Football mourns Joseph Kanaaba


What you need to know:

  • Kanaaba, who died at 45, collapsed while talking to his community team players after playing football at Soccer Planet, off Entebbe Road, on Saturday evening.

The football fraternity is mourning the passing on of one of the most passionate servants of the game following the death of former SC Villa technical director, Joseph Kanaaba (pictured).

Kanaaba, who died at 45, collapsed while talking to his community team players after playing football at Soccer Planet, off Entebbe Road, on Saturday evening.

He was rushed to Kisubi Hospital, where he breathed his last.

Kanaaba was a committed servant and leader at St Francis Xavier Bweya Catholic Church, where he was before having a meal at home and proceeding to play football as his custom.

Jane Francis Kinobi, a close friend of the deceased’s wife, Phoebe, enjoyed a brief moment with Kanaaba at church before the latter left for home, and later football.

“I saw him at church at about 6.50pm yesterday (Saturday),” said Jane Francis, “we were from a choir practice.

“He joked about an animation we were working on to showcase at church, saying ‘tubalinze’, loosely translated ‘we are waiting for you.’

“He then happily drove off, went home and even had supper with his two young sons.”

Jane Francis continued: “I even talked to the wife at around 9.50pm. Then at 11.30pm, she called me telling me Joseph had passed on.”

The exact cause of Kanaaba’s death was not known by press time yesterday as the family was still waiting for the postmortem report.

In football, Kanaaba is well remembered for his technical director role at SC Villa at the turn of the last decade.

He briefly coached the club in the interim after the sacking of Serbian Srdjan Zivojnov in 2011.

“We can only celebrate the life of a man who served humanity and mourn his passing,” said Norbert Kazibwe, a Villa fan and former executive member, Norbert Kazibwe.

“Joseph worked at every effort like it was the last, purposed to impart more skill to every team member.”

 Elsewhere, Kanaaba served as the executive director at Youth Alive Uganda, chaired the Kanaaba Leadership Centre, and was director of Kan Kan Builders Point Ltd.

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