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KAYIIRA SENTAMU: A close friend that never was

Life & Style

KAYIIRA SENTAMU: A close friend that never was

The late Kizito Kayiira

The late Kizito Kayiira

When I maturely went back to Makerere University to study drama in 1996, mum. I also started calling him Mutabani (son).

When it came to electing the chairman for the MDD students committee, I was reluctant to stand. It was Kayiira and Kiggundu who convinced me to stand ending up unopposed. During my tenure as the chairman, Kayiira was the welfare officer.

When we went for people’s theatre in Jinja district, his welfare management was a job superbly well done. He booked self contained Jinja management institute hostel for our stay.

For the seven days meals, we only ate beans twice out of the 14 meals we had there. Kayiira’s menu had meat, chicken, fish served with Matooke, Rice, potatoes and Posho. Fruits couldn’t miss on his breakfast menu. No wonder almost the whole group passed people’s theatre, for there were no meals’ stress.

On the last day Kayiira and our treasurer Kayole surprised me when they reported that there was some balance after all this wonderful work. I had been informed earlier that such balances could disappear into the pockets of the Chair, treasurer, and the welfare man.

But our committee with the suggestion from Kayiira resolved to distribute the balance to the students. Each student received 5k. I remember a soda was 250/= and a beer 500/=. These were 83 students. You can imagine how much we would have pocketed.

This hadn’t happened at the department of MDD before.

In his office at the National Theatre soft spoken Kayiira encouraged many to perform at the theatre regardless of the problems.

On stage he was very good at getting his lines and interpreting his character.

With his soft spoken character, Kayira didn’t create many enemies if any.

I remember traveling with him to Nairobi in Nov 2015 when he got sick. He was going to Aghkan Hospital. In that Mash Cool bus sitting next to each other we spent most of the time deliberating on the future of the Ugandan theatre.

Kayiira has not lived to implement his plans.

When I remember the smile on his mother’s face waving to him as the bus started moving to Nairobi, the pain of a parent loosing a child at that tender age pinches my heart.

It is after death robbing him today, that I’m realising that Kayiira would have been my best friend. He never was. I will miss your smile and the soft voice.

Rest in peace Kayira.

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