My personal experience with Tororo College

My personal experience with Tororo College goes back to 1973. My association with the College is, however, much longer and stretches far back to the 1950s.

Tororo College was our family secondary school from the 1950s. My late father returned from the 2nd World War, full of enthusiasm for education; but he didn't have his own children yet. He therefore took children of his brothers and sisters to school. Two of his nephews were to attend Tororo College in the 1950s and early 1960s. The one who attended in the 1950s, John Baptist Oyaro Neramoi, would rise to become the first Ugandan to head St. Joseph's Sec. School, Layibi, a great school in Gulu.

My own brother, Liberatus Latigo Olwoch (RIP), the eldest in our nucleus family, attended the College from 1966 to 1971; wherefrom he proceeded to Makerere University.

In 1973, I was admitted to the College. This was in fulfillment of a personal dream; and perpetuation of a family tradition! I was a member of St. Charles Lwanga House. Three of my room mates I can recall were Mubano (a long distance runner), Ocen who later became a Vet Dr; and served in the Uganda Prisons, and one called Bwire who was rather quiet spoken and of medium height. I was, however, to attend the College for just one term only! I was a member of 1M. I recall two members of my class: Aaku (a short fellow) whom I met again at the University. The other was Richard Abongu whom I have not heard of since.

Tororo College has made members of our family shine in society and make enormous contribution to the cause of education in our region. For some strange reason, I always find myself happy to learn that someone is a Nyangolean

My discontinuation of my studies at the College was under a very sad circumstance. It was a victimization meted out not on me; but on a relative - Justin Okello Bongomin - with whom I had joined the College together. He passed on just last year, 2023, in August.

Bongomin had, during his childhood, got his right foot severely burnt. What remained was about one half of the foot. He therefore walked on his heel on the damaged foot. Added to this, the inner part of his lower lip appeared as if the skin had peeled off. The Tororo College student community pounced on this double misfortune and declared him a leper. He was on account of his defective foot, nicknamed "O'hoof". He was shunned, shouted at, and suffered great devastation. I believe those who were in the College in 1973 do recall this saga.

Bongomin was sadly compelled to terminate his studies. He obtained a letter from Headmaster Albert Gumisiriza to relocate to Moyo SSS. He, however, decided to discontinue his studies altogether, and never went to Moyo SSS. Thus, the door to a possible better future was closed.

The maltreatment this cousin of mine suffered had a serious adverse effect on me. I went to the Headmaster and told him I was terminating my studies at the school; and gave him the reason therefor. He looked at me and referred me to his Deputy, S.B. Maloba, who issued me with a letter showing I had of my own volition chosen to quit my studies.

Everybody in the family was mad at me for discontinuing my studies. I had no further interest in continuing with studies anymore. My brother Latigo Olwoch wanted to take me back to the college. They knew I had made up my mind about Tororo College. It was my brother who with another Nyangolean Mr. H F. Chalo, my Primary school Headmaster and a great English teacher who took great pride in me as one of his best pupils, persuaded me to repeat P7 and apply to go to Budo. At the time, it was unthinkable for a Catholic to attend a Protestant school. My brother used Budo as the bait owing to its special program of Express Class of 3 years for O Level. That explains my attendance of Budo; although by the time I joined Budo, the program had been discontinued!

In 1979, Nabumali Debating Club of which I was an indispensable member, visited Tororo College. That was the first time for me to set foot on the school soil after 1973. I felt a lump in my throat; and honestly speaking, I lost my cool and never shone. The patron of our Debating Club noticed this and wondered why I became a different person that day. I didn't tell him my Tororo College story.

I have chosen to open up because of a couple of reasons. I must bring closure to this personal tribulation because Tororo College has made members of our family shine in society and make enormous contribution to the cause of education in our region. For some strange reason, I always find myself happy to learn that someone is a Nyangolean, although I would not feel the same about the College. My late brother, whom I owe so much, will greatly celebrate my making peace with our family school, which he was exceedingly proud of and passionate about.

In this regard, I would love to make a homecoming one day. I would also love to make a modest contribution to the school in "memoria" for having enabled our family make positive impact on our society.