Uganda’s first female lecturer Joyce Mpanga dies aged 89 

Uganda’s first female lecturer Joyce Mpanga dies aged 89 
Former minister and activist Owek Joyce Rovincer Mpanga has passed on. She was 89.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Uganda’s first female lecturer, Joyce Mpanga, has passed away at the age of 89. The sad news of her untimely demise was conveyed on X (formally Twitter).

In a statement posted on X, Makerere University celebrated Mpanga’s legacy, describing her as a politician, women’s rights crusader, and educationist who made significant contributions over the past six decades.

Makerere University’s post on X acknowledged Joyce Mpanga as one of the institution’s distinguished female alumni, citing her as the first female lecturer in the faculty of education at Makerere University and the inaugural African deputy headmistress at Gayaza High School. The post extended condolences and invoked the Almighty’s strength for Mpanga’s family and friends during this period of loss.

Speaker of Parliament Anita Among hailed Joyce Mpanga as a “trailblazer, champion of women’s causes, inspiration, and a leader who set high standards in our country.”

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, emphasized Mpanga’s profound impact on the emancipation of women and the transformation of the country’s education sector, recognizing her as a historical figure.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga remembered Joyce Mpanga as a mentor and role model, particularly for women leaders in Uganda. He highlighted her encouragement to many when she joined the Legislative Council (LEGCO) in 1960, the name Parliament held at that time. The nation mourns the loss of a pioneering figure whose influence shaped the realms of education, women’s rights, and politics in Uganda.

Joyce Mpanga personal life in summery

Joyce Rovincer Mpanga born 22 January 1934, a trailblazer in Ugandan education, politics, and women’s rights, has passed away at the age of 89. Originally aspiring to become a nurse, Mpanga’s journey took a different turn when, after completing junior high school, she joined Gayaza High School and gained automatic admission to Makerere College in 1953.

In 1957, Mpanga graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and pursued a post-graduate diploma in Education, becoming a part-time teacher at Makerere College and later in the faculty of education. Over six decades, Mpanga left an indelible mark as a politician, women’s rights crusader, and educationist. Notably, she became Makerere University’s first female lecturer and Gayaza High School’s inaugural African deputy headmistress.

Reflecting on her time at Makerere University in a recent interview, Joyce Mpanga fondly remembered the institution’s beauty and her academic achievements. As one of the few female students at the time, Mpanga faced challenges but excelled, earning the respect of her peers.

Her graduation in 1958 marked a double celebration, as she received both a Bachelor of Arts and a diploma in Education. Mpanga’s family and village celebrated her achievement, and she soon embarked on a teaching career at Makerere.

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Mpanga’s dedication to education led her to pursue a master’s degree in education at the University of Indiana in the United States. Upon her return, she faced offers from Gayaza High School but ultimately secured a position as Makerere’s first African female lecturer in 1964.

Proud of her contributions to Makerere, Mpanga continued to advocate for the institution’s dignity and urged current students to take pride in their academic accomplishments. Her legacy as a pioneer and educator will be remembered in Uganda’s history.

Joyce Mpanga’s passing leaves behind a legacy of resilience, leadership, and a trail of firsts that have inspired generations in Uganda.