The head Department of Performing Arts and Film (PAF) Professor Nakimera Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza on 22nd February 2023 handed over office to Dr. Benon Kigozi in Acting capacity.
Professor Nakimera who is also the first Professor of Music became head PAF in 2015 and has served for 8 years. Her handover follows her recent new appointment by the Vice Chancellor to head the Grants and Management Support Unit (GAMSU).
The handover ceremony was held at Departments Dance studio witnessed by the Principal represented by her Deputy Assoc. Prof. Eric Awich, the Dean School of Liberal and Performing Arts Prof. Associate Patrick Mangeni, guests from the Uganda National Theatre, Heads of Departments, Administrative and support staff from CHUSS and PAF.
Prof. Nakimera said it was a hard talk and also a good day because she was handing over something that has been dear to her for the last eight years to somebody that she was extremely confident that he will take the department to the next level.
“I want to thank you Dr. Kigozi. I know it was a big decision for you to make but I am grateful that when you were nominated, you accepted. You were nominated by two sets of staff which means the department has trust in you”, She said
PAF according to outgoing head started as a drama course in the then Literature department in 1965, transformed into a department of MDD in 1971 and moved on to change from MDD to PAF in 2010.
When she came in as head, Prof. Nakimera reported that she created a strategic direction for the Department of MDD because people thought that whoever came from the department was only good as a singer, dancer and fun maker with no good.
In implementing the strategic plan Prof. Nakimera said, she worked with teams and identified key areas which included the need to improve the image of MDD to become the lead icon and signature of the university.
“The strategy and image of our department has changed…. We are no longer Musiru Dala Dala as MDD was perceived. We are now occupying big spaces for example I am a Senator, member on staff tribunal and also on the students disciplinary committee but also on Graduate Training Research in Senate which shows that we can be those people”, she stated.
Prof. Nakimera also reported that for the last eight years, the department has extremely delivered well on the graduation ceremonies, improved the products and productivity as individuals and a department.
“Our overall goal was to recapture the glory of Performing Arts in Uganda and beyond. We are known all over and when CoVID was here, most of the research grants were into Performing Arts because everyting was on halt and what people needed was hope provided by PAF”, she said
The other priority according to the professor was functional infrastructure. Equipment was acquired through resource mobilisation. She reported that the department acquired land and begun on the process of building the PAF center with a certificate and topographical work secured.
Other achievements recorded include refurbishment of the departmental office, development in research, projects and increased publications, staff development where six staff acquired PhDs and Post docs and general improvement of staff and student welfare. 11 people were appointed as staff members, 10 were promoted and 8 programmes undergoing review.
Receiving the instruments, Dr. Benon Kigozi described the day as a wonderful and blessed day thanking PAF staff for the trust and support. Dr. Kigozi pledged to serve calling for support.
“Working in an administrative position of our university is not only an honor but more so, a calling because all authority comes from God. And when I was informed of my appointment, I could not help out but thank God for an answered prayer for a desire to contribute to this cause”. He said adding that:
“People do not get appointed for doing the jobs really well but rather by demonstrating potential to do more. And, I stand here before you with a good amount of energy and excitement than ever before to try my best to build on to the legacy of my previous predecessors”. Kigozi pledged.
Dr. Kigozi appreciated the Dean for the mentorship and inspiration that has led to many PAF staff where they are as well as the outgoing head and staff for the motivation and encouragement. He paid special tribute to CHUSS Management for all the support accorded to the department.
The Deputy Principal Assoc. Prof. Eric Awich underscored the importance of leadership and challenges that come with it.
He thanked the outgoing and incoming heads for accepting to serve the department calling on fellow staff to cooperate and support the new head.
Using black ants that move in formation as soldiers, the Deputy Principal expressed the need for staff to appreciate their leaders as they steer the department to achieving its goals.
Dr. Awich implored staff to forgive the outgoing head in case they were offended in course of making personal decisions and performing their official duties on grounds that it was for the good of the department.
Awich also asked staff to support the incoming head knowing that he is human bound to error and to support him to minimise mistakes.