The fear of falling in love has gotten real for many Kampala singles

If you hadn't already noticed, Kampala is teeming with young and middle-aged singles who are on the verge of developing philophobia (the fear of falling in love or being in love). Many of these single people are already unintentional philophobes; disillusioned with love as a result of painful prior encounters or the love-hardship stories of their f...

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Brains over good looks-the world of the sapiosexual

“Chill with all that fuss about good looks,” a friend once quipped as we talked one weekend at one of Kampala’s quiet rendezvous places. 

A couple of young nice-looking females were parleying in our midst.

“I am for brains over beauty. In propositioning to a lady, I place a premium on her intellect,” he closed out. 

In my reverie at home, I thought about what he had said. I thought to myself, that writing about would not be a bad idea after all.

 Later, I did some online searches and came across information that seemed to connect with what he was saying.

There is indeed a world out there where brains hold sway over beauty; a world where real people, yes real people looking for people to date, look beyond skin deep beauty as their foremost dating attribute.

That world, which has been christened the Sapiosexual world, is a world where people are attracted to someone of the opposite sex on account of their brain power or call it their intellect.

Only your smarts will get you into a prospective lover’s good graces and get you laid for good measure in the sapiosexual world.

Sapiosexuality is not an indelicate sexual orientation; so, trust me moralists like Pastor Ssempa will lose no sleep if they hear about it.

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Rapping for Pittance in Uganda-The Struggles of Ugandan Hip Hop artists

 By Richard Wetaya

If there is one hustle; which has consistently proven difficult to push in Uganda, it is a rap career.

Through the years, numerous Ugandan rap artists have rhymed for pittance; barely making make ends.

If you are ever in any doubt about the validity of that; ask the Big Trill’s, Lyrical Proof’s, Burney M.C’s, Don M.C’s, Unique’s, etc of this world. 
They may not share with you their disillusionment, but needless to say, it is a rough and tumble jungle out there.

The law of the jungle applies in the Ugandan rap industry-only the strong hearted survive.

Looked at in the abstract, that status quo has made it hard for both prospective and established rappers, alike.It is just harsh fact that there is no love lost between corporate entities and the rap industry.

The corporate bodies probably don’t foresee any long term gain in supporting the genre.To that end, the prospect of sustaining a rap career in Uganda for many seems as unrealistic as nailing jelly to the wall.

This being Uganda however, you will still find cockeyed optimists, who refuse to look reality in its face. To them a new lease of life will one day dawn for hip hop. That is a long shot. It probably will happen when every emcee embraces the Gravity Omutujju format.The likelihood of that happening is two to one, because lets it straight the guy is not hip hop.

Keko, Uganda’s premier femcee however demures noting that the future is hip hop.

“All these other genres will soon fade out and hip hop will take centre stage,” she states.

The apathy towards Hip hop in Uganda has, by and large, meant less return value for rappers who put in work in the recording booth and that has been manifested in the few and lukewarm radio spins, few endorsement deals, fewer crowds at shows and ofcourse the minimal album or single sales.

“It takes more than the conventional methods of marketing to push a rap career in Uganda. It is twice the hustle and the budget compared to other genres. This leaves most rappers discouraged and frustrated,” states Rugged made, a veteran hip hop emcee and a mainstay on the battle rap scene in Kampala.

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Podcast: In part 2 of this podcast, I continue shining a spotlight on the legacies of other music greats who have fallen during these COVID-19 times

In part 2 of this podcast, I continue shining a spotlight on the legacies of other music greats such as Tony Allen [Afrobeat co-creator], Mory Kanté [renowned Guinean vocalist and Kora player] Ahmed Ismail Hussein [Somali Music icon], Ty [acclaimed British/Nigerian Hip Hop star], Fred the Godson [New York Hip Hop star] Betty Wright [RNB legend], Little Richard [father of Modern Rock N Roll], who have fallen during these COVID-19 times.


Lyrical G sticks to his blueprint for his ninth album-GEEZY

After nine years of hibernation, Ugandan Hip Hop veteran Jeff Kintu aka-Lyrical G is back with a gritty and cohesive repertoire of beat shredding flows, synth-heavy compositions and rhymes for his ninth studio offering, simply entitled “Geezy.”

Geezy Album Official Video

Geezy in urban slang means good or gangster. The gangster-bit is however used jokingly. 
For good measure, the 15 track album, produced almost entirely by Lyrical G, has a feel-good vibe to it.

He is joined for the ride by a slew of rappers, to wit-GNL Zamba, Mc Yallah, St Nellysade, Judas Rap Knowledge Key Nemesis, Foever, among others.

On the album, Lyrical G [L.G] sticks to his blueprint-which is effortlessly juxtaposing commanding and unadulterated Hip Hop lyricism over high caliber beats and sound beds.

It is quite evident that he worked on fine-tuning his rap skills during his hiatus, which saw him fly to the UAE for work.

Times have changed since L.G last dropped an album in 2014 but as the often averse to hip hop media people, many of whom are used to people unflattering the genre by rapping on afro ragga beats; found out at a listening party, he held for them on the 14th of October at the Atmosphere Lounge in Kololo, the rap veteran is not about to alter his musical palette.


The Geezy album starts on a buoyant note with the self-produced “Keep it lit”.

The song sets a bouncy tone for the album, with his flow meshing perfectly as he reminds everyone about his lyrical skills with metaphors and brag laced lines like “Mic don- rock shows-last of the realest-that feel good shhhh that has the right ingredients-go ahead place your bets on me-the way I rock mics-I may need an exorcist- extra cold with it, low pro-I’m a savage, back with tight flows, no joke above average


On the euphonious "Atamukutte [yah yeah]" a Koz&Effekt produced song, which ostensibly is the album’s lead single, L.G holds down the fort, enumerating why he still has to be reckoned among the best Hip Hop wordsmiths in the country, over some captivating Bakisimba infused rhythms.

On the exciting trap-ish- “Ndi Mukyamu”-feat talented newcomer Sliq Teq, L.G manifests why he is in a league of his own with commanding sleek lines like:
“I came in the game as a youngin/ Straight from the depths of a dungeon/ I made a name out of nothing/ this ain't rap, this is outrage/.

GNL Zamba, who has a new album in the works, makes a noteworthy and strong appearance on “Been Bout My Thang, one of the album’s best ditties.

Other notable songs on the album are Worthy where L.G raps about his introspective reverence for God; “Wetuli”-where he showcases his tongue-twisting wordplay flow skills and “Float”- a Love song, where he gets lovey-dovey and waxes lyrical about his significant other.

On “Never Knew Pain”- an ode to his late mum, Barbara Kintu, L.G wears his heart on his sleeve-as he plaintively reminisces about her.

Strong as it, L.G’s comeback project is however not without flaws. Rustiness shows on un-inspired verses from some of his guests like Ossie Entrance and B-Money on the “Tuli Majje song.

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Uganda's male grooming industry is in the ascendant

While growing at a much slower rate, compared to that of countries like Kenya, Uganda’s male grooming industry has steadily been making inroads.

Several estheticians in Kampala contend that the industry will likely bask in more glows, as more Ugandan men, strive to look good in the New Year.

In many of the country’s urban centers, facial moisturizing, pedicure and manicure parlours are now, not just exclusive to women. Gender barriers are increasing being broken as more upper-class and middle-class men frequent them to keep their nails, beards, teeth, skin, hair, and toes in mint condition.

“Increasingly, more Ugandan men are embracing grooming and self-care [regular facials, trimming of beards, keeping hair neat, trimming of finger and toenails, skincare, etc].
A smart preened and polished outward appearance is what every man should strive for in this New Year,” Catherine Onyait of the Ntinda Unisex salon and cosmetics clinic, told Masaabachronicle.

One of the first grooming basics, men should live by this New Year, according to Onyait, is to regularly shave and keep their beads clean. The disheveled and rugged look should be a thing of the past.
“Beards grow rather fast so shaving once every week is advisable. It is important to wash your beard daily, with a gentle beard shampoo using a cloth or sponge, because they easily pick up dust, food and other particles throughout the day,” Abdullah Ali Halage, a lecturer at Makerere’s School of Public Health, says.

“If you experience beard dandruff, use a dandruff specific product like gentle Vikings beard or beard wash. If you struggle with skin irritant razor bumps, which usually occur when inflamed hair follicles become infected by fungus or bacteria, ditch the razor. Use it only when you have some good pre-shave creams or oil.”

Ostensibly, using a shaving cream ensures a smoother shave and lubricates your skin, making it easier for the razor's edge to glide across the skin surface.

“The best bet; however, is to buy an electric clipper/trimmer for oneself or to go to the salon. Clippers are the best for grooming the beard, stubbles and mustache area,” Halage says.

To steer clear of razor bumps as well, do not stretch your skin when shaving, and at all times, shave in the direction your beard grows. After shaving, press a cold, wet cloth against your face for five minutes,” Onyait advises.

By all accounts, shaving pubic hair is also a good hygiene practice; men should embrace in the New Year.

“Electric clippers and disposable cartridge safety razor blades usually do the job, well, though the cartridge safety razor blades get clogged with hair, as one trims,” Dermatologist Dennis Wandukwa of Mukhuwa health center in Mbale, says.

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By Richard Wetaya
Few players in the Ugandan Basketball league possess as cracking a handle and as lethal a clutch shot as Sudi Ulanga, the KIU Titans shooting guard.
The Tanzanian’s yo-yo handles have long become a byword for breaking opponent’s ankles, metaphorically that is.
With the Friday Night Lights season kicking off this Friday, basketball fans are on the giddy up, waiting with bated breath to stand a treat of Ulanga’s exciting skill set.
With Jimmy Enabu and Joseph Ikong on national duty, FNL fans will look up to Ulanga, to provide the sparks and highlight reels.

Ulanga has quite an impressive pedigree in the National League.
Between the years 2012-2014, he was the most dominant scoring force in the league.
At that time; Ulanga was turning out for the UCU Canons; the most exciting team in the league then.
In tandem with the dunking machine, Desmond Owili, Brian Namake and Ivan Lumanyika- the Ulanga led Canons were a real force to be reckoned with.
His creativity, shot making abilities, dropping of dimes (making assists) and consistent buccaneering play made him an arch nemesis for opposing teams, not only in Uganda, but regionally.
Season in, season out; Ulanga put in performances that set him apart from the rest. In most games, he averaged 20+ points, a feat few players in the league, manage.
Having curved out that pedigree; it came as no surprise when he was named the 2014 regular season MVP.

In his 4 seasons at UCU, Ulanga carved out a place for himself in the University’s basketball hall of fame. He literally carried the team on his back; making
them title contenders and himself; the most electrifying player in the league.
At the start of the 2014 season, he provided another imperious career highlight, dropping a game high 30 points and 7 rebounds on the City Oilers, who were then the champions.
At length, Ulanga did not lead the Canons to the National league title, but he helped build the team’s brand and establish it as an elite force in the league.
The Canons only lost by a hairs breath, at the two to three penultimate and final stage appearances the team made, when Ulanga was at his most dominant.

The national league quarter final playoffs of 2015 provided one of Ulanga’s other standout highlights. By that time, Ulanga, who has become a rolling stone of sorts, had long left the Canons. He was turning out for Power.
His repertoire of skills were on full display in game 3 of the series. He showed off his offensive mettle, dropping a whopping 41 points on the Star Times Falcons.
That game went to double overtime, and at length, Power, emerged triumphant winning the series 2-1.

To thwart the sharp shooting Ulanga, opposing teams often played double or triple teams on him. But even when Ulanga was in the opposing team’s cross hairs, he still showed; he was top of the range, feeding off pick and rolls to hit clutch threes.
If he was not shooting from beyond the arc, he made emphatic drives to the hoop.
When Ulanga was passed the rock (a basketball) in open space, whey faced opposing defenses pushed the panic button.

Ulanga’s first team in Uganda, were the Falcons. He played with them in 2014.
He moved to the UCU Canons after his stint with the Falcons.
In 2015, Ulanga moved to Tiger head Power and a year later, he joined the KIU Titans, his current team.
He was an integral part of the KIU Titans juggernaut that went 5 months unbeaten in the league last year. He however is still chasing his first league title.

At Power, Ulanga did not seem to be at peace. Though he is not the type to lay bare his feelings, Ulanga was evidently unnerved at Power and it did affect his performances.

Ulanga got his mojo back upon signing with the KIU Titans in 2016.
He played a big part in the amazing run that the Titans enjoyed that year.

Ulanga regards the NBL as the best league in the region and as such, he feels obligated to hone his skills, on a day in, day out basis.
As early as 5:30, he is up and jogging. He then does individual ball work for 2 hours before joining his Titans team mates for practice.
During his individual training, he shots the rock for over an hour and a half. 
“I believe a player can only be able to perform when he is well prepared,” Ulanga opines.

Social life and hooking a Ugandan lass

Anybody who has scrapped acquaintances with Ulanga speaks golden of his good naturedness. It is a virtue that has endeared him to many, not only in player’s circles, but for good measure, to members of the fairer sex.
It came as no surprise 2 years ago when he got engaged to a gorgeous Ugandan lass- Sandra Munduru.
The pair met in 2010 when Ulanga was playing for the Falcons.
Incidentally, Munduru was also a Ball player, turning out for the A-1 Challenge.
Munduru introduced Ulanga to her parents last year in Arua. The Pair have a child together and their wedding is slated for this year.
Born and bred in Dar es Salam, Ulanga was ushered into Ugandan basketball by the late legendary Kenyan coach Smatts Olumbo.
Before coming to Uganda, Ulanga had played with his home team, the Sinza Warriors (2004-2006), Savio Basketball club (2006-2008) and later Vijana City Bulls (2008/9).
He won the Tanzanian national league twice; first with Savio (2008) and later with Vijana, where he was the top scorer.
Before his Tanzanian national league accomplishments, Ulanga had made his mark in Kenya in the high school basketball championships.
He won the Kenyan national high school championships with Laser Hill academy 4 times. He joined Laser Hill Academy on a scholarship.

Ulanga was introduced to the game of basketball around 2000 by his elder brother, who by then was playing professional basketball.


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The Silver-Bucks (Uganda's men's Basketball team) defy the critics to qualify for Afro-Basket 2017.

By Richard Wetaya
The Silver-bucks, the bulk of whom, are well into their 30’s have once again just proved why Uganda is a basketballing behemoth in the Zone 5 region.
Qualifying for Africa’s biggest basketballing showpiece, for the second time, on the trot, even as the Bucks lost to arch nemesis-Egypt in the finals was not exactly a jarring experience.
Many may have not expected it but by now, all and sundry should know that the Silver-bucks can ball.
They showed and proved that in their Group B preliminary games against Somalia and Burundi and in the semis against Rwanda.
Egypt, which has its own history of fielding old players both on the soccer pitch and basketball court, beat the Silver-bucks 95-72 in the final.

By and large, the qualification milestone vindicates the Silver-back’s 30 something players, most of whom, had been the butt of ill advised jokes on the popular B ball 256 Buzz facebook page.

Before the team even got in camp, there was a hue and cry on the page about the lack of younger guys on the team.
Amos Lesuk, a firebrand member of the group sparked off the back and forth debates on whether the older members of the Silver-bucks or the old crooks as he likes to call them, should still be on the team.
The 30 and above guys on the team; to wit-Stephen Omony, Stephen Ociti, Joseph Ikong, Norman Blick before he was dropped and Ben Komakech were the target of the unflattering jokes and insults.

The firebrands on the page rationalized that some of the older Silver-bucks had, to all intents and purposes, outlived their balling time and to that end, they demanded, they should give way to younger ballers.
Unbeknown to most of the critics, the older Silver-bucks could still ball.

At length, the detractors behind the “get the old guys out of the Silver-bucks” campaign have been forced to eat humbie pie.
The old crooks served the detractors revenge in its coldest form.
Impressive performances in the Afro-basket qualifying tournament in Egypt spoke to the fact.
In the first group B game against Somalia, the older crooks showed how they were far from washed up, leading all scorers as the Bucks won 94-72.
Omony, City Oil’s new recruit scored 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Hate him or love him, Omony just seems to get better with age.
Ocitti led all scorers with 33 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, Ikong had 11 points.
In the second game against Burundi, where the Bucks won 99-54, Omony dropped 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Komaketch had 8 points and 6 rebounds, whilst Ikong had 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively.
One of the youngest Bucks-Jonan Otim top scored with 16 points.

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Victor Ochen, a Ugandan grassroots activist has been basking in the glow of his nomination for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ochen was nominated on the 17th of February by the American Friends Service Committee, an organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action.
Online stories about Ochen and his work have been going viral and there have been congratulatory messages galore.
Venerable personalities such as Desmond Tutu, Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court prosecutor, Ruhakana Ruganda, Uganda’s Prime Minister and Trust Africa, an independent foundation that works to secure conditions for Democracy and equitable development throughout the African continent, have all come forward to endorse and drum up support for Ochen.

Desmond Tutu has said Ochen is in the top pick of the bunch as regards being amongst the new breed of dynamic African youth leaders.

Ochen becomes the first Ugandan to be nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize award, which in the past has been won by eminent personalities such as former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and United States President, Barrack Obama, amongst others.
For the award, Ochen is pitted against esteemed people like Pope Francis, Ban Ki-Moon, Edward Snowden and the World Health Organisation, among others.
The winner will take home a Nobel medal and cash prize of $ 1.2 million. The winner will be announced in October.

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James Whistler, a famous nineteenth century American painter once said painting is visual poetry. While he may have said it in a different context, parallels can undeniably be drawn between his statement and the ingenious paintings of 35 year-old Ugandan visual artist, Veroniccah Muwonge.
It is easy to notice at first blush, that Muwonge wields a skilful painting brush. Hers is a paint brush that sketches expressionist and evocative art pieces. Most if not all of Muwonge’s paintings are heartfelt portrayals of everything from nature, traditional African cultures, people’s behaviours and everyday experiences of people she meets. In a sense, her art works represent an inward significance that is not outwardly obvious.

“I believe I was born to create. To create beauty in form of art. Painting feeds my soul. It is like food to me, I can not live without it. I use my art paintings to stimulate the mind. I enjoy making a world within another world. It is how I see art. The art process begins with imagination, generating ideas, and making up our own reality, fantasy, and dreams in a new form.  Art is a universal language so I use it to bring out ideas that people know but do not give much thought to. Painting as a medium of communication is fun for me because I love color and its powerful effect on human emotions,” Muwonge says.

Casting her mind back, Muwonge says she was inspired and eventually made the decision to become an artist whilst in high school in Trinity College, Nabbingo and Taibah high school in the early 90’s.
“I thought I would become a performer growing up. I also enjoyed playing soccer, netball and ping pong but I just knew what I wanted to do with my life early on. I do not remember anyone influencing me to become an artist,” she says.
Muwonge however started painting professionally in 2003.

Traces of Muwonge’s artistic talent showed early as she narrates.
“I noticed how much I loved to draw whilst I was young. I drew a lot at the ages of 5/6-10. I knitted, wove, built tiny mud houses and learned to sew and crotchet at a young age. A ceramics piece was the first artistic piece I sold. I was in my senior 3 then,” she reminisces.


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By Richard Wetaya
Few Ugandan basketball fans had heard of Stanley Ocitti until he made his debut for the Silver-Bucks (Uganda’s men’s national basketball team) at the 2015 Afro Basket in Tunisia.
Ocitti put on a clinic, impressing with his repertoire of skills, ranging from the fluid perimeter shots, deep range and aggression on both ends of the court.

His debut heralded a new dawn for the much maligned Silver-bucks front court.
In the estimation of many, the Silver-bucks had at long last, gotten a reliable offensive weapon; a 6 ft 8 and a 104 kg big man with mid air flair; a big man who executed well in the paint, cleaned the boards but also adeptly shot the mid range and rainmaker shots (three pointer).
Fans who had long gotten accustomed to blip on the radar performances from previous Silver-buck's big men like Sam Gombya were energized.
Ocitti’s game demanded attention. The guy who patterns his game after Tim Duncan seemed to be the spring that was missing from the Silver-bucks stride.
The other guys on the Silver-buck's team, principally Captain Steven Omony-seemed to feed off his-on court-aura and drive.

Of court, the 35 year old is as modest as they come. Basketball though has taken him places and made him a rolling stone of sorts.
In his playing career, he has made stops in leagues across the globe.
Besides playing in the United States, he has also brought his skills to bear in the Australian, Norwegian, Japanese, Dutch, Canadian, British, Hungarian leagues, amongst others.

Ocitti has played professional basketball for 11 years and once dropped
63 points in a league game in the Netherlands. Get it-63.
In the United States, whilst he played in the National Collegiate Athletic Association or the (NCAA), he came up against NBA greats such as Carmelo Anthony, Ray Allen and Ben Gordon, etc.
The NCAA organizes 
athletic programs for Colleges and  Universities in the United States and Canada and helps more than 450,000 college student-athletes compete annually in various college sporting disciplines . 

Ocitti’s accomplishments with the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA stood him in a good stead.
The anticlimax however was that it did not propel him into the NBA- the best Basketball league in the world.
Ocitti looks back philosophically on the missed chance.
“As a younger player, I was unaware of the ins and outs of the NBA. So I didn’t really get a lot of interest from the NBA. Looking back on it now there are definitely some things I could have done differently. I however enjoyed my collegiate experience. The Connecticut Huskies are a power house and to be a part of a championship team was really humbling. Going up against future NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony was really amazing” he opines.

In the 5 games, Ocitti played for the Silver-bucks at the Afro-basket in Tunisia; he brought flair to bear; averaging 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
He was by far, Uganda’s premier best scorer. The Legend-Steven Omony came in a close second.

At the recent Zone 5 Afro Basket qualifiers in Egypt, Ocitti again showed his mettle, averaging 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Silver-bucks.
Just a few months earlier, he had laid down the law as he played for the City Oilers at the FIBA Africa Champions cup for men in Egypt.
He averaged 16.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and got an Honorable mention from the organizers after the tournament.

In his career, Ocitti has stacked up quite a number of trophies. He was part of the 1998-1999 Connecticut Huskies men’s basketball team that won the Big East regular season championship in the United States.
The Connecticut Huskies represent the University of Connecticut.
The Huskies went on to win the Big East basketball championship and later the NCAA men’s division/tournament championship also known as March madness.
Ocitti later played for Suny Binghamton- the state University of New York basketball team.

In 2006, he was part of the Norwegian national championship team-the Asker Aliens.
In 2009, Ocitti was part of the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix team in Japan which won the Japan regular season championship.
In 2013, he was voted Defensive player of the year at the University of Worcester in England. In England, he got 4 team of the week honorable mentions.

The experience of globetrotting as a player is something Ocitti has relished.
If you cannot make it to the NBA, then the next best thing is to go overseas and try your luck in the international leagues. I had always wanted to see the world and through basketball, I have been able to experience different cultures,” he says.

Though he is calling time on his playing career, Ocitti says he is still open to playing for the Silver-bucks.
“Am focused on playing as long as the team needs me. As of now, am in the process of becoming an internationally licensed agent. Iam intent on helping Ugandan players get exposure at the international level. There is a lot of talent in Uganda. As things stand now, there are many hard working people associated with Ugandan Basketball and I feel there is a bright future ahead for the next generation of ballers. For the young Ugandan players, just focus on the fundamentals and do something to get better every day, no matter how small,”

“It’s been great playing for the Silver Backs and the Oilers. There has been a lot of success for both teams at the East African regional level. The next step is to have success at the continental and international levels. I hope we can really just organize better and show the world that Uganda can compete on the bigger stages,” he reckons.

Ocitti was born in Kampala in 1980. He began playing basketball at age 12, inspired by his elder sibling.


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