Venansio Ahabwe is a teacher, a writer and a social worker. He has been a columnist in the Leadership Magazine for the past seven years. First, he wrote the Gospel Truth, followed by office fiction, then Office Ethics. After seven years of serving the kingdom of God on earth, he has asked for a leave from his column while he prepares himself for his next column. Mr Ahabwe was born in 1968 in Kahenje village in Ntungamo district.
He grew up as the last born of the family after the death of their last born. When it was time for him to begin school, he was registered at Iterero Primary school in Kajara County where he studied his primary one until primary seven. For secondary education, Ahabwe went to Muntujera High school where he studied senior one to senior six. After senior six, he joined Kabale Teachers College and got a diploma in Education. Later, he joined Makerere University where he acquired a Bachelors of Arts in Education and later obtained a Master’s degree in Social Planning and management.
Ahabwe is a teacher by profession; he taught at Immaculate Girl’s School for eight years, before joining the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) world to venture into a different profession.
He had promised himself that he would teach for only ten years before moving to something else. Teaching had always been a dream for Venasio and since he already lived it for eight years, he decided it was time for him to venture elsewhere.
Later, he got employment with African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Protection, (APPCAN) Uganda in 2004; where he was taken in an exchange program to Tanzania and Malawi. In 2007, he left APPCAN to join John Hopkins, and later joined Health Partner International in 2014 where he worked with Obulamu campaign intergrated with health campaign for malaria, HIV and TB until 2017.
In 2018, he moved to Save the Children as a Social Manager for two and a half years, supporting a campaign APOLUO (Nutrition) in Karamoja to promote food security. Later this year, he moved back to John Hopkins for a new assignment. Before beginning his column in the magazine, Venasio was an ardent reader of the Leadership Magazine. He said that while reading the magazine, he felt it needed rebranding. This gave him room to talk to the new editor then, Sr Mary Lilly Driciru about what he thought. He told her that the magazine needed to capture youth readers, and that was when Sr Lilly asked him to begin a column.
Another reason for his column was that he felt the priests needed to relive the Bible and make the teachings appropriate to the congregation. “Being a catholic, there are things I am not happy with, the priests say things the way they are in the bible and they never seem to recognize that people are in Church, they never talk about what affects people, they only talk about what the bible says, if it is love, they only talk about what the bible talks about love,” added Ahabwe.
Once he was given a column, he began with the Gospel truth. In this column, he would make inferences from what he understood in the bible. Ahabwe would read the bible and try to relate it to daily life. After Gospel truth, he renamed his column Office Fiction. He said he had to continue with the column because he had not exhausted what he needed to talk about. Later, the column was transformed into Office Ethics and this still had paragraphs about the Gospel.
When writing the columns, Venansio says he regarded them as prayer sessions because he would actually pray and those were the times he felt spiritually nourished. He knew that he was helping with spreading the Gospel when he began the columns and those times helped him to understand the bible a little more. Helping with evangelization for Venasio did not begin at Leadership Magazine; it started way back in school, during his O-level days, as he was the Vice President of Young Christian Society (YCS) in his school. When he got to senior five and six, he was elected the President of the YCS.
When he was teaching at Immaculate Girl’s school, the Parish Priest of Nakibale Parish approached him and requested for his help at Rukungiri Teachers College. This was because the catechists were not in a position to lead as lay chaplains at the college.
One thing that brings joy to Venasio is the fact that people have been appreciative to him for his column; he said he has been receiving emails from readers in appreciation for the column.
He said that he considers the magazine a platform for promoting Christian values and he encourages readers to read it intensely. He, however, noted that he is not happy with the way the magazine is marketed. He advised the management to produce content that is relevant for the youth and to promote content for faith in the Church.
By Irene Lamunu
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