Right back Nico Wakiro Wadada proudly tags his enterprising football career as “a gradual work in progress” process.
From a humble beginning, Wadada has played for the Uganda National football team, Uganda Cranes and twice played at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, the biggest continental football fiesta as well as at the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN).
Wadada played at the 2017 finals in Gabon and was part of the Uganda Cranes’ 23 man team during the 2019 edition, hosted by Egypt.
Pint sized but with an engine of a horse, Wadada has the game intelligence that has pushed him miles thus far.
He boldly traces his footballing journey back in the days at known football hub in Lugazi.
“When I was young, I used to play football with my age mates in Lugazi. I started at the age of 7 years and by Primary four, my parents stopped playing fees because I had got a bursary for free education at Lugazi West Primary School in P5. This is the time that my parents stopped paying fees out of their own pockets until when I complete A-Level” Wadada recounts.
Admittedly, he confesses that the primary school bursary completely turned around his life.
“That bursary motivated me and pushed me to perform well both in class and on the field of play.” He adds.
It was not surprising therefore that a year after Wadada secured a slot at Lugazi West, their bitter rivals (Lugazi East) came knocking on the doors.
In Primary five, Wadada thus moved to Lugazi East Primary School, just opposite the former school.
The healthy bargain for the player continued a year later when the roving right back again returned to Lugazi West Primary six and seven classes.
“Sometimes, I was also confused whether to play for Lugazi West or East. But, I was interesting that both schools liked me a lot and opened my doors” Wadada contends.
After Primary school, Wadada joined the nearby Mehta Secondary School in S.1.
He left Mehta SS for Nagalama Islamic in Kasawo. He was once again on the move, transferring to Bishop Cyprian Kyabakadde in S3 before he finally moved to Entebbe road based St Mary’s SS Kitende for completion of O and A level studies.
Life in the Uganda Premier League:
It was during his S5 studies that Vipers Sports Club trusted him with a Uganda Premier League licence to play in the top flight division.
“When I arrived at St Mary’s Kitende, my goal was to play well and get a first time slot which I did. Then, I knew, anytime, I would be graduated to the Vipers Sports Club side which is never easy. I made it and took the opportunity with both my hands.” Wadada confessed.
He lifted the Uganda Premier League trophy twice at Vipers during the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 seasons, also winning the Uganda Cup.
Wadada thereafter left Vipers Sports Club for Tanzanian side, Azam in a reported $ 60,000 transfer fee that benefited either parties.
“Leaving Vipers was a very difficult decision but inevitable and painful as well. I had served well all my heart at Vipers where I captain the club to three trophies – two in the league and one Uganda Cup.” Wadada notes.
Wadada has now completed two seasons at Azam Sports Club, and recently won the 2019 Tanzania FA Cup that guarantees them of continental football next season in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Azam also won the 2017 CECAFA Kagame club’s championship with Wadada playing an integral part on the team.
From the time Wadada was playing at Lugazi West to now when he is a household name for the Uganda Cranes, a lot of water has gone down the drain.
Wadada has no regrets trending the football path.
I have been able to get as many friends as possible because of football. The fame and wealth that I have is from football and it is the very reason why I give my job maximum respect. My target as a play was to play for Uganda Cranes and at AFCON. I have done it twice, what else? May be, I set new targets nowNico Wakiro Wadada, footballer
Every job has challenges and Wadada shares that too in his football career.
“Every job in life has challenges and playing professional football comes with its own version. But, how you prepare for these challenges and overcome them matters a lot. Here, determination means a great deal” Wadada adds.
Wadada hails from Mbale in Eastern Uganda. He was bred in Lugazi and has lived the better part of his adult life along Entebbe road.
He has invested immensely in real estate at Kawuku, along the Kampala – Entebbe road near the famous St Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK).
Moments after Uganda Cranes was eliminated from AFCON 2019, Ethiopian giants St George tabled a $70,000 bid to lure Wadada who is already penned a two year contract extension at Azam.