Abdul Noor Lukwata crosses the ball during a competitive game at Onduparaka

In the football mad West Nile region, fast paced right winger Abdul Noor Lukwata, 19, was baptized as “Fresh Kid”.

For the rest of the populous, his enviable blistering pace since childhood deservedly earned him the tag “Speed Merchant”.

Lukwata is among the youngest cluster of players to have played in the Uganda Premier League.

Abdul Noor Lukwata dribbles the ball

Army side Simba – Saints football club, then under Moses Basena handled him his first licence to play in Uganda’s top flight football division, aged 16 years.

It was such a big honour to play in the Uganda Premier League when I was 16 years old. This was something that I had prayed for and worked hard to achieve.” Lukwata reveals.

The winger’s second dream was to play professional football, a feat that he achieved in early 2020 when he left the country for greener pastures in Tanzania.

I joined African Lyon on 17th January 2020 and played all the second round games; assisting in the three goals having started all the games. This was my other dream and I thank Allah for the achievement” he adds.

African Lyon XI (Lukwata is on the extreme left, front row)

Professional waters:

Adjusting to new environs in the rather hot Dar es Salaam city was not an easy feat for the youngster who had left Onduparaka prematurely because of a breach of employment clause.

When I reached Dar es Salaam, It was so hot. Because of the heat, I felt dizzy at times and would be excused during training sessions to rush to the coolers and ice bergs to cool down. Within a quick time, I got used and adjusted accordingly” Lukwata added.

Born at the Masaka based Mulago hospital, Lukwata hails from the prestigious Balangira Clan in Buganda.

The true meaning of Lukwata stems from a water-dwelling 20-30 feet long cryptid (with a dark smooth skin and a rounded head) said to be found in most water bodies as swamps, rivers and lakes.

Characteristic of Lukwata, the reptile, the footballer proper is very fast as he executes the moves at lightening pace.

The recent loss of his father, Hajji Abdul Lukwata left him devastated but firm that one day he will succeed in his footballing journey.

Abdul Noor Lukwata dribbles the ball

I will remain inclined to working hard both in training sessions and real matches to perform well at all times because I want to be best” Lukwata whose toughest opponent is former KCCA captain Timothy Awanyi adds.

The diminutive player admires Uganda Cranes winger Allan “Dancing Rasta” Kateregga, Algerian captain Riyad Karim Mahrez and Egyptian talisman Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly.

Lukwata’s zeal and sheer determination to play the beautiful game will definitely lead him to the desired promised land in the tomorow-years.


  • Full Names: Abdul Noor Lukwata
  • Nick-Names: Speed Merchant & Fresh Kid
  • Date of Birth: 13th September 2000
  • Parents: Mariam Namiiro and Hajji Abdul Lukwata (Deceased)
  • Place of Birth: Mulago Hospital, Masaka
  • Education: Stella Maris Primary School – Kyabakuuza (P1-P4) & Nyendo Modern Primary (P5-P7), Nkumba SS (S1), Bulo Parents – S3 & S4 (2014-2015), Masaka SS – S5 & S6 (2016-2017)
  • Football Career: Express Soccer Academy, Masaka – Nyendo (2016-2017), Simba – Saints (June 2016 – January 2019), Onduparaka (2019), African Lyon – Tanzania (2020 – Todate)
  • Memorable Match: Onduparaka 1-0 Wakiso Giants (Played at the Green Light Stadium, Arua)
  • Toughest Match: Masaka SS 1-0 Bulo Parents (*Was on losing side)
  • Toughest Opponent: Timothy Awanyi

Role Models:

  • Local: Allan Kateregga
  • International: Mo Salah (Egypt) & Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Best Dish: Matooke (Plantain), Cassava, Yam, Fish & Greens

Achievements: UMEA Primary Champion (Nyendo Modern Primary) – 2009, 2010, 2011, U-14 Coca Cola Champion 2011 (Nyendo Modern Primary), UMEA Cup 2016 Champion (Masaka SS), Runners up UMEA Secondary Cup (Bulo Parents – 2015), Top Scorer UMEA Primary Competition 2009 – 15 Goals, (2010 – 17 Goals), 2011 – 20 Goals, Top Scorer U-14 Coca Cola Cup (47 Goals), MVP UMEA Secondary Cup (2013), Best Youngest Player (UMEA Secondary Cup – 2013)

African Lyon limbering session in Dar es salaam

David Isabirye

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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