Ugandan Parliament Urged to Honor Golf Icon Emmanuel Basaliza, 98, for Enduring Legacy

At the venerable age of 98, Emmanuel Basaliza, affectionately known as “Muzee Kijana,” stands as a living legend in the realm of Ugandan golf.

His name is synonymous with dedication, skill, and an enduring love for the game that has spanned nearly a century. Born in 1925 in Bukwali Village, Fort Portal City, Western Uganda, Basaliza’s journey from humble beginnings to golfing greatness is a testament to his unwavering determination and passion for the sport.

As the sole survivor of his generation still actively engaged in the sport, his journey through the fairways and greens of East Africa spans decades, marked by countless triumphs and memorable moments.

“Growing up in an era where golf was a pastime reserved for colonial masters, early encounters with the game ignited a lifelong passion. From clandestine spectating as a young boy to becoming a formidable force on the golf course. I was inspired to start playing golf because all the people who used to play it were respectable and classy,” he recalls vividly.

Emmanuel Basaliza with some of the trophies at his country home

His storied career is adorned with accolades, from clinching titles in prestigious tournaments such as the Toro Western Open Championship and the ICAO Tournament to representing Uganda on the international stage. However, it was his back-to-back victories in the Western Region Open that truly solidified his legacy, culminating in his first hole-in-one and etching his name in golfing lore.

Beyond the confines of competition, his influence extends to nurturing the next generation of golfing talent, imparting his wisdom and skill to eager learners, including his grandchildren. His commitment to the sport remains unwavering, as evidenced by his daily routines, from practising on his home green to gracing the fairways of Toro Golf Club.

Basaliza Emmanuel playing golf

Tit-Bits About Basaliza:

Born in 1925 to Maria Ekyenda Ekuhaire and Razaro Rusoke Rwetumbura Adyeeri, Basaliza’s journey from humble beginnings to golfing greatness is a testament to his unwavering determination and passion. His early years were shaped by the idyllic surroundings of his village and his education at St. Peter and Paul Primary School in Virika.

As his horizons expanded, so did his pursuit of knowledge. He continued his education at St. Leo’s College Kyegobe for his O-Level studies and later at St. Mary’s College Kisubi for his A-Levels. After completing his secondary education, he embarked on a pursuit of higher learning at Entebbe Veterinary School, laying the groundwork for his future endeavours with a diploma in animal science and agriculture.

In 1964, Basaliza’s thirst for knowledge led him across the Atlantic to Hampshire University in Massachusetts Amherst, where he pursued a degree in dairy science. This academic venture not only broadened his understanding of agriculture and animal husbandry but also provided him with the skills and knowledge necessary for his professional career.

Upon his return to Uganda, Basaliza’s journey took a new turn as he embarked on a mission to revolutionize the nation’s dairy industry.

Joining forces with the late Vice President John Babiha and Minister for Animal Husbandry, Basaliza’s expertise and dedication played a pivotal role in establishing numerous dairy plants across the country, leaving an indelible mark on Uganda’s agricultural landscape.

Today, his legacy inspires and resonates, serving as a shining example of the transformative power of education, dedication, and passion. From his humble beginnings in Kisubi to his academic pursuits abroad, Basaliza’s journey reflects the limitless possibilities that arise when one dares to dream and pursue their passions with unwavering determination.

At the age of 98, his unwavering passion for the game remains undiminished, and his ultimate dream is to one day grace the hallowed grounds of St. Andrews, the iconic birthplace of golf.

As Basaliza approaches his 90th year, there is no better time to honour his remarkable contributions to Ugandan golf. Parliament should pay tribute to this living legend, recognizing his legacy and the profound impact he has had on the sport. In doing so, Parliament not only celebrates Basaliza’s achievements but also acknowledges the importance of preserving and promoting the rich heritage of golf in Uganda.


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