Rare twist of academic fate gives MKUR library a befitting name

  • The history behind MKUR Library dates back to the existence of its three former study centres in Kigali with each having Resource Centres at Kicukiro, Camp Kigali and Town Center. However, the University’s acquisition of its current ultramodern building at; Kagarama, Kicukiro district in January this year led to merging of these three Resource Centres into a dynamic centre of excellence creating unique opportunities for better Library service delivery and study villas for students to study in a conducive environment that stand out from the crowd. With a sitting capacity of 500 students, book storage space plus 7 Research Commons and cutting-edge IT facilities, this modern Library has been christened by the University Management as Mwalimu Peter Claver Nyombayire Library. This is in honor of his impeccable contributions while in Kenya as a refugee that the late Mwalimu Nyombayire offered as a Biology teacher to many Kenyan students and giving a foundation to Prof. (Dr.) Simon Gicharu, the founder and Chairman, Board of Directors of Mount Kenya University during his formative years at Gathiru-ini Secondary School to excel in life.
A one- stop-Knowledge Centre


Mwalimu Peter Claver Nyombayire Library has fully adopted Information Communication Technologies in its operations such as adoption of a fully Integrated Library Management System (ILS) and use of kindles and computers to provide access to electronic books and electronic journals with mega Internet services for patrons. The Library supports scholarship through provision of access to robust, responsive collections and innovative technologies. This is achieved through provision of e-Learning services, information literacy skills, Bibliographic Search Services, Reference and Information Services, Reprographic services, Multi-Media study services with One-On-One User Assistance service at a very conducive personal reading atmosphere.

Students use kindles in the University library

At Peter Claver Nyombayire Library, the aim is to be an ideal distinctive one-stop knowledge and information centre second to none. The Library is administered with profound professionalism that manages and preserves information so that none is lost, organizes knowledge so that none is wasted, and makes knowledge available so that none needs to be deprived. The students, staff, faculty and the community are encouraged to make this centre of distinctive Library services their home for study, teaching and research Information needs as we strive to Empower Generations Through Education.

Threads of destiny have spun a rare, yet heart-warming, East African academic tale. In a quirk of fate, an impressionable young man who imbibed knowledge from a Rwandan refugee teaching in a Kenyan high school nearly four decades ago has paid homage to his tutor in a befitting manner. Way back in the early 1980s, a humble teacher and his equally modest student met at Gathiru-ini Secondary School in Kiambu County, Kenya.

They had no inkling of what destiny had in store for them. But what a tale the encounter has spun! Decades have passed since that initial contact, but that student, Mount Kenya University Rwanda (MKUR) Founder and Chairman, Prof Simon N. Gicharu, advanced to university, was employed as a teacher, later transformed into an entrepreneur and founded the University. In a poignant gesture, the MKU Rwanda Management resolved to name the library after the late Mwalimu Peter Clavers Nyombayire.

The library has excellent IT facilities for leaning

This is in his honour for educating thousands of Kenyan students Biology, says Prof Gicharu, who learnt so much from Mwalimu Nyombayire. The Rwandan was one of the teachers who moulded Prof Gicharu into a scholar of note during his formative years – and gave him the foundation to excel later in life. When the two met, no one would have imagined that the Kenyan student would later establish a University in his former teacher’s homeland, Rwanda. Even more surprising, no one would have foretold the touching finale of this edifying encounter. As it were, in teaching Prof Gicharu, the late Mwalimu Nyombayire planted an academic seed that would sprout in his homeland in the form of MKU Rwanda, and in a way sustain his teaching legacy.

Thousands of Rwandese students are being empoered for a better future at this great University. This unique teacher-student encounter has bequeathed the East African region a giant institution of higher learning: MKU. It is also a reminder that teachers mould the world by teaching young people who go on to become great, yet they (the teachers) largely remain unsung heroes.

Ordinarily, students spend as much time with their teachers as they do with parents. It is no wonder then that so many have vivid memories of their teachers years and even decades later, and how those teachers influenced their lives.

Those who choose Mount Kenya University get access to a wide-range of courses that form a catalyst to a pool of opportunities.


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MKU is a chartered international university with campuses in Somaliland, Rwanda, Burundi and major towns in Kenya.