Life has always called for patience, perseverance, persistence, and affluent performances at all times.

To achieve the aforementioned, one ought to perfect certain basics to the dot as continued diligence, right diet, rest, and strict discipline in almost everything executed.

95-year-old Emmanuel Basaliza is a golfer who still swings powerfully, chips to the skies with a bold ambition to approach the greens with precision, and putts accurately to the treasured pin.

Basaliza is an odd name tag across the divide in the golfing fraternity in Uganda, hailing from Fort Portal, Western Uganda.

Emmanuel Basaliza during the interview

He commenced this “life career” with stolen golf balls and wooden sticks, is now one of the oldest active golfers in Uganda at his age.

He is joyous, friendly, and a lovable golfer who loves to train and share his golf experience with other people.

AFRIYEA golf academy staff shared beautiful moments when they visited him at his home, where he shared with us his golf achievements and how he wants the academy students to emulate him in his success.

Ageless golfer: Emmanuel Basaliza, 95, smiles

Basaliza has won over 60 accolades from both national and international engagements.

His golf journey is an inspiration to many of our golf academy students.

Basaliza’s life evolved from playing golf with wooden sticks to being a senior member of Tooro club.

By the age of 9 years, Basaliza was a herdsman when he noticed people playing golf while grazing his father’s goats.

Emmanuel Basaliza with a score card in his hands

This beautiful game caught his interest thus forcing him to always bring his father’s goats to graze to see the golfers.

Since he did not have money, it remained tricky for him to join this sport.

This triggered him to start hiding in the bush near the golf course so that when the players hit the balls in the forest, he would steal them.

Emmanuel Basaliza in the club house at Tooro Golf Club

Basaliza, a name which is now a household of golfers in Uganda, is an inspiration to the kids in AFRIYEA golf academy; he opens his doors for anyone interested to know about his golf journey.

“ I was inspired to start playing golf because all the people who used to play it were respectable and classy,” he recalls vividly.

Tooro club was for members only, something that made me work hard so that I could be one. Golf is therefore something that teaches more about life than hitting balls, character development, skills development, talent development like what AFRIYEA golf academy is doing for our beautiful boys and girls. I commend their energy and wish them the best. Hope God will pave them away to produce many professional players that can make them proud of their work. I love to see many young boys and girls starting to play golf at the age of 4 because at this age they can grow with the game to become professionals.

Emmanuel Basaliza, Senior Golfer
Emmanuel Basaliza with his rich collection of trophies over the years in a span that has lasted for over 50 years

Basaliza’s most memorable moment was in 1974 after beating legendary golfer Sadi Onito, one of the most experienced players then, in a tournament called Western open championship and he also managed to defend this tournament the following year.

The Western open championship attracted golfers from  Arua, Jinja, Mbale, Kampala, and Entebbe.

To galvanize the great feeling, Basaliza also hit his first hole in one in the same tournament.

He remains as strong as the stones which built the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt, and will possibly play the game until 100 years plus.

Tit-Bits About Basaliza:

  • Full Name: Emmanuel Basaliza
  • Nickname: Muzee Kijana
  • Year of Birth: 1925
  • Parents: Maria Ekyenda Ekuhaire and Razaro Rusoke Rwetumbura Adyeeri
  • Place of Birth: Bukwali Village, Fort Portal City, Western Uganda
  • Education: St Peter and Paul Primary School, Virika (Primary), St Leo’s College Kyegobe (O-Level), St Mary’s College Kisubi (A-Level)
  • Earlier Jobs: Assistant Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Officer

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

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