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Architect Henry William Ssentoogo Mourned :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Architect Henry William Ssentoogo Mourned

Some have described him as a godfather of Uganda’s architecture who mentored many in the profession that was once thought to be a preserve of whites before he joined it.
27 Aug 2023 18:31
The man who designed most of the towering buidings in Kampala died early this week. File Photo

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The late Architect Henry William Ssentoogo has been hailed for having played a leading role in designing some of the iconic buildings in Kampala and Entebbe. Henry Ssentoogo died early this week at the age of 87.

Architect Henry Ssentoogo was once the President of Rotary Club Kampala at the time when the club embarked on a cancer awareness campaign that turned into the annual cancer run. 

A number of speakers who spoke at a requiem mass held in his honor at Christ the King Church pointed to the fact that most of the buildings in Kampala were designed by the Architect William Ssentongo.  

He was the founder of Ssentoogo and Partners, Architects and Planning Consultants.     

Some of the buildings highlighted included the Worker’s House, Communications House, the new chamber of parliament that is still under construction, the East African Development Bank building, and the Entebbe International Airport. 

Other buildings include the State House, Mapeera House, and remodeling of the Bank of Uganda headquarters and Bank of Uganda Mbrarara and others among others that tower over Kampala’s skyline. 

It is told that when William Henry Ssentoogo was a student at St. Mary's College, Kisubi his friends did not expect him to become an Architect but he rose to the task becoming one of the top architects in Uganda and Africa at large. 

Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor, Barnabas Nawangwe, said the late fought against the odds to become an Architect at a time when some of the colonial administrators thought the profession.

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Nawangwe, who is also an architect revealed that Ssentoogo left his job as Senior Architect at the Liverpool City Council to return to Uganda and to take up an appointment as Chief Architect and Planner at Kampala City Council now Kampala Capital City Authority. 

William Henry Ssentoogo studied Architecture at the Royal Technical College Nairobi before it was renamed the University of Nairobi. After Nairobi, he went on to study at the Central London Polytechnic and later the University College, London.

As a student at the University College London immersed himself in architecture at a time when architecture schools were turning to modernism. 

The late ensured that the African Union Architects was recognized by the Organization African Unity and later the African Union. 

Ssentoogo was a founding President of the Africa Union of Architects in 1981 and was the Vice President of the Commonwealth Association of Architects.
Other mourners noted that his professional accomplishments and exploits served the nation, and the region and were internationally recognized. 

Ssentoogo was the first person to be recognized as a fellow of the Uganda Society of Architects. He was the president of the Uganda Society of Architects for three years.

Mark (Walter) Koehler, the Chairman of Roko Construction said Architect Ssentongo was always reliable and available whenever duty called. He cited buildings like the Pension Towers which was started in 2009 and completed in 2012.   

Roko together with Architect Ssentoogo’s firm took on the task of putting up the Mapeera House. Koehler confirmed that Architect Ssentongo worked on the interior designs of Mapeera House.   

Roko and Architect Ssentoogo have been working on the new parliament chambers which Koehler said is likely to be one of the most magnificent chambers of Parliament.   

Architect Ssentoogo however died before the final work of the chamber whose construction was delayed by a number of extensions due to financial constraints. 

The late has been a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Uganda Society of Architects, the Architectural Association of Kenya, and the Royal Town Planning Institute UK. He was married to Mildred Warugaba Ssentoogo. 

He has left behind nine adult children. Mildred Ssentongo told the mourners that her late husband always dedicated time to his church despite his busy schedule. She said the late Architect William Ssentoogo loved music. 

Like in music, she said Ssentoogo ensured that there was harmony in the buildings that he designed. He will be buried at Ssekiwunga village in Kitende.  

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