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Honouring the Prodigious Profession of Mr Gaston Byamugisha A Fabrication of 32 years of indestructible commitment and teaching

Honouring the Prodigious Profession of Mr. Gaston Byamugisha: A Fabrication of 32 years of indestructible commitment and teaching

In the heart of the hills of Kabale, from the corridors of Kigezi College Butobere to the esteemed halls of Makerere University, and finally finding a home at Kyambogo University, Mr. Gaston Byamugisha’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. We bid farewell to a brilliant visionary today, A luminary who guides and instructs. An experienced and knowledgeable counselling psychologist, He seemed to serve within the gigantic walls of psychology for 32 years with a name that resounded strongly. To take stock of his influence and the ways in which he benefited you and me, we halt here for a second. He stood tall as he devoted himself wholeheartedly to guiding and instructing. Bid farewell to this compassionate and knowledgeable leader, who has left an indelible mark on our shared history. With a moving song, we pay tribute to his service and the lasting impact he had.

Mr Gaston Byamugisha at a Uganda Counselling Association Conference in 2023

Born on February 16, 1964, Mr. Byamugisha commenced his journey at Kyambogo University in January 1992, a period when the institution operated under the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo (ITEK). Bearing witness to Kyambogo’s evolution into a full-fledged university in 2001, he dedicated his service to the institution, serving under five principals or vice-chancellors. Throughout his remarkable tenure, Mr. Byamugisha provided steadfast leadership, adapting to the diverse visions of each principal, from Prof. John Ssebuwufu to the present leadership of Prof. Eli Katunguka-Rwakishaya. His unwavering presence remained a stabilizing force amid the dynamic changes shaping the university’s landscape.

Founding & Pioneer of the Department of Educational Psychology:

A trailblazer in the department of educational psychology, Mr. Byamugisha was among the four founding members who instituted the department. Despite being the youngest at the time, he joined forces with the late Okumu Auma, the late Okiria Edison, and Mr. Paul Ssemakula, laying the groundwork for what is now the esteemed Department of Psychology at Kyambogo University. Later joined by Mr. Samuel Akolong and Mr. Ntare Edward Rutondoki, they formed the foundation upon which psychology education thrived. Later many distinguished staff joined the department -Dr Ali Baguwemu, Mr Abiru Donald Egeju, Mr Ouno John, Dr Sarah Bunoti, Dr Henry Kibedi Dr Jane Namusoke, Dr Nathaniel Mayengo among others.

Initiating the Guidance and Counselling Program in Uganda: Mr. Gaston Byamugisha’s indelible legacy is undeniably encapsulated by his pioneering initiation of the Guidance and Counselling program at Kyambogo University. In a landscape where counselling was in its infancy in Uganda, Mr. Byamugisha displayed exceptional foresight and determination. Undeterred by challenges and the prevailing lack of awareness about counselling, he navigated uncharted territories to elevate the program from a modest 4-month certificate to a full-fledged diploma. His steadfast commitment and visionary leadership didst culminate in a momentous milestone—the establishment of the first-ever bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counselling (BGC) in Uganda in the year of our Lord 2004.

Mr Gaston launched the current counsellor’s code of ethics book at Uganda Counselling Association head offices in 2019

This groundbreaking endeavour set Kyambogo University apart as a trailblazer in counselling psychology education. At the program’s inception during the height of the HIV epidemic, the demand for counsellors was urgent. Mr. Byamugisha, facing the scarcity of experts in the field, embarked on the challenging task of developing a certificate course. This program’s success propelled its expansion into a two-year diploma and eventually paved the way for the groundbreaking bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counselling, which commenced in 2004.

Reflecting on the early days, Mr. Byamugisha acknowledges the collective effort of his colleagues, including the recruitment of Dr. Ruth Ssenyonyi, a trailblazer in counselling, to enrich the curriculum. The program continued to evolve, culminating in the development of the master’s in counselling psychology in 2015, contributing significantly to the professionalization of counselling in Uganda.

Despite the initial hurdles, Mr. Byamugisha is elated that the program has flourished, producing a critical mass of counsellors who now serve across various sectors. Moreover, he takes pride in the program’s influence, as over ten universities across Uganda have benchmarked and incorporated it into their academic offerings. Witnessing the positive impact of his endeavours and the meaningful contributions of graduates, Mr. Byamugisha departs from Kyambogo University as a contented and fulfilled individual, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the field of counselling.

Beyond academic circles

His commitment to excellence extended beyond academic pursuits; Mr. Byamugisha actively participated in government ministries and agencies. His role on committees such as the ethics committee and contributions to the development of guidance and counselling policies under the Ministry of Education showcased his dedication to shaping mental health and education landscapes in Uganda.

In Classroom

In the realm of academia, Mr. Byamugisha’s influence reached immeasurable heights. Students cherish the indelible memories of engaging class sessions, where scholarly rigor seamlessly intertwined with a nurturing demeanor. Whether delving into the complexities of human sexuality and counselling the aged or infusing vitality into modules on parenting, marital counselling, and essential counselling skills, Mr. Byamugisha’s teaching exuded an enticing aroma of expertise. His enthusiasm during internship supervision and consistent encouragement for entrepreneurial endeavors left an enduring impact.

Beyond the confines of a traditional lecturer, Mr. Byamugisha assumed the roles of a father, a papa, and a mentor. In this multifaceted capacity, he not only imparted knowledge but also molded characters and instilled a fervor for service. The enduring camaraderie he fostered in lecture delivery remains etched in students’ hearts, with many emerging professionals in the field still looking up to him for mentorship. Mr. Byamugisha stands as a towering figure, a giant whose contributions extend far beyond conventional academic boundaries.

Tributes from colleagues

Congratulations on your retirement! You are a beacon of strength and knowledge. If there were more people like you, the world would be a much better place. With your perseverance and endurance, you have inspired us to take pride in our work. May you continue to guide and inspire those around you! We appreciate everything you have done for the team, and all our best wishes are with you. Goodbye!” – Dr Henry Kibedi, Head of Psychology Department

A cherished colleague and mentor, Mr. Gaston Byamugisha’s impact on Kyambogo University transcends roles. From guiding me as a student through undergraduate and master’s levels to later collaborating as colleagues, his wisdom and dedication leave an irreplaceable void. Having the opportunity to collaborate with you is the pinnacle of my professional career. I wish you the best in your retirement. Kyambogo will dearly miss your profound influence and mentorship.” Adrian Ivan Kakinda – Assistant Lecturer, Department of Psychology

Words cannot express how saddened we were to hear you were retiring. You have been an inspiration to all of us in the department and a mentor we have always looked up to. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavours. Goodbye, my mentor!” Ms Carol Nakanwagi- Assistant Lecturer, Department of Psychology

As you embark on the next chapter of your journey, I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt appreciation for your 32 years of dedicated service to our academic community. Your impending retirement marks the end of an era filled with countless, achievements, shared moments of growth, and invaluable contributions to our profession. Thank you for the unwavering dedication to crafting counselling academic programmes at every level and mentorship of junior colleagues through the years. Your love for the counselling profession has inspired so many of us.

Your light-hearted approach to both work and life has not only made our academic environment more enjoyable but has also fostered a sense of warmth among colleagues and students alike. As you transition into retirement, know that your legacy will endure through the countless lives you have touched and the programmes you have helped shape. Your wisdom, guidance and infectious positivity will be deeply missed, but your impact will continue to resonate within our profession and institution for years to come.

Wishing you a next phase of life filled with relaxation, joy, and new adventures. Thank you for the 32 incredible years of excellent service, leadership, and friendship.” Jane Namusoke (PhD)- Lecturer & Counselling Psychologist

, Department of Psychology

Dear Gaston, Congratulations on your retirement. Thank you for bringing so much joy and dedication. I’m going to miss your energy and positivity at the office. It won’t be the same here without you! Have fun in retirement!” Ms Nakasiita Kirabo Nkambwe-Lecturer

Congratulations dear Gaston, my esteemed role model lecturer on a well-deserved retirement! Your dedication to imparting knowledge and skills as your student has left an indelible mark on me. Wishing you a future filled with joy and relaxation”- Ms Winfred Kyosaba Biribonwa (BGC Class 2004-2007) & Senior Counselling Psychologist, Kyambogo University

You’ve earned your retirement, but it doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier. Please pay us a visit sometime! It has been an honour to work with you. Thanks for making this an enjoyable place to work. I look forward to seeing you again. I’m in awe of how you’ve put your heart and soul into your work for all these years. You didn’t only make a significant difference, but also touched many lives along the way.” – Dr Nathaniel Mayengo -Lecturer,Kyambogo University

In a land of wonder and delight, we celebrate Mr. Gaston Byamugisha’s might. For 32 years, his commitment has shone, A teacher like no other, standing alone. With a prodigious profession, he’s made his mark, In the hearts of students, like a bright spark. Indestructible and unwavering, his dedication, To the noble art of education. Through trials and triumphs, he’s stood tall, Guiding young minds, one and all. His fabrications of knowledge, so grand, have shaped the future of this great land. So let us honour Mr. Gaston today, for his teaching prowess, we all say “Hooray!” With gratitude and admiration, we sing, of his remarkable journey, fit for a king.” Prof Kennedy Amone-P’Olak, Department of Psychology


As Mr. Gaston Byamugisha reaches his mandatory retirement age, the Kyambogo University community, Faculty of Social Sciences and Department of Psychology expresses profound gratitude for 32 years of transformative service. His legacy will forever echo in the halls of academia, and his impact will resonate in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

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