Smart, articulate and confident, KCCA CEO Josephine Namukisa is not your common female professional.
In a game mostly played and run by men, the God-loving architect is the first female to hold that position in Ugandan club football history and she is relishing the experience one year down the road.
Namukisa is at the heart of all club operations, be it the club’s strategic plan, player recruitment, stadium construction, sponsorships and staff recruitment and several other administrative decisions for the former Uganda Premier League champions.
But it wasn’t always like this.
Sometime last year shortly after she had been appointed to replace David Tamale in interim capacity, she wondered if she had the temerity to take on the job.
“It took me several months,” she recalls. “I didn’t consent right away. I was an architect and didn’t know if I was going to manage.”
The turning point came when KCCA travelled to Egypt in April last year to play the return leg against El Masry in a playoff game for a Caf Confederation Cup group stage berth.
“I remember, and this I completely attribute it to God, the CEO asking me to travel with the team to offer them support. That indeed was the first time I encountered the drama of playing these continental games.
“The drama of competing against North African clubs was an eye opener. It is tough playing there and the impact of good administration is very paramount. I saw all of it up close and all the things that must be done right to get the team to perform well.”
“Back home, you will listen to a result and acknowledge that ‘okay KCCA played well and won’. But there is a lot of work in seeing the accommodation, the rooms where the players are staying, the ticketing, the flight and how all of this can impact on the players.”
From there, Namukisa felt a deep persuasion in her heart that her calling was to take on the responsibility.
“I attend Zoe Fellowship of Prophet Elvis Mbonye and always knew that I was put in this job for a purpose. Because of Zoe Ministries, you are able to see your path and orient your life according to that path. I am able to see why am here, how long am here and for what purpose am here.”
In the last one year, Namukisa is now settled in and enjoying the responsibility that comes with running one of Uganda’s biggest football clubs. Still, she had to negotiate through the murky waters of male chauvinism.
“Sometimes there was a pre-conception that I did not know what I was talking about,” she cheekily remembers. I would ask a question and you would see people telling you how they have done things in a certain way and are a bit incensed that you are asking from a point of ignorance.
“I thank Aggrey (Ashaba, the club chairman) and Julius (Kabugo, the former chairman) who have always been on hand to respond to me at all times while offering guidance.”
The flipside to those doubting her capacity to succeed in a male-dominated industry, Namukisa says, is: “I am a woman and I know how to use my emotions to force something through.”
And how about her relationship with coach Mike Mutebi?
“Mike knows what he wants and I create an environment where you do not have in-stances where he or I will encounter administrative challenges.
“I would say it is the same with the players – creating the right environment and also constantly communicating.”
“I do not do it in a forceful way.”
There are bigger tasks ahead for the KCCA, but Namukisa is relishing the challenge of facing them head-on. “My God is real and we shall succeed come what may,” she notes.