When I was going through the pages of my favourite publication the Daily Monitor last week, there was this picture of an already established Tony Mawejje then at Police FC in 2005 battling for possession with an emerging Steven Bengo at SC Villa.
Going into his late thirties, Mawejje is still going strong, while Bengo who should be in his early thirties has already run out of steam; the latter was done and dusted as early as his mid-twenties.
Mawejje has nothing to prove anymore to Ugandans, and him signing for Police FC again on a two-year deal should be treated as a God-sent blessing to UPL players, especially the young ones.
But most importantly, his teammates at Police who still have dreams of making it to paid ranks in Africa and Europe someday.
Mawejje has been there and actually lasted over a decade – 14 years to be exact – compared to many of his compatriots who could not even survive beyond their first training session.
Mawejje might have not played in any of the top leagues in Europe, but the fact that he overcame challenges in places where many could not, is testament enough that he has the key.
Those who casually train with him at the Makindye Barracks playground (Mess) will tell you ‘the guy trains as if he plays for a top European club’.
Many of those showering Mawejje with praise because of his attitude are by the way UPL players and much younger but cannot find the motivation to push themselves. Some who have bumped into him in the Seguku hills don’t even know why the guy works so hard yet he has it all.
One of the reasons our players fail to make it is the lack of that mental fortitude and it is that fire that the returning Mawejje brings to the UPL and Police, in particular.
If an ageing Mawejje still has that fire, then surely within the two years he will spend at Police, he should be able to plant the same seed in the junior players who grew up modelling their game around him.
What’s getting better than sharing the same team, dressing room, team bus, and having the same meal with your football idol?
One of the reasons why Ugandan players, especially those playing domestically, have failed to stand out is down to lack of the ability to push themselves to the limit.
They lack that extra punch in their work ethic that would get them beyond a stumbling block, always relying on their God-given abilities to take them the extra time. It is not good enough.
They probably needed to be reminded that talent is nothing without hard work and it’s only a few like Mawejje who have managed to combine the two that have succeeded and their success story is written for everyone to see.
This post was written by Clive Kyazze, initially published by football256.com and reproduced by kick442.com as an official partner