By Irene Best Nyapendi
Precious Claire Ninsiima, 22, is the best student graduate from the October 13, 2023, ceremony. The Bachelor of Business Administration student could have joined a public university, where she was offered a scholarship, but didn’t. Her mother chose Uganda Christian University (UCU) because of its moral principles and image as a Christ-centered institution.
“My mother saw that it was important for me to study at UCU because of its values,” Ninsiima said. “She believed those values would prepare me for the outside world so that no matter what I found after school, I would know how to navigate.”
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Of the 986 graduates on the UCU main campus celebration in Mukono, 459 were males and 527 females. The graduation included graduates from UCU’s constituent colleges of Kampala and Arua campuses. Ninsiima starred among the 33 – 20 female, 13 male – who got first-class degrees. Ninsiima, who studied at the Kampala campus, shone as the overall best student with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.78. She was also separately awarded as best female student and best arts student.
Gilbert Afema was the best male student with a CGPA of 4.60 in a Bachelor of Divinity. Martin Juuko was recognized as the top science student for scoring a CGPA of 4.50 in Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
To Ninsiima, the accolades served as proof to her that she has the ability to excel in any endeavor she chooses to pursue as long as she approaches it with determination and effort.
“It feels good knowing that I was the overall best student,” she said. “It also shows me that I have the potential to do well. I now know that if I put my mind to anything, I can excel at it.”
She commended UCU for instilling merits such as integrity and Christ-centeredness in students. She firmly believes that by embracing these values, students can become better individuals.
“I appreciate UCU’s culture of Christianity,” Ninsiima said. “I didn’t think that there would be an institution where you have something like community worship. This helped me carry on with my spirituality.”
Ninsiima’s life at UCU: Balancing Books and Leadership
Ninsiima juggled her books with leadership. She was the deputy finance minister at Kampala campus, class representative and chairperson of Class Representatives Association. She said it was tough to balance books and leadership, but because she was an evening student (studying from 5 to 9 p.m.), she managed fairly well.
“Regardless of how tough it got, I had it at the back of my mind that my education was a priority. So, I made sure that my academics didn’t suffer at the cost of leadership” she said. “When it was time for class, I would prioritize that.”
UCU’s impact on her went beyond academics to co-curricular activities such as sports and community outreach. These experiences allowed her to engage with the community and provide valuable service.
“In 2022, I participated in a sports gala which gave me a chance to interact with other students at the university,” Ninsiima said. “It also built team spirit within us at the School of Business as we worked towards one goal to win.”
Her memorable experiences include an outreach to a Kampala slum, where she helped to clean the environment, encouraged people to donate blood and taught residents how to make reusable sanitary towels.
With ambitions to excel in her career, she envisions entering fields such as financial consultancy, financial analysis or auditing, among others. Her passion for business stems from its potential for growth and financial freedom.
“With formal employment, you can only grow as much as your employer wants you to; at each point you have to ask for more salary or wait to get promoted, while with business, if you establish a good brand, and keep working hard, you are able to grow and have financial freedom,” Ninsiima quipped.