Third on the log with 46 points, coach Edward Kaziba has transformed SC Villa from a relegation fighter into a title contender. They are yet to return to their top, like the Villa of 80s or early 2000s, but there is room for more improvement.
All this, has been made possible by a coach who is taking care of a club a head for the first time in his career. How did he join Villa? Where did the officials drive confidence from to put trust in Kaziba? Where did it all began?
“I think they had tried out many coaches,” Kaziba says in an exclusive interview with The-SportsNation. “I was approached by the chairman (William Nkemba) who called me. We met, he initially told me that he wants me as a technical director before we met and I became a coach.”
Last season, Villa won just seven games. Under Kaziba, they have won 13 with five games still to come and have lost just five, as many as defending champions KCCA have lost so far. Many never gave him a chance, a coach who was treading where Moses Basena and Douglas Bamweyana had already ‘failed’.
For a club operating under limited budget, with reports of six-month spell without pay, what has Kaziba done very different?
The gaffer says: “I came here knowing the target, I told my technical team and players that we are going to work as one. I always talk and listen to my players and are aware that there are challenges we always face but we just have to remain focussed.”
From A Humble Background
Kaziba was born in May 31, 1962 to the late Paul Ntulume (Mpindi clan) and Late Regina Siryowe (Lugave). He grew up in Barracks in Jinja as his father was a police officer.
He is the third, in a family of six (three boys and as many girls). He studied at Uganda army and Police school Jinja next to the barracks from P1 to P7.
“My father retired from being an army officer around 1974 then we came back home, that is in Kyaggwe (dundu, Gayaza road, where Specioza Wandera Kazibwe lives),” Kaziba narrates.
He studied Naggalama SS for Secondary where he says that there was not much football there.
He was a young lad when he joined secondary and used to play football at Nakasajja and Kalagala, where he was spotted by Kezekiah Ssegwanga Musisi who was chairman of NCS/FUFA.
“Ssegwanga asked me if I had a relative in Kampala where I would stay so that he can connect me to a team,” Kaziba adds.
On how the news was received by his parents, he reveals:
“In the beginning, playing football was regarded by our parents as being stubborn. Many people used to come to our place looking for me and that caught the attention of my Dad who was impressed and picked interest. He later could reserve time and watch me play at Nakasajja.
“When I told them that I was going to Kampala. My parents were very excited and supportive. They gave a lot of things to help me while am in the city and escorted me up to the road before I boarded a bus (Nakifuma).”
In Kampala, Kaziba stayed at Kabojja, with his other Mum. He was taken to Barclays bank a team which was in division three then, but Ssegwanga wanted him to play at UCB where the coach was his friend.
“I played with Barclay’s bank and on weekends I would come to UCB and train, so one time, coach Ben Omonding spotted me and he wondered why I would just come and disappear.
“At UCB, there was no chance to play, we would just do a physical part of training but this time we were playing a six aside game. So those senior players picked me, I think they picked me because they just wanted to make the number but I went on to impress them and the coach. From that moment the coach told me that I should start training, and he directed the treasurer to give me transport and that was a good motivation. That is how I started at UCB.
Kaziba played at UCB that year but couldn’t command playing time for a team that had Ochaga (captain), Jimmy Muguwa, Bbosa James senior, Kikongo, Dan Lutalo, Bbosa junior among others.
He then joined a UCB branch in Mbale where he played for their team called Nyoki until 1979 before returning to the senior team in Kampala when he was around 18.
“I played few games, coming on as a substitute in some games,” Kaziba remembers.
He later joined Tobacco in Jinja after he was influenced by most of the boys he grew up with.
“By then you could just change, there was no transfer issues. In Tobacco, its where I played some great football because its from there where I was summoned to the national team about seven times but I couldn’t get a chance of playing and the eighth time I refused to come!”
Kaziba, who played as a winger, later left Tobacco after the club was disbanded around 1988 and he joined KCC. He later moved to Miracle where he was a senior player and showed glimpses of a coach.
“I was coach player when the likes of Edgar Watson, Edward Golola, Gibby Kalule, Dan Ntale, Andy Lule came to the club. I had played for big teams and when coach Butindo was absent, I would step in to assist.
“And during then, I remember doing my intermediate coaching course. And little did I know that i was starting a career.”
Miracle were relegated.
Later, someone who knew Kaziba connected him to Mr Justus Mugisha in Standard High where he could later join as a coach in 2000 for the next seven years.
He has been the assistant for the U20 Uganda Hippos, Jogoo Young, Crested Cranes and Mpindi.
“Generally, I started coaching Standard High, And I was still playing for my Kika then. So briefly I played active football for 13 years.”
He has done FIFA high level courses, FIFA youth coaching course, advanced level, FIFA women’s course.
“I have about eight certificates of those courses. I did all the CAF courses which were introduced in 2012, did CAF C, CAF B and CAF A.”
What You Didn’t Know About Kaziba
- Kaziba is a father of three daughters and one boy. One of his daughters stays in Germany, the other is in Egypt and the third works with an NGO.
- Kaziba is a supporter of Arsenal FC (club in English Premier League).
- He accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour in 1989, its his turning point in his life.
Kaziba’s achievements as coach: With Standard High Zzana, he won Zonals, first team to win the east African secondary school tourney in 2003, won bika twice with Mpindi clan including the one they shared with ngabi, Two U20 CECAFA championship in Burundi and Eritrea, promoted Jogoo young from regional to big league.
Question and Answer
Note – SN – The-SportsNation, EK – Edward Kaziba
SN. You are still coach of the National Women teams, how do you handle coaching men and women?
EK: We train them (women) like boys but we handle them like girls, the rest is the component that is in football, the tactics, technics, mental ability. Women are not pushed, they don’t shout at them, you have to praise them, you have to be very calm unlike boys where you have to be a bit harsh at times.
SN; Best Player You Have ever played With?
EK – It has to be Steven Bogere. We used to be game changers. We knew each other very well and no wonder we ended up being great friends.
SN: Hardest Player You Have Ever Faced?
EK – It’s definitely Richard Mugalu. He was a number three, and he used to give me hard time back then.
SN: Who do you consider the best coach Uganda has ever had?
EK – Coach Peter Okee without doubt. The way he came up with new things, he was very approachable, kind and not tough.
SN: Where would you be if it was not for football?
EK – I don’t know. I grew up in football. But I also did boxing and athletics at school. I also attempted to become a soldier and it didn’t work out.
SN: What is the difference between a coach who played football and one who never played?
EK – A coach who played football is more knowledgeable because there are situations that you meet in a game and you already knew them as a player. You have that advantage of knowing situations and how to overcome them.
SN: Biggest insult you have ever faced as a coach?
EK – When I was coaching a University, You know those university boys talk obscene words. They insulted me with those obscene words. Its something I hate given my Christian background.
SN: As a player, what’s your fondest memory?
EK – In 1983/4, Tobacco was relegated. Many teams wanted to take me (me and Steven Bogere) but the team managed to persuade us and we stayed. Our first match in the lower division, we played a small team in Mbiko. They had many players who played without shoes, and they beat us! I feel so bad and regretted why I even stayed, but we refocussed as a team and secured promotion that season.
SN: Any other memory?
EK – While at Tobacco, we were playing Villa at Nakivubo, I remember we used to play in the morning. I was substituted and was on the bench as the game went to penalties. Villa brought in a goalkeeper came off the bench and the whole of Nakivubo stood up to cheer. Then funnily, our manager Mr Kiggundu came from the stands to our bench and asked, ‘why don’t we also have our substitute goalkeeper come in?’ Hahahaha.
SN: Who influenced you to become a coach?
EK – It’s not something that I planned in the beginning so, I can’t say that I was inspired by someone, but its the situation that made me. I used to fill in for coach Butido because I was the senior player, they saw potential in me. But in the process, I have emulated Wenger, he has been my model.
SN: What’s that biggest praise you have received as a coach?
EK – Many have appreciated me. But the players that I started with as a coach have always comeback to appreciate my contribution, referring me as a father figure. The likes of Emma Okwi, Ntambi, Jaja Walu, Isaac Muleme, it feels good.
SN: One day as a FUFA president, what do you change first?
EK – That would be football development. We just talk about it and fail to implement it. I get many coaches who understand the game, take a national tour as we spot talent and teach the good style of play.
QN: Where do you see after coaching?
EK – I will be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus. Help some young talents and encourage and motivate them.
SN: What makes you different as a coach?
EK – Am approachable which is very important. Given the experience I have gone through as a player, I know most of the problems these players go through as well.