Samuel Ankunda Mbabazi during Table Tennis training

Legends in the different spheres of life have always left landmark impressions to the young generations.

From sport, music, art and craft to professional jobs as engineering, economists, businessmen, doctors, teachers and the like; the legends in a particular docket leave far-fetched snail-like marks that the growing population would wish to emulate.

Uganda’s current Table Tennis seed one Samuel Ankunda Mbabazi is only 13 years old.

Mbabazi was inspired to play this game christened as “Ping-Pong” by a long serving loyal and dedicated servant, Kevin Mafabi.

From the way Mafabi conducted himself during training sessions and the matches proper, Mbabazi nodded in the affirmative.

Little wonder therefore, Mbabazi has taken on the game seriously and he is currently the best ranked player in Uganda.

“I used to watch his (Kevin Mafabi) games. I loved the way he approached the opponents with aggression and training. He inspired me and I wanted to be like him” Mbabazi revealed to Kawowo Sports.

Early Life:

As the last born child in the family of four of Dennis and Jennifer Mbabazi, Mbabazi Junior was born on 25th April 2009 in Kabale.

He commenced his Table Tennis journey at a young age, whilst in primary three at Table Tennis hub, Nakasero Primary school.

“I started training with coach Mary Musoke. She has handled me since I was young, encouraged me and moulded me into the player I am today” Mbabazi speaks of another legend in the game.

Mbabazi was part of team Uganda at the recently concluded 2022 East Africa Table Tennis Championship in Ethiopia where Uganda finished third to take bronze.

As the country’s top seed, it gives Mbabazi the impetus and urge to work harder every day in a bid to maintain the status quo.

“I want to remain number one in Uganda and also challenge opponents on the continent (Africa) and beyond. This is by through working hard every day” Mbabazi who is number three in East Africa, 21st in Africa and 256 in the world adds.

Globally, Chinese Tale Tennis ace Ma-Long is his favourite player.

His strong hand is right with the forehand as the favourite stroke.

Since he was a young boy, Mbabazi has been exposed to competitions internally and externally.

He won the U-16 Hope and Cadet Table Tennis Championship in 2016 as well as the 2021 Kakamega Open (seniors) in Western Kenya.

The recent bronze from Ethiopia at the 2022 East Africa Table Tennis Championship is his latest collection.

Detailed profile:

  • Full Names: Samuel Ankunda Mbabazi
  • Nick-Name: Sam
  • Date of Birth: 25th April 2009
  • Parents: Dennis Mbabazi & Jennifer Mbabazi
  • Place of Birth: Kabale
  • Education: Nakasero Primary School (P1-P7), Kibuli S.S (Currently in S.1)
  • Current national seed status: No.1
  • East Africa seed status: No. 3
  • Continental Ranking: 21
  • Global seed status: No. 256
  • Role Models: Kevin Mafabi (Uganda) & Ma-Long (Chinese)
  • Best stroke: Forehand
  • International Tournaments competed in: 2022 East Africa Table Tennis Championship (Bronze), Hope & Cadet Table Tennis Championship 2016 (Gold), Kakamega Open Table Tennis Championship 2021 (Gold)

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

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