Yusuf Mukwana has been the driving force behind the Kyaggwe Ssaza team in the Airtel-sponsored Masaza Cup, even though his team narrowly missed advancing to the quarterfinals. Despite being in his debut season of Masaza football, a highly competitive amateur tournament featuring the 18 counties in Buganda Kingdom, Mukwana took it upon himself to be Kyaggwe’s primary goal scorer.
His exceptional performance in August, where he netted four goals for his team, earned him the prestigious title of the best football player, bestowed upon him by the ForteBet Real Stars monthly awards organisers on Tuesday.
Mukwana’s goal-scoring prowess outshone the efforts of Fazila Ikwaput from Kampala Queens and Shakib Mayanja of Omutima clan, landing him the coveted award.
Mukwana, who had been pipped to the award by Ikwaput in July, expressed his delight at the recognition.
“This is something I didn’t anticipate when I signed up for Kyaggwe. I joined as a midfielder but was entrusted with the goal-scoring role, and I’m happy that I delivered for my team.”
He received the accolade and an improved cash prize of Shs500,000 at a breakfast meeting held at Lazio Restaurant in Lugogo.
Despite his individual success as a top scorer, Kyaggwe’s failure to advance to the knockouts after a 1-0 loss to Kyadondo on Sunday left Mukwana with mixed emotions.
“Achieving personal goals brings satisfaction, but it’s painful when your contribution isn’t enough for the team,” he said.
The unstoppable duo of Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba, the champions in waiting, clinched their sixth consecutive award at the awards this year. This achievement crowned a triumphant season where the dynamic pair won the Masaka Rally, organised by the Southern Motor Club, securing the championship with one race to go. Nasser and Katumba’s Ford Fiesta Rally2 dominated local competitions, leading in most races throughout the season.
In Masaka, they completed the competitive sections of 134.5km in one hour, 27 minutes, and two seconds. Their successful month also included a third-place finish in the Burundi International Rally, where they completed the race in 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 42.6 seconds. They finished behind eventual winners Patel Karan/Khan Tauseef of Kenya and Valery Bukera/Khetia Nital of Burundi.
The Moil Rally Team crew now leads the 2023 FIA African Rally Championship standings with 78 points, followed by Jas Mangat in second place with 63 points and Kenya’s Karan in third with 38 points. Katumba, while accepting the award, credited their successful season to divine favour and exceptional racing skills.
“We’re not done. As long as there’s competition, we’ll strive to win and claim this award again.” The team is currently leading the race for the overall trophy, known as the Superstar Award, for collecting the most awards than any other team this year.
Elsewhere, boxer Amir Wasswa Ssali, who secured gold at the continental African Boxing Championships in Cameroon, was recognised as the best in boxing. Shadia Nassanga, who earned three Woman-of-the-Match awards at the recently concluded Netball World Cup in South Africa, where Uganda finished fifth, received the honour, beating out her teammates Mary Nuba and Margaret Bagala.
Additionally, Ludo player Brian Balinnya, who emerged as the individual Ludo Championship winner, was celebrated as the top player in the game.
Victor Kiplangat, who clinched Uganda’s second marathon gold medal at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, was chosen over another World Champion, Joshua Cheptegei, who successfully defended his 10,000-meter title in Budapest.
ForteBet Real Stars Awards
Athletics: Victor Kiplangat
Rally: Y. Nasser/A. Katumba