- Just like any other career, football management comes with its own challenges. Namukisa who has been at it for close to three years now has experienced some challenges, especially at the very beginning of her football management career
- Born in a family of five, Josephine Namukisa attended Lake Victoria Primary School in Entebbe and thereafter joined Mount St Mary’s College Namagunga for O and A-Levels. She then went to Makerere University to pursue a course in architectural studies
Football touches people’s hearts world over. Josephine Namukisa, the chief executive officer, Kampala Capital City Authority football club is no exception to the wave of affection that comes with it.
On a Friday afternoon, I find Namukisa seated on one of the seats besides the wall-ringed KCCA football club stadium in Lugogo.
She looks calm as she watches KCCA players train for a match against Ethiopia’s Soana FC on a Saturday. The way she interacts with players and coaches alike, giving instructions and chatting, shows how passionate she is about her work.
Namukisa is quick to admit that she is an ardent football fan and prides in being one of those few women in the male dominated world of football.
“With time, football has become my way of life. I watch a lot of it and take time to engage in the day-to-day activities of KCCA football club,” she says.
Born in a family of five, Josephine Namukisa attended Lake Victoria Primary School in Entebbe and thereafter joined Mount St Mary’s College Namagunga for O and A-Levels. She then went to Makerere University to pursue a course in architectural studies.
Despite being born in a family of only girls, Namukisa chose an unexpected path. This, she says, was due to a number of factors like her continuous interaction with people in the football world and her love for interacting with youth who are engaged in football both passively and actively.
In 2016, after working for both Plantek consultants and Symbion international as an architect, Namukisa got a job as an architect at KCCA. Joining KCCA in 2016 as an architect led her to engage more in football in the years that followed, something she does not regret.
A football career is born
Her football management career started in early 2017 after being appointed the KCCA football club CEO. “At the time, the football wing of the institution was looking for someone who would come up with a systematic football stadium design,” she recalls. “Julius Kabugo who was a board member KCCA football club then interested me in doing this since I was an architect; something I took on without hesitation,” she adds.
“Before coming up with the stadium design, I had to take my time and understand what I was going to design. I interacted more with the players, the coaches and other people on the technical team,” she says. It is because of this, she adds, that she developed the love for football with time.
“I was close to people who were deeply entrenched in football like the former CEO Joseph Tamale and Julius Kabugo. These people helped shape my understanding and love for football,” she says.
Namukisa the author
Being engaged with KCCA football club on a daily basis is not the only thing that keeps Namukisa busy. She has taken time off to engage herself with other things like writing.
“In my free time I keep busy with reading and sometimes even writing. I love reading and writing,” she says. She also adds that in 2015, she managed to publish a book titled The Warring Princess: Portrait of a Triumphant Woman.
“The book I authored was meant to show the women that they should not trade their femininity for masculinity in order for them to succeed,” she says. “I wanted to reach out to different women about keeping their dignity and not allowing societal norms to stop them from going for what they want. The only way I could do this was by using my love for writing to pass my message to the women,” she adds.
Leaving a mark in society is one of those few things people usually look forward to doing. Namukisa has done this by setting up a non-government organisation meant to help people build good houses.
“Before joining KCCA, I had started a non-governmental organisation called Ekiyala meant to help ordinary Ugandans use architecture to build themselves good houses,” she says. This brings to light the fact that despite Namukisa being in a different career path today, she still uses knowledge gained as an architect for the common good of society.
“We have done different community outreaches in places like Kyaliwalaja, Bwaise and Kawempe. Our aim is to make sure that Ugandan people are living in houses that will not affect their health in any way,” she says.
Just like any other career, football management comes with its own challenges. Namukisa who has been at it for close to three years now has experienced some challenges, especially at the very beginning of her football management career.
“Adjusting to a new field was a big challenge at the beginning. At the time of my appointment, I only had experience in architecture. The good thing is that before joining the football club I already had some management experience at a coffee shop my colleagues and I had opened up after school,” she says. However, she also adds that she solved this by doing extensive reading about football management.
Namukisa also says that she faced a challenge of taking on a position as a leader of the fast-paced business.
“Being a first timer in a fast-paced business like football that requires quick decisions in real time was a challenge itself. However this has trained me to be flexible and trust my gut,” she says.
Today, she is the only female CEO of a football club in Uganda, employing more than 200 people.