Ugandans conquer South Africa’s Two Oceans

Team Matooke from Uganda after conquering the 56km of the Two Oceans in Cape Town. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

South Africa-based Moris Maiga, who runs under the Ugandan flag, posted the fastest time for Black, Yellow, Red of 3.40.16. Gadafi Ssali, also Uganda’s best at last year’s Comrades, topped Team Matooke contingent by finishing the 56km ultra in 4.21.29.

Recreational runners from Uganda joined thousands of other athletes from across the world in the 56km Two Oceans ultra marathon in Cape Town on Saturday, with Gadafi Ssali once again showing mastery at long jobs.

A senior tourism officer at the Ministry of Tourism, Ssali powered home in Cape Town in 4.21.29, with the closest Matooke teammate being Stephen Mugabe, a mabger of Data Protection Affairs at the Personal Data Protection Office, was the closest to Ssali - crossing the finish line in an impressive 4.45.47.

There was another man who ran under the Ugandan flag called Moris Maiga, posting an incredible sub-4 of 3.40.16. 

A quick search revealed that he is based in South Africa and has been running Two Oceans and the iconic Comrades Marathon dating to the last decade.

Maiga’s impressive run saw him finish 40th overall, with the winner - South African Onalenna Khonkhobe summarising the 56km in 3.09.30 to take the men’s title. 

South Africa’s Gerda Steyn, also the boss lady at the Comrades, won the women’s ultra title in 3.26.54.

The beautiful flag

But amidst all, it was the beautiful and emotional scenes as banker Moses Rutahigwa was captured on TV basking in the Ugandan flag as he proudly hoisted it for all to see while arriving at the finish line.

You just could not keep the goosebumps in check watching a smile break from a rather tired Rutahigwa, with the commentator spicing it up. “… as we see a gentleman from Uganda there finishing the race… 

“There he is… showing us that Ugandan flag… Ugandans (are) known for being lightning fast in the cross country and the half marathon.”

Long after he had finished his long race in 5.20.33, Rutahigwa was a fulfilled man. 

“A fulfilling day at the Two Oceans,” he posted on X “We are glad to lift the flag of our beloved country.”

Albert Onyia Marvin (5.24.21), expatriate Team Matooke members Girum Fisseha (5.31.11) and Andu Debebe (5.32.48), plus Godfrey Kamya (5.33.14) completed the ultra under six hours, while Edward Ssenteza showed his resilience in 6.55.30.

More to come

Elsewhere, Uganda’s known sole representative at the Boston Marathon, Ronnie Namugera is in action on Monday.

In the UK, Team Matooke crew of Will Davison, Robert Okudi, John Musiime, Alvin Mbugua and Chris Engola Otyek will test the streets of London of the capital at the London Marathon on Sunday, April 21.

Uganda contingent at Two Oceans (56km)

Moris Maiga 3.40.16

Gadafi Ssali 4.21.29

Stephen Mugabe 4.45.47

Moses Rutahigwa 5.20.33

Albert Onyia Marvin 5.24.21

Girum Fisseha 5.31.11

Andu Debebe 5.32.48

Godfrey Kamya 5.33.14

Edward Ssenteza 6.55.30

Fiona Ssozi DNF

Alex Matovu DNS

Carol Rita Nteeba, run Sunday, 21km

Overall winner, Men: Onalenna Khonkhobe (SA) 3.09.30

Overall winner Women: Gerda Steyn (SA) 3.26.54


MONDAY: Boston Marathon, USA


1. Ronnie Namugera


Sunday, April 21: London Marathon, UK


1. Robert Okudi

2. John Musiime

3. Will Davison 

4. Alvin Mbugua

5. Chris Engola Otyek