North of Namirembe is Uganda’s oldest and East African’s most prestigious university; the Makerere University built on Makerere hill. It is one of the seven major hills on which Kampala is built. The hill is located in kawempe division north of the kampala the city center.
In the past centuries, this hill was known as Bwaise. But one day, a Buganda king stayed a night out with a woman and forgot to go back to his palace in Mengo at night. When he realized that dawn had come while still in the concubine’s place, he exclaimed by saying; “Ganno makerere”, meaning ‘it has dawned without my realization.’ From then onwards, that is how the hill received its name.
Overlooking Makerere hill is Mulago hill the national referral hospital. And finally Kibuli hill on which the first Muslim preacher settled in the 19th century now the Kibuli mosque proudly occupies the hill along with a primary and secondary school and a commendable hospital that helps save the lives of many Ugandans.
Like other hills, it is occupied by an educational institution, the first public university in Uganda which is an important landmark to the people of Uganda. The Makerere hill stands at 4,188 feet above sea level and refered to as ‘fountain of knowledge’. This is because the university is located on this hill which was started in 1922. The down part is Wandegeya shopping centre with drinking and partying going on up to late hours of the night being occupied by youth university students.
In addition to the above, The University, the first and the best has produced some of Africa’s best leaders like President Benjamin Mkapa, Julius Nyerere, Mwai Kibaki, Joseph Kabila, Julius Nyrere, writers like Ali Muzrui, Peter Nazareth, Mahmood Mamdani, Paul Theroux, Yasmin Alibhai brown, Ngugi was Thiongo, John Ruganda, David Rubadiri among others and other important personalities like Amama Mbabazi, Janet Museveni to mention but a few.
The University which was founded in 1922 can be accessed via the main gate on Makerere hill road 200m west of Wandegeya. The land to which the university is found is attributed to Nsibirwa, who was by then the Katikiro of Buganda that he convinced the Buganda parliament during the resistance to give the land to the colonial government. Today a university hall is named after him due to his contribution. The university was first established as a technical institute and later became the University of East Africa. In 1963 Makerere University became the University of East Africa with degrees that add up to a degree in the University of London and its students were considered as graduates of the British institution in 1970. Makerere University became an independent University of the Republic of Uganda.