If pages were to flow from the writings of a columnist whose passion for sports was embedded in the flair best projected in a field of journalism, then the river of ink would be named, Joseph Kabuleta.
His name is forever linked to sports analysis though Joseph Kabuleta refused to have his passion chained to one calling as another urged him into a new field of the gospel ministry, Bible teaching, authorship and as the founder of Watchman Ministries.
“Nobody gets to determine who I am except myself. Even the people who were holding me down to the boat of civil engineers eventually acknowledged that I had become a good journalist…I can be anything and I feel the Lord is leading me to be…I founded a ministry about five years ago…who is to say am going to end there?” asked the author of Strength of Character a book that chronicles how he overcame his personal demons.
Few may recall where Kabuleta started out as a rookie into media in 1998 at the defunct Crusader newspaper. He was unware of the rollercoaster journey he had embarked on, “… nobody imagines what it’s going to be like…you take it one step at a time and you can’t no limit yourself to anything… I went into journalism and I didn’t have any training for it at the time. I eventually did get that training…” Kabuleta recalls.
Training to be a civil engineer, Kabuleta found himself drawn to sports journalism like he had never been attracted to anything before. While life was becoming impossible at the Crusader, another paper appreciating his budding talent came calling and he found himself at the New Vision 1999-2009. In that decade, Kabuleta was elevated from reporter to sub-editor, editor of the Sports desk and continually displaying his versatility as he became a columnist.
Kabuleta said, “God gave me a fairly good talent…but also the strength of opinion. Sport is about opinion on different things, everybody watches a match presumably…from the beginning I decided that I was not going to be about reporting…but people want to understand your perspective of what happened.”
His opinionated take soon had Kabuleta land roles as a radio and television sports analyst in the same decade 1999-2005 on Radio One’s Locker Room, in 2000-2015 on Sport ON at WBS TV with Mark Ssali and Allan Ssekamatte and on NBS TV’s Home and Away in 2017-2018 explained that, “…impressions are made during the course of the game and I want to pass on my impressions to the person and not just tell them ABC of what happened so that’s what made my match reports stand out…”.
If to sports Kabuleta lived and loved, then what about to the gospel ministry today for a man who said, “..it’s almost like asking a DJ, how much preparation do you put into preparing what music to play, he has to love music…when you’re in any trade and you take it seriously, it is your life..”.
Presumably at the pinnacle of sports reporting and commentating, Kabuleta suddenly switched gears, at least to the general public. He is now known as a gospel minister whose following is also attached to the Zoe Ministries of Prophet Elvis Mbonye attracted much attention.
“…People ask me, how do you roll off all these scriptures…it’s my life now. The reason I stopped the sports thing is, I could no longer be as good because I was no longer committed. It was no longer my life but now this is my life…” he spoke of his turning point that hasn’t been short of criticism especially after his unforgettable kiss of Prophet Mbonye’s shoe in 2018.
Strong in his Christian convictions, Kabuleta rebuffs such critics with his ultimate dose of no truth is superior than another’s when it comes to faith, “It was a personal act of honour that is attached to my faith and…it shouldn’t be anybody’s problem. It shouldn’t be anybody’s concern…” as he alluded to the Bible citing the people who bowed down to Prophet Elisha in the book of Kings.
He whose changing identities in a life so full of pleasures he has accomplished many a treasure from what he believes is guidance from God, Kabuleta’s pool of adventures is not limited to what he can achieve.
With his concerns into the governance and political issues of Uganda and given the incoming 2021 Elections, who knows if the unchained Joseph Kabuleta will wear the aura of a Presidential aspirant, “if there is somebody whom I would say, that one will be a better President than me-then I would not….(stand for President)…but I would rather stand if I consider myself that I would be a better person than all the people availing themselves to be President,” he remarked.