Upclose with Tito Okello, South Sudan striker on why he switched allegiance from Uganda and inspiring more


The name Tito Okello is very synonymous with many Ugandans not only in sports circles but also in the political spheres. Uganda’s 8th president Gen Tito Okello Lutwa R.I.P is remembered as one of those that held that office for the smallest time having assumed power from July 1985 to January 1986.

He served his motherland duly and selflessly but it’s quite absurd that his nephew who was named after him will unfortunately not be able to make the country of his birth proud.

“Like any footballer, I had dreams of playing in an international tournament but I felt ignored and overlooked. South Sudan offered me an opportunity and made me feel important, my decision was as simple as that”

“They are building a very big project and I am proud to be at the center of that project “

The Ugandan born striker who is currently in the books of Kenyan Giants Gor Mahia has featured for a host of Uganda Premier League clubs like SC Villa, BUL FC, KCCA FC and Vipers SC. The striker also featured for African Lyon FC and Mbeya City FC in Tanzania.

Okello made his name at KCCA FC before moving to Benfica Macau in Hongkong

“I believe I am blessed, I quickly win over hearts wherever I go. In Tanzania, Hong Kong, Kenya and now South Sudan. It’s easier for me to bond with my teammates ”

Added the jolly Okello.

Okello plays down claims that he was pumped to prove a point to Uganda, prior to the meeting, insisting that they prepared for the game like any other and the main focus was about getting their quest for promotion back on track

“We did not only prepare well to face Uganda but to also face any team that came our way. I personally did not feel any pressure of proving a point to anyone, I just lined up to play and enjoy my game.”

“Thankfully, we played well over the two legs and really deserved to win one of them. We are now back on track for qualification. Next in line is Malawi and Burkina Faso, you never know what comes out.”

Tito seems to have set the theme for more Ugandans to Switch allegiance to Sudan having followed in the footsteps of Mbarara city striker Makweth Wol and Busoga united midfielder Ivan Wani among others.

Tito Okello celebrating with teammates at Mbeya City in Tanzania

Vipers defender Rashid Toha is in the final stages of completing his paperwork and he will very soon be eligible to feature for South Sudan. Nafian Arionz has only been barred by the intervention of his family.

” I think many more players are going to follow suit, many good players are overlooked and I think they will follow us to also fulfill their dream of playing international football like me, I will feel proud if I manage to inspire some.”

The wave has not spared the females too, South Sudan have already naturalized goalkeeper Esther Namaganda, Mercy Nabulobi, Joan Kwagala, Annet Nakirijja and Jauhara Nabaggala who featured in CECAFA Women’s Championship in Tanzania last year.

(Featured photo courtesy of Madgoat)

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