By Lhwanzu Kitooke
Ritah Namakola Nangede, the departed Uganda Christian University Mass Communication finalist was laid to rest at her ancestral home in Buwalasi Sub-county (Pato town), Sironko District on Friday March 23rd, 2018.
The last born in the family of three girls, Ritah succumbed to pneumonia at the Joint Clinical Research Centre in Lubowa. At the time of her death, she had been put on oxygen but God appears to have had different plans for her. On Tuesday 21, she went to be with the Lord at around 6:00 pm.
At the time of her death, she was doing her internship with the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.
Speaker after speaker at her burial spoke fondly of Ritah.
Henry Masolo, her grandfather described her as a very strong young lady who fought a hard battle.
“She was so strong spiritually, she had sickness but she still had hope to make it through education and start a fight against pneumonia.”
He revealed that, “I never used to care about dress code because of my age. But Ritah made me smart, she cut my beard and she is the reason I am a smart ‘Jaaja’ today”.
Mr. Joseph Kiva her former lecturer who led the UCU delegation at the burial described Namakola as a friendly and kind person, “She used to call me ‘bestest,’ a slang to mean ‘the best of all.’ She had friends in all categories whether young, old, students, lecturers,” Kiva said.
Gertrude Lamunu who spoke on behalf of her classmates at UCU said,
“We used to call her ‘Aloyo,’ an Acholi word that means, ‘I am a winner!’, she said adding, “She was so kind and apologetic in case she offended anyone. I can’t promise that I will be strong without you Ritah but I pray that God keeps you safe,” Lamunu said with so much grief on her face.
In his condolence message read to the mourners Hon. Nandala Mafabi said, “I knew Ritah personally, I was so saddened by the news because I had lost a young friendly and focused lady.”
The preacher, Rev. Canon James Wanyanga encouraged people to be Christ-like. She hailed the deceased for sticking to the right goal of following Christ.
“I have seen her since child-hood when she was a Sunday school leader,” he said.
Her colleagues at the parliament of Uganda described her as soft and hardworking.
Her elder sister’s eulogy left many in tears, “Ritah asked me on 20th March, when my birthday was. I told her 22nd March. She wished me a happy birthday, it’s like she knew she wouldn’t be there on that day. I was instead watching her take her last breath the following day.”
Surprisingly, the day of her burial also coincided with her other sister’s birthday,
“I can’t believe I am burying my young sister on my birthday (23rd March). I can’t believe I won’t see her anymore, May God put her in a better place,” she said to a tearful gathering.
The uncle of the deceased Frank Macali who spoke on behalf of all relatives thanked UCU for supporting Namakola.
Namakola was born on 22nd January, 1996. She died on 21st March, 2018.