Do one thing at a time – Nareeba

Dr. Nareeba is a lecturer at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration. In December, he graduated with a PhD from Kisii University, in Kenya.
In The Standard’s efforts to inspire members of the university, Eva Kyomugisha interviewed him and he shared his story with us.

Whereas most people in Africa pursue education just to build their statuses, others like Dr Peter Nareeba use education to fulfil their curiosity to understand the world better.
Dr Nareeba, a lecturer with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, graduated with a PhD from the University of Kisii in Kenya in December. He is one of five PhDs out of the 5,562 graduates last year.

Dr Nareeba during his graduation at Kisii University in Kenya (Courtesy photo)


“I do not believe that I am the one who has graduated,” Dr Nareeba says while looking at a picture of himself during his graduation after concluding his PhD.
This achievement makes Nareeba one of the two full-time PhD holders in the Social Work department of UCU. His decision to study a PhD was inspired by his love to keep up with the current trends of his profession.
According to Dr Nareeba, his love for Social Work and Social Administration stems from his love for scouting which he actively pursued for most of his younger years to the point that he reached the second last level known as the life scout.
“Scouting involved a lot of interaction with different people; you help people in the various capacities which are similar to what Social Work and Social Administration does,” he said.
The focus of his research was Social networks and their influence of integration in public universities in Uganda. In his research, Dr Nareeba looked at how students from other countries help UCU achieve success as a centre of excellence in the heart of Africa. He explains that he is interested in the way students socialize while at campus vis-a-vis academic work.
“My focus was on five universities Makerere University, Kabale University, Mbarara University, Busitema University and Gulu University,” he explains.
He discovered that students are more interested in tribal associations than academic associations. He argued that the reason for this was that tribal associations created a sense of brotherhood and students use them as a social identifier to belong to something specific.
“This, however, means that minority tribes find themselves isolated. People tend to get into social isolation because they do not have an association they belong to,” Dr Nareeba says.
However, he explains that some of these tribal interactions need to be monitored especially those that are done online. People focus more on social issues rather than academic issues.
“Some of these associations send messages that encourage hatred among the cultures, which will only affect the students’ interactions,” he states.
Like most students, Dr Nareeba also had challenges. He explains that the biggest challenge he faced while studying for his PhD was the travel costs he incurred to move between Uganda and Kenya. “I was paying the tuition for myself which meant that sometimes, my wife had to peach in at some point,” he explains.
He further explains that the PhD studies took a lot of time away from his family as during the week he had to teach while on the weekends he studied in Kenya. “But the experience itself gave me a lot of exposure living in a foreign land,” he says.
Dr Nareeba’s role model is Rev Canon Prof Christopher Byaruhanga, the dean of the School of Divinity and Theology, who encouraged him to pursue a PhD. He is also inspired by Prof Elizabeth Kukunda Bacwayo who continued to guide him with his research. In the next 10 years, Dr Nareeba hopes to become a full professor. Currently, he has applied to become a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration.

Dr Nareeba and a family member during his graduation (Courtesy photo)

Family background
Dr Nareeba was born in 1978 in Kyabuhangwa parish in Rukiga County, Kabale District. He is the youngest of six children of John and Generous Rubaaye of Kamwezi Sub-county, Rukiga District, both of whom are commercial farmers. He is married to Annet Nareeba and the two have one child, Mark Williams Nareeba.

Education background
Dr Nareeba attended Kyogo Primary School in Kabale District for his primary education. He then went to Kigezi High School in Kabale District where he sat for his O-level examinations. For his A-level education, he attended Kigezi College, Butobere and later joined Kyambogo University where he pursued a Diploma in Education.
In 2003, he joined UCU to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration, which he completed in 2007. He then embarked on a postgraduate degree in Project Planning in 2008 and later pursued a Master of Social Work and Social Administration from Bishop Barham University College (BBUC) in Kabale.
He holds a postgraduate degree in Monitoring and Evaluation from the Uganda Management Institute (UMI) and a Certificate in Law from the Law Development Centre (LDC).

Work experience
In 2011, Dr Nareeba started teaching in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at Bishop Barham University College in Kabale District following the completion of his Master’s degree. He later left the university and joined Kabale University, where he taught for two years and headed a department while there.
He later rejoined UCU but this time he was teaching at Mbale College where he stayed until December 2018. He then transferred to the main campus in Mukono.
In 2017, Dr Nareeba worked as a managing consultant at AMAAN Consult Limited, a private consultancy firm, incorporated in Uganda, with headquarters in Ntinda, Kampala, Uganda.
He has also served as branch manager in Five Talents Uganda in western Uganda where the main focus was poverty reduction through increasing saving culture and building strong and resilient communities with self-reliance. Between 2000 and 2003, he worked as a teacher at St Francis College, Kyanamira, Kigezi College, Butobere, and Nyabikoni Secondary School, Butobere, all of which are in Kabale District.
Dr Nareeba’s students and colleagues say he is a fine guy. “He is a good lecturer and free with the students,” says Lilian Akankunda, a third-year student of Social Work and Social Administration.
According to Cliff Kato, a lecturer at the department, Dr Nareeba’s friendly personality has made him very approachable with both students and staff.
“He has excellent teaching skills and kind to those around him. His PhD will help in the development of the department as far as research is concerned,” Kato says.

Advice to community
“Do one thing at a time. Concentrating on one thing is very important in making sure you do it right,” Dr Nareeba says.
He also advises students to listen to their supervisors, especially when it comes to research. “Sometimes we ignore our supervisors, we find the same things they told us to do in a different situation,” he says.