Superstars that have stood tallest since Independence

Stephen Kiprotich crosses the line to win Gold in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympics. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Uganda has produced some of the biggest, if not greatest, sports personalities the world has ever seen since the East African country got her independence from colonial Britain in 1962. And as the Pearl of Africa - as Winston Churchill in his 1908 Book “My African Journey” called Uganda because of her beauty, natural wonders and welcoming people -, celebrates her 60th Independence, Andrew Mwanguhya runs you through some of the most outstanding sports personalities, in no particular order, over the last six decades.

ATHLETICS

John Akii-Bua 

Joshua Cheptegei has since come and shattered every record in his trade, putting world and Ugandan greats Stephen Kiprotich and John Akii Bua in the shade. But nothing will ever beat the fondness that comes with the one that does it first, the one that goes where no one has ever gone before, the one that shows the way. They normally stick deepest in memory. Born on December 3, 1949, the late Akii-Bua remains Uganda’s golden point of reference and greatness. He beat world champion Britain's David Hemery at the 1972 Munich Olympics to win the 400m hurdles in a new world record of 47.82s when no one even had an idea who he was. That was Uganda’s first ever gold medal at the Olympics! Sadly, he did not have the chance to defend his title in 1976 because of an African boycott of the Olympics thanks to Apartheid in South Africa. He died on June 20, 1997.

Joshua Cheptegei

The GOAT! Uganda’s Greatest of All Time! Every statistic, even if exposed to the biggest rigging machinery, would still produce the same result - GOAT! Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei has broken and set every record in his speciality races and at 26, you can’t say he is done. The long-distance runner is the reigning Tokyo Olympic champion in 5,000m and silver medalist in 10,000m. He is also a two-time 10,000m World champion from Doha 2019 and Eugene 2022. The 2017 World silver medalist is also the 2019 World Cross Country champion, with gold medals in 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games just providing some soft company. Cheptegei, who also has the 15km road race world record ‘just for just’, currently holds world records in 5,000m and 10,000m - only the 10th man to do it concurrently. In setting a new 5,000m world record of 12:35.36 at the Monaco Diamond League meet in August 2020, Cheptegei was breaking legend Kenenisa Bekele's 16-year-old feat. And in setting a new 10,000m world record of 26:11:00 in October 2020 in Valencia, he was also shattering Bekele's 15-year-old best by more than 6 seconds. What a man!

Stephen Kiprotich

Until the final day of the 2012 London Olympics, Team Uganda looked a spent, dejected force. But the then ‘little known’ Stephen Kiprotich had a world shocker in his locker, surprising the world by beating two Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich to win the marathon and Uganda’s only second Olympic gold medal in 2:08:01 seconds. Kiprotich was to go on and demonstrate his prowess by winning marathon gold at the Moscow World championships in 2013.

Davis Kamoga 

Fifty-four years old today, Kamoga won bronze in the highly competitive men’s 400m at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, finishing behind American great Michael Johnson and Britain’s Roger Black. He added to his personal feat in 1997 when he won Uganda’s first ever Worlds sprinting medal – silver – at the World Championships. Again, he finished behind American Michael Johnson. Kamoga remains the only Ugandan sprinter to scale such heights. 

Jacob Kiplimo 

At only 21, prospects for Jacob Kiplimo are frighteningly beautiful. The Ugandan long-distance runner’s most recent feats include double Commonwealth gold in 5,000m and 10,000m in Birmingham this year, which came hot on the heels of his 10,000m bronze at the World Championship in Eugene. The youngster is also a bronze winner in the 10,000m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Kiplimo became the youngest olympian when he represented Uganda at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He is also the 2020 Half Marathon World Champion. 

Peruth Chemutai

The 23-year-old became the first woman ever to win an Olympic medal when she powered to the finish line at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Dorcus Inzikuru is the other Ugandan woman to win steeplechase gold when she claimed the inaugural title at the 2005 World Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

Moses Kipsiro 

Moses Ndiema Kipsiro, 36, is a double gold winner in the men’s 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Kipsiro also won bronze at the 2007 World Championships and several other medals in the 5000m at the African Championships and the All-Africa Games. He also competed at the 2008 Beijing and London 2012 Olympics, albeit unsuccessfully. 

Dorcus Inzikuru 

Inzikuru, 40 today, introduced herself to the world when she won the inaugural World 3000m steeplechase title at the 2005 World Championships, in Helsinki, Finland. Then, Uganda had gone 33 years without an athletics world title. She participated at the London 2012 Olympics but could only finish way beyond the medal bracket.

Halimah Nakaayi

She has had her struggles but giving up is not what you accuse Nakaayi of. When he finally retires, 800m gold at the 2019 World Championships in Doha will always remind her that in the end, it was all worth it. She also won the bronze at the 2022 World Indoor Championships. The 27-year-old currently holds Uganda’s record in the 800m - both outdoors and indoors, as well as 1,000m. She competed in the 800m both at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, reaching semi-finals each time.

Victor Kiplangat 

The 22-year-old rushed into this story when he raced to the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games marathon gold, clinching it in two hours 10 minutes and 55 seconds. 

David Emong

The 32-year-old Ugandan paralympian, who competes in sprint and medium distance running, won the country’s first ever Paralympic medal at the 2016 Games. Emong won silver in the Men's 1,500m at the said event. 


BOXING 

Eridadi Mukwanga 

The Kilembe Sports Club product inked his name in Olympics history when he won silver in the bantamweight category following his loss to Valerian Sokolov from the Soviet Union at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Together with Leo Rwabwogo (both deceased), they were the first Ugandans to win Olympic medals – in any sport.  

Leo Rwabwogo

He won two Olympic medals - bronze at the 1968 Mexico Games and silver four years later in Munich. In winning bronze at the Mexico games, Born in Kabarole District in 1949, he became the first Ugandan to make it to the Olympic medal podium. He also won silver at the 1970 Commonwealth Games. 

John ‘The Beast’ Mugabi 

Born in 1960, the former world light middleweight king was part of the early 1980s' junior middleweight and middleweight division scene that featured Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Wilfred Benítez, Davey Moore and Roberto Durán. Nicknamed “The Beast” for his fierce approach, Mugabi won silver at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow (welterweight), silver at the 1976 Junior World Championships and became the WBC light middleweight champion in 1989. He now resides in Australia where he is a boxing trainer.

Tom Kawere

In powering to silver in the light-heavyweight at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Kawere became the first East African to ever win a medal at the event. The Old Boy of Namilyango College is one of the founders of the defunct Uganda Amateur Boxing Association (UABA) in 1951. The former internationally qualified boxing judge died aged 94 last December.

Ayub Kalule 

Kalule was not only the first man from the entire Commonwealth to win gold at the maiden World Amateur Boxing Championships in 1974 but also the first African to achieve the feat. Prominent among his victories included defeats of Alipata Korovou for the Commonwealth middleweight title, a 10 round decision over former US gold medallist Sugar Ray and a win over Japanese Masashi Kudo for the WBA Junior middleweight Championship title. Kalule’s career ended on February 5, 1986 when he lost the European Middleweight title to Herol Graham. He finished his career with an impressive record of 46-4 with 24 KOs.

Cornelius Bbosa Edwards

The former WBC super featherweight champion, commonly known to boxing fans as Boza, is based in the USA. Boza won the WBC super featherweight title in 1981 when he defeated Mexican Rafael Limon in 15 rounds. Born in 1956 in the shanty Kisenyi suburb, Boza works with superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. as matchmaker for the American superstar’s Mayweather Promotions.

Justin Juuko and Godfrey Nyakana 

Juuko and Nyakana won gold at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games, with Juuko succeeding in the light flyweight and Nyakana in flyweight. Other notable Commonwealth gold medal winners in boxing include George Oywello, Mohamed Muruli, Mohamed Muruli, Benson Masanda and James Odwori.

Maj Gen Francis Nyangweso 

A boxer, soldier, and politician, Nyangweso was a jack of all trades. Born September 29, 1939 in Busia, the late Nyangweso - a close ally of former President Idi Amin - won gold in the Israel Hapeal Games in 1962 plus bronze at the Commonwealth Games at Perth, Australia the same year. He would go on to become such a prominent figure in both local and international sport. He was the chairman of the National Council of Sports (NCS), Chief of Staff in the Ugandan army, and Defence Minister, and Minister of Culture and Community Development in Amin’s government among his several portfolios. His longest service as an administrator saw him stay at the helm of Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) for 32 years. 

Kassim Ouma 

The 43-year-old former child soldier joined the elite list of Ugandan boxers when he beat American Verno Phillips to take the IBF Light Middleweight title in 2004. That was the beginning of a journey that saw him record 29 wins of the 47 professional fights to date, 18 of which KOs. 

Grace Sseruwagi (boxer, coach)

Sseruwagi is regarded as one of Uganda’s best ever, if not the best, boxing coach. Celebrated boxers like Kalule and Odwori are some of his products. He is also a former boxer who represented Uganda 88 times internationally and fought in 51 national championships, winning 127 bouts by knockouts, seven on points, and losing five. His boxing career spanned 14 years in which he reached the quarterfinals at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He died in February 2018.

Jackson Asiku

The 34-year-old Asiku became only the fifth Ugandan to win a world title when he clinched the IBO Featherweight crown in 2009. Based in Australia, Asiku also won bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and at the All-Africa Games in Johannesburg, South Africa, the following year.


NETBALL - She Cranes

Uganda’s national netball team, the She Cranes, are the most successful team sport outfit ever, their 1979 World Cup in Trinidad, 2015 in Australia, and 2019 in England appearances enhancing the claim. The 2023 World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa will be their fourth. The national rugby sevens men and women sides, U19 Cricket Cranes, lacrosse and woodball are the other team sports to feature at a world cup. The Hippos, Uganda’s U20 football side, qualified for the 2021 Fifa U20 World Cup when they made their Afcon age group final but the global event was cancelled due to Covid.

Peace Proscovia 

Flowers to the She Cranes are incomplete without special mention of poster girl Peace proscovia. The 33-year-old has been instrumental in all of She Cranes' big feats, including the last two World Cups in Australia and England. She currently plays for Surrey Storm in the Netball Superleague, previously for the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Super Netball league. Prior to that, she was a member of the Loughborough Lightning team in the Netball Superleague. Proscovia aso captained the She Cranes to the 2013 Netball Singapore Nations Cup as well as the 2017 African Netball Championship.


FOOTBALL

Cranes at 1978 Afon & SC Villa

Uganda’s biggest feat remains the final of the 1978 Afcon, which the Cranes lost 2-0 to hosts Ghana. That is the tournament that also had the continent take full note of Ugandan great Philip Omondi, among others. Actually, this is the tournament Ghana football legend, a ball boy at the event, decided on Omondi as his idol. Uganda at 1978 Afcon and SC Villa’s Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation cup finals (under the tournament’s old names) in 1991 and 1992 remain Uganda’s biggest heights. 

Philip Omondi 

Blessed with an implausible dribbling ability and intelligence to beat the best of defences, the late Omondi remains arguably the best footballing talent Uganda has ever seen. The KCC (now KCCA) forward, then 21, led Uganda to the 1978 Nations Cup final in Accra, Ghana, jointly top-scoring with three goals. Omondi, who featured at the Nations Cup three times (‘74 ‘76 and ‘78), won a Cecafa Cup with Cranes, two league titles and two Kakungulu cups (now Uganda Cup) with KCC.

Majid Musisi

Born on September 17, 1967, Musisi remains arguably Uganda’s best out-and-out striker. He boasted of pace, a special eye for goal and a wowing ability. He helped his SC Villa side to six league titles, three Uganda Cups and one Cecafa club title. But the highlight of his career at Villa was in the early 1990s where he led the Jogoos to the 1991 Caf Champions League final. Musisi’s displays on the continent saw him transfer to French club Stade Rennes in July 1992, making him the first Ugandan footballer to play in one of Europe’s top leagues. He stayed at Rennes until 1995 when he transferred to Turkish side Bursaspor for $1.15m. With the Uganda Cranes, he won the 1989 and 1990 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cups and was twice Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup top-scorer in 1987 and 1989. During his time at Bursaspor, Musisi became a household name, scoring 38 goals in 71 appearances. He died on December 13, 2005 after a long illness.

Denis Onyango

Incomparable when it comes to achievements. Just this independence week, a long list of Onyango’s accolades was updated by being voted the African goalkeeper of the decade by continental body Caf. An incredible leader, impeccable game reading ability and a brilliant shot stopper, Onyango is the ultimate role model for anyone aspiring to be successful. None matches the former SC Villa feats and accolades. He is not only the most decorated foreign player in South Africa. His nine national league titles there make him the most successful in the country. His 2016 Caf Champions League title and Caf Super Cup with Mamelodi Sundowns mark him out as the only Ugandan to win them. Add two Telkom Cups, as many Nedbank Cups, the MTN 8 gong and he is untouchable. He is also the first goalkeeper to win the African Player of the Year (based in Africa). He has been named best goalkeeper in South Africa and on Caf XIs several times. He has also played at the Club World Cup. Playing at the Gabon 2017 Afcon and captaining Uganda to the 2019 edition in Egypt is his highest with Cranes. He retired last year.

David Otti 

Born in 1940 in Gulu, Otti won with Coffee FC the 1970 league and 1971 Uganda Cup. The midfielder was also part of the Ugandan team at the 1968 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ethiopia. He replaced departing German Burkhard Pape as Cranes coach in 1973 and guided the team to Cecafa victory just months later. In between Otti threw in the towel but came back to help Uganda qualify for the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations. He also coached Simba to the 1978 league title and Kenya’s Gor Mahia to the 1981 Cecafa Club Championship among other club successes. In 1983, he was appointed General Secretary of the National Council of Sports. At the time of his death on March 3, 2011, Otti was Express’ technical director.

Polly Ouma 

Ouma is considered one of the best strikers ever to grace the Ugandan and African scene. A one-man club, the Simba striker had a knack for scoring vital goals for club and country. He became the army side skipper upon the club’s formation in 1966. He went on to lead Simba to the final of 1972 Africa Club Championship and to the 1971 and 1978 league titles. On the national team, he was captain from 1973-1974. Ouma, who formed a deadly partnership with Omondi, featured at the 1968, 1976 and 1978 Africa Cup of Nations. He also scored the crucial goal that qualified Uganda to the 1974 Afcon. Ouma briefly retired from the Cranes in 1974 but soon returned in 1975 due to public demand. He won six regional titles with the Cranes. He also repeated the feats as a coach, leading Uganda to regional titles in 1989, 1990 and 1992.

Jimmy Kirunda 

The late Kirunda played a crucial role as KCC got promoted to the top flight division in 1974 and national team engagements saw him win seven Cecafa titles in 1969, 1970, 1973, 1976 & 1977 (1969 as Gosage Cup and 1970 as Challenge Cup). Because of his playing style, he was likened to German football great Franz Beckenbauer. No wonder he scored 32 goals as a defender in the league in 1978, a record that stood for 21 years only to be broken by SC Villa’s Andrew ‘Fimbo’ Mukasa in 1999. Cranes skipper for 10 years, Kirunda was also in the team that reached the final of the 1978 Nations Cup in Ghana.

Paul Hasule 

Born in 1959, Hasule is SC Villa’s most successful captain. He won it all locally, amassing an unprecedented 15 major titles during his 11 playing years at Villa and collecting six honours as a coach. As a player, the defender won eight league titles with SC Villa (1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 & 1992) and four Uganda Cups (1983, 1986, 1988 and 1989). He also led the Jogoos to the 1987 Cecafa Club Championship and captained Uganda to two Cecafa Senior Championship titles (1989 & 1990). Hasule was famed for his intelligent defending and overlaps from the right wing. He spent the last 10 minutes or so as a striker when his side were behind or needed a winner. He was Cranes skipper for four years (1988-1992) and Villa captain for eight years (1985-1993). As a coach, he won four league titles with Villa (1998, 1999, 2000 & 2001) and two Kakungulu Cups (1998 & 2000). Hasule died on April 24, 2004.

Denis Obua 

Born on June 13, 1947, Obua boasted a deadly left foot and was a dribbling master. He won six Cecafa titles (1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1976 and 1977) with the Cranes and featured in three Nations Cup tournaments in 1968, 1974 and 1976. His legacy was, however, not without some misdemeanours. Drinking sprees and camp escapes were his undoing. Obua was also Fufa president and Cecafa boss. He died in May 2010.

Joseph Masajjage 

Masajjage is said to be arguably the country’s most talented goalkeeper. He was voted Uganda Footballer of the Year for three consecutive years (1966-1968). It is also said that he turned down an offer to turn professional for English side West Bromwich Albion, the English FA Cup holders at the time, who had admired his acrobatic saves when they toured East Africa in 1968. His first major tournament was the 1968 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ethiopia where he featured in all the three Cranes matches. Masajjage also travelled to Egypt as Uganda’s top keeper for the 1974 Nations Cup but unfortunately broke a finger in the opening game against the hosts and was replaced by Patrick Nathan. That was the end of his reign at the top. At the club level, he won the 1974 and 1975 league titles with Express. He retired in 1977 and died in June 1996.

Paul Ssali  

The 68-year-old is regarded as one of Uganda’s best goalkeepers of all time. The former Simba and KCC player was popularly known as ‘Commando’ for his acrobatic saves. It is said he never lost a penalty shoot-out for the Cranes. He was in goal when Uganda made a dream run to the 1978 Nations Cup final before losing 2-0 to hosts Ghana. 

Ibrahim Sekagya

The former Red Bull Salzburg and New York Red Bulls defender is held as a model footballer of his generation. The former Uganda Cranes captain, now coach of New York Red Bulls B team, is ranked up there alongside Paul Hasule, although - like Hasule - his biggest disappointment remains not ever qualifying for Africa Cup of Nations. The ex-State House, KCC, Argentina’s Athletico de Rafaela, Ferro Carrill Oeste and Arsenal De Sarandi defender won several Austrian Bundesliga titles and domestic cups with Salzburg. He retired from international football after Uganda failed to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup.

Stanley ‘Tank’ Mubiru 

The towering Mubiru is one of the greatest wingers Uganda has ever seen. His physique and power earned him the nickname “Tank”. The former Express striker’s best performances in a Cranes shirt came at the 1974 Nations Cup, where he scored the Cranes’ only goal in the 2-1 defeat to the hosts in the opening game. He also grabbed a brace in the next game, a 2-2 draw against Ivory Coast. Mubiru also featured at the 1976 Nations Cup. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that saw him miss the entire season, including the 1978 Afcon in Ghana. He passed on in January 1989.

Jackson Mayanja

The former KCC forward had the ability to create and score goals almost at will. He also played for Egyptian side El- Masry and Tunisia’s Esperance Mayanja. Mayanja won two league titles (1991 & 1997) and two Uganda Cup titles (1987 & 1990) with KCC. He also clinched three Cecafa Cup titles with Uganda Cranes (1990, 1992 & 1996). He was Uganda’s top-scorer in the 1994 Nations Cup qualifiers with six goals, although the strikes were not enough to qualify the Cranes. 

Other legendary Ugandan footballers that merit special mention include John Agadi, George Bukenya, Saddiq Wassa, John Latigo, Sam Musenze, Ahmed Doka, Parry Okech, John Dibya, Alex Oundo, Mike Kiganda, Francis Kulabigwo, Joseph Onziga, Issa Sekatawa, Godfrey Kateregga, Jimmy Muguwa, Richard Mugalu, Ronald Vvubya, Godfrey Kisitu, Ibrahim Dafala, Swalley Wasswa, Eddie Ssemwanga, Ashe Mukasa, Tom Lwanga, Ibrahim Dafala, Timothy Ayieko, Moses Nsereko, Abbey Nasur, Barnabas Mwesiga and Adam Semugabi. Others are William Nkemba, George Ssimwogerere, Paul Nkata, Sam Ssimbwa, Moses Ndaula and Steven Bogere.

Peter Okee (RIP)

Okee will remain in the folklore of Uganda’s greats. The coach led Uganda to the 1978 Nations Cup final.  



RUGBY

Rugby Cranes (men & women)

The Uganda national rugby sevens team has played at two World Cups, San Francisco in 2018 and Cape Town 2022, where they beat Germany in the Bowl final. The Rugby Cranes are also two time African champions (2017 & 2022), as well as played at the Commonwealth Games five times. The national women’s sevens team also played at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens, which was the inaugural women's tournament. The men’s 15s are also remembered for winning the 2007 Rugby African Cup.

Robert Seguya 

The former Namilyango College student won the Elgon Cup in 2006, was African Champion in 2002 (qualification tourney) and 2007, league king with Heathens in 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011 and the Uganda Cup winner in 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001. Soggy, as he was affectionately called, also played for Uganda in the 7s at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010 and in the IRB Sevens circuit in 2001, 2003 and 2004. He passed on aged 43 last year.

Allan Musoke

Sokee, as he is called by fans, also ranks up there among Uganda’s rugby legends. Musoke helped Uganda to the African championship titles in 2002 and 2007. His strong performances got him selected to the Africa Leopards, a team of the best rugby players in Africa outside of South Africa, thrice (2004, 2006 and 2009). Sokee went on to win six league titles and four Uganda Cups with UTL Kobs, and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2006 and best rugby player thrice by sports scribes. He captained Uganda at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 


Philip Wokorach 

The Rugby Cranes back debuted in 2014 and is today the only professional rugby player in the country. He is currently playing with AS Bédarrides- Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France. Philip is a three-time African champion, and has represented Uganda in several international tournaments including the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Rugby World Cup in San Francisco, and 2022 World Cup Cape Town.

Michael Wokorach

Wokorach debuted in 2009 and has since won two Rugby African titles, playing across three generations. He has also represented Uganda internationally in 34 tournaments including the Commonwealth Games of 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022; the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7s in San Francisco as well as captained the team to the 2022 World Cup in Cape Town. 


BASKETBALL

The men’s national basketball team, the Silverbacks, finally made it to the Fiba Africa Championships with the 2015 Tunisia debut, where they finished 15th. It has since been on an upward trend, with the team improving by two places in the 2017 edition, and the all-time highest finish of sixth (quarterfinals) in Kigali last year, where they also beat giants Nigeria. The national women’s team, the Gazelles, have also represented on the continent twice - in 1997 and 2015, but have never won a game there.


MOTORALLY

Charles Muhangi

Muhangi won the National Rally Championship in 1998 beating top guns of the day including Emma Kato and Chipper Adams. But it was in 1999 when he etched his name in motorally echelons, winning the Africa Rally Championship. Other drivers that merit a mention include legendary Jimmy Dean, Emma Kato and Moses Lumana, Charlie Lubega, Sam Ssali and Karim Hirji, – all national champions on two or more occasions. Only Lubega and Ssali have won it four times.


MOTOCROSS

Arthur Blick Jnr

Blick Jnr retired with an untouchable record of 13 national motocross titles. His influence goes beyond riding as the amiable rider is also training several aspiring riders. But motocross wouldn’t be motocross without mention of Blick Jnr’s dad, Arthur Blick Snr, and his uncle Paddy, who won everything in front of them in East Africa in the 70s. Other legends on two wheels include the late Dick Kawesa, well known on the race track as Dick Kawesa King of Speed, Wycliffe Bukenya and Maggie Kigozi Blick – the only lady rider in East Africa in the 70s.

Notable acknowledgments

John Oduke, a mainstay of Uganda’s Davis Cup team from 1997-1999 and winner of 13 singles and eight doubles matches he played, is one name that sticks out sharply when you mention tennis. Duncan Mugabe, who hit a career high ranking of 659 on November 11, 2009, is the face that represents today.


CRICKET

Sam Walusimbi

He is the greatest cricketer Uganda has ever produced. A talented all-rounder during his peak, Walusimbi, together with John Nagenda, played for an East African select side at the 1975 World Cup. In 1993, then aged 45, Walusimbi inspired his revered Wanderers Cricket Club to league glory.  


GOLF

Together with Juma Jaffar, Sadi Onito set alight Ugandan golf with many memorable encounters in the 60s, but Onito came top in most of these. Onito won 12 Uganda Opens. Jaffar, however, had his time in the 1990s as Onito aged. Onito passed on in 2004 after succumbing to cancer. Deo Akope and Ronald Otile are some of the names you will recognise today. Alice Kego was to ladies what Onito was to men. She was untouchable in her time, winning 12 Uganda Open titles. Flavia Namakula is her version in today’s generation. 


BADMINTON

Edwin Ekiring became the first badminton player to represent Uganda at the Olympics when he featured at the Beijing Games in 2008. Ekiring has also represented at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. The 38-year-old has won silver and two bronze at the All Africa games, as well as two bronze in the African Championships. His highest world ranking was 76th in November 2015.

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