Today

’praying that the best in me will be seen and put to great use by the onlookers’

It’s my birthday today And just like all of us, you always feel like it’s a special day and you want to do the things you love, be with the people you love, have a good meal and I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. I mean am 26 now but I don’t know when I last celebrated a decent birthday!

Today it’s hit me more than other days I don’t wanna sound like a crying baby but I really miss being around people I love. It’s on days like these that you need something new and exciting to happen. I pray to be a strong woman in the world , for the sacrifices I have made already that have prevented me from having a perfect life right now I pray that the Lord will lead me through so I can be able to achieve one of my greatest dreams to give meaning, hope and be an inspiration to many young footballers to achieve their dreams

I don’t want today to end, wishing I can have one big surprise before the day ends but you know, am thinking too much. Let me continue to live and grow into an exemplary lady, praying that the best in me will be seen and put to great use by the onlookers. Thank you to all who have wished me a happy birthday so far.

Silent Stars

‘Everyone else was seeing random girls having a go at playing the game in a small setting but for me, I was seeing future stars in the making’

I can’t believe it’s been years since I had this dream to see numerous girls Inspired to play football, Of course, I’ve always told my story of how I started playing at eight years old. I didn’t have the opportunity to any quality coaching or a chance of playing in any competitive match at an early age. I didn’t even know anyone to look up to who had succeeded In the footballing world in my country Uganda. well, I guess they were there but I didn’t know of any at the time. It’s not like nowadays where young girls have a lot of role models to look up to for example the USA where the Women’s National Soccer team players like Alex Morgan, Carly Lloyd are home stars. Many other countries have role models in the Women’s game name in Australia Sam Kerr who the young girls are madly in love with, England Steph Houghton, few African players like Janine Van Wyk from South Africa and Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala who has been consistent since breaking through and is a three-time African player of the year. These are stars well known around the world and their success is an inspiration to the young girls to show them that football is more than just a game and can change their lives.

A Subject extremely close to my heart, After having visited a lot of communities for a few years, I realised that there is a lot of desire for the game. These players are silent stars that no one had seen yet or even given the opportunity.

So I come up with the idea of a tournament for the girls to play for the first time and experience what the game is like. This has been the most rewarding experience not just for the players bpassions all who are involved. The Sseninde women’s development cup is the tournament we started to give a chance to the women to play football and express themselves. The feeling I had in my heart seeing the girls play in the First game of the tournament during the first edition I can’t explain it till today, I couldn’t believe that the dream had come to life.

The fact that a number of girls get opportunities from this tournament is rewarding for example, after the first Edition of the tournament, some girls got opportunities to education after being spotted by various institutions, schools and universities. Others were selected for the Uganda Woman Elite League. Our biggest testimony so far is Nalukenge Juliet who is currently playing on the Uganda Women’s National Football Team and participated in our first Edition of the tournament.

I look back now and I remember we had invited some dignitaries in the footballing community who never turned up for the first edition, they were probably thinking there’s no point taking time out to come and see young girls running with a ball. Everyone else was seeing random girls having a go at playing the game in a small setting but for me, I was seeing future stars in the making. Currently, we have hosted three Editions and the emotions I see in these girls is what keeps me wanting to do this year after year.

Doesn’t go without saying that this has been one of the biggest platforms for me to speak out to the girls through my actions and show them how football can change their lives. Is it not funny that I have failed to give a proper speech for three years in a row however much I have prepared? I have failed to express my words in a speech. Maybe this project means so much to me and I end up failing to communicate through words and a lot easier through my actions. I have seen teams who have come with players that had never even played a football game before but currently have developed so much. My aim is to see the number of girls playing football increasing and for them to know how special this game is.

we’ve seen girls who are stars participate In this tournament but no one had ever given them a chance to play, these are silent stars who are looking for opportunities, they have a passion for the for the Game but don’t know where to start. The tournament is not just about winning trophies alone. It’s about giving a chance to women with dreams but without opportunities and with that I mean the young referees, female photographers, volunteers and others around the game who want to be involved in one way or another.

It’s about empowering women to have a voice and to stand up for what’s right, to inspire others and to have the values of football in their heart. Not being able to officiate in a World Cup or to play in the top league of your country doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. We are the Silent Stars the world is yet to see. Living in today and fighting off all the challenges that are never-ending.

To the young girls who have participated in the tournament and those who haven’t got the opportunity yet to play but have endless passion, to the team of volunteers that have been with us from edition one up to now, you are my greatest stars of all time.

Redefining A Hospital

’sometimes we help others to hospitals yet we are the patients’

According to Google, a hospital is an institution providing medical and surgical treatment and nursing care for sick or injured people. when I was little I knew no such thing as google so I simply knew it as a place where sick people go to receive treatment. Have you ever gone into a hospital and looked at all the sick people laying down helplessly on these beds? You know sometimes I wonder what goes on in their minds because maybe they feel too much pain. Sometimes the doctors have failed to find what exactly is the problem so they’re just laying down for days, months maybe a year without hope, how sad!
I think hospitals can be a very lonely place. Imagine lying there alone, so many thoughts going through your mind while you look at the painted walls. Back home in Uganda, there is this big hospital, so many sick people report in and some of them don’t even have the money for treatment so they wait, imagine watching your loved one slowly by slowly going away when there’s nothing you can do because you don’t have the money to help them…
My kind of hospital is a little different, I think we’re all patients in various ways but stay brave, we stay away from hospitals and try to be our own doctors. A couple of days ago I injured my hamstring and decided to go obviously to see the doctor, I was given time off to rest and I stayed indoors every day for the whole duration with difficulty to walk for the first few days. I got better physically As the pain went down. I also used the time to reflect on myself and my life, the more I had more lonely thoughts I realised I was getting worse and worse! I thought to myself maybe I am more of a patient than I ever Imagined. All alone lying in bed day by day.. thoughts increasing in my head about my dreams, doubts, fears, insecurities, all the bad and little of the good And then the routine suddenly becomes of thoughts, sleep and tears! How being alone can make you think of a thousand things in a second than you can actually do an entire lifetime.
We are all patients whether your illness is loneliness, Insecurities, fears, heartbreak Joblessness, Addiction, Worry and so many other sicknesses we ignore day to day. These kinds of sicknesses cannot be healed in hospitals and yet they can kill us slowly, So I thought we should redefine a hospital. This is a place within our hearts where we find joy, peace and heal emotionally, where we can get help and have peace of mind. Your hospital could be speaking to someone, praying, joining study groups, counselling, being happy in your own skin(being confident ), letting go of people who are of bad influence in our lives and others. Sometimes we help others to the hospital yet we are the patients ourselves. In my interpretation, I conclude redefining Hospital as the place within your heart where you can find peace emotionally and physically.

Cover Girl

‘Be the cover girl of your own book’

At times in life we become too focused on achieving success and we forget to appreciate the little things that we have achieved

Sometimes we become so fixed on getting that exact something and forget that at times other options could be better

I have learnt that just because you’re not the covergirl on a magazine or the headline in a newspaper doesn’t mean you are not worth talking about . I also know that just because you haven’t played in a World Cup or the Olympics or even won any accolades doesn’t mean you not a legend in your own way.

At times we may think that we are trying and being persistent but maybe we are doing it the wrong way I think the best thing is to pray for God’s favour and that the timing will be right.

Sometimes I do imagine a world where all the bosses are women , so that all those women who have had to sacrifice their bodies to get to the top positions in this world didn’t have to do it. At times u gotta do what you gotta do I understand, these are just the facts and let’s not shy away from them , personally I call it rape even tho its different. The issue of equality is still a big problem and the best day will be when everyone will be willing to address the issue so that everyone in this world will be on board and understand why it’s important for women to have a sit at the table

I’ve also learned that let’s not let many things of this world stress us so much things , things like how many Facebook likes you’re going to get, how many Instagram likes you’re going to get, how many people are going to read your blog etc because The right people will always like the things you do weather they are on Facebook Instagram or Twitter so never worry about that

Lastly ,there are so many things that are going to worry us each day, like being jobless , family issues, debts, our dreams/ambitions and everything else . we have to avoid these things from getting to our minds because at times we don’t have the power to control them . What we can do is to Avoid thinking ahead of ourselves and to always trust the Lord , to take each day as it comes and take one step at a time

let’s learn to be happy in our own skin regardless of anything , we are beautiful, we are enough and just because no one tells you how beautiful you doesn’t mean you are not.

Be the cover girl of your own book .

HOPE

‘Never underestimate the power which you can get from believing and having having hope’

Do you ever think about how many things we imagine in one day? I will tell you a story , seven years ago I decided to leave everything that I knew to move to a new country for a better life , to build a career that I always imagined in my head . There is always no guarantee that when you decide to do something it’s gonna happen, I think I Have always just had self believe that when I imagine things in my head they are going to happen. I didn’t know what to expect, I was alone and 17 at the time and I’m embarrassed to say that it was the first time I had even stepped on a plane to travel. I was more excited than scared to start a new journey where I could build my dreams from the scratch.

I had no guarantee that moving to a Foreign land would get me to live the life I imagined in my head at the time but I had hope because I knew that I was going to fight for everything that I dreamt of . Years later I’m still building a strong base to my career , isn’t it so funny to believe that after such a long time I’m still going ? but it’s because I have hope that I will reach where I’m going. Never underestimate the power which you can get from believing and having having hope.

Imagine all these years I’m still going and I’m happy because every day is different, I learn something new every day, I get something to make me happy every day even just by thinking of something nice in my head. And I have hope that one day all the hard work will pay off , now that doesn’t mean that it’s all going to happen but the hope that I have keeps me going every day and I will never give up.

Let’s continue to live a life where we believe and do things that impact other peoples lives to give them hope that something good can come out of the life we are leaving, that we are all important and equal. We shall all live a life that we have imagined in our heads one day if we believe and have hope.

Unexpected Twist

‘I want to see the younger girls who dream of achieving more in this sport reach greater heights’

They are so many of us in the world who have dreams and at times we go through ups and downs . Am not sure why for me sometimes it seems as though there more downs than ups? Sometimes I wonder if it’s our own making or not? What’s life nway?

Look am learning to be happy in my skin, to see what I can do better and what am good at best , to think a lot smarter and be more patient with life. Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves to much and became crying babies, but every time I feel low I remember their are 1000s of kids in the world who are hungry and haven’t eaten for days, someone who was born blind and has never seen their loved ones, or someone who has a passion to play sport but has never walked at all. We need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get to work.

We need to show the world our purpose. Let’s always work without expecting recognition, sometimes personal satisfaction is the best reward you can ever get. I think I have been to greedy, I have dreamt of playing football my entire life And it’s all I ever wanted. I have given up a lot to be able to play and its been a lot of sacrifices to say the least . I never expected to ever lose this first love of playing football to instead wanting to help other girls to play it and rise to greater heights , every time I look back at this life of mine and football I wonder what a twist it has been ! I have represented my national team and that was one of my biggest dreams in this sport. Now I want to do more, I want to see the younger girls who dream of achieving more in this sport reach greater heights. Even if that means costing me my playing career I feel I want to do more because it’s just my heart, it’s what makes me happy and It’s my new dream and am happiest when am in the field on ground inspiring these girls to play football

So my message today is there maybe tough times in your life right now and you don’t know what you gonna do, but take one day at a time and don’t worry much about tomorrow . Tomorrow will take care of it’s self ,And besides we never know what tomorrow holds so we should utilise today and live it like there’s no tomorrow and do exactly what makes us happy and feel useful to the world instead of feeling sorry for ourselves .

My Powerful Friend

‘My dream is to see women’s football in Uganda, Africa and the World reach heights its never reached before’

Who gives power?

I don’t know, I think power is in the mind. I love working hard to achieve all I want, nothing I have got right now has come easy, and occasionally I stay up till late doing assignments and laying strategies of how I can be great. By the way its just a funny saying I always tell anyone who asks me why I sleep late. When I stay awake at night I feel powerful, there’s a sense of security I feel and can do so many things or rather I achieve a during the night. I always feel the power is in my mind, Been playing football since I was 8 with my brother at home in the compound and never knew I would fall in love so much with the game. From what I recall from the first match I played I was good. I played competitive football for the first time in my high school

Football is so powerful. The things I have sacrificed for this game always remind me so much of the power of football. I have played since I was 8. That powerful man who I had to go through to make sure he lets the other girls play, what do you do? You make the sacrifice for them. When I was in high school, the only way was to bring in players on sports bursaries to the school and yes, this paragraph is blurry but its because its supposed to be. Imagine starting the team for the girls to play, more captain days with the challenges, well my mother being a Member of parliament didn’t help either. But I did my best. Every morning I have woke up I have given the very best to this sport, I have given everything.

Leaving the country for greener pastures was about hope. My life is about hope. I always want girls/ women to believe that this dream is possible. I left everything I knew at home to come to London and play soccer, but it was to give hope to other girls and for them to know that all things are possible. Signing for my first club here in London, that story will be for another day. But I stayed three seasons at Phoenix ladies in the second division and then signed for QPR in the formally known English league. I wanted to challenge myself and I did just that. The sacrifices still for staying there amongst all the good players but all in all I enjoyed my time there. I got my first national team call up and had my national team debut. Proud moment of my career.

There was a powerful friend still were to blur this had to still be my friend. I will stop there without elaborating much but what this game does to us makes me know its real. The feelings are real. There’s no day that passes by without me thinking of what I would be doing if I had no football in my life. Leaving QPR for Palace was the hardest decision I had to make but for me to go was the best thing at the time. Short lived stint, much not said its football, I love this game. It has instilled feelings of love, hatred, the tears I have had, the doubts, passion, all have been there with me every step of the way.

I decided to add a twist to my journey where so many other girls will have opportunities to play like I did. I started the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup at home under the Sseninde Foundation. My dream is to see women’s football in Uganda, Africa and the World reach heights its never reached before. Being fully professional and young girls having a chance to dream and believe in the system. The opportunities I’ve got right now I want to use them to help other girls and boys, to give them hope.

Football is a unique powerful tool. I still think it’s the biggest sport in the world. It changes lives, it makes people and it changes people. I thought about it too much and I decided to take a little break away from the sport to run the tournament this year and yes, I have enjoyed the break away from the field. Very challenging but maybe sometimes it’s necessary. Football is very powerful and it became apart of my life 24 years ago, the most powerful friend that has always been with me, I have met incredible people, made new friends, made me cry, laugh , learn and do all the hard things I’ve had to do to get here but again we would do anything to get there right? Football has always been with me and it’s so powerful, it became my silent powerful friend from which my life rotates.

Football is more than just a game, it’s a way we can all use to express ourselves and I plan to continue this journey to inspire the world and help so many players believe in their dreams.