Applied Linguistics and Literacy
in Africa & the Diaspora Research Network

Dr. Juliet Tembe, In Memoriam (UMLEN)

December 20th, 2016 at 18:51

UMLEN with great sadness announces the death of Dr. Juliet Tembe who passed away last night in Mbale. Juliet has been a key pillar in the Uganda Multilingual Education Network ever since it was founded. She has served on the network’s coordination committee, with great dedication and always made it a point to participate in activities either physically in Kampala or remotely from her office at the Islamic University in Uganda, Mbale Campus. Juliet loved local language literacy and education with a passion. At the time of her death, she had translated this passion into concrete actions that have uplifted the footprint of literature in local languages especially for children and young people.

Her work as coordinator of the Africa Storybooks Project an online platform that has published several readers for children in different Ugandan languages is testimony of this dedication. She was instrumental in setting up the Lunyole Language Association which has not only helped to codify the language but also boosted a language comparatively with a few speakers into one of the most published in Uganda. In fact Lunyole with 341,000 speakers in Uganda is ranked 4th amongst languages with the most titles of books, only beaten to the top honours by Luganda, Lugbara and Lango. Juliet helped set up Busolwe Public Library to both provide access to reading materials and inspire literary creativity within the community. Sometime in 2015, Juliet disclosed to the UMLEN coordination committee that she suffered from Leiomyosarcoma, high-grade and very aggressive cancer in her upper left thigh and at that time had spread to the nodule in the lung.She fought on and kept in touch until last night. Our heartfelt condolences to the family and relatives. May God rest Dr. Juliet Tembe’s soul in peace. Burial is due Saturday 17th December 2016 in Busolwe, Butaleja district.

Charles Batambuze


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