Basket Ball

Zainah Lokwameri: Up-close With The Basketball Star

“She is a hard working, caring, encouraging and focused on whatever she sets her mind on,” Rhoda Naggita describes Zainah Lokwameri.

Zainah will nolonger wear UCU’s grey jersey after completing her masters with the Mukono based University. She has officially signed a two-year deal to join JKL Lady Dolphins.

“I liked her for being straight forward about something she saw was happening and didn’t like it, and will miss this from her as well as the energy she brought on team, sisterhood and determination.”

Is that all about Zainah?

Zainah Lokwameri (seated) with UCU coach Nicholas Natuhereza during a league game at KIU Courts. FUBA photo

From Humble Beginnings

Zainah, born on December 24, 1994 in Moroto – Very impatient that she couldn’t wait to come out on Christmas. Pun intended.

Born to Swaib Lomise and the late Korobe Teddy Angellah, from a family of five, she attended Hillside Nursery and Primary school in Naalya before joining Nabisunsa Girls team.

In Form three, she played in the top flight league (WNBL) with Nabisunsa Girls team in 2010.

“I was outstanding in high school then Munnah my teammate from Nabisunsa talked to Okello Boniface to recruit me,” she recalls.

Joining UCU

Zainah joined UCU in 2014, where she has won many accolades including three straight championships.

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Zainah Lokwameri is a coach at Ihoops Academy. Montage media photo

UCU were a star studded side with the likes of Purity Adhiambo, Francis Mbone, Nakirijja Peace, Lorraine Akinyi, Maureen Amoding among others.

“It was tough actually, even getting a jersey was on Gods mercy since we were many rookies that year. The team had its targets of beating all team’s soo bad so even the best players would engage fully.

“The first year was a year for the bench, I learnt to feed the post and to drive and dish that’s why I was given playing time had to relax my scoring and create for others.”

Her first game was against Crane High, and the rest is history!

Among other accolades she has won with UCU include four University game titles, floodlight champions, 3X3 University league championship among others.

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Great Memories Behind

Preparing to go for practice at the same time, losing the balls and asked to find them, drying the UCU courts after rain, eating together and that hostel bondings cemented Zainah’s love and sense of belonging and its not by surprise when she repeatedly says that UCU is her home.

“It feels awkward leaving UCU, it’s like a home to me, played six seasons there I already miss them even before anything has happened yet. It’s life though we have to move to the next step. I finished my school and I had to move on but UCU will forever be home.”

She cites coach Nicholas Natuhereza and Vilma Achieng (left) as some of her best friends at UCU.

What Does She Bring On Table For JKL?

Zainah joins her good friend Brenda Ekone as the new club’s signings.

The two, played for JKL as the side won the Zone five basketball championship in Dar Es Salaam last year.

A bite on gold: Zainah Lokwameri won Zone five with JKL

Zainah brings experience to a two back to back champion who wants to dominate women basketball for the next years.

“She has the highest basketball IQ in the women’s division,” Kawowo Sports’ Franklin Kaweru says about Zainah. “She is a smart player, with high game intelligence but her biggest undoing is sulking.”

“JKL had no small forward the entire season. Zama is a guard who can’t shoot so she was forced to play the wing because of her size.

“Basically the move makes sense to the player and definitely the club because they now have a legit small forward who can pass/assist, score and defend.”

The Interview:

  • Did your parents want you to become a basketball player?

Zainah – Not soo much, they wanted me to focus on school. They said sports was a destruction and doesn’t pay well in Uganda since they both did sports.

  • One day as a FUBA president, what do you change first?

Zainah – Rewarding players is important.

  • What do you think was your best game?

Zainah – Too many best games can’t pick on one

  • Who do you consider to be the hardest opponent ever faced?

Zainah – Australia, world University games 2015 in Korea.

  • Who are your best five (Men and Women, ever seen in the NBL)

Zainah – (Men): Enabu, Drilleba, Dikong, Chuma, Landry. (Women) – Flirsh, Ekon, Zama, Ageno, Soigi

  • What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for you? Bad and good

Zainah – Buy me shoes. Nothing bad ever happened.

  • Have you been recognised by a stranger?

Zainah – Yes, on so many occasions.

  • To the kids out there, why should they join Basketball? And what advice do you give them

Zainah – Kids should engage in sports because it instills a lot of discipline on hard work, time keeping, teamwork, respect, but they should not be carried away because sports is a means to getting things done like school.

  • Who inspired you to play basketball

Zainah – My sister Moru Bena.

  • When your name is brought up in the next 30 or 50 years, what do you want people to remember about you?

Zainah – Someone who gave 100% and straight forward.

  • Who is your inspiration

Zainah – My mum

  • Which celebrity do you have a crush on

Zainah – King Lebron James (laughs)

  • When was your first kiss

Zainah – I was above 18

  • How have you managed to balance Basketball and books

Zainah – School and ball, you just have to give them their time and don’t cheat any. Sometimes ball interferes with school but you ought to make a decision of what is more important.

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