Rita Nakhumitsa holds her USPA accolade as best female Table Tennis player

Sport is envisaged by many across the divide as a short cut to breaking the chains of misery and abject poverty among humanity.

In short, sports is one avenue of attaining fame, wealth, building a solid network of friends and fan base who are a great human resource tool that could definitely could be useful in a way or another.

This is a vivid testimony in the face of Rita Nakhumitsa, a Table Tennis player hailing from the mountainous Eastern Uganda district of Mbale.

On 16th October 2020, Nakhumista celebrated her 22nd birthday in a life span that has been decimated by nothing but entirely Table Tennis, hitherto tagged “ping pong”, an indoor game played since 1880.

Rita Nakhumitsa playing Table Tennis during a tournament in Morocco

A month later,  she was crowned as the best female Table Tennis player of the season by the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) during a lavish ceremony that took place at Victoria Ball-room Hall of Kampala Serena Hotel.

During the season, she excelled with gold at the Jinja Open, Mega Challenge in Kenya, Kampala International University (KIU) Open and the Inter-University Games at the University of Kisubi.

Rita Nakhumitsa in action

Early life:

Since the age of 10, Nakhumitsa has been playing Table Tennis and has reaped big from this indoor game.

From attaining free education through school bursaries, traveled extensively internally within Uganda and outside the boarder-lines of the country to building a conveyor belt of human resource (friends), Table Tenns has been fruitful to Nakhumitsa also known as Rita Vits.

Like many first born children in the family, Nakhumitsa is blessed with the favour of the rich Table Tennis talent that has witnessed her attain instant fame.

She was born to Robert Khayanga and Esther Nakimuli in Mbale and started playing Table Tennis as young as 10 years.

I recall the early days of my Table Tennis journey as far back as 2006 when I was in still at Nabuyonga Primary School. I used to go the Table Tennis training center at DA Hall in Mbale which was just opposite our home and fell in love with the game. From the word go up to date, my parents have been supportive. I used to admire Aminah Namaganda and loved the way she played

Rita Nakhumitsa, Female Table Tennis Player

Education:

Nakhumitsa started her elementary education at Maluku Primary School in Mbale.

She left Maluku in P.5 and joined Nabuyonga Primary School for P6 and P7 classes where she completed her Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) with aggregate 13.

Due to her rich Table Tennis talent, she was given a scholarship at Mbale Progressive Secondary School for the Ordinary Level education and attained 40 aggregates in S4 for 10 subjects.

Another Table Tennis giant school in Uganda; Mbogo High School, Kawempe sought for her services as she was admitted for A-Level pursuing History, Entrepreneurship,  Fine Art and Information Technology.

At A-Level, she scored 13 points and she is currently in first year at Uganda Christian University (UCU) – Mukono,  pursuing a Degree in Procurement and Logistics Management, still on a full bursary.

Olympics Dream:

Like all sportsmen and women, the ultimate dream is to play at the epitome of competitions as the World Cup and Olympics, Nakhumitsa is no different as she aspires for the Oympic Games.

Since I left primary school, I have been on a free bursary education scheme up to university level now because of Table Tennis. I have been able to travel extensively within Uganda and outside, representing my beloved country – Uganda and I have the dream to play at the Olympic Games.

Rita Nakhumitsa, Uganda Table Tennis Player
Rita Nakhumitsa shows off her accolade presented by the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) as best female Table Tennis Player of the year

Nakhumitsa is a member of Mbale Tigers Table Tennis Club who cherishes the back hand stroke still recounts vividly the three month’s special training placement she had in France in 2015.

My training in France for three months during the year 2015 improved my game a great deal. I have also been able to play in Mauritius, Morocco, Kenya and within Uganda during the domestic competitions.

Rita Nakhumitsa, Table Tennis Player

Her best matches in the illustrious career have come at the Mega Challenge in Kenya and Zonal competitions in Mauritius.

Unselfish of her, Nakhumitsa is training her young brother Jeremiah Kajeke to polish his game and better the styles.

The forgetful memories were at the All Africa Games trials as well as the Olympic qualifiers.

Rita Nakhumitsa in action on the Table Tennis Table

Internationally, former female world’s top Table Tennis Player Ding Ning from China (now at number 6) is her pick and role model.

Ding Ning in action

On any day, she would prefer pasted fish and plantain (matooke) as the favorite meal while reading literature, watching and playing Table Tennis are her staple diet every time.

When the nation-wide lockdown was communicated because of the Coronavirus pandemic, she remained caged in her native city of Mbale, arguably the home of Table Tennis in Uganda.

Since March 20th 2020, she has been training with Mbale Tigers Teammates at Namakwewe Social Center, Mbale to keep in shape prior to the upcoming team and personal engagements on the domestic and international fronts.

Nakhumitsa yearns to carry aloft the queen of Table Tennis status in the county for ages as long as her body can pu

Detailed Profile:

Full Names: Rita Nakhumitsa

Nick Name: Rita vits

Date of Birth: 16th October 1998

Place of Birth: Mbale

Parents: Robert Khayanga and Esther Nakimuli

Education: Maluku Primary School (P1-P5), Nabuyonga Primary School (P6-P7), Mbale Progressive School (O-Level), Mbogo High School (A-Level), Uganda Christian University, Mukono (Currently in 1st year – Bachelor of Procurement and Logistics Management)

Started Table Tennis Career: 2006

Current team: Mbale Tigers Table Tennis Club

Inspired by (Role Models): Aminah Namaganda and Dingi Ning (Chinese)

Achievements: Scholarship in different schools from S1 till University, Represented Uganda at International tournaments, Attended a special training placement in France for 3 months in 2015, Traveled to many places within Uganda and beyond.

Best Matches: Mega Challenge in Kenya and Zonal competitions in Mauritius

Challenging matches: All Africa games trials and Olympic qualifiers

Best Dish: Pasted fish and matooke

Hobbies: Reading Literature, watching and playing Table Tennis

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

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