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God met me on my way to committing suicide


I was raised from a humble family, where we struggled financially. I loved studying, but finding school fees was difficult because my parents could not afford.

I occasionally had to change schools due to financial challenges. But by the grace of God, in 2005 I completed my primary seven at Rutookye Primary School in Mitooma district.

I joined Mahungye Secondary School, Mitooma, in senior one, with high hopes that my dreams of making it in life would be accomplished.

But, unfortunately, while I was in senior three, my parents could no longer afford my school fees.

I always wanted to attain education and lead a better life than my parents. But that wish somehow felt mysterious because I did not have any alternative source of fees.

Trying other options was like jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

My uncle gave me a camera to take photos and earn a living out of it, but I failed miserably at photography.

I also tried to make local ‘waragi’ for sale and again the business collapsed within a blink of an eye.

As if failing was not enough, everyone I called for help turned a deaf ear. For a moment, I thought I was cursed. I looked like I was just a ‘man of sorrow’.


Coming to Kampala
In 2008, my uncle brought me to Kawempe in Kampala, where he got me a job as a shoe shiner on the street.
But with this, I was also not able to cater for all my needs.

I opted for bicycle riding, transporting people from Kawempe to Bwaise and Mpererwe. It was a series of misery that I almost lost hope for a better future.

When my bicycle was knocked, I contemplated giving up, but decided to give myself one more chance.

So, I used my savings to set up a diary shop, but life did not change for any better.

I struggled to pay rent because of low sales. After a while, I decided to sell all my belongings to clear the seven-month rent arrears. How I desired to die!

Getting to know God
One day as I staggered in the road, hoping to get knocked by a car and die, I met a street preacher who changed my life.

As we spoke, he invited me to Church the following Sunday. My plan, however, was to just go to Church, get born-again, then proceed to commit suicide.

My mum had told me once that if one dies without accepting Jesus Christ, they go to hell. I did not want to go there. I wanted to go to Heaven.

That Sunday, during Church service (at Bible Gospel Church Kawempe), the preacher of the day ministered a sermon that was exactly my life experience.

I was so inspired and when the altar call was made, I rushed to the front and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.

I started learning how to pray and relate with God.

Returning to school
Since I was still jobless, one of the Church elders offered to take me to his farm to work as a shamba boy in Buikwe district.

I was determined to be very hard working and I ensured I did my job well. In my free time, I moved around the neighbouring schools envangelising.

One day while I was taking a rest, I felt like God was telling me to go back to school. It was unbelievable for me because at 25, I did not know how to start.

I consulted the head teacher at Kingston Secondary School, Buikwe. After a long chat, he agreed to admit me.

I had to start from senior three. The first time I entered class, all students stood up to welcome me, thinking I was a new teacher. I was embarrassed because of the age difference between the rest of my classmates and myself.

Akampurira (left) with some of his A’ Level classmates at school. (Photos/Courtesy)

Due to the nature of my work, I could not attend school whole day. I negotiated with the administration and we agreed that I report to school at 11:00am and leave at 4:00pm because I had to tend to the farm.

This affected my performance at senior four when I sat for the first time.

But, determined as I was, I had to re-sit the O’ level Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) exams to get good grades.

Joining A’ level was challenging too, because I desired to attend the best school in the district. It was a mixed day and boarding school which fees I could not afford.

When I finally joined Buikwe Secondary School and requested to join boarding section hoping God would send a ‘good Samaritan’.

I had only shs 5,000, which I used to buy two books and a pen. Whever asked for fees, I would lie to the teachers that my fees was coming. I thank God they never sent me away.

Akampurira (centre) with his elder sisters.

Towards the end of term, the school hosted visitors from the UK, under an organisation called International Needs Uganda (IN-Ug).

This was a blessing for me. One of them met me in the compound and approached me, mistaking me for a teacher.

While we chatted, I shared my experience with him. He also shared my story with his colleagues who, fortunately, picked interest in me.

Lateron, they invited me for a group chat. After hearing my full story, one of them offered to sponsor my education. I completed A’ Level in 2017 knowing God had answered my prayers.

In 2018 I joined Kyambogo University to pursue a degree in Social Work and Social Administration, under the sponsorship of IN-Ug.

I have been able to complete successfully. As I await my graduation in September 2022, I believe God will also provide the job. I believe that when we trust God, He is faithful and answers.

Brian Akampurira


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