Many a time, humans have always set targets to achieve against all the odds and barricades paraded in life.
Some of these goals are achievable in the shortest time possible, and others are medium whereas a lion’s share of them are long term.
Ugandan born midfielder Hashim “HS” Sempala has since the age of six been yearning to climb up the ladder to the next step in life until he signs for the best football club in Africa.
Back in the days, Sempala kick-started his career at Young Simba in the military town of Bombo, along the Luwero – Gulu Highway.
A third born child in the family of six, Sempala’s parents Khalid Katabalwa and Afuwa Nakazibwe were blessed with a an ear to ear smiling toddler whose smile has been always pasted on the face, 25 years later.
In fact, Bombo provided the firm basement of this stocky midfielder having held his elementary education at St Daniel Nursery and Primary school – Bombo and the O-level education at Kakungulu High School – Bombo.
He completed A-level at football hub, Buddo SSS before joining Kampala University for a Diploma in Mass Communication.
Since the early days, Sempala has featured for two of Uganda’s traditional clubs KCCA and Express, with a stint at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) before switching allegiance to Jinja based BUL in Eastern Uganda.
He left Uganda in 2016 to swim in the diaspora waters, first at Tusker before joining Kenya’s successful outfit, Gor Mahia and dramatically rejoining his parent club Tusker where he is at the moment.
On the U-turn to the Brewers from K’Ogalo, Sempala finally speaks out his mind;
“I left Gor Mahia because the terms and conditions agreed on were not fulfilled by the club. The second incident is that I got injured and never got any medical attention from the club” Sempala recounts.
In two years’ time, Sempala’s dream is to feature in one of the best leagues in Africa for the best club.
“If all goes well, I see myself playing in one of the best leagues in Africa come two years’ time” Sempala dreams.
One player that given him a torrid time is Uganda Cranes midfielder William Kizito Luwagga,now plying his professional trade at Israeli club Hapoel Kfar Saba.
“Luwagga is very fast and crafty and facing him has presented some challenges.” He talks of the dribbling ace.
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Having played in the Uganda and Kenya Premier Leagues, Sempala has bold comparisons.
“Football in Uganda is all about talent and skills. However, in Kenya, it is a combination of all talent, skills, physicality and aggression” he adds.
Personal Best XI:
Sempala’s personal best XI of all time has a mixture of Ugandan and Kenyan players.
El Hilal goalkeeper Salim Jamal Magoola takes the first place goalkeeping slot ahead of former BUL teammate Franco Oringa.
James Situma (Tusker), Shafik Batambuze (Tusker), Asuman Buyinza (KCCA), Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Hashim Sempala, Bonny Baingana (Express), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Allan Wanga (Tusker), Ali Feni (Kyetime) and Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe) complete the first eleven with the head coach as Sam Ssimbwa.
Others are; Oringo (Saviors, Lira), Willy Kavuma (Tooro United), Julius Ogwanga (retired), Milton Kaliisa (Vipers), Saidi Kyeyune (URA), Derrick Walulya (retired) and Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia)
He is happily married to Remmy Kintu Sempala (with two children; Nadia Hyra Sempala – 8 years and 5 year old Imran Sempala).
Apparently the spouse, Kintu is the husband’s personal manager and public relations officer.
After retirement, Sempala aspires to serve the beautiful game a coach.
Full Names: Hashim Sempala
Date of Birth: 2nd March 1995
Parents: Khalid Katabalwa & Afuwa Nakazibwe (Both Deceased)
Education: St Daniel Nursery and Primary school – Bombo, Kakungulu High School – Bombo (O-Level), Buddo SSS (A-Level), Kampala University (Diploma in Mass Communication)
Best match: AS Port Louis 2000 2-1 Tusker (CAF Champions League match in Mauritius; Ssempala scored from 40 yards)
Forgettable match: Tusker 0-4 Ulinzi
Football Career: KCCA, Express, BUL, URA, Gor Mahia, Gor Mahia & Tusker (2 stints)
Favorite Dish: Pilao served with salads and Ovacado
Toughest opponent: William Kizito Luwagga
Inspiration: Juma Kaka (Former head coach at Buddo SSS)
Marital status: Married to Remmy Kintu Sempala (With two children Nadia Hyra Sempala and Imran Sempala)
Sempala’s Best XI of All Time (Clubs he found them in bracket): Salim Jamal Magoola – (Express), James Situma (Tusker), Shafik Batambuze (Tusker), Asuman Buyinza (KCCA), Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Hashim Sempala, Bonny Baingana (Express), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Allan Wanga (Tusker), Ali Feni (URA), Joseph Ochaya (KCCA)
Coach: Sam Ssimbwa
Subs: Franco Oringo (BUL), Willy Kavuma (Express), Julius Ogwanga (Express), Milton Kaliisa (BUL), Saidi Kyeyune (URA), Derrick Walulya (BUL), Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia)
Football is a talent from God, you have to be proud of it and work hard, push to your maximum. Persistence should be your key. Always remember to play to inspire other. Sports or football can give you a better life.Hashim “HS” Sempala
Whatever difficulty you face, you don’t have to give up. Just focus, determine, and have mission to what you want to achieve and in all discipline is key in everything you achieveHashim “HS” Sempala