The heartbreaking story of Stephen Renny Galogitho can't help but leave one pondering over unanswered questions about the circumstances of his expulsion from Makerere University, two weeks before the completion of his medical course.
The woes of Mr. Galogitho began in 1996 as the guild president of Makerere University when he mobilized fellow students to protest the cost-sharing policy that sought to scrap free University education (government sponsorships) for the best-performing students in the country.
Galogitho had a personal attachment to the cause. He was born to a poor family in Tororo district that could hardly support his education despite his brilliant performance in class.
He fell in and out of school because of school dues. Once in primary, he was sent home for fees and was found shooting birds by two priests who picked and took him to the Seminary and aided his education. There he observed medical doctors and was inspired by seeing them treat patients and make them well.
“When I was in the seminary, majority of their (priests) friends were doctors. So I started getting inspiration from them," he recalls.
Galogitho completed primary seven with 4 aggregates that got him admission at St. Peter’s College Tororo. Because of his excellent performance, he was admitted to St. Marys Kisubi for his A-level education.
Once again, his outshining performance in PCB/ Maths combination earned him a government sponsorship to Makerere University to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He says he was to use his medical qualifications to serve society and the less privileged in his community.
“I looked at becoming a doctor most importantly because a doctor does not treat merely disease but also treats society. A doctor should live because people are healthy not because people are sick,” said Gilogitho during Saturday’s Brunch Talk Show in an interview with Olive Najjuma.
He added “there were some medical imperatives that I saw while growing up in the villages. People were sick with treatable conditions, but, they could die from them. So I had anticipated that if I became a doctor, I would even probably go under a mango tree, with my surgeon’s knife, someone comes with their hydrocele, I uproot it and discharge them, they go home and continue with their peasant life. I thought that I would be very useful to my people and the community as a whole,” he explained.
26 years later, Galogitho says that after his dismissal from the University, he was “thrown in shambles between hell and heaven, left dangling in the middle of nowhere'. This is because he was never given a fair hearing by the University leaving him with tarnished dreams.
Anyhow, Galogitho pursued a Bachelor’s of Public Administration at Drake University in the US. Another group of 8 people touched by Galogitho’s story created a Facebook account dubbed ‘Friends of Galogitho Renny Stephen’ with people from all walks of life coming together to restore the life of Galogitho and help him gain social justice.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1 pm on RX Radio.