Kigezi culture icon Omugurutsi Festo dies at 95


A prominent culture icon in Kigezi region Omugurutsi Festo Karewemera has died.

He was a Runyankole-Rukiga local language author and translator.

He passed on Sunday at the age of 95 at Rugarama Hospital where he has been receiving treatment.

He succumbed to multiple organ failure due to old age.

Victoria University

Karwemera was well known for his passion and love to promote the efficiency of speaking Runyankore-Rukiga languages on public functions and radio programs.

He has authored 17 books in Runyankore-Rukiga language.

They include the popular Katodozi (Dictionary) which he co-authored with President Museveni, translating the Holy Bible and the constitution of Uganda in the local language.

Other prominent books he authored include emicwe nemigyenzo y’a Bakiga, Otebwa orurimi rwawe, the history of Kigezi among others.

Because of efficiency in authoring books in the Rukiga local language.

Kabale University on June 24 2017, awarded him an honorary doctorate of literature, the function that was presided over by the university’s chancellor Prof Mondo Kagonyera.

He is survived by a wife Aidah Karwemera, 5 children, 25 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.


Omugurusi Karwemera was born in 1925 in Karubanda village Buhara sub county, Kabale District.

He went to Muyebe, Kinyasano and Kigezi High School for primary and secondary education respectively.

He joined Nyakasura Teacher Training College where he attained a certificate in primary school teaching.

He later joined Mukono Teacher Institute where he attained a diploma in the same field.

He served as a teacher in several native Anglican Church schools, an inspector of schools for Kabale District before he was appointed as the head teacher for Hornby high school from 1964-1965.

In 1966, he was appointed to head the Save the Children fund by the diocese of Kigezi administration.

In 1970 to 1972 he was appointed to head the national trading corporation in Kigezi by the central government.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here