Nyakasura: Unique school where male students boldly wear ‘skirts’ as school uniform

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Nyakasura is possibly Uganda’s and Africa’s only school where male students wear ‘skirts’ as their school uniform.

The principal revealed during a school history lesson that they are simply carrying on what the founder started.

Nyakasura school was founded in 1926 by Lieutenant-Commander Ernest William Eborhard Calwell, one of the early Scottish missionaries to Africa.

Lieutenant Calwell wanted the Buganda Kingdom to adopt Scottish culture, but the King refused, forcing him to flee the country.

However, he was warmly received in Nyakasura, where he established a school and encouraged locals to practice Scottish culture.

“The attire instills confidence in the boys, resulting in strong leaders; thus, it has a distinct identity,” said the Principal.

The principal defended the uniform by claiming that it is not a skirt, as some have claimed, but rather kilts, which are a traditional Scottish Highlands attire worn by men.

Kilts are the only national costume worn on a regular basis rather than only on special occasions in the British Isles.

Scottish regiments in the British army also wear Highland dress, and kilts have been worn in battle, including during World War II.

Despite public ridicule, he claims that the students adore their uniforms because they make them stand out.

“Because Nyakasura is a mixed school, a first-time visitor would have difficulty distinguishing between boys and girls.” he says.

“Every student regards the kilt as normal attire, and nothing is amusing any longer. The uniform set consists of a kilt, belt, knee socks, and a cuff known as a kilt hose. The boys also wear a red cloth on their legs known as leg warmers,” he added.

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Boys’ kilts also have small bags at the front for carrying necessities such as pens and handkerchiefs.

Students stated that the kilt is part of the school culture and that they feel comfortable wearing it.

The boys stated that they are constantly insulted and chastised by other students for wearing girls’ uniforms, but they see nothing wrong with it.

“Some people say that it is a shame to wear a skirt, but this is not a skirt and I also don’t have a problem with it because I have been wearing it for four years now,” one of the students said.

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Joshua Kalata

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