Patrick Tumusiime Kamulegeya graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Ndejje University. He is now at Makerere University pursuing Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology
He is generally well off financially compared to many Ugandans especially his contemporaries. He has a good house admired by many, he has a car and he’s taking care of his family including taking his children to what is considered good schools in Uganda.
However, after 23 three years out of school, he decided to advance his education in 2012 with the aim of solving some challenges the society is facing.
The story of Patrick Tumusiime Kamulegeya, 54, who has been in transport business for many years including being a taxi driver, is quite inspiring and full of lessons for everyone especially those who keep postponing going back to school to pursue their dreams.
Tumusiime, a primary school teacher by profession quit his job due to poor pay and joined transport business. However, a few years ago, he decided to upgrade his education; he is now a second year finalist student pursuing a Master of Science degree in clinical psychology of Makerere University and his dream is to get PhD.
Below is his inspiring story;
Who is Patrick Tumusiime Kamulegeya?
Patrick Tumusiime Kamulegeya is a son to the late Basil Kamulegeya Amooti and Eupharazia Gahurabingi Adyeeri.
I am a Munyoro by tribe from Kasambya sub-county, Bugangaizi West County, Kakumiro District (Greater Kibaale). I was born on 4th march 1966 in Virika Hospital, Fort-Portal.
I am the second born of the said parents followed by six other children. My father was polygamous which made him have 26 children.
I went to Kasambya Primary School for my primary education, Bashir High School for ordinary education and New Styles Secondary School for higher education.
I then went to Duhaga Teacher’s College for a teaching certificate and a Diploma in Guidance and Counseling from Uganda Catholic Management & Training Institute awarded by Uganda Martyrs University.
I later joined Ndejje University for my Bachelor’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling (graduated on 13th October 2017) and I am now a second year finalist student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology of Makerere University.
I am currently carrying out my internship at Butabika National Mental Referral Hospital.
I am therefore a teacher by profession, a counselor, researcher and a clinical psychologist. I hold also hold a certificate in acceptance and commitment therapy from United States of America (online).
I understand after senior four you trained as a teacher and you taught for few years and joined private transport business. Why did you quit teaching?
True, after College I started teaching at Alfa primary School on Nabulagala road in Nakulabye, then I joined City Council where they posted me at Makerere Church of Uganda Primary School on top of Makerere hill.
I taught there for about three years and left due to poor payments. I remember very well teachers even went on strike over pay.
I decided to quit teaching and joined transport industry.
I started by working as a bus conductor in my Uncle’s bus company known as Sebastian Ssali Ssekitoleko bus company (S.S.S) . We operated on different routes, Fort Portal, Masindi, Gulu, Kitgum, Adjuman and Moyo. I further worked as a pick-up special hire driver and a taxi driver as well for several years.
You’re generally well off financially with a family and a house in Kampala. One would say you are successful. What inspired you to go back to school after 23 years?
Oh yes, your very right. I also thought I was successful by that time, but later on I discovered that success without value was nothing in life. I then made a choice to go back for studies to add value to my success.
This is because “its choice but not chance that determines one’s destiny”.
But most importantly, like the old adage, a fruit doesn’t fall far away from its tree, I was inspired by my brothers and sisters of whom more than ten of them hold Master’s degrees; one has PhD and more than twenty post graduate Diplomas, ordinary Diplomas and several certificates. This made me feel odd man out of the family, thus fueling me to further my studies.
I had to further my studies seeking for new ideas other than claiming new resources in order to visualize and actualize my capabilities so as to make my dreams and realities come true.
I aimed at fitting in the family and society, being a role model, inspiring the younger generation, impacting society, bettering my life, acquiring more skills not only knowledge, but above all to satisfy the desires of my heart.
Didn’t you get discouragements from the public especially your friends?
Why not? When I decided to go back to school at the age of 43 in 2012, people started laughing at me and asking me questions like; ‘what are you looking for? You are driving yourself, you have a good house, and your children are in good schools, why don’t you use that money to start up a business?’
But I had learnt that a man who tries to succeed must expect criticisms. They thought they would change my aim and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life, except weakness, fear and hopelessness died in me. But strength, power and courage were born in me. I remained the same Patrick, my ambitions remained the same, my hopes the same, and my dreams remained the same.
What helped you to remain focused despite the challenges and responsibilities you had?
Like the saying goes “The wind cannot uproot the tree, but the weakness of the roots does” thus in spite of the challenges and responsibilities I was encountering in my life, the state of my endurance helped me to remain focused and served as a source of my strength. I remained committed, focused and determined, since I had learnt that “No one can go back and make a brand new start” but I had learnt that, “anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending”, and indeed I have lived to witness my brand new ending.
After your Master’s degree, will you go for PhD? If yes, what’s your dream and vision?
Indeed, my dream has always been to have a Doctorate in psychology (PhD) in the near future but the problem is lack of funds.
If I could get funders or a scholarship I would be willing to start it immediately come the next academic year and my vision is to become an advanced psychologist with a legacy of excellence in clinical psychology to benefit society through improving people’s lives.
What advice do you have for the youth and people who don’t want to go back to school?
I would advise them to be more focused because the world is evolving with advanced technology; it needs educated people to compete with it not only aiming at job opportunities, but education helps one to improve on one’s thinking, reasoning, creativity and problem solving skills in their lives. Most people keep consoling themselves that I wish I had parents I would have studied, please if you are committed, determined and with the zeal of studying, you can make it regardless of being an orphan.
For those calling themselves aged, please age is just a number which has nothing to do with education. What is important is you achieving your desired goals/dreams regardless of age. The one who graduated 10 years back and another who graduated 5 years back and the one who graduated last year or this year have the same qualification and all are addressed as graduates.
In my book titled “From the troubled past to a meaningful future” I clearly mentioned that “One cannot go back and make a brand new start, but one can start from now and make a brand new ending”, which I am witnessing today. I am counseling clients, I am a clinical psychologist treating clients at a national referral hospital (Butabika) where I am carrying out my internship, I am lecturing at University and I am a researcher. Isn’t that a brand new ending at the age of 50 plus?
You have studied psychology at different levels. Why did you choose this particular course?
After experiencing a lot of challenges many Ugandans were going through such as physical, economical, psychological, environmental and spiritual challenges (psycho-social problems) among several others as a result of domestic violence, natural calamities, and manmade, I decided to study psychology so as to help the general public from such challenges by guiding and counseling them.
I also later discovered that the most affected population were the youth of which 75% were commonly affected by psychological disorders. This prompted me to enroll for an advanced degree in clinical psychology specializing in mental diseases, to help the youth since the biggest percentage were suffering from mental disorders yet they are the future leaders. And I am looking forward to enrolling for a PhD in psychology if at all I get funders since I am unable to fund myself now.
Some people would invest the money you’re investing in education into other things. How much have you so far spent on a degree and Master’s? Have you got any support?
This is because I know that education is the best permanent investment in life. I spent approximately 10 million Ugandan shillings on my bachelor’s degree and my Masters degree is estimated at around 15 millions Ugandan shillings. I have been funding my self right from diploma to Master’s with a bit of support from my brothers and sisters (the Kamu-simere’s family).
How do you balance paying your own tuition and that of your children? And how do you balance studies, family and work?
It’s really been a big task since three of us are at the University, myself, my daughter ( first born), my son (second born), and last born now in senior five in a boarding school.
What I have to do is looking for and paying my children tuition and school fees first before thinking about myself because it would look queer to be in a lecture while my children are at home because I have not cleared their tuition.
At least I have reached somewhere, I would rather miss classes or exams for the sake of my children but I thank God none of us have ever missed exams because of non-payment of tuition or school fees.
To be successful I lay down a time table for all my schedules and strictly follow it. This acts as a map that helps me locate my success. I wake up early, go for work to get money to cater for my needs and my family, I then rush to campus in the evening for my lectures, after lectures I then rush home through heavy traffic jam.
After reaching home, I take a shower, relax a bit to reduce the day long stress and after supper, I turn back to the dining table to embark on writing my course works and other assignments given to me.
I do this for a given period as I have to rest to let my brains consolidate whatever I’ve been going through the whole day. These are the qualities I set to lead me to successes because I already learnt that, the most important quality of successful people is their willingness to change. No one can actually say that you deserve better, because the best thing that you deserve, will always be your choice.
Let’s talk about jobs. After your studies, what do you hope to do?
I am still involved in transport business though not much since I started my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. This Course is almost a full time course.
On top of that, I do teaching in some Universities as a teaching assistant where I teach psychology course units. I also do counseling and research but with no permanent job at the moment.
I look forward to getting a job in organizations or institutions like Hospitals, Schools, refugee settlements and research consultation firms, as a counselor, lecturer and researcher or as a clinical psychologist.
Your last comment…
This goes to the general public; those who keep saying I would have gone back to study but I don’t have money or what I am earning is not enough to cater for my needs and studies. Let me advise you, that you will never have enough money for all your needs because educating self or children is not about having enough money, it’s all about heart or sacrifice towards the better future of yourself or your children.
As its always said that “the first step is always the hardest”, to many people decision making is the hardest thing to do, but when you make a right decision and take a first step and enroll, everything becomes workable.
For sure I started all my courses without enough money but because I had set my conscious mind positively, I have managed to succeed through commitment and determination regardless of lacking enough funds.
Currently I have a debt of Shs7.5 millions to clear tuition if I am to graduate with my advanced degree, but I have been a committed student and I am done with all my requirements as I look forward to getting the money so that I can clear and graduate. Lets always change our mindsets (attitudes since attitude determines altitude), the rest will always be workable.
I am really grateful and privileged to share my life story to the public because I believe it may make a positive impact to many lives out there.
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