Prof. Kakoma's Piano to be Donated to Uganda Museum Top story

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In short
Kakomas chocolate brown Bernard Steiner Grand Piano will be given to the Uganda Museum, where it can be preserved in honor of his legacy, the widow Maria Theresa Kakoma told Uganda Radio Network in an interview.

A piano owned by Professor George Wilberforce Kakoma, the composer of the National anthem, will be donated to the Uganda Museum, according to his family.

Prof Kakoma, a graduate of Trinity College of Music is remembered in Ugandan history for composing the lyrics "Oh Uganda, Land of Beauty" which was adopted by cabinet in 1962 as the Uganda National Anthem. Kakoma passed on in April 2012 aged 89.

The former music teacher left behind a piano, a guitar, a violin and a collection of music books, among other items, which the family says will be donated to the museum and to other institutions.

Kakoma's chocolate brown Bernard Steiner Grand Piano will be given to the Uganda Museum, where it can be preserved in honor of his legacy, the widow Maria Theresa Kakoma told Uganda Radio Network in an interview.  The process is already underway.

Mrs Kakoma, now aged 80, does not recall the year in which Kakoma acquired the precious instrument, but hastens to add that it was long before Uganda's independence in 1962.

Bernhard Steiner Pianos were first manufactured by Dietmann Klavier, Hamburg, Germany in 1886 before the company moved its operations to South Africa in 1903.  The brand was a part of the Kahn Pianos Group, a family business owned by the Kahn family, one which enjoys international reputation in the Piano industry.

Although they are no longer in production, Bernard Steiner Pianos were highly rated in the music industry for their solid spruce soundboard and acoustic chamber. Today, they are sold at not less than USD 5000 (18 million Shillings).

She adds that previously, the family invited students to their home, where they would use the same piano for learning purposes. The practice was suspended in order to preserve the music instruments, which, according to her, the deceased held so dear.

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Mrs Kakoma added that a collection of Kakoma's music books and scripts will be donated to Makerere University School of Music while other books on culture, tradition, history and education and songs from Buganda that belonged to Kakoma would be donated to Uganda bookshop.

She believes that the only way to pass on such knowledge is to make it available to the people who need it.

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The Commissioner for Museums and monuments Rose Mwanja welcomes the gesture from the Kakoma family saying that such instruments are priceless considering the history attached to them.  She adds that as soon as the family is set, the items will be taken up by the Museum.
 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.