Tarsisio Nsobya was a religious belonging to the first indigenous Catholic religious congregation for men in Africa, “Bannakaroli  Brothers” (Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga, BSCL).
Tarsisio Anthony Nsobya was born to Mukasa Bazira Lubwama and Felista Mwanika Namubiru on January 11, 1927 at Kannyanda Bulamba in Bulemeezi, central Uganda. Nsobya did his primary education at Kijaguzo primary school while residing in Kiteredde with the Bannakaroli Brothers–since he intended to join them–and at Bikira primary school. He received his secondary education at St. Mary’s College, Kisubi and trained as a teacher at Mt. St. Theresa Teacher’s College, Kisubi. All these educational institutions are located in central Uganda.
From childhood Nsobya loved the Uganda martyrs on whom he wrote a play entitled “The Blood of the Uganda Martyrs.” He also made a film about them. He was always inspired by the Uganda Martyrs and regarded them as a treasure to Uganda and Africa.
Nsobya took his first religious vows on November 21, 1947 and thereafter taught science in schools in central Uganda: St. Henry’s College, Kitovu, St. Mary’s College, Kisubi and St. Augustine Junior Secondary School in Bikira. Nsobya was also principal of Sacred Heart College at Kiteredde in Rakai, south central Uganda. From 1969 on Nsobya studied astronomy, physics, chemistry, and mathematics at Manhattan College in the U.S., graduating with a bachelor of science degree, as well as a certificate in applied electronics and environmental research.
Later in life, still in central Uganda, Nsobya was principal of Nyondo Teachers’ College and principal at the Technical Institute Kyamaganda. From 1994 to 2000 he was superior general of the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga (Bannakaroli Brothers).
He served the Catholic Church in Uganda in the fields of Ganda traditional culture and education. He was a proponent of African traditional culture as a tool for development. He carried out research on Buganda African cultural traditional leadership and traditional religion and ascertained the similarities with Christianity. He also promoted African Christianity in Uganda. In 1998 Nsobya was awarded a Buganda certificate of merit by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, the cultural traditional leader of Buganda, central Uganda, in recognition of Nsobya’s development efforts in Buganda, especially in education. Nsobya was prayerful, a distinguished writer, educationist, a scientist, advocate of African traditional culture, and leader.
Nsobya always engaged in intellectual discussions and was an accomplished researcher who loved sharing knowledge with others. He traveled a lot in pursuit of knowledge. He promoted hard work, gradual accumulation of wealth, and consolidation of one’s fortune in life. He believed in responsible living. Nsobya practiced all these things until he died at the ripe old age of seventy-nine after fifty-nine long years of service to humanity as a member of the congregation of St. Charles Lwanga Brothers. Nsobya lived an exemplary spiritual life that demonstrated the Christian virtues of love, hope, and charity. His years of service to others in religious life brought consolation to many.
- “Bannakaroli” refers to the St. Charles Lwanga Brothers who are also known as the “Kiteredde” Brothers. Banna in Luganda–the language of the Baganda people of central Uganda–means “of.” Karoli is the way Baganda pronounce the name Charles, hence “Bannakaroli”–the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga, a leading Uganda catholic martyr saint who helped convert many to the Catholic faith. Kiteredde in Rakai District, south central Uganda, is the place where the Bannakaroli Brothers were founded by His Grace Archbishop Henry Streicher and Rev. Fr. Joseph Richard on December 18, 1927. The headquarters of the Bannakaroli Brothers is at Kiteredde.
Nsobya, T. Brief Notes on the Fundamental Principles of Logic. Kisubi: Marianum Press Ltd, 1998.
——–. Abazira Banamige. Kisubi: Marianum Press Ltd, 1999.
——–. The New Kiganda System for Astronomical Calculations. Kisubi: Marianum Press Ltd, 1999.
——–. Ennono N’enkulakulana ya Buganda. Kisubi: Marianum Press Ltd, 2000.
Bannakaroli Brothers. Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. Bukoba: Rumuli Printing Press, 2004.
Brother Adolf Ludigo Lutaaya: Brother Lutaaya lives in Kiteredde, Rakai District, central Uganda. He is ninety-six years old. He has been a religious of the Bannakaroli Brothers for seventy-five years. He knows a lot about the Bannakaroli Brothers and about Brother Nsobya.
Brother Father Benedict Lumu: Brother Father Lumu joined the Bannakaroli Brothers in 1988 and resides in Kiteredde. He worked with Brother Nsobya.
Brother Ludovico Senfuuma: Brother Senfuuma who resides in Kiteredde is one of the oldest Bannakaroli Brothers having spent sixty-two years in religious life. He was a close associate of Brother Nsobya.
Brother Austin Luzinda: Brother Luzinda who resides in Kisubi knew Brother Nsobya well.
Brother Venansio Isingoma: Brother Isingoma resides in Kisubi. He was close to Brother Nsobya.
Brother Vincent Musoke: Brother Musoke is sixty-two years old and he has been in religious life for forty-three years. Brother Musoke who resides at St. Mary’s National Major Seminary in Ggaba was a close associate of Brother Nsobya.
Jude Thaddeo Kafuuma: Mr. Kafuuma worked with Brother Nsobya. He moderated Brother Nsobya’s talk shows on Radio Maria Uganda.
Florence Nabukenya: Ms. Nabukenya, the Bannakaroli Brothers’ secretary at Kiteredde, worked with Brother Nsobya, doing secretarial work for him.
Brother Leandro Mutebi: Brother Mutebi, who is seventy-one years old and has been a member of the Bannakaroli Brothers for fifty-two years, resides at Kiteredde. Brother Mutebi studied together with Brother Nsobya in the United States and was a close friend of Brother Nsobya.
Reverend Father John Mary Waliggo: Professor Waliggo, the founder of the Centre of African Christian Studies in Kampala, Uganda, worked very closely with Brother Nsobya. They were great friends. Father Waliggo passed away in April 2008.
Steven Lubwama: Mr. Lubwama, Brother Nsobya’s nephew, was very close to his uncle and knew him well.
This article, received in 2008, was researched and written by Deogratias Kabagambe at the Centre of African Christian Studies (P.O. Box 33507, Kampala, Uganda; Tel. (256) 0414-510 373; [email protected]) where Fulgencio Kayiso was Executive Director and DACB liaison coordinator.