Susan Muwonge Changes the face of Motor Sport in Uganda
Tough lady: Susan Muwonge.

Susan Muwonge Changes the face of Motor Sport in Uganda


Tagged Super Lady.

By Ramathan Kasozi
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First published: August 10, 2007


For a while now, motor sport in Uganda has been the monopoly of a certain class of citizens. In fact, you could summarize it in a couple of words: 'Rich' and 'Men'. Ultimate Media's Kasozi Ramathan observes that it is the emergence of the sensational talent of super lady Susan Muwonge that convinced Ugandans that the sport is not a Bible or Koran where verses and hadiths respectively, never change. Muwonge is neither rich nor a man. She gets the surname Muwonge from her husband Lawrence, and teaching (one of the lowest paying jobs in the country) is how she earns her daily bread.


In the last one and half decades, names like Charles Muhangi, Emma Kato, Karim Hirji, Moses Lumala, Charlie Lubega and Kaka Junior were synonymous with motor rallying in Uganda. When they decided to ease off their gas pedals, Ugandan motor rally fans were convinced that it was the end of the sport in the country, only to be disproved by the incredible emergence of Susan Muwonge. The 30 year old St Francis Junior School teacher came into the limelight earlier this year when she shocked every one at the Pearl of Africa Rally (an international championship). As Uganda's pre-race favourites, including Ronald Ssebuguzi and Ponsiono Lwakataka found it hard to cope with the pace set by foreign drivers, Muwonge held firm, ate the dust and wrestled with African greats in the form of Azar Anwar and Zimbabwean speed merchant Rautenbach Conrad to post a 5th place finish from a field of over twenty drivers in world class racing cars. Hence the tag Super Lady.

She looks lazy, casual and soft spoken but saves most of her tough talking for the race tracks. Susan is a daughter to Freddie Kitonsa and Regina Namukasa of Buddo, Wakiso district. She is married is to a business man, Lawrence Muwonge, and they have four children. Her love for the sport dates way back to her childhood when she used to torment men in bicycle races " I remember winning several open bicycle races while still studying for my O'levels at St Henry's, Buyege" Susan is quoted as saying to the Observer, one of Uganda 's weekly publications.

The lion hearted lady further reveals that her daddy was once a prominent figure in motor cycle racing, only retiring after a nasty accident. She got more inspiration in the 2002 Champions sprint where Leila Mayanja and Rosette Lwakataka (Ponsiano Lwakataka's wife) locked horns with men. "I saw Leila and Rosette competing with men and I was inspired to do the same. That very night I convinced my husband to buy me a racing car. He bought me a Mitsubishi Evo II formerly owned by Lwakataka," she narrates.

Susan is a lady who thrives on challenges. Her decision to compete in the male, rather than the female category earlier this year in a motor sprint held at Entebbe Resort Beach cements my argument. Even her navigator Edmond Kyeyune agrees: "This lady is a lion hearted driver who can't get satisfied until she beats men", Kyeyune told Ultimate Media on phone.

Charles Muhangi, one of the Uganda's best known motor rallying aces describes Muwonge as rare talent. "She is rare talent and its only a matter of gaining experience that separates her from winning the major titles", observes the 1998 African King.

"She has a bright future" attests another former national champion, Charlie Lubega.

Muwonge attributes her success in rally sport to her husband who seems to be her chief financier. "Motor rallying is associated with finance. Its my husband's financial backbone that has enabled me compete in the sport" discloses the Makerere University Business School graduate.

The Super Lady's recent performances have started bearing fruits as various companies have been attracted enough to associate with her. Last month she struck a fat deal with Front Page Micro Finance Uganda Ltd.

Her dreams:

Like any other ambitious Ugandan rallying person , Muwonge's dreams rotate around emulating Charles Muhangi who conquered Africa in 1998. "As per now, my focus is on winning a national title but my dream is winning the African crown" dreams Muwonge, whose hobbies include swimming and listening to music.

With such determination and talent, Muwonge's emergence won't stop only at establishing star status in the sport, but also change the face of motor sport in Uganda by erasing the old perception that this game is meant only for rich men.

By Ramathan Kasozi
more from author >>
First published: August 10, 2007
To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

Ramathan Kasozi is a member of Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd. . A graduate Journalist, Kasozi has more than 5 years experience reporting on sports in Uganda for different print and broadcast media houses.