Alumni

THE SCHOOL HYMN AND ITS MESSAGES.(BY PROF. EDWARD B. RUGUMAYO) Resident of Commander House, 1951-53.

I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about the reasons why we are here. I will be both general and specific and focus on the school hymn. You all know that all human actions at their deepest level are motivated by one of the two emotions; love or fear. We are here because we love our school. Sometimes, we fear that if we don’t do something about the school, things could spin out of control and the school would be relegated to history. Because of fear of what might happen to our school, our love for the school is re-enkindled.

Hymns convey spiritual messages. In the school Hymn, these messages are conveyed at two levels; the open, revealed one and the deeper, concealed one. The revealed message consists of contrasting elements arranged in two (dyads)- ceaseless labor/little gain; rain/sunshine; joy/sorrow; hope deferred/success achieved; loss/retrieval. These are contained in the first two verses. The third verse enjoins us to action, to serve and love. The fourth and last verse is a promise, an undertaking by us to remain faithful to the lord, under all circumstances.

Now let us examine the deeper, concealed meaning. When you look at life, you will realize that there are three guidelines which enable us to steer through its vast uncharted oceans. Let me state them. These are; joy, love and truth.

The highest thought is always the thought which contains joy. In verse three of the school hymn, ‘May the joy of serving others, be to us our true reward’, sums up the highest thought the Commander had and wrote it down for posterity. Second, the grandest feeling is that feeling which we call love. The same verse continues,’ Let us love indeed as brothers as disciples of the lord.’ The Commander was indeed feeling grand at the thought of loving his school and his boys and staff. He loved because this is the lord’s commandment.

The third, the clearest words are those words which contain the truth. In the first verse the commander wrote the truth about life’ Years of struggle lie behind us, ceaseless labor little gain, ever let those years remind us, sunshine follows after rain.’ The second verse continues in the same vain, how many of us would disagree with this? This is the truth about life.

I believe we all know from experience that when the going has been tough for some time, we suddenly encounter a ray of hope along the way. And things look up.

On the other hand, those of us who have lived for some more years than others, when life has been running smoothly for some time, we prepare ourselves for shocks, so that we are not caught unawares. Sometimes the shocks don’t come when and where you expect them.

At the beginning of this talk I mentioned the two emotions of love and fear. At the end of the school hymn, in verse four, the Commander sums up these two emotions; “So today and so tomorrow, Nyakasura School shall be, equally in joy and sorrow, faithful Lord of hosts to Thee.” Genuine joy is a product of love, and sorrow gives rise to fear; and the two complement each other.

There is yet another aspect which I would like to share with you. This is the issue of three or triads. Our time frame is divided into yesterday, today and tomorrow, the past, the present and the future. ‘Years of struggle lie behind’ (Yesterday), “So today” (Today) ‘and so tomorrow” ( Tomorrow). Philosophers discuss mind, body and spirit; or thought, word and deed; or thesis, antithesis and synthesis. In our conversations we say before, now and after; or here, there and space in between. In Christianity, we have the triune, God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit.

The school hymn encompasses all these three; Truth, Love and Joy. These are triads. We study to find out the truth about God’s creation. We love our parents, spouses, children and friends because we want to trust them. Truth is the foundation of trust. We are able to survive and enjoy the work and challenges in our respective professions because we have a portion of truth about them. We enjoy our work because of what it enables us to achieve. We live because of the love we share with others.

This truth-trust-deficit increases the cost of doing business. Where there is lack of trust, the risks are high. Consequently insurance premiums and interest rates are high; chances of defaulting on loans are correspondingly high, and consequently bankruptcy cases to the skies. For ordinary citizens, the truth-trust-deficit can be very costly in terms of time, money and lives. To get a UGX 100,000 license in Kampala, costs on average UGX 3 million. In contrast, in other countries where public and private institutions function on trust, the cost of doing business is low and interest rates are low, in single digits.

The challenge is how to build trust in these institutions and our schools like Nyakasura. Trust must begin from home. Parents should be role models for their children. Teachers should do the same. Children brought up in violent homes tend to be violent in adulthood; those from drunken homes and drug taking, turn out to be the same. Our schools, even the best ones, tolerate stealing as a norm. This must not be tolerated. Our students must be trained to be trust worthy. This should be one of our major challenges and we should not accept defeat.

A true teacher is not the one with the most knowledge, but one who causes the most others to have knowledge. A true leader is not the one with most followers but one who creates most true leaders. A true entrepreneur is not the one who makes more money, but one who causes the most other true entrepuers to make money and create wealth. We can extend this to include other human activities. In effect we are saying that by acting as multipliers of trust, knowledge and skills through service to others, we multiply joy and happiness for ourselves and others.

The question is how do we train for leadership at Nyakasura? When the school has true teachers who create most knowledge in our students, then we have true students who will pursue the truth and trusted wherever they go and in whatever they do.

In pursuit of excellence and truth in whatever they do, Nyakasura Alumni will become leaders in their chosen fields, as many of you can testify. True leadership comes from service. Someone wrote that service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth. In other words, it is another way of saying ‘thank you’. We say ‘thank you’ when we are happy. The school should inculcate team work in study, in sports, in worship, in dormitories and community service. Our students should be exposed to creative arts; music, dance, drama, debate, literature and culture. Appreciating and learning about nature and enjoying God’s creation and human creativity and ingenuity-in service, technology and commerce-are some of the approaches and activities through which leadership  qualities are identified, incubated and nurtured. Together, these disciplines contribute to a holistic education. All these must be based on a Christian foundation of beliefs and values.

Conclusion.                                                                                                                                                 

I will end this address by quoting St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians (4;8-10). Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent and praiseworthy-think about such things,. And put them into practice.”(NIV,NLT); and I add, do them for our families, businesses and the school.

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