By Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus-Inspired by his football-endowed family and friends, Arafat Usama, a student of information technology is taking to the helm of the beautiful game. The 22-year-old playmaker signed for UPL heavy weights KCCA after a sensational campaign in the Masaza cup with Busiro county.
An awesome passer and controller of the ball, Usama is capable of exciting anyone who likes things done the Guardiola way but his spectacular touch, exciting ball movements and a venomous shot make him a complete footballer any forward-looking team would admire.
And this is the very reason why KCCA grabbed him as quickly as they noticed his exceptional footballing abilities. He was named most valuable Player during the 2020 edition of the Masaza cup and this proved a leading drive for the Kasasiro boys to solicit for his services in July 2021.
Though he did not get as many chances to impress at the beginning, Usama has been a regular starter for KCCA since joining them helping them to finish second behind eventual 2021/2022 UPL champions Vipers Sports Club which has been his lifelong dream.
He is looking forward to bettering his game this coming season as he eyes a call for national duty to feature for the Uganda Cranes.
"I want to up my game, play for the national team and go for greener pastures in the time to come," Usama assures.
Apart from being an excellent passer and controller of the ball, Usama is a fascinating dribbler capable of anything with the ball, that thing Brazilians and maybe a few other south Americans love doing. No wonder he admires Brazil's Neymar Do Santos Junior.
Usama was born on 27th September 2002 at Mbale hospital to Mr Khassim Kiiza and Ziada Mutesi. He is the third boy of a sport-rich family of five siblings among whom is also Uganda Cranes goalkeeper, Ismae Ismail Watenga.
He started his football journey at a tender age that he was already a star in the making by his eighth birthday. This was in 2010, a year when the FIFA World cup came to Africa, hosted in South Africa. A special ball named 'Jabulani' had been manufactured for the tournament by Adidas.
And because of his exceptional ball-playing skills, Usama was nicknamed after that ball,' Jabulani' for he had a magnetic attachment with the ball.
With his exciting left foot, Usama's spectacular touch then revealed a future prospect that would elevate Ugandan football, which dream, he has kept alive.
The 20-year-old playmaker went to Nakaloki primary school from where he joined Mbale secondary school for O'level before joining Uganda's football powerhouse, St Mary's Kitende. He joined KIU in 2020 to pursue a bachelor of Information technology. In the same year, Usama featured for the University football team in the Pepsi University league which ended prematurely due to COVID-19.
His most memorable moment with the KIU football team is when he inspired an incredible comeback against Kumi University in Kumi.
"That was a fantastic come back from a goal down on an away game at Kumi university, impressive and quite unbelievable," he admits.
KIU is not participating in the ongoing University football league this season but Usama remains optimistic, the University will return stronger next year and he promises to give his very best to bring glory home.
He is looking forward to playing better than last season in order to keep his place at KCCA as well as help them win as many trophies as possible.
He believes that he will one day play at a much better level like his role model, Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and wants to succeed in the game like his idol Neymar Junior of PSG and Brazil.
However, Usama's current goal is to play for the national team and go for greener pastures in the time to come.