The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has received an accolade that her book titled ‘My Life’s Journey’ fetched as the best Biography/Auto biography book in the Uganda Book Awards 2018.
The accolade was handed over to the First Lady on Friday at Nakasero State House on Friday by the President of the Book Forum of Uganda Nasser Kakumba and Samuel Majwega, the Chairperson Uganda Publishers Association who were together with other members of the Uganda Book Awards team.
Mrs. Janet Museveni’s book competed with four other books by other authors in the category of Best Biography /Auto biography book of the year 2018 and it emerged the best. The nomination exercise was done by 25 bookshops across the country.
Janet Museveni said she was humbled that her book featured in the Book Awards and was nominated as one of the best. She said, “I thank God that He kept us alive and took us through such a journey and in time enabled me to tell this story”. She also thanked James Tumusiime the proprietor of Fountain Publishers, who she said encouraged her to put her story on paper and her family who supported her putting together this story.
Janet Museveni, who explained that apart from being a First Lady, her background has been a humble one and she knows the suffering that Ugandans have gone through, described ‘My Life’s Journey’ as a book that tells an honest story. She pointed out that being a First Lady is perhaps just an opportunity that God has given her to change some of the many things that are wrong. “God has His purposes why He chooses people and maintains them to do His work until it is done”, she said.
She thanked the Uganda Book Awards for this initiative to promote the reading and writing culture. She however encouraged them to find a way to put up libraries especially in the rural areas, so as to interest the young people in reading, sharpen their thinking and change their life style. “If we had libraries in some of the towns around the country, then the young people would be inspired to read”.
On behalf of the Uganda Book Awards team, Nasser Kakumba congratulated Mrs. Janet Museveni upon winning such a prestigious award. He said that there were twenty-one categories of books this year and the authors of the winning book in each category were awarded at a function held at Hotel Triangle on 7th December. Some of the winners he mentioned were Dr. Martin Aliker, Pr. Robert Kayanja, Hamis Kiggundu, and Lilian Tindyebwa among others.
He explained that the main reason they organize the awards is to promote the writing and reading culture amongst Ugandans. He said the Ministry of Education can ensure that the reading culture is boosted right from primary school. “We propose that besides pupils and students reading with an aim of passing exams only, let school time tables have a provision of non–academic reading. Time should be allocated for students to freely read about business, moral development, unemployment, health, Uganda’s history among others with the supervision of their teachers. The Ministry can also consider buying some books written by Ugandans for the students and pupils. Those books will help provide knowledge to our students in for instance areas of unemployment and moral development besides class work”, he added.
He also said that the Book forum of Uganda has started on a project of digitizing some of the Ugandan books to increase access to books written by Ugandans both locally and internationally, but which project still needs a lot of financial support. He also requested the Ministry of Education and Sports to support and be part of the activities of the Book Forum of Uganda and the revival of the Annual Book Fair.
James Tumusiime said he was happy that some of the books they published including Janet Museveni’s My Life’s Journey have been recognized. He said My Life’s Journey is very popular and it helps to show that you can be a First Lady and also be human with a story that can be shared to inspire people. “A well written biography can inspire, motivate, instruct and build skills”, he said.