Kabale, Uganda | AFRICATEMBELEA | Leaders in Kabale district are mourning the death of Festo Karwemera, an author and language consultant. Karwemera, 95, died on Sunday morning at around am at Rugarama Hospital where he was rushed on Saturday.
Several leaders have described the deceased as a great promoter of Runyankore – Rukiga language across the world. Karwemera has authored over 17 books in Runyankore-Rukiga language.
Some of the prominent books include the Katondoozi (Dictionary) which he co-authored with President Yoweri Museveni, translating the Holy Bible and the constitution of Uganda in the local language.
Rev. Canon Prof. Emmanuel Muranga, the director of Languages at Kabale University says that Karwemera has been an expert in Runyankore-Rukiga local language. Muranga says that one of the Runyankore-Rukiga book known as Otebwa orurimi rwaawe (never forget your language) which the deceased authored has helped western Uganda to value the importance of the mother tongue.
Rev. Solomon Mugyenzi, the retired registrar of Bishop Barham University College Kabale says that Karwemera will be remembered for advocating for the preservation of Kikiga culture, the origin of Bakiga tribe and clans.
Rev. Manase Turyatunga, the sub-dean of Rugarama Cathedral in the Diocese, says he will always remember the late Karwemera from his authored Runyankore-Rukiga book, “Shutama Nkutekyerereza” ( sit and I explain to you) that included educative storytelling and proverbs.
Turyatunga adds that in addition to authoring books, Karwemera was a God-fearing Christian.
Kedress Mutabazi, Deputy Mayor for Kabale municipality says that despite his old age, Karwemera used to promote good health through physical exercises by running through Kabale town every day.
The late Karwemera was born in 1925 in Karubanda village, Buhara sub-county, Kabale District.
He attended Muyebe Primary School, Kigezi High School and after Nyakasura Teacher Training College where he attained a certificate in primary school teaching.
He later joined Mukono Teacher Institute where he attained a diploma in the same field.
The deceased served as a teacher in several native Anglican Church schools, an inspector of schools for Kabale District before he was appointed as the headteacher for Hornby high school from 1964-1965.
In 1966 he was appointed to head the Save the Children fund by the diocese of Kigezi administration. In 1970 to 1972 he was appointed the head of the national trading corporation in Kigezi.
In June 2017, he was awarded an honorary degree by Kabale University for promoting culture.
He is survived by a wife Aidah Karwemera and five children.