The humbling story of Uganda Crested Cranes and She Corporates midfielder Phiona Nabbumba is a big reflection to how talents hitherto unknown to many are boldly unearthed.
Nabbumba hails from a fishing village in Kasenyi, situated on the shores of Lake Victoria at Katabi Town in Wakiso District.
A few miles from Kasenyi town in Nkumba Bufulu is a promising football nursery known as Fimbo Soccer Academy, owned by coach Duncan Bogere.
Bogere has identified, nurtured and groomed as many footballers many of whom now play professional football within and outside the country.
This is where the football talent of Nabbumba was discovered and developed as well.
Characteristic of sportsmen who fail to trace their roots, Nabbumba is a rare breed and boldly attests her firm foundation and pillars having been stemmed at Fimbo Soccer Academy.
“I started playing football when I was still in primary school but with boys in Fimbo Soccer Academy which is coached by Duncan Bogere. This is where I started and cannot forget.” Nabbumba who had her elementary education at Nkumba based Kigero Primary School recounts.
The midfielder who is comfortable in holding and offensive roles was born 20 years ago to Gerald Kigozi and Margret Kigozi as the last born child in the family of three.
She studied at Kigero Primary School – Nkumba where she sat her Primary Leaving Examinations (P.L.E) with 17 aggregates in four subjects (second grade).
Nabbumba shifted base to the nearby Katongole Memorial High School, still in Nkumba for only S.1 before transferring to St.Mary’s Secondary School – Kitende for S2 to S4 classes.
“My competitive football career started at St Mary’s Secondary School, Kitende. The competition here was stiff and gave up a good feel of serious women football” Nabbumba added.
For Advanced level, she was admitted to London College High School – Nansana, also on a bursary scheme, scoring 12 aggregates.
At the moment, Nabbumba is pursuing a Diploma in Computer Science at Makerere University Business School (MUBS).
In her brief football journey, Nabbumba has already had serious club football and played at four clubs that include; London College, Rines, Ajax Queens – Bulenga and her current address; She Corporate, based at Nakawa.
The ultimate dreams for many sportsmen world-over entails among others to play for their respective countries in international meets.
Nabbumba was lucky to achieve the feat in 2018 when she earned her first international cap against Kenya during the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers.
In the same year, she played at the CECAFA Women Challenge Cup in Rwanda, COSAFA women championship in South Africa, Tokyo Olympics qualifiers against Ethiopia as well as the U20 world cup qualifiers against Tanzania.
Playing for the national team was a dream come true. It had always been my dream and I want to maintain playing at the high level so that I maintain the status quo.Phiona Nabbumba, female footballer
The best match ever played in her career was Uganda Crested Cranes’ 1-0 win against Kenya in the CECAFA women championship.
Her role models in the football industry include Uganda Cranes’ creative midfielder Moses Waiswa and Spanish international Juan Mata.
On any day, she would yearn to feast on her favorite dish; plantain (matooke) and meat.
Full Names: Phiona Nabbumba
Parents: Gerald Kigozi and Margret Kigozi
Date of Birth: 20th July 2000
Place of Birth: Kasenyi, Katabi Town Council, Wakiso District
Education: Kigero Primary School – Nkumba; Katongole Memorial High School – Nkumba, St.Mary’s Secondary School – Kitende, London College High School – Nansana, Makerere University Business School (MUBS) – Diploma in Computer Science
Football Career: Started at Fimbo Soccer Academy – Nkumba, London College Women Football Club, Rines Women Football Club, Ajax Queens Football Club – Bulenga, She Corporate Women Football Club – Nakawa
National Team: First international Cap against Kenya in 2018 in Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers, 2018 CECAFA (in Rwanda), 2018 COSAFA (In South Africa), Tokyo Olympics qualifiers against Ethiopia and U20 world cup qualifiers against Tanzania
Role Models: Sandra Nabweteme, Moses Waiswa and Juan Mata
Favorite Dish: Plantain (Matooke) and Meat
Best Match played: Uganda Crested Cranes 1-0 Kenya (*In CECAFA Women Championship)
Worst Match Played: She Corporate 0-2 Ajax Queens (*Was on winning team but played not so well)
What others say about Phiona Nabbumba:
Phiona Nabbumba is one of the most technically gifted female players we have in Uganda. Her versatility is also a big bonus for the ability to play in defence, holding and offensive midfield positions. She is however too reserved and you need to be really close to her to open up.Ali Zzinda, She Corporate Women Football Club head coach
Nabbumba is a humble and disciplined promising player. She has good ball mastery and execution. The only grey part of her game when she needs to improve is the break in rhythm of play.Ayub Khalifan Kiyingi, head coach U-17 women team, Assistant coach Crested Cranes, head coach Kawempe Muslim Women Football Club
Right from the start, Phiona Nabbumba yearned to play football. She loved to participate in training with the boys because we did not have a girl’s-team. That passion and aggression inspired her even if she came from a humble background and school bursaries because of the football talent helped her get education up to the university where she is.Duncan Bogere, Director and coach at Fimbo Sports Academy
Phiona Nabbumba is a focused player who loves to study and play football as well. She is very hard-working on and off the field of play.Hilary Kimbugwe, Assistant Sports Secretary, Secretary Sports Committee – Makerere University Business School (MUBS)