Phillip Martin Napookoli, the current Table Tennis seed two in Uganda (Credit: David Isabirye)

The journey to stardom and top status is always a gradual promising one.

It is one that is detailed by passion, continuous diligence, challenges but with determination.

This is the same path that Uganda’s current Table Tennis seed two Phillip Martin Napookoli is keenly following.

Napookoli is a member of the current Uganda Table Tennis team, an S.2 student at T.T powerhouse Kibuli Secondary School in Kampala city.

He has a dream of working extremely hard to attain the top seed status quo where teammate at school and national team level Samuel Mbabazi is.

Every day, I keep working hard to improve on my grey areas of the game and at the sametime polish up where I am good. I want to be on the top, serve my country and play professional Table Tennis.

Phillip Martin Napookoli, Table Tennis player
L-R: Diouf Miiro, Phillip Martin Napokooli, Tendo Kasoma and Benjamin Achuma during the national team camp at Elite High School, Entebbe (Credit: David Isabirye)

Early years:

Napookoli was born on 20th October 2005 to Robert Watiti and Bernitah Nakanwagi as the first born child in the family of three.

He commenced his Table Tennis career at a tender stage whilst still in Primary one at T.T hub Nakasero Primary School.

“I started playing Table Tennis when I was 7 years old in Primary One at Nakasero Primary school. My coach Mary Musoke has been supportive along the journey and I give glory to God” he says.

His favourite stroke while in action is the forehand off his stronger right hand.

Internationally, he is inspired by Chinese Table Tennis ace Fanzedong while Kevin Mafabi is his local idol.

Napookoli’s rich trophy cabinet has the U-16 Nakasero Open title, U-16 Kakamega Open (2021) and the Uganda Secondary School Sports Association gold medal during the 2022 games held in Gulu.

Detailed Profile:

  • Full Names: Phillip Martin Napookoli
  • Date of Birth: 20th October 2005
  • Parents: Robert Watiti & Bernitah Nakanwagi
  • Started Table Tennis: Aged 7 years in Primary One at Nakasero Primary School
  • Education: Lady Bird Nursery School – Gayaza, Nakasero Primary School (P1-P7), Kibuli Secondary School (Currently in S.2)
  • Best Stroke: Forehand
  • Role Models: Kevin Mafabi (Uganda) & Fanzedong (China)
  • Trophies won: Nakasero Open U-16 (2021), Kakamega Open U-16 (2021), Fresh Dairy USSSA Table Tennis Gold (2022)

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

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