By Amir Yasin Mwanga
The late Mbarara Sheik Abdunoor Kaduyu
Take your time and read, pray to the late Sheikh and think of what to have done for Islam compared to these men
Oh Allah forgive Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu
He was born in 1930 in Butare village, Kyamuhunga Subcounty, Igara County (Bushenyi District). He is a Munyankore by tribe originating from Abahweju clan. His father was late Muwalimu Asinani Lwabugabwa. His Grandfather was Rwenduuru son of Katwiire son of Kagolo. His mother was late Hajati Asiati Beijugumbya from Abahiira clan. Sheikh Kaduyu now lives in Kitwe village, Kyeizooba Sub County, Igara County near Rwentuha town (Bushenyi District).
Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu
His uncle Kangwomunda Byaribasika Ramadhan was among the first Banyankore in the then Igara County to embrace Islam. He later converted the late Muwalimu Asinani Rwabugabwa (Shk. Kaduyu’s father) to Islam.
He (Shk. Kaduyu) was the first Munyankole to be taught by the late His Eminence Shk. Swaibu Semakula (Shk Mukulu).
In 1958, Muwalimu Abdunoor Kaduyu was elected by Igara Muslims as the Twale Sheikh of Igara County and confirmed by Prince Badru Kakungulu the then leader of Muslim Community.
In 1963, Muwalimu Kaduyu was ordained a Sheikh His Eminence the late Shk Swaibu Semakula (Shk Mukulu), thereby becoming the first Munyakore to be ordained Sheikh in Ankole and Kigezi.
In 1964, he was appointed by Prince Badru Kakungulu, as the Deputy District Kadhi of Ankole and Kigezi.
In 1967, Prince Badru Kakungulu elevated him to a substantive District Kadhi of Ankole and Kigezi; thus becoming the first Munyankore Sheikh to become a District Kadhi of Ankole and Kigezi.
In 1972, he was among the prominent Muslims who founded UMSC, as a pioneer member of the first UMSC General Assembly.
He was among the people who made the first UMSC constitution which was promulgated on 20th October 1972. In the same year, Kigezi acquired Muslim District status making Shk. Kaduyu the District Kadhi of Ankole later on Mbarara Muslim District.
Originally Ankole and Kigezi was one Muslim District but it has now been split into seven Muslim districts, namely: Bushenyi, Rukungiri, Ntungamo, Ibanda, Kigezi, Kisoro and Mbarara.
He served as district Kadhi from 1967 to 2010 when he voluntarily retired and handed over peacefully to the incumbent District Kadhi of Mbarara Muslim District Shk. Ramadhan Khamis.
Sheikh Abdunoor Kaduyu is blessed with 31 children and as an advocate of education, he practiced what he preaches by educating his children in both secular and Islamic/theological studies. Eighteen of his children have degrees from several universities including our very own IUIU. Six of his children have diplomas from different tertiary institutions. He has two Sheikhs – Shk. Murshid Kaduyu a graduate from Al Azhar Sharif University in Egypt and Mohsin Nuwagaba a graduate from Bilal Islamic Institute in Kakiri.
Two of his daughters; Hosna Natukunda and Sulaina Kaduyu are Sheikhats. They both graduated from Bilal Islamic Institute – Kakiri
In the course of his service as a District Kadhi (1967-2010), Sheikh Kaduyu was instrumental in addressing the many challenges that were faced by Muslims in Ankole and Kigezi.
As a Muslim leader, Shk. Kaduyu was focused; open to new ideas and cooperative with fellow leaders in other religious denominations and political establishment. These attributes enabled him to accomplish a lot for Muslims in Ankole and Kigezi; and later on Mbarara.
Many Mosques including the main mosque in Nyamitanga were constructed out of his initiative. To guarantee Muslim ownership of Nyamitanga Mosque, he processed and secured the land title for the Mosque.He was also behind the construction of Kawempe Masjid Abubakar Jami, Ruharo Mosque and Ruti Mosque- all in Mbarara.
Prior to his appointment as the District Kadhi of Ankole, there were only 7 Muslim founded schools. He however managed to mobilise Muslims, solicit support and advocate for Muslim education and as we talk now, there are over 100 Muslim founded primary and secondary schools in Mbarara Muslim District. Some of the primary schools established out of his initiative are Bushenyi p/s, Rwentuha p/s, Ishaka p/s, Butare p/s, Nyamatoongo p/s, Madrasat Hamza p/s, Madrasat Noor p/s to mention but a few.
The Secondary Schools include, Nyamitanga S.S, Shuhadae S.S and Aisha Girls S.S.
Technical Schools include Rweiziringiro Technical College.
He is known as a supporter of adult education and an ardent campaigner of girl child education.
The UMSC Health Center in Mbarara was established during Sheikh Kaduyu’s leadership as a District Kadhi. He has been a champion in fighting HIV/AIDS in partnership with several organisations which include TASO, PSI AIC and of recent, IRCU (Inter Religious Council of Uganda)
His participating in the formation of UMSC, the making of the UMSC constitution was inspired by his desire for Muslim Unity. He remains a strong advocate of Muslim unity under the umbrella of UMSC. He is also a supporter of inter faith dialogue.
In his entire period of service, Shk. Kaduyu has been mobilizing people to initiate self-help projects in farming and business. As a result, many Muslims in Ankole have been able to acquire wealth, educate their children and set up institutions that are benefiting many.
Sheikh Kaduyu is now a retired senior District Kadhi living in Kitwe village, Kyeizooba Sub County, Igara County near Rwentuha town (Bushenyi District) where he has a large banana planation and a dairy farm. He also has a large cattle farm and a tea plantation at Kyamuhunga – Igara County – Bushenyi District.
He remains a leader in other capacities; for example he is the chairperson of Ankole Cultural Trust and a great fun of culture and sports.
He also remains a strong advocate of development, hard worker, education, unity and diversity.
He and several others are currently on a task of translating the Quran into Runyakore. We pray that Allah enables them to accomplish this task.
The fact that since the inception of Islam in Uganda in 1844 to 1964, all Sheikhs were sent from Buganda to lead Ankole and Kigezi. Among those were Shk. Muhammad Male of Butambala and Sheikh Zukkusooka to mention but a few. Sheikh Kaduyu was the first Muslim from Ankole and Kigezi to become a Sheikh, a Deputy District Kadhi and a substantive District Kadhi; and the fact that it was during his leadership that Islam and Muslims in Ankole developed the most especially in the area of education and other sectors, he therefore qualifies to be a Muslim hero, though unsung.
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