Friday, May 21, 2021

In memory of Prof. Isaac Kikongo-Bukenya

 by Justin Chisenga

Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya receiving the
SCECSAL Excellence Award, April 2018
Yesterday, Professor Isaac N. M. Kigongo-Bukenya, the last of the Three SCECSAL Musketeers, passed on.

I first met Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya during the SCANUL-ECS Conference on the theme – “Survival in a Changing Environment” held at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, 23-26 July 1998.  This was a pre-conference to the XIIIth SCECSAL Conference hosted by the Kenya Library Association, in Nairobi, 27 - 31 July. I travelled to Eldoret to seek support for the Namibian Information Workers Association (NIWA) to host the SCECSAL conference in 2000. 

Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya, together with the late Mr Jafred Shalimba Musisi (Kenya) and late Prof Maurice Chinfwembe Lundu (Zambia), encouraged me to get involved in SCECSAL and asked me to review and draft amendments to the SCECSAL constitution to be adopted at the XIVth SCECSAL conference in 2000, in Windhoek, Namibia. This was not going to be an easy task for me considering that I had no contacts or knew that many people in the SCECSAL member Library Associations. 

The three senior library and information science (LIS) professionals were good friends, and later I would always find them together at SCECSAL conferences. In my early years working on SCECSAL, I needed their support and help to move SCECSAL business forward and navigate the SCECSAL politics. Whenever I had challenges to address or a SCECSAL member Library Association was making life difficult for me, I would call upon them for help and guidance, and they would always come to my aid.  Because of this, I nick-named them – The Three SCECSAL Musketeers.

Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya at SCECSAL 2016
in Swaziland during the Cultural Evening event
Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya was ever-present at SCECSAL conferences. He was
always available to help conference organizers in many ways. He reviewed abstracts for the papers, chaired sessions at many conferences, mentored upcoming LIS professionals and guided them to write and present papers at conferences, and he presented several papers. All these roles, in one way or another, contributed immensely to the growth of SCECSAL and the LIS profession in the region. 

My cherished memory of him is that of being a jovial person which made him stand out. He was also a very easy person to approach and get along with. No wonder organizers of many SCECSAL Conferences always asked him to serve as master of ceremony during SCECSAL functions and he always gave his best. 

I also recall in 2002, during the Cultural Evening at XVth SCECSAL Conference in Johannesburg, when leaders of delegations from SCECSAL member Library Associations were asked to introduce themselves.  He loudly and jokily indicated that he was leading the largest “airborne” delegation of participants at the conference. We had a good laugh. He was right. More library and information professionals from Uganda had flown in for the conference, than the number of participants from each country neighbouring or close to South Africa.  

Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya dedication and commitment to SCECSAL was unquestionable. Only a handful of the current senior LIS professionals in the SCECSAL countries can be said to be as dedicated as he was.

I am happy to note that the SCECSAL General Council, on 23 April 2018, recognized Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya and awarded him the SCECSAL Excellence Award for his outstanding contribution to SCECSAL.

May His Soul Rest In Peace!.

Video: Uganda Library and Information Association won the 2012 SCECSAL Cultural Evening Award and Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya celebrated with the members. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Professor Isaac Kigongo-Bukenya passes on

Dear SCECSAL fraternity, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing on of Professor Isaac N.M. Kigongo-Bukenya. Professor Kigongo- Bukenya has been a pillar of LIS not only in Uganda and SCECSAL region but globally. Professor Kigongo-Bukenya will be fondly remembered for his immense support to SCECSAL since its formation in 1974. 

Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya had participated in 15 SCECSAL conferences and played key roles at the conferences including as a paper presenter, conference paper reviewer and key note speaker. Professor has also been a LIS trainer and mentor to many librarians in Uganda, East Africa, Africa and world over.

Professor Kigongo passed on today 20th May, at around 2:54pm. We shall immensely miss you Professor. 

May His Soul Rest in Perfect Eternal Peace. 

R.I.P: Prof. Isaac N.M. Kigongo-Bukenya