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Mujib Kasule: Uganda football doesn’t start, end with Cranes

Mujib Kasule is a former footballer turned manager.  He was vice president of Uganda’s football governing body, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) from 2012 to 2014.

KAMPALA, UGANDA |AGNES E NANTABA| Even as a privileged child who was born into a wealthy family in Wandegeya, a Kampala city suburb, Kasule’s love for football led him to   mostly mingled with the less fortunate and street children of the nearby slums of Kivulu and Katanga.

“I loved football and most of my friends were from such areas,” he says.  At one time, he even ran away from home to stay with his friends on the streets of Bwaise for four months. This meant missing one term of school at Kibuli Demonstration School.

Kasule started playing for the school team in primary three and at Kibuli Secondary School where he did his Ordinary and Advanced level. In 1996, he started playing professional football with KCC Club until he left to pursue university education in USA.

He graduated with a bachelor of science in economics and a post graduate degree in economics research and returned to Uganda for two reasons; to care for his parents, especially his mother, who were getting older and to share football skills. He is the ninth child of the twelve children of Sheik Muhammad Kiiza Kasule and Hajati Hadija Wanyana Kiiza. His father has other children.

He says that, as a staunch Muslim, his Islamic teachings enjoined him to loving mothers three times more than fathers.

Kasule says his childhood dream was to be part of the success journey of Ugandan football and he was frustrated frustrations about the way Ugandan football was organised and managed.

“I had observed that things are done differently in developed countries and it was the opposite here,” says Kasule, “The clubs at that time would not fulfill their promises and it hurt me. So I chose to go into football consultancy and manage family businesses.”

He played for KCCA Football Club and Uganda Cranes between 2003 and 2006 and retired from active football when he was just 27 years old.

Even when he signed up for active playing, he chose it as a way of sharing skills with others. He started Pro-line Soccer Academy to give boys aged between 14 and 17 years who had an eye for football an organised and hopeful life. It has turned out to be a very good engagement.

Today, Kasule boasts of five of his boys playing in Europe and Asia earning up to Shs30 million a week and several others signed to big local football clubs. As a qualified international football agent, Kasule sought to push his boys farther; he bought then Nalubaale FC and changed name to Proline football club.

This brought him closer to the leadership of the football game in Uganda and after a few years, Lawrence Mulindwa; then FUFA president appointed him as Vice president in charge of the Super League. Even when leadership was thrown into the hands of current FUFA president, Moses Magogo, Kasule maintained his position until he chose to retire after failing to agree on strategy.

“He didn’t buy into my ideas to transform Ugandan football and when I tried to get my way into the big post this year, I was denied the opportunity,” he says.

Now aged 38, he is pushing on with his job as a CAF coaching instructor; a title that he earned at only 35 years.  He does this along running Pro-line football club, Proline Soccer Academy and managing his family’s real estate business. He is married with two daughters aged eight and six.

On Uganda’s football, Kasule insists change of mindset and strategy are needed so that opportunities are more spread out.

“We have been made to believe that football in Uganda starts and ends with Uganda Cranes, channeled all our efforts to it yet we have over three million football players in Uganda,” he says.

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