Leicester graduates in the news: Livingstone Walusimbi
New Vision (“Uganda’s leading daily”) carries a profile of Livingstone Walusimbi, Professor of Linguistics at Makerere University. Born into a peasant family in 1935, Walusimbi worked his way through the Uganda educational system of the 1940s and 1950, leading to a teaching certificate from the National Teachers College in Kyambogo in 1958.
Four years later, he received his first language teaching qualification, a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language which he studied here at Leicester. He later moved to UCLA where he received a Diploma, a Masters and then a PhD in 1976.
By then he was a lecturer in the Department of Languages at Makerere University, where the entire focus was on teaching non-African languages. Professor Walusimbi was responsible for introducing the teaching of native Ugandan languages to the Department, starting with Luganda.
English is the official first language of Uganda but Luganda is the second most common. It is the first language for about seven million Ugandans (in a population of about 36 million) and a second language for several million more. In 1992 Professor Walusimbi was made the first ever Professor of Linguistics at a Ugandan university; under his guiding hand, the department has also introduced the teaching of other languages including Runyakitara, Ateso and Luo.