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Football Fraternity Mourns Former Uganda Cranes Goalkeeping Coach Kajoba :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Football Fraternity Mourns Former Uganda Cranes Goalkeeping Coach Kajoba

Kajoba gained particular recognition for his role as a goalkeeping coach, working with several national team coaches and mentoring goalkeepers. Notable among his protégés are South Africa-based goalkeepers Denis Onyango and Ismael Watenga.
The late Fred Kajoba
Uganda’s Football fraternity is grieving over the loss of one of its towering figures, Fred Kajoba, a former goalkeeping coach who passed away on a Monday evening.  

Kajoba's sudden demise occurred in Tanzania, where he served as the goalkeeping coach for the Tanzanian Premier League team, Ihefu SC. He joined the club last October, working alongside his longtime friend and compatriot, Moses Basena. But Basena departed the club earlier this year, and Kajoba found himself under the guidance of another Ugandan, Matia Lule who was appointed to replace Basena.

Matia Lule, who has been working with Coach Kajoba, recounted that Kajoba felt some complications on Sunday, and he sought medical attention promptly, received treatment, and returned home. Unfortunately, Kajoba's condition worsened on Monday, leading to another hospital visit, where he passed away in the afternoon. The exact cause of his death remains undisclosed. 

 

News of Kajoba's passing sent shockwaves through the football community, prompting an outpouring of tributes from Uganda Cranes players, former players, and football officials. Many took to the media to honor Kajoba's contributions to the sport.  

“I am pained by his death because he was a committed member of the beautiful game (football), who demonstrated zeal, determination, and dedication to building/nurturing goalkeepers," Former Uganda Cranes captain Masinde Onyango wrote on his X handle . "He was a perfect gentleman and I’ll never forget how important this man was to me during my playing time with the Uganda Cranes. His departure will leave a vacuum in the goalkeeping department. We will surely miss him.” 

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the untimely passing of Coach Fred Kajoba which occurred today," Ugandan FA President Moses Magogo wrote. "Kajoba diligently served the game in different capacities right from playing up to the highest levels of coaching. Serving in the capacity of Uganda Cranes goalkeeping coach Kajoba groomed great players who have formed a formidable and enviable goalkeeping department over the years.” 

“Devastated by the sad news of your unfortunate passing away I am obliged to express wholehearted appreciation to you brother and friend RIP my Fred Kisitu Kajoba for each moment we have spent together creating unforgettable memories that history books will keep forever as legends never die,” Wrote a former Uganda Cranes Head coach Milutin Sredojevic Micho who worked with Kajoba.

  

During his playing career, Kajoba, who passed away at the age of 54, represented clubs such as Coffee and Simba. He also served as the national team's first-choice goalkeeper before transitioning to coaching. His coaching journey included stints with various teams, including Simba, Bright Stars, and Vipers. 

 

However, Kajoba gained particular recognition for his role as a goalkeeping coach, collaborating with several national team coaches and mentoring generations of goalkeepers. Notable among his protégés are South Africa-based goalkeepers Denis Onyango and Ismael Watenga.  

For all his coaching years, Kajoba was a known staunch Catholic. He was frequently seen wearing a rosary on the touchline, a testament to his unwavering faith. Whenever his team achieved success, Kajoba would attribute it to the intercession of Mother Mary. “We thank Mother Mary for this win,” is something Kajoba could tirelessly mention when doing post-match interviews.  

Notable controversies    

In December 2020, while serving as the goalkeeping coach for the Uganda Cranes, he clashed with then-head coach Jonathan McKinstry. This disagreement culminated in Kajoba's dismissal from the Cranes camp.  

The dispute arose when Kajoba attended a Christmas morning church service without McKinstry's consent, violating COVID-19 protocols established to safeguard the team. But, in response, Kajoba maintained that his absence from camp was solely for religious observance and not for any other purpose. 

 

Also, in June 2021, Kajoba who was the Head Coach of Vipers and part-time National team goalkeeping coach, resigned from his role at Vipers after misunderstandings with the club's technical director, Charles Masembe. The misunderstandings came after Kajoba's decision to prioritize national team duties over club commitments strained his relationship with Vipers, ultimately leading to his departure.  

Speaking to URN then, Kajoba said that he chose to serve the country than himself. "Every time I go on national duty, I write a request letter to the club. Today I went to attend the training but when I came back, Mr. Masembe called me and asked me to choose between the Vipers and Uganda Cranes, I chose the national team because you cannot deny me a chance to serve my country, "Kajoba told URN then.

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