Much has been said about Trinity’s African connections: students who came from Africa to study at Trinity, their achievements as old boys, and of course the fact that our Rev AG Fraser went with Mr AHR Joseph (Old Boy, Cricket Lion, Capt of Cricket, Rugby and Athletics, Ryde Gold Medallist and member of the Staff) to Africa’s Gold Coast (now called Ghana) to set up and run Achimota School, in the town of Achimota. What Fraser was and is to Africa’s Educational system and the God like reverence in which he is reputedly held in those regions is entirely another story.
Trinity has had neither Prime Ministers nor Presidents (either of Ceylon or Sri Lanka) to boast of, and I recall Mr Lionel Fernando who probably after his sombre announcement of the assassination of Michael Kagwa Jnr stated that Trinity would rather not have Old Boys as Premiers of Sri Lanka considering the then state of politics in our country (what would he say today?!) but said that we could boast of being the only Sri Lankan School to have produced a Prime Minister of Uganda – Ernest Mikaeri Kagwa also known as Michael Kagwa Snr .
Prof Gishan R Dissanaike had carried out some research on this when he was involved in the publication of the souvenir to mark the 41st year of the Rugger Ball, the 150th Bradby game and the Second Leg of the Bradby Shield match in Kandy on June 28th 2008. The theme of that souvenir was ‘Beyond Trinity Rugger’ and it’s purpose was to chronicle the achievements as far as was possible of some Trinity ruggerites in their later years.
There are 2 articles on Kagwas in that souvenir, one about Ernest Mikaeri Kagwa also known as Michael Kagwa Snr , by Prof Gishan Dissanaike and the other on Michael Kagwa Jnr by no less a person than Hilary Abeyratne himself. Both articles are reproduced in their entirety. It would be of interest that Michael Kagwa Jnr proceeded to Cambridge University to pursue higher studies.
The Kagwas came from the Kingdom of Buganda, a foreword about which would not be out of place: Buganda is a subnational kingdom within Uganda. It is the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda. The name Uganda is the Swahili term for Buganda and was adopted by British officials. Following Uganda’s independence in 1962, the kingdom was abolished in 1966. However the kingdom was officially restored in 1993. Buganda is now a kingdom monarchy with a large degree of autonomy from the Ugandan state. The ruling king of Buganda, known as the Kabaka, is Muwenda Mutebi II. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
RA[In the photograph above, seated on the far right is Ernest Serebe Kagwa, sitting on the ground far left is Ernest Michael Kagwa (Michael Kagwa Sr.)]