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Bunyoro Mourns Dr. Sarah Ntiro, First Female Graduate

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Nelson Jimmex Businge, the deputy Mayor Hoima Municipality describes the late Dr. Ntiro as a devoted woman who was always straight forward in her endeavors.
The late Dr.Sarah Ntiro

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Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom is mourning the death of Dr. Sarah Nyendwoha Ntiro, the first female university graduate in East and Central Africa. Dr. Ntiro breathed her last at Mengo Hospital at 6:30pm on Monday evening where she had been rushed for treatment from her Kampala home.

A family source told URN that the 93-year-old has been sickly and weak for the last one year. Andrew Byakutaga, the Bunyoro Kingdom Prime Minister, says death has robbed Bunyoro of a mentor, dedicated, Intellectual, intelligent and resourceful person.

He says the late Dr. Ntiro will dearly be missed by the kingdom subjects because she has been an icon and inspired most of the Kingdom subjects to realize their academic dreams. Nathan Kyamanywa, the former Bishop of Bunyoro Kitara Diocese described the late Dr. Sarah Ntiro as the pioneer of education in Bunyoro sub region.

He says Ntiro inspired both men and women in Bunyoro sub-region and the country at large to focus on education for transformation of their societies. Bishop Kyamanywa describes the death of Dr. Ntiro as an end of a generation, saying she represented a generation of integrity, determination, morality and hard work.

“When I look the society today, I can see than our generation that is dropping what most of that generation stood for,” he said. Adding that, “Dr. Ntiro. Adding that, “She being the very first lady in East and Central Africa to be a graduate against all odds at that time shows a very strong personality determined to achieve.”

Nelson Jimmex Businge, the deputy Mayor Hoima Municipality describes the late Dr. Ntiro as a devoted woman who was always straight forward in her endeavors.

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Dr. Ntiro was born in Hoima to Erasto B. Nyendwoha Akiiki of the Bakwonga clan and Jane Nsungwa Nyendwoha Adyeri, from the Babiito clan in 1925.  She went for kindergarten at Duhaga Girls' School in Hoima and stayed there until Primary 4. She joined King's College Budo in 1938 where she spent eight years from Primary 5 to Secondary 6 (1938-1945).

She went on to seat the Makerere College entrance examinations and was admitted to Makerere College to train as a teacher. She completed three years, doing history, geography, English and teacher training.

Dr. Ntiro was denied the opportunity to study Mathematics because the Maths Tutor said he didn't teach girls. She did her teaching practice at King's College Budo and Kyebambe Girls' School and later received a teaching certificate.

In 1951, she joined Oxford University where graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History in 1954. Her first working stint was at Kyebambe Girls' School in Fort Portal. She joined Gayaza High School In 1955. She later had to leave Gayaza High School and join Duhaga Junior Secondary Schoo (DJSS) in Hoima where she taught for two years before resigning from active teaching service in 1958.

She served in the Uganda Legislative Council from 1958-1961 where she tabled a private member's bill on the Registration of Marriages in 1961 and was involved in women's organizations like the Uganda Council of Women and YWCA (U). From 1965 to August 1967, she worked at Ministry of Education as the secretary to the Teaching Service Committee. In September 1967, she joined Kings College Budo as a teacher. 

She resigned from teaching at King's College Budo in 1971 and joined Makerere University as an assistant secretary in the University secretary's office and clerk to the Makerere University Council, handling matters of the University Council (1971-1976.

In 1976, she was transferred from the office of the University secretary to the joint administration of the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences where she worked until October 1978. While at Makerere, she was also a Director of the East African Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (EAPTC).