KAMPALA – A senior city lawyer, who started as a street preacher at the age of 13, has been awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy (PhD) for his outstanding contribution to humanity. Samuel Mayanja won the accolade from the Northwestern Christian University of the US. Mayanja said he was proud to have been honoured with the doctorate by an internationally acclaimed university. The award ceremony, held on Tuesday at Serena Hotel Conference Centre in Kampala, was presided over by Prof. Dr Robinson Makhokha, the chancellor of the university, Nairobi campus in Kenya. The function also featured at least 100 other students, men and women, eight of whom also graduated with PhD degrees. The other students graduated with bachelor’s, master’s degrees and diplomas in different fields. These included theology, philosophy, psychology, leadership, management and administration as well counselling. Conferring the PhD degree upon Mayanja, Makhokha hailed him for his resilience, determination, enthusiasm and great interest in serving the Church and humanity. Makhokha also praised Mayanja’s interest in the work for the Church and Christianity as a whole.”Mayanja’s determination to carry on the work of his father and his great grandfather of preaching Christianity at such a tender age, is, no doubt, the work of the Holy Spirit,” he said. Mayanja, a senior city advocate and senior partner with Kampala Associated Advocates, expressed gratitude to Northwestern Christian University for recognising his contribution to humanity.
Mayanja narrated that he was inspired by his great-grandfather Apollo Kivebulaaya, a great evangelist who was involved in various religious fighting groups during Uganda’s religious wars of the late 1880s. He said he was further inspired into Christian life by his father, Erinest Birebwe, who followed in the footsteps of his father, Kivebulaaya. Mayanja started his Christian work as a Kampala street preacher aged 13 and preached in the city suburbs of Bwaise, Nakulabye, Kawempe, Kiwuunya, Makerere-Kivvulu and Katanga. Hailing the university for the great work of training church ministers, Mayanja said the graduation was proof that they were now equipped with knowledge. He said he believes the graduands were anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit and would preach the gospel with all the energy at their disposal. Museneni’s leadership praised Mayanja also praised President Yoweri Museveni for distinctly standing out as the most God-fearing leader for giving Ugandans freedom of worship. He said during Uganda’s dark days, Christians used to pray to God to give the country a God-fearing leader, which He answered with Museveni. Mayanja said Museveni’s leadership has ensured peace and stability for the last 35 years and he deserved to be re-elected. Graduands urged Born-again Christian Prof. Dr. Anthony Mugisha of School of Veterinary Science, Makerere University, who was the chief guest, urged the graduands to consider themselves as ministers in the Church. He urged the graduands to be leaders and work with the community. Other guests included the university’s dons, namely Dr Pauline Burthwick, Dr Gilbert Birungi and Dr Paul Wanyama.