Ssemwogerere, Alaro named KHC’s finest

The best. KHC's loyal servant Richard Ssemwogerere has redefined himself as a central defender and also expressed his talent at a bigger stage at the Africa Cup for Club Champions in Malawi. PHOTO/MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

What you need to know:

Richard Ssemwogerere, who was part of that contingent was individually recognized as the men's (Stallions) player of the year. 

Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) players ditched their playing gear for the Oscars’ black tie theme to celebrate their 15th anniversary on Friday.

The event at Hotel Eliana was not as serene as past dinners despite having the lights in the room complimented by scents from lit candles. First, because KHC have learnt how to make the next party better and noisier than the past one. But also because Ntinda is no quiet location – the buzz from outside engulfs you before you disappear past the hotel lobby.

The club discussed self-sustainability before rightly postponing the topic for a more stern meeting at a yet to be communicated extra-ordinary general assembly.

The mood in the house was instead enhanced with celebrations for their achievements. First, the women’s side Swans for their four-trophy haul in the 2023 season which included the; Easter Cup, Pearl of Africa Women’s Tournament, National League and Uganda Cup. There will be more to celebrate next year as they have already defended the Easter Cup.

The men’s side also had the 15-man contingent that braved the 5,000km road trip to and fro Malawi to win bronze at the Africa Cup for Club Champions recognized.

The awards

Richard Ssemwogerere, who was part of that contingent was individually recognized as the men's (Stallions) player of the year. He has previously won this award, which is decided by the players and members of the club, as an all-round action midfielder but reinvented himself out of necessity as a defender last season.

He beat midfielders Jordan Mpiima, Alfred Agaba, Stewart Kavuma, top scorer Aaron Mutenyo and fellow centre-back James Mugisha to the award. All bar Mutenyo and Kavuma travelled to Malawi.

Flying winger Gerald Kairu, also from the Malawi side, was recognized as the best young player beating Ian Baguma, Mugisha and left back Paul Kayanga, who was recognized as the most improved Stallion at the expense of fellow full-back Brian Ssekitoleko.

For the men’s veteran side Originals, Habib Sewava, who also had an assuring season as a defender beat Stanley Tamale, Michael Heeren, Bernard Bwire and Francis Epilo to the MVP accolade while the latter was recognized as the most improved player in the Originals’ squad ahead of Farouk Kubandusa and Heeren.

Stellar list

For the Swans, every list was stellar that anyone could have walked home with the awards without raising eyebrows. But Winnie Alaro edged her sister and club top scorer Lucky Akello, Dutch midfield enforcer Sanne Swinkles, striker Sandra Namusoke and goalkeeper Melissa Namuleme, who conceded just five league goals all year, to the MVP award.

German forward Franziska Mesenbrink was also named best young player at the expense of Akello and captain Vanessa Abeja. But the latter edged the versatile Carol Aguti, striker Sarah Arinaitwe plus defensive midfielders Patricia Nakyanzi and Pamela Agaba to the most improved Swan award.

With the night still young and blessed with a light drizzle that left significant warmth to make the ladies feel comfortable going out while also allowing the men undo their blazers, KHC shifted the party to the dancefloor at Tales in Bukoto, where Ykee Benda’s Muna Kampala – a song that has become the club’s anthem – featured prominently on the night’s groovy playlist.

KHC Awards


Stallions: Richard Ssemwogerere

Swans: Winnie Alaro

Originals: Habib Sewava

Best Young Players

Men: Gerald Kairu

Swans: Franziska Mesenbrink

Most Improved

Stallions: Paul Kayanga

Swans: Vanessa Abeja

Originals: Francis Epilo