Deo Ssekitoleko, African Humanist, Dies at Forty-Eight

Nicole Scott

Deo Ssekitoleko has been credited with bringing humanism to Uganda, Kenya, and East Africa when he first brought young people from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) General Assembly in 2004, which was held in Kampala, Uganda. There students were not only exposed to the IHEU but to the Center for Inquiry (CFI) as well. This experience inspired Boaz Adhengo, who started organized humanism in Kenya through CFI. George Ongere, the current director of CFI Kenya, commented on Ssekitoleko’s influence:

Getting views about an alternative to religion was very difficult! But the work of Deo, who could cross the border and bring magazines from IHEU, gave us new perspectives, and most of the humanists and atheists in Kenya realized they were not alone.

Ongere credits Ssekitoleko with leading him to organized humanism. Ssekitoleko founded the Fair View Humanist School, which served villages near the town of Mpigi in central Uganada. He also worked as a director for CFI in Uganda. Ssekitoleko’s work and promotion of humanism launched many other humanist projects across Uganda.

Ssekitoleko was found dead on August 10, 2018, in his hotel room in Uganda. CFI extends its condolences to Deo Ssekitoleko’s family and friends on their loss. Humanism has lost a great man who pioneered to ensure all people and nations had access to all viewpoints.

Nicole Scott

Nicole Scott is the managing editor of Free Inquiry.


Deo Ssekitoleko has been credited with bringing humanism to Uganda, Kenya, and East Africa when he first brought young people from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) General Assembly in 2004, which was held in Kampala, Uganda. There students were not only exposed to the IHEU but to …

This article is available to subscribers only.
Subscribe now or log in to read this article.