Dr. Sarah Nyendwoha Ntiro

Uganda is mourning the death of Dr. Sarah Nyendwoha Ntiro, the first woman who claimed to have been the first female graduate from university in East and Central Africa. She was aged 92.

The deceased graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History from Oxford University in 1954.
According to her nephew, Mr. Edgar Agaba, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Attorney General, Dr. Nyendwoha died Monday evening as she was being taken to Mengo Hospital for treatment illnesses she has been battling since early this year.

Ntiro was was born in Hoima district to the late Erasto B. Nyendwoha Akiiki and Jane Nsungwa Nyendwoha Adyeri. Both her parents are said to have been teachers and this partly informs their willingness to see their daughter attain such milestones.

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She went to Duhaga Girls’ School, King’s College Budo and Makerere College where she trained as a teacher. She was to later do her teaching practice at King’s College Budo and Kyebambe Girls’ School before receiving her teaching certificate.

Accordingly, Dr. Nyendwoha was the first East and Central African woman to graduate from Oxford University since at that time no tertiary institutions granted degrees in East Africa.

In 1955, she joined Gayaza High School before joining Duhaga Junior Secondary School (DJSS) in Hoima where she taught for two years before she resigned from active teaching service in 1958.
At Gayaza, when she discovered that her salary was to be less than that of her male counterparts, she offered to work for one year without pay as a form of protest and repay for sponsoring her education.

When she told them she would resign to find employment, not as a woman but any other worker, the authorities succumbed to her demands and she started receiving “equal pay for equal work done.” It was because of this that some publications likened her to American civil rights activist, Rosa Parks.

She contributed so much to the nation because when the British announced that they were to grant Uganda independence, Dr. Nyendwoha started civic education sessions at the Hoima district headquarters and enlightened the masses on democracy and elections
She also served in the Uganda Legislative Council from 1958-1961 where she tabled a private member’s bill on the Registration of Marriages in 1961.

In December 1958, she married Sam Joseph Ntiro (RIP) and together, they had two sons, Joseph Kakindo Ntiro Amooti (1960) and Simbo Nyakwera Ntiro Atenyi (RIP).
Her family will communicate her burial arrangements in due time.
May her soul rest in peace.

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