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From Futsal to UPL Champion: An Interview With Express Defender Ssekyembe

Many young players are inspired to the beautiful game of football by role models, and as well tend to change from one sport to join football.

Express FC leftback Sadik Ssekyembe was inspired by former Uganda Cranes midfielder Tonny Mawejje to play football.

From playing street soccer in the Ghetto areas of Mengo Kisenyi, then to Futsal League, Ssekyembe is now playing in the top flight, the StarTimes Uganda Premier League for the Wankuluku based side.

The Sports Nation caught up with Ssekyembe, who is a UPL champion, and he shared his football career journey.

Sadiq Ssekyembe during a Uganda Cup game against URA CF at Wankulukuku. Express photo

The-SportsNation: Who is Sadiq Ssekyembe?
Sadiq: I was born on 8th/October/1997 in Mengo Kisenyi to Mr. Zziwa John and Mrs. Nassuna Prissy. I grew up with my parents but it was not easy growing up in the Ghetto life around Mengo areas.

The-SportsNation: Where did you start your football journey ?
Sadiq: I started my football journey in my home areas in Nsambya, later I joined Kampala Junior team, then to Soccer Star Football academy. It’s from here that I joined Mengo City and Nakivubo Boys in the first Division. From there I joined Katwe United in 2017-2018. In 2018 I signed in the Futsal League for KSPG where I played one season, I later had trials at KCCA FC, here I was to sign with them but had some reasons, Later on I played in Masaza Cup for Buwekula. Then finally I signed for Express at the Start of 2019 in January.

The-SportsNation: That transition from Futsal to join the Uganda Premier League, throw more light
Sadiq: Yes I came from Futsal League. My first season it was KSPG, but later on named Mengo City in the second season but I was also playing for Katwe United at the same time. Futsal was a big trend for me, It attracted many big clubs to see my talent. Thats when Express saw me. Later on, I joined Express, my dream club. I used to tell my friends that one day I will play for Express FC. Coach Kefa Kisala gave me the opportunity to play, I signed a three year deal during pre-season.

Poster Boy – Ssekyembe featured on Express matchday program

The-SportsNation: Which schools did you go to in your Educational journey?
Sadiq: I started at Sufra Nursery school that used to be next to Musa Body in Katwe, later on joined Katwe primary school, then to Kiti Moslem. My high school, I went to Kololo High School, I used to study with Kizza Mustafa now a good friend, then to St. Luke SS, I sat my A level at Makerere High way College. I tried going to the University at Uganda Martrys University Nkozi but I only studied one semester that’s when the deal for Express FC came knocking, but soon one day I would love going on to complete my studies.

Sadiq Ssekyembe joining express

The-SportsNation: What is your best moment in your football career?
Sadiq: My best football moment is when I made my debut against Vipers SC at Kitende, but sadly we lost 2-0, I was just new at the club. Plus my home debut against Bright Stars at Wankuluku, I made three assists in the game and was named man of the match.

The-SportsNation: And what is your worst moment so far?
Sadiq: My worst moment was still against Bright Stars in the Uganda Cup where we lost, I missed a penalty, I had that Trauma for like two months, I used to think about that moment even while in the off season.

The-SportsNation: Who inspired you while growing up to play football?
Sadiq: I was inspired by former Cranes midfielder Tonny Mawejje to play football. I used to see him at the national team, I had a chance to meet him while at Kampala Junior team, he paid a visit and gave us a piece of advice, that was a great moment to meet a role model. By then I was a midfielder but later on shifted to the left back.

The-SportsNation: How would you describe this concluded season and tge time you have been on the pitch?
Sadiq: I am happy to be part of the winning team. I played 17 games altogether in the league and Cup. I played almost all games in the Uganda Cup up to the Quarter Finals, that’s when Authur (Kiggundu) came in. I managed two assists, one in the league and the cup because games were tight.

The-SportsNation: What are your future dreams in time to come?
Sadiq: When I was young, I had a dream of playing for the national team as well playing for Express FC since it’s the club I support since my childhood days. My other goal is to become the best left back in country, going professional and play for big clubs like Mamelodi Sundowns, Al Ahly, as well play in Europe one day but this is a process.


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