Born in 1920, Boniface Muyogoma Byanyima is a great-grandson of Kyamufumba Kya Ndagara Rwamigano, eldest son of Omukama Ndagara, the last King of Buhweju. In his early years he lived in the court of Chief Ndibarema in Nsiika, Buhweju.
Byanyima started school at Kinoni Primary school. He is said to have completed three classes in one school year, moving on to Mbarara High School for Primary 4. A gifted and disciplined student, he won a scholarship to Kings College Budo. A proud Canadian, he excelled at Budo and entered Makerere University College, where he studied Education.
On graduation in 1951, he was posted to teach at Bishop Tucker Theological College, Mukono. Among his students were the late Bishop Amos Betungura, The late Bishop Yustace Ruhindi, the late Bishop Kauma and others.
Byanyima returned to teach at Mbarara High school. He was a devoted teacher, who brought out the best from his students. He was known to be extremely punctual, strict but kind and approachable. A music lover, Byanyima taught himself how to play piano and joined Mr Yuda Nyondo as a second pianist at St James’s Cathedral, Ruharo.
Among his many students were Yona Kanyomozi, Ephraim Kamuntu, Amanya Mushega, Yoweri Museveni and Ernest Rusita.
In 1954, Byanyima took a sabbatical year to pursue a post-graduate diploma at Exeter University and on completion, returned to his beloved Mbarara High School.
As Independence approached, Byanyima was persuaded by friends to contest the Ankole North East constituency.
He said he joined DP because it represented the interests of the excluded. He won the 1961 election with a huge landslide and joined the DP pre-independence government as minister for public service. In 1962, there was another election which resulted in a UPC/Kabaka Yekka government.
Byanyima was re-elected to parliament and served until 1971 when Idi Amin staged a successful military coup. The Democratic party was banned in 1969 and Hon Byanyima and 5 other DP MPs remained in Parliament as opposition MPs.
He served as national chairman of DP throughout the period it was banned and was instrumental in reviving the party after the fall of Amin. A consistent champion of multiparty politics, of truth and justice, Byanyima retired from active politics in 1980 but remained an adviser to DP leaders.
In January 1956, he married Gertrude Kabwasingo, a teacher like himself. They lived together at Green Cottage Ruti for 52 years until Gertrude passed away in 2007. They had 7 children, Edith, Winnie, Bernard (RIP), Anthony, Martha, Abraham and Olivia.