One of Uganda’s best footballing talents of the past decade Steven Bengo has called it quits after being diagonised with a heart problem last year.
The first revelation came when KCCA manager Mike Mutebi tried to offer him a chance to make a return to KCCA FC, the medical report indicated that he had a heart complication that would not permit him play at the high level.
With doubts in his mind, the midfielder pushed on with a move to Wakiso Giants, a then big league side that was newly owned by Musa Atagenda a man Bengo described as a great friend and confidant.
“Initially I didn’t believe what the medics at KCCA had told me as it was hard to take down, Musa (Sebulime) offered me an opportunity to play for his newly acquired team and strive for promotion to the topflight”.
” I am very proud that we achieved that goal and being part of it is one of my great accomplishments “.
After Wakiso Giants had attained premier league status, the midfielder went for another test which confirmed the sour news that the heart problem was severe.
During the press conference, Bengo unveiled his new project dubbed ” Steven Bengo Initiative ” where he will partner with ASKA ( All Stars Kampala Association ) and Tervan Hotel Kabuusu to give back to society and develop talents.
He is aspiring to become a top coach and currently pursuing a CAF C license, a project sponsored by Wakiso Giants owner Musa Sebulime.
“When it dawned on me that my health would no longer support my football career, I went into a lengthy discussion with him (Sebulime) to decide on the next step. We resolved I enter into coach to continue serving the game and also offered to bankroll all the levels required”.
Despite his luxuriously God given talent, many Ugandan football followers believe Bengo did not reach the astronomical heights envisioned but the midfielder appreciates what he achieved from the game.
” Growing from the slums of Kampala, I looked up to the star players like Hassan Mubiru and Andrew Mukasa and I also aspired to become a super star like any of them”.
“I thank God that I achieved that by being talked about by everyone. I have scored great goals, won two league titles with KCCA and URA and also represented Uganda on the international scene”.
With regret, Bengo describes the failure to play professional football in Europe as his biggest failure but thankful to God for whatever he managed to achieve.
” It is with regret that I have retired from the game without playing in Europe, It was always my dream to play in a big European league but unfortunately it did not happen. I am happy with the heights I have reached though”.
Bengo rates Bobby Williamson, the former Cranes Scottish coach who handed him his senior national team debut.
“I must say that he is the man who expressed great belief in my talents, he trusted in me and gave me a chance on the national team”.
A nomad of the game, Bengo began his career with SC Villa, later joined URA FC, KCCA FC, Soana (now Tooro United), Express FC, Nakumatt in Kenya, Kiyovu in Rwanda, and Yanga Africans in Tanzania where he was accorded the greatest superstar treatment of his career.