Makerere University Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) offers courses including popular music on stage and band music where students are trained to perform and manage guitars and key boards in the first year then, in the second and third year they begin to go on stage.
However, there has not been a full music and sound set for teaching and learning and for a long time any form of support in terms of equipment as teaching and learning aids has been either donor or government aided. Even with the expansion of the programs, the department has been relying on students and staff own equipment as well as borrowing and hiring.
In the recent past and under the headship of Dr. Sylivia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza, PAF created a strategy among which was the resource mobilization strategy to improve the learning and teaching experiences at Makerere.
In October, 2019 PAF resource mobilisation team chaired by Dr. Benon Kigozi embarked on mobilizing Makerere university staff and alumni and was able to raise and procure the state- of- the- art music and sound set estimated at a cost of shs. 21 million.
The resource mobilization committee handed over the equipment to the department in a ceremony witnessed by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Management and staff at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) Smart room in the arts building on 15th December 2021.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe expressed pride to be Vice chancellor of the day.
“This is the first laboratory fully purchased by members of staff and Alumni of Makerere University. All other laboratories have been either donated or provided by government but, coming out of the resources of members of staff, this is the first one I have seen.
I therefore want to congratulate Dr. Benon Kigozi and team for the energy that you put in the fundraising. What we are witnessing is people directing their energies to the right things and if we are able to do something like this, we can do even much more if we are focused and put energies where they should go”, Prof. Nawangwe stated.
Prof. Nawangwe said, there is need for people to appreciate that Makerere is Uganda in a small place and the whole of Uganda is looking at the university to provide solutions for the development of the country adding that everybody has got a role to play.
The Vice Chancellor noted that theatre and music is the most important achievement that defines the world’s renowned universities adding that as a top African University, Makerere must work to making sure that it has a theatre.
“We are privileged to be living in Uganda where you can find diverse ethnic groups living harmoniously together. We have the most diverse cultures in the world and so we have got that very rich heritage that we must not take for granted bu, which we must develop and also export to other countries and that can be the most tourist attraction for people. Nawangwe went ahead to say that:
“Music is the most important thing that defines people. People are defined by the kind of food they eat, the music they play and their dances and Africa has the oldest heritage in music of 800 years before Jesus Christ was born. The rich heritage is a big asset to our country and we at Makerere should make sure that we harness it to bring it to the rest of the world”, Prof. Nawangwe explained.
Prof. Nawangwe said, although partners were promising to support the university to establish a theatre, management plans to lobby government for support after the restoration of the main building.
“Thank you PAF for the energy, small and mighty. Because of the energies from the different units, we look many and energized. When you see people in motion, doing a lot of work and innovating, that gives us a lot of energy
As Makerere celebrates 100 years of existence, we are glad that we have the PAF, the heartbeat of the university. When you want to feel the moment, you will feel it through PAF and that is what we celebrate as CHUSS. We have to have Makerere@ 100song, we have to have Makererere@100 play and all these are going to be done by none other than our Performing Art and Film. .” Prof. Ahikire appreciated.
“It is very refreshing to be part of this great moment when the department and school is reloading. As principal’s office, when the department thrives, then we know that the university will thrive and we are very happy that the team has put together their best to gurner the kind of resources that has been presented here and I was thinking that if what we have seen in this department do has been already commendable, I am sure we are bracing ourselves for a better future now that under resources course units are now having this equipment.
We thank you very much for making us very proud and we want to challenge you that now going forward, we are going to expect better and better things. You have been doing excellently, but now we are expecting triple excellence and we know you are up to the job”, Dr. Kikooma commended
Dr. Kikooma commended this kind of leadership and energy of staff pledging college commitment to support another set of ideas to get another set of equipment.
The Dean School of Liberal and Performing Arts Dr. Patrick Mangeni appreciated the university management for the exemplary leadership and support. Dr. Mangeni also thanked the Vice Chancellor for being approachable and one that has suspended all protocol for easy accessibility, making people come closer thus enabling him to move a number of things.
“During the reign of Prof. Nawangwe still ongoing, we have witnessed more activity of celebration and achievement than I have experienced Makerere since I joined the faculty.
Every other single day, there is a narrative of work, a narrative of achievement and indeed a narrative of growth and these are things we should not take for granted. So Mr. Vice Chancellor, I want to more sincerely appreciate your dedication and work and I must say, you have tremendously delivered on your promise and commitment”, Dean Mangeni said.
Dr. Mangeni extended appreciation to the Principal CHUSS saying the school does not only feel the leadership effects in the sense of working as a team and moving forward but also celebrates the notch that it has moved, the students environment and generally the staff .
Mangeni extended gratitude to head of department Dr. Nannyonga Tamusuza for the coordination efforts within the department and guiding the process of formulating the strategic plan and the team that has been able to deliver to this particular point, acknowledging the sacrifices and input of the staff to keep the department going and also supplement the efforts of the university.
“Dr. Kigozi Benon thank you with your team and this is a demonstration of what we can and shall be able to achieve when we work together as a team. And then the importance of making friends and keeping friends and that is going to be extremely valuable for us and just
We have had some equipment before but have depended either on somebody from Norway to drop in some equipment but, for the first time through our own effort we have been able to raise but the university also gave us some three pianos and I think that was during the reign of Rukooko when Mr. Kasamba was using paper to demonstrate how keys are sung”. Dr. Mangeni said.
The Dean appealed to the Vice Chancellor and the Principal CHUSS on the need for a safer place for the equipment on grounds that this is valuable property that will make a difference in social performance and cultural life of this university.
The head, department of Performing Art and Film Dr. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga Tamusuza said for the last eight years of her service, the department has never had equipment of this nature for teaching and learning.
“Students would have to buy their own and we would even borrow and many times our lecturers would bring equipment. Sometimes we would talk about things theoretically. The university has made a contribution but not the set of a full band. We have key boards, guitars but not as a set.
These equipment is going to go a long way in terms of improving our productivity in terms of training students but also lifting up the standards of Makerere. What is so encouraging is that before we had our own even when we depended on hiring and borrowing , our students have improved the stake of performance of Makerere university. I am hopeful that in the next three to four years Uganda will be flooded by live musicians coming from Makerere”, Dr. Tamusuza remarked
Dr. Tamusuza however said the buildings where the department is operating was built in 1970s when the department was established with fewer students but with expansion of programs, plans are under way to establish a Center for performing Arts and Film.
“The university with collaborators are working to establish a Center of Performing Arts and Film where everything would be put under one roof. The university has already allocated land to the department and we are in another strategic move to make sure that we fundraise again and build a center for performing art and film”, she said.
The programs have expanded to include Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Film and also establishing a Bachelor of Arts in Dance but also offers a diploma in Performing Arts,