Davis United World College Scholar
Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (Swaziland)
Once upon a time, in a suburb of north London, a baby boy was born and they named him Matthew Rugamba. Two years later, he was joined by a baby sister. When he was a couple of weeks shy of his sixth birthday, Matthew and his family relocated to a hot, bustling and lively place called Kampala City in his father’s homeland of Uganda.
At first the transition was difficult. Matthew had to leave behind all his friends, McDonald’s and his favorite Saturday morning cartoons. But those gaps were soon filled with new friends, matooke and beans, and K-TV. Year after year, Matthew’s love for Uganda grew. The abundant sunshine meant he could play football almost every day and he was surrounded by lots of family. He attended primary school in Uganda for seven years before his family relocated to his mother’s homeland of Rwanda.
Matthew’s high school education was an adventure. After two terms at St. Mary’s College Kisubi in Uganda, Matthew moved to St. Andrew’s Senior School, Turi, a co-educational Christian boarding school in Kenya. It was at St. Andrew’s that Matthew really came into his own. He was part of the rugby, soccer, hockey, cricket and cross country teams in addition to being appointed the position of head boy of the school. Rather than limiting himself to scholarly pursuits, Matthew was also involved in sports and music as well. In addition, he felt encouraged and compelled to widen his horizons. From the intense competition on the sports field to the more humbling spiritual experiences in the chapel, he loved every minute of his time at St. Andrew’s.
After his Kenyan High School experience, Matthew took on a new challenge—joining Waterford United World College. Upon arrival, he was thrust into a cosmopolitan community of tomorrow’s leaders looking for the solutions of today’s problems. With exposure to new cultures, new ideas and new perspectives, he was ready to take on new challenges and create new opportunities. Furthermore, the desire to expand his horizons helped him find interests in areas he never imagined possible. He was part of a student-run school magazine, made AIDS education commercials, as well as supporting his peers through a school counseling initiative called peer support.
New perspectives, opportunities and the confidence to challenge and question the status quo are just a few of the things that he was looking forward to gaining at college. He hoped to gain from the diversity of cultures and mindsets at college, and this is just what happened. After his freshman year, with lots of new experiences and new stories to tell, Matthew is excited at the prospect of his second year at L&C. He looks back at his action-packed freshmen year with a strong sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Over the year he was able to take part in the men’s soccer club, perform at the dance extravaganza, show his culture through events like the African Night, and on top of all that, he made loads of new friends to share the college experience with. He says that the first year was just a preview and L&C better be ready to be taken by storm over the next three years!