John Wycliffe Musinguzi, 16, is currently in S4 at Kitumba Secondary School, Fort Portal city. In 2022, he was among the young media officers trained by the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) in a capacity building workshop held at Kibuli Secondary School, Kampala.
Outspoken American actor-cum-television host Frances Farmer (1913 -1970) is remarkably quoted; “There comes a point when a dream becomes reality and reality becomes a dream”.
True to Farmer’s words, a dream can transform into a realistic situation and at the same time, a reality can swift to a dream.
This is envisioned in the life of 16-year-old John Wycliffe Musinguzi, a resident of Fort Portal tourism city, over 290 KM from the capital city, Kampala.
Musinguzi is a budding sports journalist whose life was shaped by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, Musinguzi dreamt of serving in the catechism lineage as a priest.
“Journalism is my dream career which came into my mind in 2020 but all along I wanted to become a priest.” He opens up.
But, as feat would dictate, he is now following the pathway of sports journalism.
Musinguzi was born on 26th August 2006 in Mulago hospital, Kampala city.
He commenced his elementary education at Cleverland Nursery School in Fort Portal before he moved to Nyakagongo Primary School.
He studied secondary education at Temple High School in Wakiso district until S2 before switching to Kitumba Secondary School where he is now in S4.
Musinguzi’s immense love for football stems from the bold fact that he once played the beautiful game having joined Friends of Soccer Academy in 2019.
How it all started?
Musinguzi’s brave journey to journalism was a path of self-exploration, borrowing a mobile phone to open up a personal Facebook page and doing lots of individual research about Uganda’s sports.
“I used to watch many home games of Tooro United Football Club. I borrowed the phone of female footballer Violet Peninah Kyererezi and my that of my brother Brian Mugume. I joined Facebook to search about what was happening in Uganda’s sports field. Then, I created my own page and started updating local games having been inspired by Kitara Sports Magazine and Kawowo Sports.” He recalls.
In 2021, he spoke (via Facebook) to Josh Falcon Bacwa, a journalist working with Jubilee Radio and Joseph Birungi of Life FM with interest of meeting them physically.
“I didn’t know them (Falcon and Birungi) physically since I was only listening to them. The opportunity to meet them came when Tooro United hosted Ndejje University in the FUFA Big League in Fort Portal. Both promised to host me in the studios when I came back from school” he adds.
Smart phone struggles:
By that time, Musinguzi did not own a smart phone and therefore had challenges to access many social media platforms as Facbook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
“At that time, I had a button phone and could not access the social media platforms and WhatsApp forums like many of many mentors. I changed to a new school in 2023. On 30th January 2023, the teachers told us it’s better if we get smart phones and be getting some work on WhatsApp so that we can cover the syllabus due to COVID-19 interruption. That decision made me very happy. I told my grand mum that they have said we should have smart phones for studies. My classmate was selling one at Ug.shs 50,000, money which my grandmother gave me. I promised to also contribute by paying back Ug.shs 30,000 to her which I did by saving lunch without anyone knowing.” Musinguzi reveals.
He was invited on Jubilee FM by Falcon for a Saturday show.
“In February 2023, I was invited to work on radio with Falcon. I was very excited. On the same day, I was also invited on Life FM. I did my research and with confidence, I honored the invite. The truth is while on air I had some panic in the first two to three minutes but the reminder of the show it was another story. When I returned home, everyone on the village spoke about it” Musinguzi adds.
Meanwhile, he continued writing stories on Tooro Sports Facebook page, in the meantime relying live match updates and updates on the WhatsApp forums.
Since that time, he has been a regular reporter in the Western regional league and for Tooro Queens women football club.
He has also covered the 2023 FUFA Juniors League U-14 (in Kasese District), 2023 Kitara Regional League finals 2023 (in Kagadi District), FUFA Women Super League, FUFA Women Elite League, FUFA Drum (6 games for Tooro province) and the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) district and regional games as well as the recently concluded Equity Rwenzori Golf Open championship at Toro club in Fort Portal.
In December 2022, Musinguzi attended the USSSA Capacity Building program hosted at Kibuli Secondary School.
During this training, he trained as a media officer.
“The USSSA course helped me a lot. The course played a big role to who I am today. I got the chance to meet new people and interact but it added a lot of experience to me now.” He speaks of the training that had facilitators as FUFA’s media communications officer, Ahmed Hussein.
Musinguzi has special interest in watching local sports, doing research and travelling.
In a special way, he lauds everyone who has had a brick contributed to his career thus far.
“I take this chance to thank relatives, family and friend for allowing me to continue with journalism. I take this chance to appreciate everyone who has helped me to reach where I am now. To cover these tournaments there are sports fans who contribute big financially to see I travel to every place I wish to go and cover. The sports journalists you have played a big role in advising me, supporting me and giving me opportunities I really appreciate. There is nothing with advantages without disadvantages, Sometimes, I lack gadgets on this I would like to thank a special group of sports lovers known as team bus who contributed with in themselves and bought me a phone I am using now. Being young, at times I am underrated and some people may even want you not to attend their press conferences and sometimes people underrate me and cannot give me interviews.” He adds.
His dream is to become a fully professional multi-purpose sports journalist.
In the vivid words of Colin Powell “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”, Musinguzi ought to remain determined and work with diligence.
I love the courage and the hard work portrayed by Musinguzi more especially in the USSSA games in Bundibugyo. You really updated us. I promise to host you at Bridge FM in Kyenjojo one day and we talk about local sport
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