Chisano itches to represent Uganda

Soft-Spoken Star. Chisano makes an acceptance speech after receiving his accolade.  Photo/George Katongole

What you need to know:

  • After dropping out of school in Senior Four at Kakamega for lack of school fees, Chisano settled in Uganda and kept his hopes of playing rugby burning

When Joaquim Chisano Olwangu crossed the Kenya-Uganda border in 2016 to come and help his elder brother with work, he never knew he would be in the spotlight.
After dropping out of school in Senior Four at Kakamega for lack of school fees, Chisano settled in Uganda and kept his hopes of playing rugby burning. Throughout his four years in school, Chisano played basketball. But he did not make good first impressions at what he calls home at Kyadondo Rugby Club.

He recalls playing for Stallions in 2017 before joining Mongers. In his first season with Heathens, the 24-year-old lock has left an indelible mark on Kyadondo Rugby. With Heathens on top of the log, he can be singled out as one of the best performing players. And when he was invited to accept the February ForteBet Real Stars award as the best player for the rugby union yesterday at Route 256 Restaurant in Lugogo, he was vividly animated.
“To you coach Brian Makalama, this award is for you. To my teammates, you are really amazing,” Chisano said as he accepted the plaque and cash prize from the guest of honour Beatrice Ayikoru, the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) General Secretary who also doubles as the secretary general of the Uganda Athletics Federation.

In a separate interview, Chisano, who was invited to the national team last year but did not feature, said he was keen to represent Uganda even against his mother country Kenya.
“Uganda has been home for me and I am looking forward to that day when I will repay the faith they have put in me all along,” Chisano, who is eligible to represent Uganda and Kenya, said.
Chisano was among the eight debutants in Makalama’s squad for the Rugby Africa Cup in July last year but his documentation let him down that time.

Motivation
During the monthly awards ceremony sponsored by ForteBet, Jude Colour Solutions and Canan Bulls, Vipers’ striker Yunus Sentamu was the top of football cream beating teammate Najib Yiga and URA custodian Nafian Alionzi.
Sentamu had a glorious time since returning to Vipers and he was the cog as the Venoms progressed in the Stanbic Uganda Cup eliminating Kigezi HomeBoyz.
He has also been in prolific form scoring thrice in four games in February.
Elsewhere, 16-year-old Fadilah Shamika was the centre of attraction for Team Uganda in the All Africa Badminton Championships with a tremendous run at Lugogo as Uganda played in their first final in the women’s event, losing to holders Egypt. Shamika lost the final to Egyptian Doha Hany.
“I am really excited to be here and pick this accolade, it means a lot to me. I promise to even work harder,” Shamika added.

Middle distance star Halima Nakaayi, who set a season best time during the World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver event – in France, was on top of the star-studded athletics nomination list to emerge February’s best. With a time of 1:59.55 on Valentine’s Day, Nakaayi became the first female athlete to run under two minutes this year.
Ayikoru, who picked the accolade on her behalf said such motivation fuels performance.
“Promotion belongs to all of us. These small gifts motivate the athletes so much. Not everyone gets the big money but getting interviewed or appearing in a newspaper or on TV can be exciting,” Ayikoru said.
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