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Player focus: CHAN Uganda Cranes defender Ibrahim Kiyemba motivated by his parents

As a growing humble young boy, Ibrahim Kiyemba almost kicked everything (living or non-living) that flashed in his midst.

Little did he realize that 18 years down the road, he would captain a top flight league club nor feature for the Uganda national team, The Cranes.

At the moment, he is an established defender with Lweza F.C in the Azam Premier League and the Uganda Cranes CHAN team.

Football - International Friendly Match - Nigeria v Uganda - Akwa Ibom Stadium
The Uganda Cranes team that beat Nigeria in May 2015. Kiyemba played on the team

Kiyemba boldly shares his experience with;

He narrates his journey thus far;

It is every footballer’s dream to feature for their national team. Donning the Uganda Cranes jersey means representing 36.5 million people. Little did I believe the authenticity of the call to the National team till I boarded a plane to Nigeria

The National team coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic handed Kiyemba his maiden cap for the Cranes during the international build up match in May when the Cranes shocking overcame Nigeria 1-0.


A vivid admirer of former Uganda Captain Ibrahim Sekagya, Kiyemba wishes to emulate his idol wholesomely – playing style and character.

Now the captain of the Lweza Football Club, based in Kajjansi on Entebbe road, Kiyemba admits he is reaping from personal diligence and the mercy of Allah.

All this is about hard work, patience and prayer. I promise more is yet to come from me. I am looking forward to professional football. I want to maintain my place on the national team and even get better. Also, my parents have been a special pillar of encouragement to play football since I was young

Kiyemba recalls that his parents especially the mother used to buy him football equipment like jerseys and boots which encouraged him to continue with the game.

Ibrahim Kiyemba (left) against Nigeria

Buying sporting equipment for me wasn’t enough but, my parents also used to spend a fortune on football DVDs so that i watch different players in action

He further narrates that the national team coach Micho has given him chance to showcase his potential in different playing positions.

Kiyemba came on a substitute against Nigeria where he was deployed in the midfield and featured at right back position against Malawi at Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre.

At Lweza, Kiyemba performs his core roles comfortably in central defence.

It has been such a fantastic experience at the national team because of the different playing positions the coach has deployed me. It has helped me understand modern football where a player needs to be versatile

Best and Worst Moments as a footballer:

Kiyemba’s best football moment is when he wore the National team’s jersey for the first time against Nigeria in a friendly which the Uganda Cranes won 1-0.

Where there are best moments one can’t rule away worst ones .Of recent , Soana flogged Lweza 4-0 at their 2015/16 Azam Uganda Premier League opener .

That is the most horrible day of my life since I started playing competitive football

Kiyemba (with the trophy) helped Lweza attain promotion to the Azam Uganda Premier League

Talking about the moment when Lweza was on a verge of being relegated due to failure to fulfill the FUFA Licensing Board requirements, Kiyemba said that him as a player and club captain would be hurt in case it had happened .Though it was that way, club officials had to fulfill the requirements before being licensed .

FUFA has the mandate over all football proceedings in Uganda so if it issues regulations, to me they are for the good of the game and everyone has to abide by them

He hopes that this Azam Uganda Premier league season will be such competitive and his club Lweza will compete for the top positions though they have had such a poor by losing for consecutive games at the start of the season.

We have won three consecutive games of the season and we are now 9th ,me and my teammates are looking forward to finish in the top positions of the Azam Uganda Premier League

Kiyemba in the recent CHAN training for the Cranes at Legends rugby club

When asked him about the failed transfer to KCCA FC, Kiyemba said that it was upon the clubs to agree but him as a player this would have been a dream transfer because any footballer would like to play for a big club like KCCA.

If my bosses failed to reach terms with KCCA F.C, I had to go by their decision because I still have a contract with Lweza Football Club

His last word was to the growing talent in Uganda who would like to be successful with the game of football.

What others say about Kiyemba:

Milutin Sredojevic – Uganda Cranes Head coach:

Kiyemba is a well behaved, disciplined, committed, dedicated and loyal player, Being the captain of his club Lweza is a clear fact that he is outstanding and this speaks volume of him. He is ready to learn and develop himself. He has good sense of position and acting in defending with good timing in the air and on the ground makes him pure defensive chief in command’

Micho expects the youthful lad to further mature as a human being and player to stage a vital role for the National team and his future clubs.

Moses Ssenyonga alias Jajja Mozy – CEO, Lweza F.C:

 Kiyemba is a hardworking, committed, polite and a tough defender when at the pitch.He is such a patient player who has developed with the club from regional, big league up to the top flight of the Azam Uganda Premier League. I am not surprised to see him at the national team because of his discipline on and off the pitch. Coach says that they have prepared Kiyemba for professional football and assured that he won’t let them down.

Henry Wamala – Team-mate at Lweza F.C:

Kiyemba is a friend who possesses characters of an idol at his early age. He is one of the most exceptional leaders I have ever met. He always considers God first. Discipline, commitment and belief are paramount components to the doors of success.

Ibrahim Kiyemba Tit- Bits:

• Born 12 February 1995 to Haj Mustapha Lule and Hajat Sarah Nakanja of Konge/Bunga a Kampala suburb.

• Went to Kiryasaka and Kibuli Demonstartion School for Primary later joined Gombe SS and Lugazi Mixed for Secondary education

• For a meal prepare him Posho ,Matooke, Meat and Beans

• Features for Lweza FC in the Azam Uganda Premier League

• Supported by his mother to play football

• Admires former Uganda Cranes skipper Ibrahim Sekagya

• He has won the regional and Big league trophies with Lweza FC

• Thankful of Micho who has given him chance to play for National team

• Made his international debut against Nigeria which cranes won 1-0.

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