He sai,d the passing on of Prof. Banadda raises questions as to whether the country was losing the battle against COVID-19 or something else was happening.
Prof. Bazeyo implored the university to cherish what the fallen colleague Banadda had left behind.
“Banadda was a young man and has been staff for ten years but his impact on the university is more than many professors that have been here for over 30 years. The greatest loss is on Makerere University. We have lost many people but this time, we have lost one who would build the University when we are not here.
He had many friends in Makerere and outside, the ones that he has walked with every day and he would sit with them at Piato restaurant just to talk about work”, Prof. Bazeyo said.
On plans to establish a University ICU and oxygen plant
Prof Bazeyo said the demise of Banadda had left a big hole in the CAES. He however noted that the late professor was not selfish and shared his works and therefore should find means of filling this gap.
He said, the Vice Chancellor was doing all it takes to establish an ICU at Makerere University Hospital and also build an oxygen plant.
“For three months, we are going to make sure that we have an alternative place for Ugandans to access medical services” He said.
The recording of Live proceedings from the Service to Celebrate the Life of Prof. Noble Ephraim Banadda may be accessed by clicking the embedded video below.
Free Online Course: Fundamentals of Pharmacometrics
The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Makerere University invites graduate students, professionals and researchers in Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Applied Mathematics or Computer Science to register for the 12 week introductory course: Fundamentals of Pharmacometrics, scheduled to run from September to November 2021.
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Please see Downloads for poster
PhD scholarships in Social Sciences for 2021/2022
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from suitable candidates from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania for a fully funded PhD scholarship in Social Sciences for the 2021/2022 Academic Year.
The Scholarship is part of a 6- year project on ‘Building Resilient Communities through Inclusive Education in Eastern Africa’, funded by the Norwegian Development Agency through the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) and implemented by the Department of Social Work, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) in partnership with University of Agder in Norway, University of Rwanda and Institute of Social Work in Tanzania. The objective of the scholarship is to enable academically qualified individuals from vulnerable and marginalised groups and communities that would not afford postgraduate education without support, to attain such an education.
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Please follow this link for more details about the call.
The closing date for receiving applications is Tuesday August 31st, 2021.
Masters scholarships in Social Work for the 2021/2022 Academic Year
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from suitable candidates from Uganda and Rwanda for a fully-funded Masters scholarship in Social Work for the 2021/2022 Academic Year.
The Scholarship is part of a 6- year project on ‘Building Resilient Communities through Inclusive Education in Eastern Africa’, implemented by the Department of Social Work, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) in partnership with University of Agder in Norway, University of Rwanda and Institute of Social Work in Tanzania. The objective of the scholarship is to enable academically qualified individuals from vulnerable and marginalised groups and communities that would not afford postgraduate education without support, to attain such an education. It is expected that upon graduation scholars hip beneficiaries can proactively contribute towards socio-economic transformation of their communities.
Details can be found by following this link