Composed with the ball at his feet, with a great touch and close control, Kefa Kisala remains one of the greatest left wingers Ugandan football has ever witnessed.

Born in 1974 to Miriam Nambi and late Michael Kiwanuka of Bamusuta, Ndese, Kisala went to Nsambya St. Peter’s Primary School and Old Kampala SS for his primary and secondary school education respectively. Soccer career: Kefa Kisala commenced his illustrious soccer career at Makindye Officers Mess football pitch located in Makindye division. The pitch is reknowned for grooming a lot of stars that include former Uganda Cranes and Coffee right winger Obadia Ssemakula plus many in the current generation that include among others Newcastle midfielder Gael Bigirimana, Noah Ssemakula and Nestroy Kizito among others. 

While playing for Old Kampala SS in the inter-schools competitions, Kisala’s talent caught the attention of super league clubs who vyed for his signature. Joining Military Police FC In a move that people saw as a way to reward the ground that aided his rise to the beautiful game, a young Kisala opted to join Military Police FC, a side that used ‘Mess’ as the ground is literally known as its training pitch. He spent the entire 1991 season at the club before Express FC snapped up him. At Express FCHe joined the ‘Red Eagles’ in 1992 at a time when the late David Otti was rebuliding the side. The veteran Coach included the youngster in the Express FC side that travelled to Kenya for build up games ahead of the season. He made his debut against Kenya Breweries and was impressive in all the warm up games played. Kefa Kisala made his league debut for the Wankulukuku side against Nile FC in March 1992. The game ended in a 1-1 draw but unfortunately, he got injured and stretchered off the pitch which sidelined him for close to two months. On his return from injury in May 1992, he scored one and assisted Isa Ssekatawa to score the other as Express FC beat Entebbe Young FC 2-0 in a league game.

By 1993, Kisala had established himself as a vital player for the side scoring two goals and creating three assists in the first five games in the league. However, he missed two golden chances as Express crashed out of the Caf Cup Winners at the hands of El-Merreikh of Sudan. He was back at his best as Express FC humiliated rivals KCC FC with a 6-0 victory. It was Kisala and James Kirinya on the left and right flanks that led the assault on the Lugogo based side to send the red army in the stands into rapture. Kisala’s artistry in the 1993 title deciderIt was a game where Express FC just needed a point to lift the title for the first time in 18 years. It also proved a game that pitted Kisala against Paul Hasule

The young Kisala made the legendary Paul Hasule look a shadow of himself as he terrorized him throughout the game, on what was the highlight of the game he left him for dead before laying an assist for Fred Tamale with an inch-perfect cross that the latter tapped in for the all-important point. The game ended in one all draw. Express FC current coach Moses Basena scored for SC Villa then but it was too little too late. In 1994, Kisala was part of the Express FC team that lifted the Kakungulu cup (Bell Uganda cup) but conceded the league title to Express FC
1995 golden generation
It was the year Express FC dominated local football winning a league and cup double. Kisala was the chief creator of the side that had the likes of Joseph Mutyaba, Fred Tamale, Phillip Obwiny and George Ssemwogerere among others. It is arguably the best side ever to be assembled in the history of Express FC. The year 1995 happened to be Kisala’s best year. The dimunitive left winger scored five goals and created majority of the goals. His importance to the club was more felt when he reliably filled the void left the injured Richard Kirumira at left back. The following year, Kisala failed to replicate his form. To make matters worse, he suffered  a career threatening knee injury that ruled him out of the game for large parts of the season. Serbian Coach Dragon Popadic replaced him with William Makumbi on the left wing and Kisala failed to dislodge him after his recovery. He was however deployed as a second a striker in the side. Fortunately, Express FC managed to defend their league title but lost the Kakungulu Cup to rivals KCC FC. Joining KCC FC Following discontent with Express FC officials over a salary increment, Kisala made a decision to join KCC FC in late 1997. He spent three seasons at the club and made a U-turn to rejoin his former employers in 2000. Back at Wankulukuku

He rejoined Express FC at time when Congolose import Tote Songe had made the left wing his own. He was deployed as a left full back for most of the games during that season. He nevertheless stepped up his game and was instrumental as the ‘Reds’ lifted the Kakungulu cup in 2001. Having discovered that his good days were behind him, Kisala hang his boots and retired from the beautiful game. International career: Kisala made his Uganda Cranes debut on 15th October, 1994 against Ethiopia. He came off the bench in Uganda Cranes’ 4-1 over the side. He was also part of the Uganda Cranes side that lost the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup title to Tanzania later that year. His chance to win the Cecafa cup came in 1996 when Uganda Cranes lifted the title in a tournament that was held in Khartoum, Sudan. Coaching Career:Kefa Kisala is currently one of the most promising coaches in the country. The former Express FC and KCC FC star began his coaching career with Bazza in 2006 but has so far coached at Express FC, Iganga TC, Military Police FC, Masaka LC FC and Bidco FC where he is at the moment.

His greates achievement in the field of coaching so far was guiding Express FC to the Kakungulu Cup in 2006.

Kisala alos led Masaka LC to the semi-finals of the Bell Uganda Cup early this year where they lost 3-0 to eventual winners URA FC.

Kefa Kisala Factfile: He played for only three clubs (Military Police, Express and KCC). He won two league titles with Express (1995 and 1996) and five Kakungulu Cups (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001). Won the 1997 Bika bya’Baganda football Shield with Nyonyi Clan. He won one Cecafa Cup title (1996). As coach, he won the 2006 Uganda Cup with Express. e has so far coached; Bazza, Express, Maji, Iganga, Masaka LC and Bidco FC. Article credits: Hassan Badru Zziwa – The Observer Media Ltd, Fred Tamale – Former Express FC star Email: ismael@kawowo.com

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think Cancel reply