Timothy Byabasakuzi Bazarrabusa MBE (1912-1966) was a Ugandan writer, teacher, diplomat, mountaineer, government minister and parliamentarian. A man of diverse talents and achievements, his personal history is strongly tied to that of his country. He played an active role in preparing the nation for independence, and served as its first diplomatic representative to the former colonial power in London. A pioneer in several domains, he wrote novels and poetry in a language of Western Uganda and joined mountain-climbing expeditions in the Rwenzori at a time when the only other African climbers were porters. Enormously well-liked — and remembered with fondness by those who knew him — he was a cultural border-crosser who moved gracefully between different communities and social identities.

Miscellaneous Facts

28 March 1912 - 25 April 1966

Ethnic group
Bakonzo / Banande


Son of Paulo Byabasakuzi and Sofu Byabasakuzi (née Kihangwa), early Church Missionary Society catechists in Western Uganda
Married Caroline Lwanga († 1945) in 1943; two daughters
Married Jane Kulubya in 1948; two daughters, two sons

Training and Career
Diploma in Education, Makerere College, 1934
Schoolmaster, Nyakasura School, 1934-42
Headmaster, Kabarole Primary School, 1943-46
Assistant Schools Supervisor and Visiting Teacher, 1947-50
Schools Supervisor, Native Anglican Church, Toro District, 1951-61
Member and Chairman, Bakonjo Life History Research Society, 1950s
Cross-bench member, Uganda Legislative Council, 1954-55
Backbench member, Uganda Legislative Council, 1955-61
Commonwealth Parliamentary Course, Westminster, 1958
Member, Constitutional Committee (”Wild Committee”), 1959
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), 1960
Minister of Education, Toro Kingdom, Jan.-Oct. 1962
High Commissioner for Uganda, United Kingdom, 1962-66

Outdoorsman, Conservationist and Mountaineer
Helped introduce Outward Bound in Uganda
Trustee, Uganda National Parks, from 1956
Chairman, Trustees of the Uganda National Parks, 1961
Member, Mountain Club of Uganda, from Feb. 1954
Committee member, Mountain Club of Uganda, from 1958
Founding member, Uganda Ski Club, 1958
First recorded Ugandan amateur to climb Margherita peak (Rwenzori), 1960
President, Mountain Club of Uganda, 1961-62
Patron, Mountain Club of Uganda, 1963-64
First African member of the Alpine Club, 1964

Publications (in Runyoro-Rutooro)
Ihanga Rukanga, 1947 [on citizenship]
Onyuunye Omale!
, 1952 [on saltworks]
Mugenzoomu (”The Lone Traveler”), 1962 (rpt. 1966, 2005)
Obu Ndikura Tindifa (”I Will Never Die”), 1962 (rpt. 1966, 2006)
Ha Munwa Gw’Ekituuro (”At the Point of Death”), 1963 (rpt. 2006)
Kalyaki na Marunga (”Kalyaki and Marunga”), 1964 (rpt. 2006)

Translation into Runyoro-Rutooro: Tubaze ha by’Obwomeezi (”Let Us Talk about Health”) by J. W. Chanell, 1962