Emerging Architect

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

By Maria Sheeba Atukunda

March 18, 2017


(an article on the attitude towards the unemployment issue of graduate architects today, featuring one architect’s probable solution to the problem.)

It’s no secret that there is a rise in the number of students being enrolled into schools of architecture. It’s also not a secret that the number of schools of architecture in Uganda has increased; Makerere University, Uganda Martyrs University, Kyambogo University and the International University of East Africa.

The inevitable result is that more architects are graduating.

The flip side? A minute proportion of that group is being absorbed into the fraternity.

Not my circus, not my monkeys; a polish saying that means, as you may have guessed,”not my problem”.

Well, it is.

Let’s categosrise this into the involved parties, and what they can do to resolve this issue as suggested by Architect Gloria Bazira of Regenesys Architects.

The Graduate Architects:

The need to make money to meet your needs is understandable. But involve yourselves in probono work when you can. Attach yourselves to a firm or company before you leave school, get into their system and actually deliver work. It may be hard for the first years, but set a target. What do you want? And how can you get it? Are you willing to make the sacrifice or keep earning a cheap buck or two on a ‘pj’?

The two year period before the Registration Exam is key in your molding as architects. Design is not just good sketches and flying concepts.

Take advantage of your numbers and representatives on the society council and make your voice heard. Keep pushing and one day the system will give. If you don’t share and fight this issue at your level, who will?

Do not distance yourselves from the society, it’s the only body that can get you registered in Uganda.


The Uganda Society of Architects:

Streamline the business of undergraduate architects and what better way than making them liable for the work they are doing?

I would suggest creating Tiers within the system, so that they can be absorbed into the system from the get go, doing small projects like perimeter walls, building extensions, and work their way up the ladder with time and experience.

Lobby for them; take interest in them. Get a representative to follow them up, make sure they are placed within firms for training. That’s a start. Get involved. We are a lobby group, not just a group of professionals hanging out for fun.

Image Credits

Timothy Latim