To celebrate her graduation, Maj. Nakalema hosted her fellow students, college staff and their families to a luncheon.
PIC: Maj. Nakalema enjoys a light moment with her colleagues during her graduation celebrations
After a year of what she describes as a ‘rigorous, highly demanding yet edifying experience’, Major Edith Nakalema has completed the Advanced Command and Staff course.
She’s been attending the Joint Services and Command Staff College (JSCSC) at the UK Defence Academy in Shrivenham- which is located approximately 120 Kilometres west of London.
Until joining the course, Major Nakalema was President Yoweri Museveni’s personal assistant. 102 students from 55 different countries were enrolled with her. The other 210 students were members of the British Armed Forces. Uganda and Kenya were the only East African countries represented.
A member of the teaching staff explained that it was called ‘Joint Services’ because “it attracts participants from the army, air forces and navy”. Majority of students were lieutenant colonels, a rank above Nakalema’s.
The training includes international security studies, operational level planning, and strategy and policy.
To celebrate her graduation, Maj. Nakalema hosted her fellow students, college staff and their families to a luncheon. Brigadier Moses Rwakitarate and Brigadier Matthew Gureme- Uganda’s Defence Attaches in Brussels and London respectively, represented the UPDF.
The colourful luncheon, at which Ugandan food and drinks were served, attracted at least 100 people from 15 different countries.
Bantu, a traditional dance group dedicated to spreading Ugandan cultural music internationally, provided the entertainment.
The chief guest was Baroness Sandeep Verma, a member of the UK’s House of Lords.
In her speech, Maj. Nakalema was full of praise for her Commander-in-Chief, President Museveni, for giving her a ‘life changing opportunity to undergo this much sought-after training”. Uganda only gets one slot a year at the college.
A director at the college, Royal navy ship Capt. Pat Douglas, praised Maj. Nakalema for “organising a first of its kind’ celebration, adding that “Edith has boundless energy and an ability to make a lot of people smile, including myself”.
A colleague who shared a class with her said she was ‘persistent and tenacious. She always asked questions. She was willing to learn new things and did not let go of any subject until she understood it completely”
The college held a colourful ceremony presided over by its chief executive officer, Vice Air Marshal CJ Luck. The UK’s former International Development Minister, Baroness Lynda Chalker, attended the session as Maj. Nakalema’s guest.