MEET GADAFI SEMANDA : A Ugandan midfielder plying his trade in the Netherlands

David GOMBE

Gadafi Semanda is a Ugandan football player who plays as a forward for Netherlands 5th tier side RKVV SDO Bussum.

In an exclusive interview with Swift Sports Uganda, Semanda revealed on how he began his football journey.

“My parents tried to push me away from sports activities since they wanted me to concentrate more on my studies. I was passionate about football and I used to play with my friends and big brother Gadafi Kiwanuka around the neighborhood”.

“I never thought that I would become a soccer player in the future. Though my parents tried to stop me from playing the beautiful game, there was coach Faizo who had the belief that I had the talent and always insisted that I should try the game.”

“Amidst the hardships of my parents not wanting me to play football, I forced myself into the school team at Bishop Stuart Primary School and that’s where I shaped my game.”

On his studies and other sports activities

“I did study and I have a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education, although I did not go to University.” I spent all of my primary at Bishop Stuart in Mbarara and it was in secondary that I kept on moving to various schools.” This was because of football that I kept on moving from one school to another since I was scouted by schools to play at the Copa Cola tournament and other events.”

“I started at Mbarara SS, then moved to Mboma High, Masaka SS, Gaddafi Integrated in Kawempe and Matugga Mixed where I had my UACE exams.”

“I tried other sports activities like athletics but my heart and desire belonged to the football pitch and never saw myself as a runner.”

On how he ended up in Europe

“Through KJT, I secured a trial at Spanish La Liga side Girona FC. It came in late 2014 and I spent the rest of the 2014/15 season with them. I stayed there until 2016 training but never featured in the first team.”

“ADO Den Haag of Holland showed interest and offered me trials and I was in their reserve team for the 2016/17 season before signing for Hercules in 2017.”

Earlier in 2019, I joined RKVV SDO Bussum in the Hoofdklasse, the fifth tier of Dutch football.

Like any other budding footballer, Semanda has a dream of representing the senior national team

“It is my dream to play for the senior team and I am trying to improve my game and see that I climb up the ladder and maybe catch the coach’s attention.” In 2016, I was summoned on the U17 team and I am sure another chance will come.”

Semanda is a son to the late Musa Semanda and Sifa Namukasa. He came through the Kampala Junior Team academy before he left for greener pastures in Europe.

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