The Most Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, 79, Archbishop of Uganda from 1995 to 2004, was laid to rest Jan. 9 at the Martyrs’ Shrine in Namugongo. He cherished the site and had championed its reconstruction.
The state funeral took on a note of celebration. The archbishop’s wife, Ruth, and Charles Peter Mayiga, prime minister of the Buganda Kingdom, told mourners that successful people should not be mourned when they die, but rather celebrated. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali led the mourners in prayer at the burial site.
The Rt. Rev. Kityo Luwalira, Bishop of Namirembe, said the late primate “had a special connection with Namugongo” and was committed to building the Uganda Martyrs Museum there. Until Nkoyoyo made it one of his projects, it was the poor relation of a nearby Catholic martyrs shrine. President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to complete the construction.
Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo was born of a wealthy family, one of 25 children of a county subchief. His education was disrupted because his father often moved about because of his work. He left school at 15 to work as a motor mechanic. In the succeeding years he continued to enjoy tinkering with engines.
He felt a calling to ministry at a church youth camp, worked as a church teacher, and was ordained at Namugongo in 1969. His spirituality was deeply influenced by the East African Revival. During his time as primate, he would turn up unannounced at revival meetings, joining heartily in the revival’s signature song, Tukutendereza Yesu (We Praise You, Jesus).
As the sixth Ugandan primate, he was a tall, impressive figure with a genial smile. He championed creation of Uganda Christian University at Mukono. He insisted that if Roman Catholic and Adventist churches had established universities, Anglicans should not be left behind.
He married Ruth Nalweyiso in 1965 and they had five children. Last year he traveled to Britain for cancer treatment. He succumbed to pneumonia and died on Jan. 5 in a Kampala hospital.