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Jimmy Spire Ssentongo

Jimmy Spire Ssentongo (36), lecturer in Ethics and Research Methodology in Uganda Martyrs University has successfully defended his PhD thesis on the 26th of October 2015

'I come from Uganda in the Eastern part of Africa, where I work with a Catholic-founded private university as a lecturer in Ethics and qualitative research. On a part-time basis, I also teach at Makerere University (Uganda’s biggest public university) and draw editorial cartoons for a tri-weekly paper called The Observer. 

This journey started in 2010 due to my involvement in the Pluralism Knowledge Programme. The Programme was funded by Hivos through the Kosmopolis Institute at the university and spearheaded by the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda in Uganda. All along I had a strong interest in doing a PhD, but opportunities were not forthcoming. I had preference for a programme that was flexible enough to allow me to continue with my other work and to remain close to the family.

When I eventually found this opportunity, I had little knowledge of the shape it would take. Because I was based in Uganda, most of the interaction with the supervisors had to happen online. I would only visit the university once a year for conferences and short workshops. Sometimes the journey became very lonely, and online engagement had its own challenges. You could not benefit as you would if the interface were in person. However, when one gets supervisors as supportive as the ones I had, all becomes tolerable. It was such an enriching exercise!

What is very clear to me at this point is that it takes a lot of self-discipline to get to the finish line - the discipline to work well with supervisors, to steer away from distractions, to strike a balance between studies and other commitments, to avoid the habit of procrastination, and to respect deadlines. I must thank all those who accompanied me in this journey.'

Lecturer in Ethics and Research Methodology in Uganda Martyrs University