He was Commonwealth’s best African tobacco farmer in pre-independent Uganda, becoming the first Chairman of the greater Acholi District in 1958, in 1968 he was made the first Secretary General of the Greater Acholi District and was chosen as the first Chairperson of Uganda Farmers.
THE LIFE HISTORY OF RWOT ANANIYA K. AKERA
Rwot Akera Kerwegi was born on 22-9-1912 to Rwot Olal Andrea (Olal Adrii) of Bobi Paidwe clan MBE (Member of the British Empire) and his mother was Ijang Yokomio, the daughter of Rwot Odyek Owidi of Atek clan, of Otwal in Oyam. The 3rd wife of Rwot Olal in his family of 14 biological siblings.
Rwot Ananiya Akera went to Odongo Abok (C.M.S) IN 1919 and Bobi Primary School where he completed his primary education.
In 1933, he joined Gulu High Junior Secondary were he passed with first grade, in 1937-1940; he joined Busoga College Mwiri where he served as a Head Boy. His name and other prefects that time still hangs on the walls of the school.
In 1941, he joined Makerere College and slept in Nsibirwa Hall with his room-mate Dr. Mwalimo Julius Nyerere the former President of Tanzania.
Prior to his completion of the Diploma program, in 1944, the Colonial Government appointed him to start a high school in Kitgum since Gulu High School could not accommodate all the students who qualified for secondary education in Northern Uganda.
The efforts went in vain because only one primary school existed, that is, Lamit (A.NC-Native Anglican Church) primary school, he then became the head teacher of the school now Kitgum Primary Seven.
In 1944, he married and wedded Manjeri Akeyo in a Holy Matrimony, other wives he married later are the late mego Buladina Akot, the late Korina Lamuno, the late Anyom, the late Nyapaco Sefarina, the late Kalina Anyeko, the late Ventorina Akot and Hellen Lamuno in whose care he died
The late Rwot Akera taught at Gulu High School and some of his students included the late former President of Uganda Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, the late Arch Bishop Janani Luwum, the late Wilson Lutara, and the late Semei Nyanzi.
Some of his students who are still alive are; Professor Taban Loloyong, Luka Ocheng, and Wilson Arob the Bishop of South Sudan Diocese.
With the love to boost primary education, he was taken to Buwalasi Teachers’ College Training Center in Mbale were he was assigned the responsibility of drafting the curriculum for Primary Education promotion.
For this, he had to go and study the curriculum for Primary School in Kenya, Tanganyika territory and Zanzibar from which he managed to developed an acceptable Primary School Curriculum hence many primary schools sprung up in the country and outside which was also piloted in Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe).
We therefore thank the late Rwot Ananiya for the innovation in the education sector, by the end of 1945, after the World War II, Ananiya resigned from teaching and decided to start commercial farming at Lakwatomer. His farm employed over 700 workers from the East African Countries-Zaire and Sudan.
As an educationist, Akera established Anglican Church for the workers’ children and paid all the teachers’ salaries. By 1949 Akera’s farm at Lakwatomer produced 30% of Uganda’s Tobacco, earned above UGX 1000 East African Currency.
“Akera was awarded a trophy as the top Common Wealth Tobacco Farmer in Uganda.”
In 1952 Ananiya Akera joined politics and in 1958 he contested for the National Assembly seat as an Independent Candidate and he was the first runner up after Oola Peter Labara in the contest.
In the same year he was elected as the first Chairman of the Great Acholi District. In 1964, Akera with Okeny Tibero Atewoma, the then Chairman Acholi District Local Government, he led them to Kampala to meet Dr. Apollo Milton Obote over Acol-pii land conflict which the Lango District claimed that Lango district extended up Acol-pii.
Prior to that, Dr. Obote dismissed Ananiya Akera from UPC Party, he was the Uganda Congress Party Secretary General, from the UPC party for the second time, and in 1964 he was fired from the Chairman of Acholi District Council, when voted for Rwot Phillip Adonga as Acholi Paramount Chief.
The UPC party wanted Rwot Achana I, but the Democratic Party was supporting Rwot Adonga of Pajule Chiefdom, by that time Acholi district Councilors was 101, but Akera voted for Adonga.
In 1968, he was the first Secretary General of the Greater Acholi District. Later he was chosen as the first Chairperson of Uganda Famers.
He served as Chairman of Northern and Eastern Uganda Town Board as well as a member of Uganda Development Cooperation (U.D.C).
ANOTHER ROLE HE PLAYED AS A MEMBER OF THE East African Population Committee was to oversee the trend of population rise and its impact.
In the early 1970, he successfully carried out commercial ranching with over 512 exotic heifer cows on his farm in Lakwatomer. However, he lost all his farm facilities to the northern insurgency. To this date, he has never been compensated for the loss neither restored his farm.
Ananiya Akera was also a contractor with his Construction Company- Akera Construction Limited (ACTIL) (U) Ltd. He opened up roads linking various communities and village notably the Abole road as “Gudu pa Akera” to Lakwatomer his farmland. His construction Company constructed many buildings in Gulu town at the time.
Rwot Ananiya was a great Land Lord and owned various titled estates in Koro, Lakwatomer and Yito Duny.
In 1977, he fled the brutality of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and exiled in South Sudan. While in Asylum, he acquired land and produced vegetable for sales.
Rwot Akera lost all his Construction Mechanizations when his farm was looted by the Amin’s soldiers.
After the fall of President Amin in 1979 liberation war, Ananiya Akera was appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Uganda Electoral Commission in the preparation for 1980 General Election where he performed very well.
Ananiya Akera was a member of the Peace Talk held in Lakwatomer and Te-got Atto which ushered in the new peace we do enjoy.
We thank Mego Hellen Lamuno Akera, Wokorach Alex Akera together with Mr. and Mrs. Nancy Kakanyero for their kindness and care for Ananiya until the time of his death. Muzee Akera died at the age of 107.
He attributed his long stay to his hard work that kept him happy and physically active; he never took alcohol in his life and lived on pasted food.
He is survived by 69 children, 253 Grand Children and over 500 Great Grand Children.
He died on August 16th 2019, at 2.00pm, from Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, due to organ failures resulting from old age. By the time of his death, Ananiya Akera was already a committed follower of Christ Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.
May is soul rest in peace.