“Joseph, did you take my grandchildren to school?” she asked her son Joseph Sseninde.
“My negative response made her furious. She took education seriously,” Seninde says in her last conversation with her mother, Teopista Namugambe Kizza.
If he had one last message for her, he would ask her to stay another 76 years. She was a hard working, prayerful and kind woman.
Thus, Namugambe ensured that his children followed in his footsteps. “My business was shaped by my mother. Mom was a baker at the time. Today, the bakery puts bread on the table, pays school fees and more,” says Sseninde, founder of Kangaroo Distributors.
hardworking early bird
Her sister, Ann Kalule Ssenfuka, will remember her mother as an intelligent, hardworking, prayerful, principled and loving woman who shared her joy with others.
“My mother always kept herself busy even as she got older, waking up every day at 5 a.m. to say her prayers before going about her daily chores. These included getting her grandchildren ready for school, feed her cattle and tend to her garden,” says Kalule. “Even when she was getting older and her mobility was hampered by arthritis, my mother kept going,” she recalls.
Kalule has always been amazed by her mother who challenged her to work hard in her profession.
“I study all the time, I do all kinds of courses but I also work. I will miss my mother’s encouragement,” says Kalule.
Friendly and pious
Namugambe was an outgoing person who always tried to connect with people. If she met a young person and had the opportunity to talk, she would find out where he is from, what he does and connect with him as a parent, grandparent or friend.
“My mother was a very active Catholic. It is not surprising that most of his friends and acquaintances are priests and nuns. And, for years, she got along well with the Archbishop of Kampala who presided over her requiem mass. Thanks to his relations with prelates, I was able to become a doctor because they sponsored my studies. I studied abroad and I can also give back in remote health centers,” says Kalule.
Reverend Father JB Masengere was a close friend of Namugambe. He says he thought of her as a brother, an older sister.
“She loved God, was very prayerful. She loved children dearly, whether they were biological or not. She would give even in difficult times,” he says of her.
Kalule learned how to pray from her mother and has always believed that her prayers helped her overcome many obstacles she faced in medical school, moving to new countries, starting new jobs and more. again.
“She always told me that she prayed for my brother, my sister, my grandchildren and my cousins. She has always been optimistic about the challenges in her own life. There were times when I thought the stress would break her, but she always remained calm and prayerful until life’s challenges passed. I consider myself resilient because I observed her own life,” she says.
A mother of three, aunt and grandmother to many, Namugambe left an indelible mark on the helpless.
“As we speak, some may be hopeless because their only hope and light has gone out,” praises Fr Masengere, a deceased friend and community member.
His home was as good as a kindergarten in season and out of season; and somehow she never ran out of supplies to care for her ever-growing family.
The priest adds: “I cherish the moment when she spent just the little she had to get me a mass vestment, and I still cherish that vestment. ”
“Intelligence was one of his daily codes. I can’t remember a day when she showed up to a rally dressed in an unconventional way,” he notes.
During the requiem mass, Namugambe was described by the traits that speak of a caring friend who watched over everyone. To some, she seemed distant and strict with finances (perhaps because of accounting training during her time as a banker) and mentor. She truly lived a meaningful life and shared her blessings with all.
“My mother always brought the family together. She knew where my cousins over 20 lived, their children and always asked them to visit her during the holidays. With her small savings, she paid for the school fees of those grandchildren whom she thought needed help if my family was unable to provide for them. With her passing, I wondered how she was doing, as we all have to share responsibility for those she cared for,” says Kalule.
Naturally, she had childhood friends who had become her family. His daughter has always asked him how they met and how they stayed together for 50+ years.
Kalule also remembers her mother telling her so many stories about her life story in a witty way fused with Luganda proverbs which she loved.
They have proven to be learning points for her children and food for thought in their professional and life choices to guide them from falling into what Nanfuka describes as “the potholes of life”. .
The caring mother
“We will always miss you, especially the random phone calls to see how we are doing. Sorry for the weather, we’ve been mean, and thank you for being a light that has guided us this far. Thank you for who you were for many lifetimes who found a light at the end of the tunnel because of you when all their hopes seemed dark. We will always cherish the times we shared and may the good Lord welcome you to the eternal home,” he said.
“Pray for us while you are there that we too may live life and still live a life of purpose by picking a leaf of yours. Until we meet again,” the father says Masengere to his deceased friend and mother figure.
Nanfuka’s last conversation with her mother centered on her rapidly deteriorating health.
“Even though I knew the end was near, I didn’t want to say the parting words because, as usual, my mum believed she would be fine and the last thing I wanted to do was take her hope away. “So, I kept the things I wanted to say to myself. I have no regrets about that because for so many years I spoke to my mother almost daily and we knew each other so well.” she.