Aggrey Ashaba’s ascent to the post of chairman at KCCA FC a few days back, did not have any euphoria.
Such is the man, that prefers not to be the centre piece. Yet, even with his nature not to crave headlines and prominence of himself, Ashaba is a mover and shaker, who gets his goals achieved.
Aged just 40, Ashaba has grown up a KCCA FC fan, right from the time the club was known as Kampala City Council (KCC). He has the history of the club on his fingertips, including watching many of the team’s greats such as Jackson Mayanja and Phillip Omondi.
Through the thick and thin, Ashaba has been KCCA, as a young emotional Kirussia fan, that was at times irrational. In fact, because of his irrationality, the risk of being caught out of school, just to watch KCCA play was never a hindrance.
Ashaba used to escape from Ntare School during his secondary education just to watch his beloved KCCA play at Nakivubo stadium.
But just imagine how a 16-year-old would dare fate, and travel all the way from Mbarara to Kampala, using their pocket-money, to watch a football match. It is passion, one key attribute that Ashaba has.
It has brought him this far in football, as an administrator, making up for the limitations he had as a footballer. During his days at Makerere University between 1996 and 1998, Ashaba chose to become the team manager of the Nkrumah Hall football team.
Ashaba realized that former Cranes internationals Shaka Okello and Aggrey Bigala, were better than him. Norbert Kazibwe, Ashaba’s contemporary and fellow footballer at the university, said while Ashaba was an intelligent player, the competition was so stiff.
His likely dream to play KCCA had slim chance of bearing fruit; so, Ashaba went into football management. He was a good mobilizer and organizer, inducting freshers into the hall team either as players or fans, for those that did not make the grade to play.
In 2010, Ashaba teamed up with Mike Mutebi and a few other colleagues to start ‘Dream Sports’, a sports company, to help groom players before moving them on for a small compensation fee from the suitor.
However, ‘Dream Sports’ went on to handle other football aspects like match statistics, which were used during the 2011/2012 Uganda Super League season.
That was a novelty in Ugandan football. But also, confirmation of the enterprising fellow that Ashaba is. KCCA outgoing chairman Julius Kabugo said the club could not be in better hands: “So much of what we achieved in my two years as chairman, had everything to do with Aggrey. He is a thinker, and someone full of ideas.”
A master’s degree holder in Marketing, Ashaba is credited for being instrumental in the sponsorship that KCCA has secured over the years. His strength in writing moving proposals cannot be over-emphasized, as is his determination to succeed and make KCCA a top football brand.
Kazibwe says Ashaba represents a new generation of leaders, that should be leading this country in all spheres because of his foresight. Being head of KCCA will probably allow him realize that goal: “We have a blueprint that was set up at KCCA, that must be followed every step of the way, to get this club to another level,” Ashaba said recently.
Therefore, he is not going to conduct wholesale changes, but work within the system, following the strategic plan set for the club. However, he cannot be oblivious of the fact, that for KCCA fans only up will do, after the success they tasted on the continent.
The success of any football club depends on the time, dedication and passion its leader has for the game. Ashaba has shown all those qualities and more, premised largely on his enduring self-drive.
An alumni of Nakasero primary school between 1983 and 1989, Ashaba is pragmatic, and has made his way up as a business consultant. The current Fufa administration has benefited from his services. But he has never been a showman, the major reason why he has been under the radar.
Ashaba is a married family man and widely travelled. That has made him appreciate nice and classy things and standards, as those realized by teams like AC Milan, which Ashaba supports.