By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus - When Elvis Okoh Ehiabhi, commonly referred to as Elvis James, joined KIU in April 2015, the university's ultimate Rotaract club was nonexistent.
Just an ordinary student of Law, Elvis James and his classmate and great friend Patrick Muema Mumo revived the club which had gone AWOL for close to four years. And since then, it has become an idol association in the university and beyond.
Rotaract is a service club for young people aged 18 and above in the community or higher institutions of learning who are dedicated to finding innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges while developing leadership skills and making friends. It is a subsidiary of Rotary international.
Elvis James’ spirit of serving has its roots in high school where he served as the president of the school’s Red Cross Society back home in Nigeria. When he came to KIU, he wanted to continue with this spirit of service above self but could not easily find where to do it.
It is until he found out from the then Dean of students, Jovia Karwana that there had been a Rotaract club in the University, that he started looking for its remnants.
"Within the first three months of my stay and having consulted with Miss Jovia the Dean, I found a billboard of the Rotaract club of KIU. This washed-away billboard looked old only to realize that the club had stopped operating for some long time," he narrates.
With the help of Muema Mumo, he started mobilizing their classmates in order to revive it and they agreed to meet and share ideas immediately after the last lecture every Monday evening.
They introduced music, dance, and drama to their sessions, something that had a pulling factor on many and soon, students started embracing their Rotaract discussions.
Within no time, their parent club, the Rotary club of Muyenga started inviting them for assistance in the inter- rotary clubs music competitions. This made the club popular in the university and elsewhere. It was nicknamed, the “ultimate Rotaract club of KIU.”
Since its rebirth, the club has been instrumental in various university activities. Her members have always assisted the guild union with ushering during graduation ceremonies, orientation of new students, cultural galas and other events. They also carry out activities like blood donation, career guidance and leadership mentorship.
For a better community, Rotaract club of KIU also carries out voluntary community service like cleaning markets, donating to the less privileged like orphans, street children, and the physically disabled.
Elvis James’ service in Rotary and Rotaract has opened doors for him wherever he goes. Notably, the Rotaract and Rotary family have contributed tremendously to his Diamond movie industry, which once signed a deal to work with Netflix, the popular streaming service.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from KIU in 2018 before founding a highly promising Muyenga Rotaract club where he is now a charter member and the first president. He hopes to become a Rotarian in the next few years.