- Lawrence Muganga was raised in a family that struggled financially and was perennially unable to raise his school fees
- To help out, he ventured into the business of rabbit farming and not only raised enough for fees but was also willing to help other needy students
- However, when he shared the news with his teacher, the business was termed a distraction and shut down, something that prompted Muganga to work hard and change the education system
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Dr Lawrence Muganga is a Vice-Chancellor at Victoria University in Kampala, Uganda.
He may be at the apex of his academic journey and achievements, but very few people are privy to the journey there.
That was until the 45-year-old recently revealed in a media interview that he used to sell rabbits as a young boy to get school fees.
Ventured into rabbit farming
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It was an idea that worked as he had about 300 rabbits within a year and had raised enough money to go back to school in central Uganda.
In his quest to see other children from humble backgrounds like his benefit from the business, the young Muganga offered some of the rabbits to his school as fees for them.
However, that was a wrong move as the teacher convinced his parents that the venture was eating into his concentration at school.
Muganga was not only suspended for two weeks but his business was also shut down.
"It showed me that the education system is more theoretical than practical," he underpinned.
It was a blow that served as a learning point for him, something that made him promise himself that he would work towards correcting the education system to help students achieve their potential.
Sank into books and knowledge
The loss of his rabbit farm did not deter him from channeling the energy to education as his dream was to either be a doctor or professor since he loved teaching.
When he finished his Master's in Economic Policy Management from Makerere University, he applied and was granted a Canadian education visa.
It is from here that he pursued a PhD in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Alberta, Canada.
Fast forward to nearly four decades later and the married father of seven is at the helm of an institution of higher learning.
Apart from the teaching career, Muganga is also a respected author whose book You Can't Make "Fish Climb Trees" is a bestseller on Amazon.
Appreciates his mother
One thing about the university don is that his exploits around Uganda and in over 36 countries around the world may have changed a lot in him, but not the appreciation he has for his mother.
"My mother is everything to me. She has been there through the hard times and struggled to get my school fees," he said in an interview with NTV Mwasuze Mutya.
Muganga added that his mother would escort him halfway to school on daily basis, something that made him swore to never let her down.
Apart from being a Ugandan by birth, the author and policy advisor also holds Canadian citizenship.
Muganga's story mirrors one by Kenya's Joseph Murimi who did menial jobs among them washing toilets as a janitor to pay for his education all the way to university.
He is currently a lecturer at a local university, but his upbringing has made him start an organisation to help others who are in the same position he was while growing up.