Uganda: Coach Twinamasiko Completes Kitara Miracle

22 October 2020

He did it in 2015. He has done it again. After a heart-breaking 2017/18 season when they lost in the play-offs against Paidha Black Angels, Kitara now complete the 16-team log for Uganda's football elite next season.

The Hoima-based side defeated Kiboga Young/Mbale Heroes 1-0 to leave the fans declare that the team had 'pulled off a miracle'. Kitara's journey was not assured as Richard Makumbi, dubbed the promotion king, stood on the opposite side as the coach. Actually, Makumbi was the man in charge last season before he joined Kiboga Young.

Fans were breathlessly talking about Makumbi's magic wand but just one man, Mark Twinamasiko, kept the belief. "I will finish this job," Twinamasiko said in a private conversation in August, 2019. He was shouldering a huge responsibility especially after he crossed from eternal rivals, Dove FC.

Mark who?

This will be the second promotion of Twinamasiko's managerial career. In 2015, he emerged unexpectedly to guide The Saints to the Premier League. But he only came close once after that miracle.

On Wednesday, in subdued conditions, he answered critics in the most satisfying way when a 1-0 win confirmed that Twinamasiko had led Kitara on an astonishing journey to the elite of Uganda's football. Professionalism, tactical ability and building teams are some of the main attributes of Twinamasiko. The youthful coach, formerly a mathematics class teacher in Mukono, cannot mention his achievements without the 2015 season when he replaced Hussein Mbalangu inheriting several challenges including very demanding bosses at The Saints.

Yet Twinamasiko passed with flying colours. But when the team reached the promised land, he was fired for being too young for the job. The results were not helping either. A job search landed him at Kirinya-Jinja SS (now Busoga United) where he did not last. Having been at Free Stars before, he was recalled only to leave midway and join Kira United, which was struggling in the Big League. He left before the team's eventual relegation and found work at Masindi Dove. He helped Dove (who have been relegated to the Regional League) to the Fufa Big League play-offs last season. But this season saw him switch to Kitara, whom he has guided to the Premier League after scintillating performances in the Elgon Group.

Bright prospect

Twinamasiko, has recently been linked to several jobs including Kigezi Homeboyz. The 31-year-old has long been recognised as one of Uganda's biggest young coaching talents. He was 26 when he helped The Saints to the top flight. The "young" part of his description has now been replaced with "bright".

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