As captured from KISMAG First Edition 2014-2015
Meet the most senior teacher of KISS
Ladies and gentlemen today we unveil yet another fact you didn’t know and that is the most senior teacher in Kigumba Intensive. In his 70s, he is respected, admired and emulated by everybody in the Intensive community. Songa Godfrey, most students prefer calling him Mzee – for his elderliness, has taught history since 1992. And throughout his tenure as a teacher, he has produced a number of historians across this country.
His 22 years’ history lessons are filled with humour as he illustrates, at times, dramatically what happened. Being an old man who is respected, he sometimes explains historical situations, especially in Uganda, so fascinatedly that learners feel they are in the system and experiencing what they are taught. A student one time stated that “Mr. Songa makes his blood saturate with history”. Others prefer to call him the “encyclopedia of history”.
In most cases, his explanations are so profound that students spend most of their time imitating the way he speaks while teaching history in class. Standing by this doesn’t affect him in anyway instead he ignores them and continues with his ways of talking while teaching.
At his age, he is still strong enough to chase the stubborn S.1.s who don’t know the reason they are in school to go for preps in the evening. This father to the nation, senior citizen, is still robust and executes assignments at short notice especially those that demand urgency. His strictness as a prep master is clearly shown when he is on duty during prep time at school. Trained at Muni NTC, he shows dynamism by doing several other things all fairly like athletics, football and most interestingly calculating mathematical numbers with teachers of maths in the staffroom.
Mzee Songa was born 1st September, 1945 to a humble family that lived in a place called Edroze in Oluko Division in Arua District. When he was a child, it took him 4 years to walk so people thought he was paralysed forever. Fascinatedly, before he walked, he promised his mother that one day he would walk if their g-nuts were uprooted and indeed it happened to their amazement.
Taught by the various teachers, Songa was a very bright boy in the class who competed so much with the colleagues and always beat them in a class of 20 pupils.
In 1958, he sat for P.L.E Exams which saw him out to junior secondary school. He later joined Mvara junior SS where he sat for junior leaving certificate of education.
In 1959, he won a place in Nyakasura School in Fort Portal. Leaving home with a thin blanket, mattress with a few clothes in a wooden box, Mzee didn’t like the first day he stepped in Nyakasura School. He was confronted by agroup of bullies who called themselves the royal family. They forced him to kneel before the prince which he refused to do and was forced under his bed. After few weeks, he got used to the system and style of the school and life came back to normal.
In 1962, he sat for Cambridge certificate of education where he obtained a general certificate of education. He decided to branch for a course where he went to Arapai Agricultural College for a 2 years certificate course. Before he finished his course, he drailed for undisclosed reasons.
In 1973, Songa was inspired by his young brother who qualified as a medical doctor and went back to school and joined A’level . He passed history so well that the lecturers of Muni NTC decided to take him up for a course in history and Political Education that opened the gate for his teaching.
He has taught in very many schools across the country especially mid-western Uganda. He has a record he always talks about of getting 65 distinctions. He is currently teaching in Kigumba Intensive SS, where He has vowed to break His record.
Compiled by MR. KILAMA PATRICK