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Paul Musamali: moving from UPL and thriving in the Zambian League

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For the past three seasons, a number of players have moved from the StarTimes UPL to the Zambian top tier league, but very few have been able to thrive.

A big number. Yes, a big one – Some have been there and come back while others still ply their trade in the ‘air-conditioned state’, and among those that have stayed is Paul Musamali who turns out for Buildcon FC.

Paul Musamali is a firstborn in a family of six raised by the late Mwasa Paul Musamali and Nambuya Zabibu in Mbale district. Musamali grew up in Malaba with his stepfather Mwana Moiza Sowali.

Musamali started school in 1999 at Victory Border Point Primary School, Malaba before joining Rock High School, Tororo for both the Ordinary level and Advanced level in 2009.

He later joined Kampala University for his tertiary education. But while at the University, his talent was not ignored for the academics. He was a part of the University football team that won the University Football League (UFL) in 2013.

He started his football career at Big league’s Mbale Heroes in 2010 from where he could move to follow the football pyramid in record Uganda Premier League champions squad SC Villa in 2012.

He made his debut against Express FC and scored his first goal for SC Villa against Ndejje University FC in the Uganda Cup.

He then joined Western Stima in 2014, making his debut against Nakumatt FC and scored his first goal against Kakamega Homeboyz.

After two seasons at the KPL side, Musamali joined Kampala City Council Authority FC (KCCA FC) in 2016, making his debut against Vipers and scoring his first goal for Mike Mutebi’s side against Onduparaka FC.

While at KCCA FC for the two seasons, the left-footed defender won a league title (2017) and two Uganda Cups (2017, 2018).

Musamali made his debut for the Uganda national team on 14 July 2017 against South Sudan in the Chan 2018 qualifiers.

Paul Musamali - The Touchline Sports

Paul Musamali during one of the National team training sessions at the StarTimes stadium, Lugogo | Courtesy photo

In a brief chat with The Touchline Sport’s Tom Matovu, Musamali narrates the reason behind his form and why he has stayed in Zambia a bit longer than other Ugandan players.

“Whenever it’s time to work, it always clicks to the mind that I came from very far and I have a family to look after,” he said.

“This helps me to push for myself. I always play my heart out whenever I am given a chance.”

On how the local League fares against Zambia Super League, Musamali picks out player marketing and facilitation as the factors that make the Zambian League edge the Uganda Premier League.

“The Zambian League is far better than the Ugandan league because  the Zambian league is growing and developing at very fast.”

“SuperSport is trying so much to cover the games which is a good thing when it comes to player marketing.”

“In terms of facilitation, the Uganda League isn’t so much facilitated like the Zambian League”

On the effects of COVID-19, Musamali says the pandemic has affected everyone and every sector in Zambia.

“COVID-19 has  affected each and everyone  including those who are not in this footballing industry.”

Paul Musamali - The Touchline Sports

“Personally, I was more worried about my family. They mean a lot to me and they are the reason why am in Zambia. I still have to be focused on my career.”

“On the league side, that became a big problem due to the fact that we had to stay home and start  training on our own.”

“Training alone can never be the same as when you train with the rest of your teammates. Resuming the league was a bit challenging because getting back to the required level of intensity wasn’t that easy after spending a lot of time at home.”

“But after all, we are grateful that things got better and we were able to complete the league.” 

Musamali wants to become a regular player on the Uganda National team’s squad.

“All I want is to become a regular national team player and of course I have plans of playing in Europe. It is the reason why I am working hard.”

Musamali can only play for KCCA FC, Vipers SC, or Mbarara City FC if he gets to play in the Uganda Premier League again.


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