Uganda's International Stars - Part 2
Kassim Ouma, David Obua and Mathias Kiwanuka - among the greatest.

Uganda's International Stars - Part 2

Jane continues with UGPulse's list of the most notable Ugandans in Diaspora.

By Jane Musoke-Nteyafas
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First published: Febuary 1, 2008

In Part 1 we took a look at some of the hottest international Ugandan names in theatre, music, comedy, radio and television. In Part 2, Jane now takes a look at some of the hottest Ugandan names in Sports, Fashion and Modeling.


Steven Olema (Canada)

Steven Olema
Steven Olema.
Photos at

Born in Uganda in 1973, he immigrated to Canada in 1985 as a refugee. Steven Olema is the son of well-known Ugandan-Canadian community leader Mary Apai Duku, who is also a music promoter and president of Music Africa the organization behind Afrofest, the biggest African music festival in Ontario, Canada. Olema is a bodybuilding champion who surprised the world by winning two provincial competitions in one year. He won 1st place in the 2005 Ontario Light Middleweight Championship and in the 2005 Eastern Ontario Middleweight Championships. He was also the 2006 Body Building Champion in Ontario, Canada and made it to the National Championships in 2006, finishing sixth overall.

Kassim "The Dream" Ouma (USA)

Kassim Ouma: "I'm still here!"

Born on December 12, 1978 in Kampala, Uganda, Kassim Ouma is an internationally known Ugandan boxer who resides in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was part of the Ugandan national boxing team, The Bombers, before he defected to the USA. Ouma, who says he was once a child soldier for the NRA (now UPDF), is a three-time National and East African Amateur Champion, WBO NABO Light Middleweight Champion and is a former IBF Light Middleweight Champion.

Kassim Ouma on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mathias Kagimu Kiwanuka (USA)

Mathias Kagimu Kiwanuka
Mathias Kagimu Kiwanuka.

NFL Draft 2006 - Pick 32, Mathias Kiwanuka

Mathias Kagimu Kiwanuka, who was born on March 8, 1983, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a former American football player for Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference and plays in the NFL for the New York Giants, one of the biggest American football clubs in the USA. Kiwanuka's grandfather, Benedicto Kiwanuka, was elected Uganda's first prime minister in 1961 and assassinated in 1972 by Idi Amin.

Kiwanuka's parents immigrated to Indianapolis from Uganda to escape the political turmoil. His parents divorced when he was in middle school, right about the time when he started playing football. His mother, Deodata, financed the education of her three children in private high schools by starting a house-cleaning business. It is clear that her efforts are paying off, as Mathias agreed to sign a five-year contract worth nearly $7 million with his current team in July 2006.

Mathias Kagimu Kiwanuka
Mathias Kagimu Kiwanuka.

Kiwanuka Videos

  • Draft Picks: Mathias Kiwanuka: WMP
  • 07.28 Mathias Kiwanuka: WMP
  • 6.13 Mini-Camp Report: WMP

Kiwanuka Sound Bytes

Kiwanuka in the news

Latest news on Kiwanuka

Salome Kabengano (Sweden)

Salome Kabengano<
Salome Kabengano.

The Kenya-born, Sweden-based 15-year old Ugandan basketballer is the first black basketballer to make it to the female Swedish U-15 national team. She is fluent in three languages; English, Swedish and Swahili. Standing at 176 cm tall, the teenager is fast gaining fame in Sweden as one of the best players of her age. She is currently competing in several basketball tournaments in several countries in Europe, including Poland, Sweden, Italy and Finland, where her team recently won a gold medal. She is the great-granddaughter of the late physician Erisa Musoke, of Kyebando, Kampala, Uganda.

David Obua (South Africa)

David Obua
David Obua.

David Obua was born April 10, 1984 in Kampala, Uganda and is a Ugandan soccer player who alternates between the left back and left wing positions for Kaizer Chiefs, a South African soccer team, founded in Soweto, Johannesburg. He also plays for Uganda on national duty and is a celebrated goal scorer for the Uganda Cranes. Obua is unquestionably one of Uganda's best football players at the moment and was one of four players nominated for South Africa's footballer of the year award in 2006.


Kiara Kabukuru (USA)

Kiara Kabukuru
Kiara Kabukuru.

Born on July 31, 1975 in Kampala, Uganda, the fiery Leo is known as the incredibly exotic and beautiful American Vogue cover model. Kiara Kabukuru is also a Victoria's Secret model (world-class retailer of lingerie, women's clothing and beauty products), a Cover Girl model and has appeared as the face of The Gap, as well as on the popular television show, America's Next Top Model.

Judith Banya-Kyanda (UK)

Judith Banya
Judith Banya.

Born in 1975 in Uganda, and educated at Gayaza High School, Judith Banya-Kyanda is a businesswoman in the fashion industry. She is the owner of La Maison de Issey, a fashion house which sells Ugandan traditional gear (like busuutis and umushananas) and evening wear in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. She has been promoted in the Ugandan Magazine Promota and employs UK-based Bunyoro Princess Faith Rukidi as the face of Maison de Issey.

Princess Faith Rukidi of Bunyoro (UK)

Princess Faith Rukidi
Princess Faith Rukidi.

Born in Namirembe, Kampala, Uganda, Princess Faith Rukidi is a multilingual model and graphics designer who grew up in various countries including Uganda, Germany and the United Kingdom. The UK-based stunning princess is a great grand daughter of the Late King Tito Winyi of Bunyoro, (being a granddaughter to his older son Prince John Rukidi, and the daughter of Prince John Rukidi's first born). She is the face of Maison de Issey.

Princess Faith Rukidi
Princess Faith Rukidi.

By Jane Musoke-Nteyafas
more from author >>
First published: Febuary 1, 2008
Jane Musoke-Nteyafas, poet/author/artist and playwright, was born in Moscow, Russia and currently resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the daughter of retired diplomats. By the time she was 19, she spoke French, English, Spanish, Danish, Luganda, some Russian and had lived in Russia, Uganda, France, Denmark, Cuba and Canada.

Jane won the Miss Africanada beauty pageant 2000 in Toronto where she was also named one of the new voices of Africa after reciting one of her poems. In 2004, she was published in T-Dot Griots-An Anthology of Toronto's Black storytellers and in February 2005, her art piece Namyenya was featured as the poster piece for the Human Rights through Art-Black History Month Exhibit.

She is the recipient of numerous awards for her poetry, art and playwriting and is becoming a household name in Toronto circles. Please visit her website at