Yusuf Kinene Senior

Term it as longevity, loyal service and dedication at work, retired Uganda Cranes striker Yusuf Kinene Senior (Of Uganda) had it all.

Aggressive in style, Kinene, 40, was also as hard-working as a Queen bee in a busy bee hive.

Throughout his industrious career that spans for a period of 20 years, Kinene featured for 24 different clubs across the various levels (divisions) as well as the national sides; U-20, U-23 and the Uganda Cranes.

Football is played out of passion, commitment, dedication and sheer love. I had it all. Of course, there are challenges along the way, being focused remains key of all to succeed.

Yusuf Kinene Senior, former Uganda Cranes striker
Yusuf Kinene (extreme left) with the Bulemeezi Ssaza coaches

Among the lower division clubs he featured for included; Barcelona, Nassali, Unique, Tropical, Everton (both Kayofa), Kase, Bombo, Lukole, UPDF, Wobulenzi United, Lwampanga and Mulusa Academy.

In the Uganda Premier League, Kinene featured for Posta, Police, Mbale Heroes, Top Television, KCCA, Masaka Local Council, Entebbe and BUL.

He later ventured into the murky professional waters in Vietnam playing for Binh Doung and Tien Giang.

“Binh Doung paid Police $20,000 to get my services. It was humbling to play outside the country and got fresh experience how a professional footballer should behave. My time in Vietnam was encouraging since I also managed to play at Tien Giang before injuries cut my stay short” Kinene recounts of the Vietnam experience.

Yusuf Kinene (middle) with family members
Kinene holds the Masaza Cup trophy

During the final years of his active playing career, he served at Water before crossing over to Kabale based Kabale Sharp in the FUFA Big League (Second division league).

Respect of elders and senior players:

Kinene cites a number of factors that helped him play for different clubs and also managed to leave honourably.

Key of these is according the due respect to senior players and the elderly.

It is humbling to pay respect to the senior players and elderly people. This is exactly that kept me going at all the teams I played in. The late Magid Musisi motivated me to play football. He would always narrate life stories right from the Lugave clan and encouraged me to play the game.

Yusuf Kinene Senior, former Uganda Cranes player
Posta Football Club XI (Kinene is on front row, second from left)

When Kinene joined Posta Football Club, he was encouraged by striking partner, Godfrey Mbogo (father of Brian Majwega and Ivan Mbowa) and at the later stage, Hassan “Figo” Mubiru gave him a push at the Uganda Cranes.

Throughout my football career, football benefited me in many ways. Right from childhood, I managed to get education with bursaries at Namugoona Primary School – Nansana and later Mulusa Academy Wobulenzi for O and A level studies. I served my country Uganda when I played for the national youth teams and Uganda Cranes. I met so many people, made new friends, traveled to many places and managed to save some money. I have a permanent house at Bwaise and some side businesses” he adds.

Uganda Cranes Vs Rwanda (Yusuf Kinene is on front row, extreme left)
Uganda Kobs Vs Kenya (Kinene is second from left on front row)
Yusuf Kinene (shields the ball) in action for BUL against KCCA

Kinene’s most difficult opponents he faced included Godfrey Bukohore and Aggrey Bigala.

“Bukohore and Bigala were very tough guys who gave me a difficult moment but at the end of the day, I would sneak in and score against them” Kinene confesses.

He advises active players to give football the due respect; train regularly and hard, follow advise from elders, coaches and managers.

Yusuf Kinene
Yusuf Kinene in action when Uganda Cranes faced Ethiopia

Kinene senior has two sons; Rakhien Kinene, aged 16 and 8 year old Raafi Kinene; both of whom he wants to train and play football.

Currently, he is a football coach with a CAF “C” licence and aspires to elevate to higher grades once given the opportunity.

In 2019, he was assistant coach to Simon Peter Mugerwa when Bulemeezi won their second Masaza Cup tournament.

Kinene during the leisure times
Lugave Clan team (Kinene is 6th from left). He won the Bika trophy with Lugave in 2004 at Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium.

Teams played for:

National Teams: U-20 (Uganda Hippos), U-23 (Uganda Kobs) and Senior Team (Uganda Cranes)

Uganda Premier League: Posta, Police, Mbale Heroes, Top Television, KCCA, Masaka Local Council, Entebbe, BUL

FUFA Big League (Second Division): Water, Kabale Sharp

Lower Division Clubs: Barcelona, Nassali, Unique, Tropical, Everton (Both Kayofa), Kase, Bombo, Lukole, UPDF, Wobulenzi United, Lwampanga, Mulusa Academy

Vietnam Top flight League: Binh Doung, Tien Giang

Clan: Lugave (*Won the 2004 Bika Bya Buganda Football Championship)

Masaza Cup: He was assistant coach as Bulemeezi won the 2019 Masaza Cup tournament

What others say about him:

Yusuf Kinene was a good finisher. He has good runs in the penalty area and hardworking as well. I played with him at the national team and I remember when Uganda Cranes played Rwanda Amavubi in Kigali, he made an impact

Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, former Uganda Cranes midfielder (now football coach)

Yusuf Kinene was very obedient. The next day he would come and ask if he perfected what. He was not very tall, but surprisingly, he scored so many goals with his head. He was a good time keeper to the exact he would come an hour early to the training session. Even when he was injured, he would never miss any training session. After service as a player, he has come to coaching and I am sure he will succeed.

Frank Video Anyau, Football Coach

Yusuf Kinene is manageable and workable with. He organizes training sessions well. Since he was a great striker, he advises and specializes with the center forwards. He is a committed person.

Simon Peter Mugerwa. Football Coach
Yusufu Kinene (right) with a colleague after a Bulemeezi Ssaza game

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

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think