St. Mary's College Kisubi

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The North Gate at St. Mary's College Kisubi

St. Mary's College Kisubi
TypePublic All Boys high school (13-19)
MottoDuc in Altum
(Launch in the Deep)
Religious affiliation(s)Catholic Church
FounderFr. Raux Modeste[1]
Number of students1,400+ (2018)
Colour(s)Blue and gold
AthleticsFootball, Rugby, track, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey and Swimming
NicknameSMACK, Eagles
RivalsNamilyango College, King's College Budo
PublicationThe Eagle

St. Mary's College Kisubi (SMACK) is a private, boarding middle and high school located in Wakiso District in the Central Region of Uganda. Established in 1906.


SMACK Campus

The school is in Kisubi along the Kampala–Entebbe Road, approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi), by road, south of Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city.[2] This is approximately 14 kilometres (8.7 mi), by road, north of Entebbe International Airport, the main civilian and military airport in Uganda.[3] The coordinates of the college are 0°07'17.0"N, 32°32'00.0"E (Latitude:0.121389; Longitude:32.533333).[4]


St. Mary's School was founded by Reverend Raux Modeste of the White Fathers Congregation in 1906 and was named after its patroness, Saint Mary. Today, the Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala owns St. Mary's College Kisubi (SMACK). At the beginning of 1899, the Catholic chiefs in the Buganda Kingdom, under the leadership of Chief Stanislas Mugwanya, raised the question of higher education for Catholic youths in the kingdom. Their request was laid for consideration by the August Assembly of the White Fathers' General Chapter at Algiers in 1900. Out of those efforts, SMACK was founded.[5]


According to a 2018 published report, St. Mary's College Kisubi is the most prestigious school in Uganda, owing to its excellent academic performance and all round nurturing of its students. The school offers education that encourages independent thinking and development.[6]

St. Mary's started out occupying only about 10 buildings. The oldest of them was the two-storeyed dormitory for Senior One and Two students that was later brought down and replaced by the current Chemistry Laboratory. The administration block remains unchanged from back in the day. Standing at the centre of the college, it serves as the most centralised block on campus.


The SMACK students from 1906 to the early 1960s wore a pair of shorts and a white shirt as their uniform. Those who could afford a pair of shoes did wear them and others stayed barefooted. With many years of development, the uniform and the badge inclusive have had to succumb to many changes in design. The students today don a white shirt with a plain navy blue tie for ordinary level students, a striped tie for the advanced level students and a pair of grey trousers. Blazers have since become mandatory for all higher school certificate students.

Lord Snowdon, in 1964, commissioned the SMACK memorial library, after the death of 12 students in a motor accident. Some of these students were part of the school football team that had gone to participate in a tournament at which they emerged victors. Cheering on the way back from the match, Milton Obote’s army suspected them to be rebels and the school lorry, which with the school bus was carrying the students, was knocked down by the army truck. In addition to the 12 deaths, an even greater number was injured that day. Today, the twelve trees planted also in memory of these students still stand tall right next to the Senior Six block.

The ever growing college, alongside its infrastructural developments, saw the introduction of a number of sports like basketball, football, swimming and hockey.

St. Mary's youngest building sits atop Kisubi hill as the tallest one yet. The new three-storied building, valued at Ugandan Shs.2.9 billion, serves as the new HSC block, replacing and outcompeting the older single-storied S5 block which stood erect since the introduction of the Higher School Certificate in SMACK in the recent past.


The SMACK Old Boys’ Association (SMACKOBA) has been involved in the running of the school in one way or another right from its foundation in the latter half of the 20th century. Called upon in the 60s, the Old Boys took charge of the c of a circular profile, but because of cost, the current plan was taken up depicting a gallant eagle in flight.

Notable alumni of St. Mary's College Kisubi (Old Smackists) include two Vice Presidents of Uganda, two Prime Ministers of Buganda Kingdom, Cabinet ministers, judges, lawyers, and distinguished academics.


  • Omara Atubo – former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, 2006–2011; former member of parliament for Otuke County, 1987–2016
  • Gilbert Bukenya – former vice president of Uganda, 2003 – 2011
  • Henry Kajura – 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service, since 2006
  • Hilary Onek – Minister of Internal Affairs, since 2011; represents for Lamwo County in the Uganda Parliament, since 2011
  • Edward Ssekandi – Vice President of Uganda since 2011
  • Paul Ssemogerere – former member of parliament representing North Mengo, 1962–1966; President of the Democratic Party 1972–1986 and 2001–2005; presidential aspirant in 1986 and 1996
  • Gerald Karuhanga – member of parliament representing Ntungamo municipality, 2016–2021
  • Michael Mabikke – former member of parliament Makindye East and President Social Democratic Party
  • William Byaruhanga – Uganda's attorney General, 2016-2021
  • Matia Kasaija – current Minister of finance of Uganda
  • Baguma Isoke - former minister of Lands

Buganda Kingdom[edit]



Civil service[edit]

Businessmen/ Managers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Home".
  2. ^ "Road Distance Between Kampala And Kisubi With Interactive Map". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Interactive Map Showing Entebbe And Kisubi With Route Marker". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  4. ^ Google (24 April 2016). "Location of St. Mary's College Kisubi" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  5. ^ Kituuka Kiwanuka, William (15 April 2013). "Kituuka's Works on a History of St. Mary's College Kisubi (1906–2006)". HeCarethForYou.BlogSpot.Com. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  6. ^ SAI (2013). "Top 10 Secondary Schools in Uganda: 2012". ServeAfrica.Info (SAI). Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  7. ^ Odongo, Constantine (14 September 2010). "St. Mary's Kisubi Honours Kale Kayihura". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 26 January 2015.

Further reading[edit]

Kituuka, William Kiwanuka, A History of St. Mary's College College (1906–2006) (Kampala, St. Mary's College Kisubi Alumni, 2006 ED57224)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 00°07′17″N 32°32′00″E / 0.12139°N 32.53333°E / 0.12139; 32.53333