An Interview with Robert Magara — Executive Director, Kanunga Humanist Association

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You have a deeper experience working in humanist organizations. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned working with the organizations?

Robert Magara: The lessons I have learnt working with humanist organisations, are that humanism is usually very individualistic, seeing each person as important in his or her own right,regardless of the needs of the community.

For a humanist, all human beings are born with moral value, and have a responsibility to help one another live better lives.

Jacobsen: How is the humanist movement in Uganda? Is it healthy and vibrant, and big, or forced to be quieter and on the periphery of society?

Magara: The humanist movement in Uganda is doing very great and healthy, very many people accept to put humanity at the center of everything.

Jacobsen: As the executive director of Kanunga Humanist Association, what are your tasks and responsibilities as the executive director? What are your main social, educational, even political, initiatives to advance the humanist movement in Uganda?

Magara: Yes, this is great. As the executive director of kanungu Humanists Association, my tasks and responsibilities are entirely planning, coordinating, and networking with all my initiatives (Kanungu Humanist primary school, Kayungwe women’s empowerment centre, Bugaari Rwanika progressive women’s group etc and make more other proposals) in partnership with Brighter Brains Institute.

Jacobsen: What are some honest failures and successes in Uganda for the humanist movement through the various humanist associations, groups, and organizations there?

Magara: I have not observed or heard any failures in Uganda in any of our associations or groups.only that people still lucky the knowledge about humanism’s values. Humanism works!

Jacobsen: How can other countries’ humanist associations, groups, and organizations learn from these failures and build on successes?

Magara: We need to start sharing humanism. there is room in the humanist tent for theists, secularists, agnostics, and atheists. Anyone who subscribes to most of the Kanungu Humanists Association commitments and Humanism and its aspirations is a person I believe I could like.

Jacobsen: Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?

Magara: With the success of every group or association or an individual, I can say, “If we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable,” that is about attitude.

Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Robert.

Magara: Thank you for your time too. We aspire to the greater good of humanity.