Kampala,Uganda | AGNES E NANTABA | Vicky Namuyanja is a well-known face in Uganda’s sports arena as a champion in the rare game of female pool. She started competitive and professional pool in 1999 and is currently the only two time winner of the Pool Queen title; the highest in ranking for Uganda’s women’s pool league. Her latest was in 2016, a title that she still holds. She has been on the national pool team for the last five years.
She was the East Africa Ladies Champion 2015 and African Team champion with Team Uganda in 2014. She is also one of only four ladies in Uganda to ever break and finish a competitive frame without giving the opponent any chance to play.
Numyanja says she forayed in ladies pool out of admiration.
“I admired the game but was scared to break into something that most people around me never seconded me to take on,” she says.
So she trained and played secretly without mother being aware. But the cat was let out of the bag when her trainer convinced her to take part in a tournament. It was a skills test and Namuyanja recalls being intimidated by the prospect of facing off with one the senior female pool players at the time. In the end she did not go beyond the first game but trainer was impressed with the skill she displayed. They fixed the gaps and Namuyanja was soon winning trophies. When she started winning prize money, she felt it was time to come out. With her mother, Sylvia Kaggwa’s support now, she went professional.
In 2009, her first attempt was at Spice shortly before crossing to Hot Pool for three years. It was here she eventually emerged Ladies league runner up in 2012. She then joined Skin Samona on a three year contract. She has won many trophies at Skin Samona, including being crowned Pool Queen Champion 2014 and Ladies League champion 2015. At the beginning of 2017, she joined CKI pool team.
Namuyanja is not happy that unlike in other countries where the pool game is highly sponsored and professionalized, Uganda’s pool is still struggling. But she is optimistic as more sponsors come on board to boost professionalism. Her mission, however, is to increase the number of professional female pool players. Currently there are just 64 and Namuyanja wants to train female youngsters to make the game more competitive. So far she has two girls.
“From my observation, they will turn out to be some of the best players in the country,” she says of her charges.
Any three things we don’t know about you?
I have been a dynamic pool player for sometime so not so much is unknown about me. However, I pride in being a mother to two boys all of whom I have had as an active player.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For me, there is no fun time like family time and winning a pool game.
What is your greatest fear?
While some people consider me to be fierce, I am scared of physical assault or battering. Even for the pool games, sometimes, fear for the opponent overshadows but I strive to overcome it along the way.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I don’t like the fact that sometimes I fail to control my emotions which may block the way for greater happiness.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I can’t stand two-faced people.