The body of Apollo Nyegamehe commonly known as Aponye, a prominent businessman in Uganda, was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Kitaburaza village, Muhanga town council, Rukiga district. Apollo Nyegamehe was buried on Wednesday 12.7.2023 amidst a somber mood from his family members, business associates, clergy, and political leaders. Aponye lost his life in a road accident at Itojo Town Council in Ntungamo district, along the Mbarara-Kabale highway on Thursday, July 6, 2023, when his Toyota Land Cruiser V8 registration number UBF 300Z collided with a parked Fuso truck registration number UAZ 767D loaded with Irish potatoes. Aponye was on his way from Kampala to Rukiga district to attend the burial of his friend and fellow businessman, Peter Tumwijukye, a resident of Bwirambere, Kyogo parish in Kamwezi sub-county, who had also lost his life in an accident.
In his homily, Msgr. John Vianney Sunday, who presided over burial mass representing Rt. Rev. Callist Rubaramira, Bishop of Kabale Diocese talked about the late Apollo as a man of impeccable character, who had time for God despite his busy schedule of business trips. He thanked him for his humility, because he was a listener and commended the late Nyegamehe for his contributions to the church and community upliftment. Msgr. Sunday talked about Aponye as a man who had a gift of faith , a reason why he supported his Church. He made a huge contribution towards the construction of St. Luke Muhanga Catholic parish for which his wife is the current chairperson Parish Council. The Vicar General urged Christians not to lose faith in God, even in the face of hardships.
At the burial, Vice President Rtd Maj. Jessica Alupo delivered an eulogy on behalf of President Yoweri Museveni. The President directed an immediate amendment of the Road Act 2019, expressing concern over its failure to effectively reduce the high rate of road carnage in the country. He instructed Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka to present proposed guidelines for the amendment of section 58 of the act to ensure proper implementation. Despite the fact that section 58 requires any vehicle that breaks down along the road to be towed within two hours, as well as drivers displaying visible reflectors this is not implemented. President Museveni also offered a condolence of 10 million Shillings to the grieving family.
The deceased’s widow, Vangilista Mugabiirwe Nyegamehe told mourners that her husband was
the best, because in the 45 years they had spent together, he had never slapped her.
Who is Aponye?
Apollo Nyegamehe (Aponye) was born on August 12, 1957 in Kitaburaza village, Muhanga, Rukiga (former Kabale district). His parents were Peter Turikyarukye and Salome Kibatenga. He is the last born in a family of 16. Of these, only 4 are surviving, and Aponye never saw his father, because he passed on before he was born. He married Vangilista Mugabiirwe Nyegamehe on November 11, 1978, and together they had seven children. They were arranging to celebrate their golden jubilee of marriage in Rome. Nyegamehe also had another family with the late Monica Kakwezi Nyegamehe, with whom he had five children. So, Aponye is survived by 12 children and 29 grandchildren.
Aponye, the business icon
Aponye went into business at a young age of 10 and started by selling roasted maize, g. nuts and peas in Muhanga. By 16, he had gotten in touch with a famous businessman Jonathan Kirasha and recruited him to carry his goods to Rwanda. With time, Aponye also got in touch with Mr. Kabunzya of Rwamabondo in Ntungamo and he helped him with working capital due to Aponye’s hardwork. Aponye mastered the art and science of business and by 1978, he was already independent. In the famous magyendo era of the 1980’s, Aponye worked hard to grow his business to as far as fetching coffee from Kitagata to Rwanda.
In 1989, he formerly registered Aponye (U) Ltd coined from his two names ‘Apollo Nyegamehe’ to deal in deal in grain trading. He also opened stores at FIBA (Food and Beverages) industrial area to deal in dry and clean gran. Offices were onened at Nkrumah Road and dealt in cargo transport after acquiring a fleet of trailers in 1998. His plan of becoming a largest trading company in the grain sector was slowly growing when he penetrated World Food Program (WFP). Aponye established a grain processing plant at Nalukolongo, Kampala in 2005, Kyazanga factory in 2010 and Mubende factory in 2015.
In 2008, Aponye expanded his business and ventured into trading with South Sudan and with various companies in Juba dealing with foodstuff. He established several partnerships with Ugandan comapies including Afrokai, KK Transporters, Ropani International, Kibungo Enterprises among others.
Aponye has now become a household name branded on several products like Apo Laundry Soap, Kitamu Cooking Oil, Ugali Maize Flour, Polythene bags, and Apojust Petrol Stations countrywide. He also did Real Estate in Kampala with Aponye Hotel, Aponye City Mall, Aponye Complex Ntinda and Rukiga Shopping Centre in Muhanga Town Council.
Harold Byamugisha, the deceased’s son, hailed his father for his resilience dedicated to the betterment of the community and the church. He pledged to work diligently to ensure his father’s legacy continues to thrive.