Nansikombi laid to rest as tributes flow


“She was a meticulous and multi-talented leader who touched many lives.”

PIC: A cross-section of mourners during the funeral service of the late late Stella Nansikombi Makubuya at St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe on Thursday. (Credit: Mathias Mazinga)


Glowing tributes continue to flow for Stella Nansikombi Mukasa, an internationally acclaimed women’s rights advocate who died aged 51 from cancer-related complications in Virginia, USA early this month.

Nansikombi was the wife of the Third Deputy Katikkiro of Buganda, Apollo Nelson Makubuya.

She was buried on Sunday at Kabunza-Ssabawaali, Matugga in Wakiso district.

Days before her burial, a lengthy funeral service was held at Namirembe Cathedral, during which speakers eulogised Nansikombi.

Thursday’s filled service, attended by many dignitaries, was led by the bishop of Namirembe diocese, Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira.

 Nansikombi died at the age of 51

Nansikombi was revered as a champion of women’s rights of international standing.

Justice Eva Luswata, who spoke on behalf of the alumni of Gayaza High School, said she  was a “meticulous and multi-talented leader who touched many lives”.

“She never acted without reflection or careful thought. She loved God with all her heart. She also used her gift of music to serve God. She was active in all Christian action groups — the chapel choir, the Scripture Union, etc.”

Luswata said Nansikombi was a passionate advocate of women’s rights, the reason she abandoned traditional legal practice and went into policy advocacy and women’s rights.

“She was a true alumnus of Gayaaza High School, who also lived out the school’s motto, Never Give Up. Even decades since she left the school, her strong goodwill prevailed. She singlehandedly raised sh200m to support the needy students at the school.”

Anne Nkutu, a confidant, also admired Nansikombi’s leadership skills and commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“She was an excellent mentor. She was widely admired because of the way she lived her life. She always offered constructive criticism. She was resilient in her disposition.

“Even after losing both her parents and her only brother, she moved on with a positive attitude. She never desired to be a burden to others, which is why even her illness was not known by many people.”

Nansinkombi was also eulogized by her husband, Makubuya, who spoke highly of her deep religious devotion, hardworking attitude and commitment to her children and the family in general.

Lawyer Apollo Makubuya eulogises his wife



Nabaggereka Sylvia Nagginda and the Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga attend the funeral service



Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira delivers his homily 




A brief on Nansikombi

She was born on November 11, 1967 to the late Peter and Dorcus Naluzze Mukasa.

She attended Gayaaza Junior School, Gayaaza High School, Makerere University (LLB), Law Development Centre and Warwick University, UK (LLM).

She served as a legal officer at the ministry of Gender and Community Development, and as Director, Manager and Consultant at Nordic Consulting Group, Uganda. She was also Regional Director, Africa at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).

She also served as Chair and Vice-Chair on Boards of Akina Mama wa Afrika, Uganda Women Lawyers Association (FIDA), Action Aid International Uganda, and,  the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA), amongst others.

Stella furtehr served as Advisor to numerous governments, national and international non-governmental organisations and development agencies including the Nabagereka Foundation on gender -responsive policy and legislative development.  Amongst those policies were the 2003 Rwanda Constitution and the 2012 Uganda Domestic Violence Act.

She was highly devoted to her family, friends, work, colleagues and, the Church.  She went to be with the Lord on September 5, 2018, surrounded by her husband Apollo Nelson Makubuya and her lovely children: Athena Nakku Mulungi, Angella Nakimuli Kitiibwa Makubuya, Andrea Nabakka Kwagalakwe Makubuya and close friends.

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