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Sadam Juma: Emergence, rise and dreams plus setbacks

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Ibrahim Sadam Juma is a Ugandan footballer who plays for Kampala City Council Authority Football Club as a midfielder. Sadam Juma as he is commonly known is widely regarded as one of the best central midfielders to have played for Express FC, Vipers, and KCCA FC.

Juma nature as nicknamed by his peers at an early age because of the skills he had on the ball is the 3rd born and the only boy of five children raised by Nalongo Mayimuna Namusisi and Ibrahim Rajab.

A born of Luzira little did anyone know Ibrahim Sadam Juma would be a great talent to grace Ugandan football.

Sadam attended Murchison Bay Primary school in Luzira for his Primary level education and joined Progressive Secondary School from where he later joined Old Kampala SSS for his secondary level education.

Like many other players, Sadam Juma did not start his game as a central midfielder.

At first, I played as a goalkeeper because I did not want to lose any game.

He remembers.

“I thought that by being in goal I could save everything for the team I played for.”

But, there is always a reason why he ended up in the position he is in currently.

“The reason I left goalkeeping was that I got a dislocation in my arm during a match.”

Luzira being a hub for many great players, Sadam started his football journey at Prisons’ side, Maroons Football Club. While at Maroons he got a chance to feature in a friendly game with the then Eddie Butindo coached young generation players, KKL.

The match ended 4-1 in favor of the KKL side that had players like; Daniel Mzee Serunkuma, Simon Mbaziira, Benjamin Ochan, Suleiman Jingo, and Benjamin Ochan who was in KKL’s goal, among others.

Sadam Juma scored Maroon’s consolation, and it was after this match that he was spotted by Eddie Butindo, to joining a team that had less than 2 months to prepare for European football tours (Tivoli Cup and Gothia cup) in 2003.

It was an unbelievable moment when Sadam Juma who had spent just a month and a half with the team on the traveling squad. Many players who had trained with the team for a longer period were left out. But, Juma put all questions to rest when he put up inspirational performances while at the European tour. He was the top scorer and an MVP in the Gothia Cup.

Sadam Juma (just below the trophy) after triumphing at the Gothia Cup in 2003 | Courtesy phot

While at KKL, Sadam Juma joined Old Kampala SSS in 2007 where he studied his form 3 and 4 in 2007 and 2008 respectively. It is believed that Eddie Butindo took Sadam to Old Kampala SSS so he could bond with other players in the same KKL set-up. These included Guma Denis, Emma Magembe, Gift Ali, Yayo Lutimba, Juma Balinya, Simon Mbaziira, Buule Godwin among others.

Sadam also visited Barcelona (Barcelona Vs Real Zaragoza) and bonded with the greatest players like Xavi Henandez, Victor Valdez, Carlos Puyol, Ronaldinho Gaucho, and other players at the Camp Nou at the time.

After his O’ level at Old Kampala SSS,  Sadam Juma joined St.Mary’s Kitende. At Kitende, he teamed up with another crop of talented players who included Dumba Sadala, Murushid Juuko, Mike Mutyaba, Nicholas Wadada, and Deus Bukenya.

During his time at Kitende, Sadam Juma was invited for trials at Charlton Athletic in 2010, just before he could sit for his S.6 examinations. The trials did not turn out as expected and he returned to the country.

He was summoned to the Uganda Cranes Under-17 team that featured at the CECAFA tournament in Sudan alongside Andrew Butera, Sam Senkoomi, Daniel Serunkuma among others.  Sadam, who was the assistant captain played every game in the tournament and helped Uganda to title triumph in 2009.

After his secondary education at Kitende, Sadam Juma was integrated into Bunamwaya Football Club (currently Vipers Sports Club), a top-tier club attached to the school.

Sadam Juma made his first appearance for Bunamwaya in the 2009-10 season in a match away at Express at Wankulukuku. On his debut, he set up Tony Odur for the lone goal that won the game. It was from then that he went on to play a number of games helping Bunamwaya to their first league title since promotion in 2006.

“I can’t forget my first league game, the imaginations and expectations were so high to me because I was so young. But thank God I played well.”

He says.

In that same year,  Sadam was summoned to the Cranes team that featured in the CECAFA Tournament that was held in Kenya. But was later dropped from the squad by then Cranes head coach Bobby Williamson on accounts of  being young and inexperienced.

However, that did not hold the midfielder back. He got another chance at English football with an invitation for trials at Fulham. Sources close to the player revealed that this was an official invitation as opposed to the first at Charlton.

After some months at Fulham, the Technical team recommended that Sadam Juma be tested at Nottingham Forest where he thinks he had passed the trials but the Clubs, Bunamwaya, and Fulham failed to reach a formal agreement.

Sadam Juma is one of the few Ugandan players who have passed through all Cranes underage setups having played for the U17 and U20 with the likes of Mike Mutyaba, Sula Matovu, Chrizestom Ntambi, Ivan Bukenya and Patrick Edema.

He also featured for U23 team that played at the All Africa Games qualifiers in Maputo, Mozambique with Hamis Diego Kizza, Emmanuel Okwi, Hakim Senkumba, Baba Kizito, Moses Oloya, and Ayub Kisaliita.

At the 2011 CHAN tournament in Sudan, Sadam scored the only goal for Uganda against Gabon in group A, where Uganda finished last behind Algeria, Sudan, and Gabon.

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After his second season with Bunamwaya, Sadam went to Vietnam for another professional attempt. This time he succeeded but did not take so long before returning.

Upon return, he joined  Sports Club Victoria University in 2012. At Victoria University, he never got to re-establish himself as he suffered a serious knee injury that kept him on the sidelines for almost 2 years.

He rejoined Vipers SC in the 2014-2015 season and despite not featuring for much of the games during the season, he was part of the Vipers team that won the league title in 2015 under Edward Golola.

In 2016 Sadam Juma moved to the Wankulukuku based Express FC alongside Mike Mutyaba where he made a mark before signing for KCCA FC in 2017.

Sadam Juma after joining KCCA FC from rivals Express FC in 2017 | courtesy photo

Sadam Juma says he still wanted to play professional football but has been unfortunate due to injuries.

“I want to move on and fight for greater heights but injuries have always been my biggest setback. I haven’t yet shown my full abilities and capacity but I still hope to play better and go for professional football like other players.”

He also says Ssali Ronald and Matia Lule are his standout coaches.

“My greatest coaches in Uganda are Sali Ronald and Coach Matia Lule. Matia has been with me through the bad and good times, helping me even in times when I was down. And on top of that, he knows all my parents.”

On the International scene, Sadam Juma says admires Xavi Hernandez, Andrea Pirlo, Andreas Iniesta, Paul Scholes, and Deco Anderson.


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