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.

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 Random Life

‘One day I will be a legend in my own way’

Good evening beautiful friends,

I never realised how this would mean a lot to me that when I don’t get inner inspiration I don’t write. I really missed you all who continue to read from me. Sometimes I think of writing but I don’t and I don’t know why, this has taught me to always do what I think of in my head because actions speak louder than words.

Yesterday I had a bad headache, am feeling better today thank God for my lovely magical bed that always gives me more comfort than anyone could ever give to me. I miss the days when am back home in Uganda, where at times I wake up and get to see my lovely parents and have some breakfast . Here in London I don’t have that, I wake up to see the same walls staring at me everyday and my parents are not here , I don’t even have that nice home made breakfast . What’s funny is when I was younger I dreamt of having all these nice things, TV set, computers , now I have it all and what next? It doesn’t give me the love or comfort I need.

I have resorted to creating my own life, busy ,quiet, creative and dreamy. I dream of being a big star one day. You know when am invited for a legends event , I feel am the little one there because everyone is big enough and has made a name. Its not like as if am the best in the world at football, No am not but I have the biggest fighting heart and Mayb that’s the difference , my passion , the burning desire, and my time is coming , I just need to work hard and be patient. One day I will be a legend in my own way, one day they will call my name on that red or green carpet , one day life will turn around and I will have to change my lines and then my circle of friends will change again Maybe for the better as always. For my friends I lost, I miss you only a little bit. For those I have now, 😃 hurry up and bring those note books and shirts for autographs because you may see me no more one day haha(joking)

I decided to do all things in my life randomly,I don’t have a set program of how I should do things, I don’t put any limitations on my self because I know I have the power to accomplish anything I want in Gods name. I want to make a difference and to be a great woman one day . Working for the United Nations, UNICEF, FIFA, UEFA,CAF, you know haha am dreamy but that way I want to give hope to so many people.

I want to try my best to serve in the little time I have left in this world . I want to serve people and make their lives better. For now let me finish this so that I finish other assignments , I This is me , this is my truth.

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.

The 3rd Edition of Sseninde Women’s Development Cup

‘Thanks to everyone who gave us their support ‘

KAMPALA: Friday 17th August will surely have a position reserved in the history books. An exceptional day that saw the Sseninde Foundation in partnership with various sponsors present the 3rd Edition of the Sseninde Women Development Football Cup.

As seen from the previous two editions, the tournament has continued to massively grow and provoke a lot of attention from the various masses of the crowd. This is something indeed that has not gone unnoticed.

Sponsorship:

In this year’s edition, the Sseninde Foundation was happy to team up seven sponsors along with whom the tournament was organized.

These included the Sports Fan Magazine, Posh Junction Saloon, Post Bank, SocaLoca, Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club (KCCA FC), Hardware World, PakaSports, LA-CEDRI (Bureau De Change) and of course Fare network.

These amazing sponsors ensured that the tournament not only appealed to the eye of fans but also turned out successful.

High Profile Clout:

The tournament was proud and happy to welcome the chief guest Lydia Nsekera. The former president of the Burundi Football Federation. She currently seats at the International Olympic Committee and a member of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA). She is by far the most successful lady in African Football.

The other guests were Honorable Solomon Dalung who is the Nigerian Minister for Youth and Sports Development, the Ugandan State minister for sports honorable Charles Bakabulindi, the Fufa President Mr. Moses Magogo and Fufa C.E.O Mr. Edgar Watson.

The tournament also welcomed the Uganda National team coach Mr. Sebastian Desabre, the State Minister for Primary Education Honorable Rosemary Sseninde and Mr. Kizza Sseninde, lastly but not least, Cinderala Sanyu a.k.a Cindy, a Ugandan Dance-Hall music artist.

There were many guests including our mothers of the Sseninde Foundation and our fans that made the event one to remember.

On the Pitch:

The third edition of the tournament, just like the previous was held at the same venue. The StarTimes stadium in Lugogo home to Uganda Premier League side KCCA FC. The hosts that showed us a lot of hospitality.

Sticking to the norm, the tournament was to maintain a maximum of eight teams competing favorably for what was to be the holy grail.

These included amongst the following: Mukono Community, Talent Platform Academy Luwero, Kisubi Mapeera SS, Gayaza Women Football Club, Development Team, Kide Ssenyomo Development Women’s team, Divine Girls Team and lastly Western Panthers. These passionately competed for the ultimate trophy

Going by the amazing contest during the group stages, all the fans found it quite flamboyant and mouth-watering to watch the young girls selflessly give it their whole and playing for the badge. This knockout round however was indeed deemed as the business stage.

Kisubi Mapeera alongside Gayaza Women Football Club were the most nobly most impressive sides coming into the semi-finals. These were the favorites according to the many fans catching the games that day.

The biggest irony however was the fact that the two sides both managed to average a total of 7 points in their group A at the expense of both Development Team and Kide Ssenyomo that both made a single point.

However, the story was more or less the same in group B. leaders Mukono Community and Talent Platform Luwero led the group with a tie in points (5 points) with Divine Girls averaging the same points but getting knocked out on goal difference.

With group A proving less competitive, Mukono Community and Talent Platform Luwero, survivors from group B would go ahead to shock the audience.

The hotly contested semi-finals saw Mukono Community and Talent Platform Luwero make the finals at the expense of Gayaza Women Football Club and Kisubi Mapeera respectively. To many viewer’s surprise, the so-called underdogs fascinatingly made the finals.

The surprises were to still come. This time round, in greater dimensions. The most underrated side amongst them all, one that wasn’t fancied by many but just themselves. Talent Platform Luwero would go ahead to clinch the title.

They did this as a result of defeating their adversaries Mukono Community by a single goal scored by Nakagolo Jovia. That summed up a wonderful but humble tournament for this Luwero side.

We would like to thank all the volunteers who helped run the event smoothly, our sponsors , media houses and thanks to everyone who gave us their support .

DECISIONS

‘staying holy should be throught the year’

My dearest friend,

Am very sure you are well since it’s no sin reading from me.

I will be precise since I know you well and how quick you get tired,  you may change your mind and reading may became committing a sin to…

Am extremely surprised by how so blind you are. By the way staying holy should be throughout the year.I have been very patient with you since I am nice to the kind like you. On a positive note I don’t regret being a friend because you have learned a thing or two that are worthwhile.

Bye now, the sweet beginnings have sadly ended painfully but I don’t want you anymore.Am guessing the separation will purify you even more holy one. Let me stop here so u can quickly go into routine and go down on your knees.

Yes, this was for you unfortunately, won’t let you sin any longer by reading more.I should enjoy retiring from you my dearest friend not only because you are such hard work but also because am bold enough to make big decisions.

Its me your ever genuine friend.