By Judith Nasenya
Nathan Nandala Mafabi comes with many titles; He is the Member of Parliament for Budadiri West, Chairman Bugisu Cooperative Union, and Secretary General Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), businessman, family man but above all a very simple man.
When this writer hunted down Hon. Nandala on Saturday 20th February 2021 in Mbale City, she failed to recognize her prey who mingled freely with his workers at a mini staff party.
Nandala was casually dressed in a pair of shorts and short sleeved shirt and chatted endlessly with everyone. It was only until, a close associate pointed him out to this writer that she was able to recognize and later interview him.
Nandala who was born on 17th January 1966 in Sironko district was baptized James Nathan Nandala Mafabi. He is the first born in a family of 10 children sired by Mzee Wanyoto Wilson and Neumbe Jennifer Wanyoto.
His parents were teachers and this made him to keep changing schools whenever they got transfers.
Born naughty, Nandala learnt how to read and write before joining Primary One, he also kept opening his parents’ books and tearing them in the process. Tired of the young man’s nuisances, the parents chose to take him to school before what was considered the right age.
He stared his education in Bumali Primary School without going through Nursery Education. He told this website that at their time they only studied only three subjects; Mathematics, English and Science.
Nandala’s mastery of Mathematics is genetic and therefore legendary. In Primary Leaving Examinations, Nandala scored 100% in Maths. Before while still In P.7, he participated in a national Maths contest and came out best overall. As a present, he was given Mathematics text books covering the whole syllabus from S1-S4.
“Am an ‘A’ Class,” Nandala proudly told this reporter.
Secondary School Journey
Nandala was admitted to Busoga College Mwiri after scoring 258 out of the maximum 300. However, because of the raging anti Amin 1979 war, his parents could not risk take him to a far off school. Instead he was taken to Mbale College School in Mbale. Later that year after the situation normalized, he went to Mwiri.
At Mwiri, Nandala was expelled before he could sit for his O’ Level exams.
“I was expelled because I was suspected to have participated in a school strike. I however, never participated in the strike. Me, am a good boy, I could not have participated in the strike,” a jovial Nandala said.
He came back to Mbale but this time not to Mbale College. He instead went to Mbale High School where he sat for his O’ Level and passed in First Division.
The excellent performance was later to a cause an administrative war between the Head Teachers of Budo and Busoga College, Mwiri.
“Because I had been expelled from Mwiri, I applied to Budo as my first choice for S.5. However, during the selection exercise, the Headmaster of Mwiri literally wrestled me off from the Budo Headmaster who had already picked me, claiming I was his product whom he could not afford to lose,” the ‘A’ Class Nandala boasted.
At A’ Level, he offered PCM/GP and also passed highly attracting government sponsorship for a Bachelor’s in Statistics at Makerere University, Kampala.
During his vacation he helped his grandfather in his small business in the village. The granddad had a retail shop selling mostly paraffin.
“I was actually a village boy,”
Meanwhile, he had applied for an exchange program with Nairobi University in Kenya for an Architectural course. So he chose to go to Kenya to pursue his childhood dream of being an Architect. This dream was however scampered when because of many University strikes; he came back to Makerere University to do the Statistics course.
“While at Nairobi University, the current Vice President of Kenya, William Ruto was my roommate,” he revealed.
After the Bachelors, Nandala went for a Post Graduate Diploma in Education still at Makerere University and went on to lecture at the same University.
Post University Life
He did Public Service interviews and was absorbed in the Ministry of Finance.
He later enrolled for post graduate diploma in Taxation in Institute of Public Administration (IPA) now known as Uganda Management Institute (UMI).
At IPA, he was elected chairperson and Minister of Finance of University Hall.
He also went and studied CPA in Kenya and he became a first Ugandan to finish CPA in Kenya without going to Nairobi.
He went further and studied CCA in India for six months because he was chosen as the best person from the Common Wealth Countries.
Later he went to London school of Economics for a Masters in Economics.
Nandala brags that after the London School of Economics he rose through the ranks and in only 10 years became a commissioner in the Ministry of Finance.
He also studied Law and worked with the World Bank at what he says was ‘a senior level.’
Nandala says he joined politics in 2001 where he vigorously campaigned for Rtd. Col. Kizza Besigye.
“I then decided to run as Member of Parliament for Budadiri West, a position am holding to date.” He said.
Interestingly, Nandala still teaches at his village school called Busamaga SS in Sironko district.
“In life if you want to be successful; be honest, loving, social and let people trust you, that is what I did and it has made me successful,” Honorable Nandala also locally known as Majegere concluded the interview.