Jonathan “Gava Weele” Kanagwa Atenyi

Jonathan Kanagwa Atenyi, 18, has joined one of United States of America’s oldest educational institutions, Virginia Commonwealth University (founded in 1838) on a scholarship basis.

The hard-working defensive left-footed midfielder has been studying at Savior New American School in New York City where has was also featuring for the Newyork City (NYCFC) U-19 outfit.

He had previously featured at Lake Grove New Field United Football Club, one of the clubs in the Eastern New York State League, Region 1.

Kanagwa left Uganda in 2017 after he was spotted by America based football coach Frank Stagnitta at the then dusty and barren Kiwafu Playground in Entebbe, with the help of Duncan Kasibante and Jonas Tusiime.

Stagnitta became interested in his playing style before he helped the youngster process his travel documentation before they materialized and he departed.

Jonathan “Gava Weele” Kanagwa Atenyi joined Virginia Commonwealth University
Kanagwa (right) dribbles the ball Credit: Lake Grove New field

Kanagwa narrated to Kawowo Sports how his chance of a life time came by;

“It was like any other ordinary day when we were playing a friendly match against Katale at the Kiwafu Playground in Entebbe. A white man (Frank Stagnitta) who was watching the game was interested in the way I was playing. After the friendly match, he asked me if I would love to join them in the US and offer me a scholarship. Who would reject such an opportunity?” he remarked.

Jonathan Kanagwa (left) with the Lake Grove New field United head coach Frank Stagnitta. It is Stagnitta who scouted the talent of the youngster in Uganda Credit: Lake Grove New field

About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public research university in Richmond, Virginia.

It was founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden–Sydney College, becoming the Medical College of Virginia in 1854. In 1968, the Virginia General Assembly merged MCV with the Richmond Professional Institute, founded in 1917, to create Virginia Commonwealth University.

In 2018, more than 31,000 students pursue 217 degree and certificate programs through VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges.

The VCU Health System supports the university’s health care education, research, and patient care mission.

Player Profile:

  • Full Name: Jonathan Kanagwa
  • Nickname: Gava Weele (literally meaning well blessed)
  • Date of Birth: 18th February 2002
  • Education: Lake Victoria Primary School, Entebbe (Primary), Boston High School, Mpala (O-Level), Savior New American School, New York City (Currently in Grade 10)
  • Football career: Entebbe Young Academy, Entebbe Leopards F.C, Lweza U-17, Lake Grove New Field United (featuring in the Eastern NewYork State League, Region 1)
  • Strong Foot: Left
  • Honours: Winner Eastern Conference Cup 2018, Winner Potomac U-16 league championship 2018
  • Role Models: Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Aucho Khalid
  • Best Dish: Rice and Beans with fresh water.

ALSO READ: Kanagwa shining brightly in the United States of America

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

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