Sowing the mustardseed;History and growth of Launchpad.

Every Wednesday(2010) at about 7pm when everyone would be hustling to get supper, get that handout. Two gentlemen would be organising Maari block(M-Block) to find a suitable room for launchpad. These two were Paul Turyagumanawe and Ariho Ngundu. Tenaciously these kept alive the launchpad with low turnups,technical failures. At first Paul would show inspirational speeches and then pause to get a feedback from the audience. I remember being an arvid admirer of such videos, audio books. At the end of the session I would walk up to Paul with a flashdisk to get the video that was showed. As time went by the Pauls were graduating and leaving. The main question was how do we carry on Launchpad?. With a few friends Ndugu Chairman (Eliab Natulinda), Phillious Karibwije, Chrispus Mutabuuza, Karamagi Andrew and others we set out to launch the talking point.
Having had such similar talk shops, the famous hot seat at Ssenga’s eating joint and the kimeeza in the corner of the Dinning Hall we certainly had the will to set off. Ofcourse tp tell you that the start was great would be lying to readers but we carried on. On Tuesdays at around 4pm Muhawe Topher and I would match out of our lecture rooms(yes sacrifice that lecture) to go to classes making announcements of Launchpad and the topic for that day. We also had one challenge, we were law students and therefore launchpad was viewed as lawyerly, complicated and proud. Another challenge was gender, we had less ladies on our team and if we were to sell this to the university populace we had to adjust. We solved that and  to attract many people from various courses. We also tried on improving the level of the debate. Silver Mugambaniguru Kayondo always made emphasis on this he always talked about facts, myths and speculation. In our evening year at campus(4th year) we decided to take the back seat be part of the audience and groom others. Notable were gentlemen like Osborn Mushabe, Ibrahim Batambuze( because of the deep voice), Ian Opio Katusiime, Mateeka Innocent, Maliq ,Okot Ronald,Omundumundu Joseph( a name that used to amuse the moderator) Obiga Joel and many more I cannot remember right now.
Through launch pad we can say clarity of thought, intelligent debates full of decorum have been harnessed. A lot of ladies are now on board. Launch pad is now registered under the guild. It puts guild leaders to account through the weekly platform. It has groomed some of the best minds in the different fields. Has it achieved what it set out to do? Partly and largely. Is there more that can be done? Yes a great deal. But suffice to note launchpad outgrew us, meaning like a strong institution we did not go away with the idea.
So to Paul Turyagumanawe and Ariho Ngundu, you planted a seed we watered it right now it is being pruned and the future generation shall sit under the shade of the firm oak tree of launchpad in tranquility and proudly say, “Launchpad for life”.
Note: There are many unsung heroes whom I might have not mentioned. This is not by design, it is just that a few names could come to my mind. Let us finish the unfinished revolution. Aluta Continua.

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