On 2nd February 2021, Fred Patrick Ochieng clocked two years of active service as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club.
He has previously served as a media officer at another Authority run football entity on Uganda’s land; Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Football Club, the 13 time Uganda Premier League champions.
A Mechanical Engineer by training from Kyambogo University, Ochieng who is popularly known as “Pato” did not practice the profession but rather followed where his passion and heart pointed – sports and media.
He confesses having personally trained himself to perfect the graphic design, videography, content creation and social media management with no regrets thus far.
Ochieng shared his experience as a PRO right from KCCA to URA at the moment, the gains and challenges on the job, aspirations for the future unknown as well as the dream team.
He has also worked as PRO for two different basketball franchise sides; JKL Dolphins and Kampala International University (KIU).
Question: You have made two years as a club Public Relations Officer (PRO) at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) FC, what has been your highest moment thus far?
Ochieng: My highest moment is being able to serve as a Club Public Relations Officer for a great Football Club (Uganda Revenue Authority) FC this far. I had never been one and it was a new challenge having come from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC as a media officer. So being one for the first time and coming this far is really my highest moment and I only hope to get higher.
Question: What does it take to serve as a premier league PRO? In particular, share your qualifications.
Ochieng: I would say it takes a lot. Really a lot. First of all, you must be a known person to become one. I mean you have must some experience in the premier league and have to be known by people who can recommend you. Qualification wise it might not help because I hold a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a totally different field from Sports and media which I am in. I would say it was easy for me to join URA Football Club because I was at KCCA FC for close to 2 years and I worked my way into the local football scenes as a media officer. I had the passion for media and sports and this is what drives me every-day to learn something new. Also, something that really makes me a bit special from other PRO’s is that I am a complete package. If I am not mistaken, I think I am the only Public Relations Officer (PRO) in the country who also does graphics for the club, edit pictures and videos, writes articles for the clubs website, create content and manage the clubs social media handles. All this I do it alone at the club.
Question: You are probably the youngest Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Uganda’s Club football, where does your strength stem from?
Ochieng: Ohhhh. I even did not know I was the youngest Public relations in Uganda’s top tier football. Hahaha. But I think my brother from another mother Moses Magero (Current media manager at KCCA FC) is young too. So it makes us two. And we started this dream together. What drives me every-day is the passion. I left my profession (Engineering) and came to sports. It is because I have passion for media works and sports at large. I am also self-driven. I challenge myself to do something new and better than what other clubs do. When I see something nice, I always want to do better so I push myself beyond my limits to do better. I always want to be the best in everything I do.
Question: What opportunities have you attained as a football club Public Relations Officer (PRO)?
Ochieng: Of course I have had chance to also be on TV’s and be heard by thousands of people on radio as my jobs entitles me to speak for and on behalf of the club. Honestly this is something I wouldn’t get if I were not a PRO. And this has provided a lot of exposure for me. I have got a lot of gigs from different companies and some TV and radio stations wanting to work with me on various Sports talk shows. I thank URA FC management for trusting a young guy in me with this big task and honestly I have benefitted a lot from the exposure and also got to learn how to handle fans of different stature.
Question: Any aspirations and projections as regards the unknown future in this field.
Ochieng: First as my job entails, I would like to make Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club as best publicized Football Club in the country. It is not easy but that is my job. You never know what can happen in the future but for now I want to give my whole to URA FC. Let us wait and see what happens in the future. But Sports is my thing and I do not plan on changing fields any time soon. But you never know.
Question: What challenges have you encountered in the jurisdiction of your work tasks?
Ochieng: First of all, being a guy who is flexible and can do various things. This is to great advantage and also a disadvantage. At times, working as a single person gets me overwhelmed with work most especially during match days because I have to run all social media platforms, make live updates for the match, do the graphics and as well write match reports after the match. Most times, the work is a lot on a such a day for only person to handle. The other challenges are minimal and I always try to handle them internally with my bosses.
Question: Who is your best player (domestically) and why?
Ochieng: This is a hard one… (With a deep breathe). But it is hard to single out a player. Uganda has plenty of talent and I have been lucky to manage some of them. Right now, as it stands, Of course URA’s captain Shafik Kagimu and Joackim Ojera stand out. KCCA’s Brian Ahebwa, Vipers’ Abdul Azizi Kayondo to mention but a few. I cannot list all of them. Also including Saidi Kyeyune who has left URA FC to join El Merrick. Sorry for the many URA FC players but those are the ones I watch most (Hahahaha….)
Question: Share your dream team:
Ochieng: My first eleven has goalkeeper Charles Lukwago (KCCA), Ashraf Mandela (URA), Abdul Azizi Kayondo (Vipers), Benjamin Nyakoojo (URA), Halid Lwalilwa (Vipers), Shafik Kagimu (URA), Ashraf Mugume (KCCA), Jackson Nunda (URA), Joackim Ojera (URA), Brian Ahebwa (KCCA), Steven Mukwala (URA)
Subsistutes: Nafian Alionzi (URA), Derrick Ndahiro (SC Villa), John Revita (KCCA), Patrick Mbowa (URA), Muzamiru Mutyaba (Express), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, David Bagoole (Vipers), Muhammad Shaban (Vipers SC)