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Robert Katende on changing lives through chess

Robert Katende’s Liteside

Any three things that we don’t know about you?

Resilience defines me. I am a pathfinder and independent. I believe it is my background that has shaped me into what I am. I believe in fate.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being a family person. From my background, I always wondered the type of father I would make and was encouraged to read a lot about being a good father. I am also happy knowing that there are people who celebrate me for making their lives better.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Sometimes I get too pushy because I always want everyone to give in their best.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Having negative energy and referring the past to present. As a people developing person, I find so much challenge with people who never follow instructions. Sometimes people fail for being complacent.

Which living person do you most admire?

My grandmother Namusisi Ireda; she is an uneducated woman but her perseverance to make us survive through trying times is unmatched. If it wasn’t for her perseverance, I wouldn’t have survived. She laid the foundation for my survival.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I care so much about other people and that has many times challenged me. I guess it’s a natural thing within me.

What is the greatest thing you have ever done?

The chess programme wasn’t embraced; especially having been commissioned to teach football and my leaders didn’t embrace it initially. I had to switch to football in the official time and while other coaches retired, I stayed back in the slums to teach the children chess. I am happy about how far the journey of chess has gone.

What is your current state of mind?

I am challenged to see how best to inspire and lead those that God has brought into my life.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Very many people live an imagined life and yet when you don’t live in the reality, you tend to hype. I prefer to be seen by others as though I am nothing but when I know my worth.

What does being powerful mean to you?

The ability to make use of a situation to lift others up.

On what occasion do you lie?

I am an open and honest person

What do you most dislike about your appearance?


Which living person do you most despise?

My heart is free.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Ability to see and take others as fellow human beings.

What is the quality you most like in a man?


What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife; Sarah Ntongo Katende.

When and where were you happiest?

In 2010 when I wed with my wife; it is something that I had never thought of achieving because I dint see a future in me. I was also happy qualifying for government sponsorship in 2000 at Kyambogo University because it was my only rescue. I appreciate being on the different auditoriums where I have met some of the world’s great people that I had never thought of meeting.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I grew up thinking that I would do everything if given the opportunity but felt like I didn’t have the necessary resources.

Where would you most like to live?

I have had invitations to stay elsewhere but I feel I am called to serve fellow Ugandans. Home is Uganda.

What is your most treasured possession?

Living consciously.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being falsely convicted is too harsh.

What is your favorite occupation?

Being a life coach.

What do you most value in your friends?

Friendship shouldn’t be only on the receiving end.

Who are your favourite writers?

Ricky Warren the author of ‘Purpose driven life’ teaches me a lot.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela looked at other people as human beings irrespective of the divisions. They wished well for others.

What is your greatest regret?

I am convinced that my life was a divine arrangement.

How would you like to die?

When he chooses to. I only desire to see a lasting system of people willing to live for others and hope that some of the youths I have mentored will live it.

What is your motto?

Be a blessing to others.


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