KAMPALA, July 17, 2017 - It was an open secret that Uganda Cranes and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Dennis Onyango was favourite to win the top sports personality at the glamorous 2016 Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) awards.
Indeed, when the announcement came in minutes after midnight on Friday, all the guests in Prime Rose Hall at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala accorded the calm shot stopper a standing ovation.
Donning a cultural all-blue coloured East African fabric ‘Kitenge’ with designed white sporty sneakers, Onyango walked majestically to the podium accompanied by Uganda Cranes vice-captain Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, former international right back Simeon Masaba and a personal friend, Mugalu.
Onyango, who had moments earlier received the Footballer of the Year award was handed over to, the biggest gong on the night by the chief guest, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the first son of the Republic of Uganda.
Muhoozi tasked journalists to remain as professional as possible and to uphold to the target of promoting sports.
In a brief speech, Onyango, who was joined by the Uganda FA boss Moses Magogo, stated;
"I have not won these awards alone. I thank the Uganda Cranes and Mamelodi Sundowns for the opportunity presented to me.
Even when I did not have game time at my club, the national team gave me the opportunity.
In a special way, I thank my friends and family who have always stood by me in good and bad moments," Onyango said
For starters, Onyango who is also the 2016 Africa Footballer of the Year (based in Africa), was selected in the Africa team of the year.
He became the first Ugandan footballer to play at the FIFA Club World Cup and was instrumental in Mamelodi Sundowns’ domestic and Africa Champions League conquest.
The bottom line, Onyango led Uganda Cranes to the promised land, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) again, after over 38 years of spirited struggles.
Uganda Cranes were also crowned as the team of the year whilst the National Pool Championship was the best organized sporting event of the year.
The pool team as they picked the award for the best organized sporting event of the year
The different sports personalities from the various disciplines received their awards.
The hosts for this year’s event were Andrew Kabuura and Malaika Nyanzi.
Sports Personality of the Year
Denis Onyango (Football)
Team of the year
Sports Event of the year
National Open Pool Championship
The Different Sport Discipline Winners:
Male: David EmongFemale: Juliet Chekwel
Male: Denis OnyangoFemale: Hasfa Nassuna
The crew of Jas Mangat and Joseph Kamya
Male: Ronald OtileFemale: Flavia Namakula
Male: Henry SsenyondoFemale: Stephanie Nampiina
Male: Sula MatovuFemale: Vicky Namuyanja
Male: Brian KasiryeFemale: Shamim Bangi
Male: Gilton ChelibeFemale: Halima Namboozo
Male: Onesmus AtambaFemale: Lillian Zawedde
Male: Phillip WokorachFemale: Grace Auma
Male: Harold WanyamaFemale: Joyce Kabengano
Male: Jacob OkidiFemale: Dinah Amoding
Male: Jimmy EnabuFemale: Judith Nansobya
Male: Felix Mukunzi
Female: Muhaimuna Namuwaya
Male: Nicholas MalaniFemale: Kirabo Namutebi
Male: Innocent MbabaliFemale: Doreen Asiimwe
The legendary award: Sheila Agonzibwe, Uganda Handball Federation president (decided by the USPA top executive).