Ivan Magomu has always been a player destined for the very top. Ugandan rugby has always preserved a place for him right from when he first broke through in High School about 13 years ago.
On Monday, the fly half was named Rugby Cranes captain, a role some will feel he could have assumed years back had it not been for transgressions that negated his leadership capabilities.
Not afraid to tell his teammates and opponents off, his time with the oval-shaped ball has been punctuated by verbal misconduct and sometimes utter disrespect. Oh, he has even ‘retired’ from the game before.
A believer in his own abilities and a character you cannot ignore, Magomu has previously been accused of being anything but a team player.
Overall, he is quite the player amid his volatile nature. A gem, an orchestra and now a leader. One who must now set the standards as captain when Uganda walk out in the Africa Cup at Kyadondo.
“I’m overwhelmed by messages from all over,” a thrilled Magomu says. “It’s a huge honour to be trusted with captaining the Rugby Cranes.
“We have a crop of exciting young players on the team and being chosen to lead them is a privilege,” he adds.
It will not be the first time he is doing the role as he was firm and consistent captain at Namilyango College and now Stanbic Black Pirates. That coaches Brian Makalama and Bobby Musinguzi have trusted Magomu with the mantle implies that he has passed the auditions. Former skipper Brian Odongo is deputy along with Paul Epilo.
Odongo sat out of the 2019 Africa Gold Cup due to knee surgery with Asuman Mugerwa taking over but never owning the role.
In that time, Magomu has matured into a dependable pillar at Pirates and the national side. His share of controversy is gone.
And he will not feel lonely. Both his predecessors are in the team. Their presence will help Magomu adapt to the extra responsibility captaincy comes with at that level.
Epilo, who has captained Toyota Buffaloes and Heathens before, is another lovable and level-headed lad not afraid of calling one out. His work rate will be a good example to many new players in the side.
Full Name: Ivan Magomu
Born: March 9, 1993
Team: Black Pirates
Biggest moment: Part of the Rugby
Cranes 7s team at the 2018 Rugby
World Cup Sevens
Idol: Dan Carter (New Zealand)
Responsibility: Member of the legal
commission of the Uganda Olympic
Fixtures at Kyadondo RFC
Saturday: Uganda vs. Ghana
July 18: Uganda vs. Algeria