Name: Emmanuel Okwi
Club: Young Africans (Yanga)
A country without much footballing success in Africa, never mind the world, Uganda has got on their hands a set of young players that can bring the East African country to dizzying heights. Of that set of players, the standout is 21-year-old, Kampala-born Emmanuel Okwi. Sadly, his path has been tainted by transfer issues and a poor career move.
He started his senior career at the tender age of 16, playing for local club SC Villa. There, he made an impression and after just one season at Villa, Tanzanian club Simba acquired his services. There, Okwi saw the best period of his career so far and showing off his ability to score goals and run away from defenders.
In January 2013, Okwi was signed by Tunisian team Etoile du Sahel, a move which he thought would put him one step closer to European glory. The move was also the biggest ever seen in Tanzania, with a reported value of $300,000.
However, his time at Sahel was a failure. Okwi barely played and in June, he went AWOL, saying that Sahel was not fulfilling their part of the contract. Besides that, Simba claimed that Sahel did not pay the transfer fee. A few months later, Okwi returned to Villa (technically a loan). The stay was short and after all the transfer issues were sorted, another Tanzanian club snatched Okwi. Yanga signed him in December and things have been running smoothly.
With his immense speed and physical strength, Okwi has great ease in getting past defenders and isolating himself.Adding that to his finishing prowess, he is a great attacking asset for any club and for his national side. Okwi has already scored 17 goals for the Cranes and is almost always called by coach Micho Sredejovic.
Okwi’s stay at Yanga could be vital for his future and whether or not he can move to a larger club, be it in Africa or in Europe. If he can bring consistent and quality performances for the Tanzanians, that move can come sooner rather than later.
By Alex Queiros (@alexqueiros)