Born 20 years ago to Mr. SsebwalunyoEnockKigozi and Mrs. SsebwalunyoEnockKigozi, Joshua is the last born of four children. He has risen through the ranks to become Makerere’s top attacking midfielder topping the charts in the current University Football league with 5 goals in 4 games. Currently a second year Bachelor of Community Psychology student, he is described as hardworking and disciplined by both his coach and teammates. Senyonga Derrick caught up with the calm midfielder and talked about a range of issues, including personal history, ambitions and challenges.
Who is Lubwama Joshua?
Lubwama Joshua is a footballer nicknamed ‘Song’ I was bornin 1995 to Mr. SsebwalunyoEnockKigozi and Mrs. SsebwalunyoEnockKigozi in Luweero District. I am the last born of three siblings: Nambi Lillian, Banoonya Arthur and SsebwalunyoHannigton.
I am a second year student doing Community Psychology. I studied primary education at African Outreach Academy andsecondary at Ndejje SS; all in Luweero.
When and how did you start playing football?
Our dad was a football lover; he once played for KCC, he inspired me a lot. I started playing football way back in 2001. I was in P.1 and used to play as a goalkeeper up to P.3.
What made you made you change from goalkeeping?
We had a sports master called Aganyira Christopher who said I was too small to stop some shots. He played me in midfield and as a striker, I performed well.(Smiles) He said he should never see me in goal again.
Growing up, who were your idols and the players you looked to?
My idol was Alexander song. Tony Mawejje impresses me locally.
How about the nickname?
In my S.1,we used to play inter stream matches on asmall handball pitch. The main ground was used by the senior team. I was so small and they never thought I would kick the ball so hard. I kicked and scored the ball from one goal to the other. Then when we were given a chance to play in the main grounds, I tackled them and they were surprised. The name Song was sealed then.
Describe your first game in a Makerere shirt?
My first game was a surprise, it was against Nkumba, we trained for over a month., two days to the game, my coach asked me to help him in defense (number 5); the defender (Semakula Abdu)had got injured. I had never played in that position, I was surprised. He (coach) told me the way I was playing around in midfield,I could help since I was tackling well. I scored my first goal in my first game. It was a penalty.
How many goals have you scored in your lifetime, which is your best?
I cannot recall the number of goals but I have scored 7 goals for Makerere University: 2 in the previous campaign and 5 this season.I want to end the campaign with 12 goals.
My best goal came against Uganda Martyrs University. It was in the 8th minute. I dodged their defenders in a tricky way. I gave Kasoma Dan a one-two, he gave me back a wonderful a one-two and I chipped the goalkeeper.
You seem to covert good free kicks and penalties. You either hit the bar or score, how do you do it?
Our home was near a field and our dad inspired us a lot. He used to tie ropes on either posts (Angles) and we were tasked to score the ball between the ropes. And our coach at Makerere, every after warming up, he gives us a chance to kick the ball into the net even if the goalkeeper is not in the goal.
Have you ever lost a penalty?
I have lost only one penalty, it hit the post. It was against Gulu University at Nakivuubo stadium during last season’s quarter final. They were leading one nil; however, I was lucky, we won the game 2-1.
Is Makerere winning the league?
This time I have the belief we are remaining unbeaten and shall win the league. We need to play at our best.
You have played against very many teams, which is the best organized team you have faced this season?
Nkumba was really hard, they were organized, I scored a goal but it was a penalty.
Which defender gives you hard time?
My good friend and teammate called Ballack is a very good defender to the extent that during training he is very hard.
Do we see you playing professional football?
That’s my goal. I had a view of going for professional soccer. Our coach Mr. BamweyanaDeogratius is my mentor. Before doing anything, I ask him. He gave me a view, that in this generation, it’s better to go for professional soccer when you are learnt. He advised me to join after my degree; am still looking towards to that.
KCCA and SCVILLA have approached me, but I always value the value the advice of my coach.
Have you, at any one point in a lifetime, ever thought that you would not make it as a footballer?
In my first year, we did not know how to get to the varsity team; we didn’t know one had to go through trials. We wanted to join directly. Being small, I thought I would never make it, but Kasoma Dan (one of the attacking strikers at the team) is my OB, he kept on encouraging me. During trials, I was not impressed by the way I played; I even thought I wouldn’t make it. I was so low. Kasoma talked to me and asked me to never give up. I was recruited, I felt so good and proud.
What advice do you give a player wishing to play for Makerere University?
First of all you should focus on what you want
What’s your take about the nature of our fans given they end matches prematurely?
They are very violent; everyone knows that. They know Makerere is the best and want to always keep that reputation. At least for our Ugandan football, they should refrain violence. In most cases other universities complain that they don’t play to their best as they feel intimidated playing at Makerere grounds.
Sometimes the fans turn against us, for example during the Kamapala University game. (The game ended 1-1)
And the girls are you seeing someone?
I don’t concentrate on them; I have my goal I want to focus on that. I have my girlfriend, at high school. She will be joining university soon.
How do you balance soccer with books?
There is the mentality were parents think one cannot balance football and books. Personally I give football 2-3hours a day. During exam, we are given 2 weeks off to concentrate.
How have you benefited from playing with the team? What challenges and way forward?
We are given match allowances.
Our pitch is a little bit bumpy.
In other universities, top management is always there to watch the games. There is that motivation you get, you play heads high. Imagine Ddumba (Prof. DdumbaSentamu is the current Vice Chancellor Makerere) on the touchline, we would humiliate our opponents.
What others say about him…
He likes training, hardworking and disciplined. He will score the 12 goals this season. Ballack
Joshua is a good boy. Good student of the game. He is humble; expect big things from him. He is a talented boy who knows how to work with people and appreciates people who help him. He seeks guidance. He iscapable of his improving in every game. Mr. BamweyanaDeogratius (Coach).
Awards:Primary: Best goalkeeper (JR), Trophy Luweero District
Secondary: Sports man of the year, Trophy Luweero District
University: Money Gram Man of the Match(last season against Nkumba)