SC Villa: The last Elephant still sitting on top of the tree

By admin
6 Min Read

Denis Musanje

SC Villa the record league champions are a win away from ending a league trophy drought of close to two decades. They last lifted the league trophy in 2004.

As the curtains come down on what will go down as one of the most scintillating conclusions to a league season in Uganda, we shall delve into some of the key elements and players that were at SC Villa the last time they won the league.

Going into the last day of the league tomorrow, Villa against all odds unexpectedly lead the log with 52 points followed by defending champions Vipers on 50 points and then KCCA also on 50 points.

All three teams still have a chance to end up champions and what this means to the organizers and FUFA is that they must have an awarding ceremony on standby at three grounds ready for any outcome.

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At Wankulukuku where leaders Villa will host sixth placed URA FC, at St Mary’s stadium in Kitende where Vipers will be hosting Busoga United and at Lugogo where KCCA will be hosting Soltilo Bright Stars.

Now that we have a brief introduction of what could happen tomorrow, let’s jump directly into the gist of this particular piece.


Omar Mandela, the current SC Villa president for years, had served as the club’s treasurer during the club’s most successful period of the late 90’s and early 2000’s when they won a record 7 league titles in a row.

During this very successful period, the club president was Franco Mugabe together with Mandela they did all they could to see the club excel.

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It is worth to note though that it is Mandela the treasurer at the time who was mostly hands on in the day to day running of the club. And it is because of this very reason that he was involved in some scuffle with some ‘passionate’ fans at Namboole as he performed his duties in 2004.

Mandela walked out of Villa and vowed never to return to the club in any capacity. This was 2004 and that was the last time SC Villa ever won a league title.

Fast forward to 2021, one event led to the other and Mandela returned to the club in full and official capacity as new club president after close to 17 years.

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After just two years of Mandela’s return to the club, Villa are one win away from being champions again, coincidence? I don’t think so.

It’s little wonder that the club faithfuls were back at it chanting Haji Haji Haji Haji…..after the win against Blacks Power earlier this week reminiscent of the past glorious early 2000’s.


The Serbian was little known when he was hired by SC Villa to try and elevate them in the region and on the continent. He succeeded at the former when he won the club their second CECAFA club cup after 17 years.

Micho happens to be the last manager that guided Villa to their last league title in 2004 before he left for Ethiopia to manage Saint George.

Micho, the current national team coach, is not back at Villa in any official capacity like Mandela but he was recently seen at a meeting of the club president with club legends last month.

Apparently, the club legends at this meeting pledged to work with the president to drag the club back to the summit. Micro’s presence at this meeting spoke volumes of his attachment to the club.


A brief look at the SC Villa squad that last lifted the league in 2004 screams depth and more depth.

For example in the goalkeeping department, Villa was well stocked with Posnet Omwony as first choice deputized by Hannington Kalyesubula and the now legendary Denis Onyango Masinde who later went on to have a far more successful career than the two guys he was deputizing at the time.

The last SC Villa team to clinch the league title in 2004 (Photo/Courtesy)

In defense, the team had the likes of Philip Obwiny, Timothy Batabaire, Andy Mwesigwa, Robert Tumusime, Simeon Masaba, Godfrey Katerega and Makanga Peter.

Now to the midfield, Villa had the like of Hakim Magumba (Boda boda), Edgar Watson (Muzungu), Phillip Ssozi, Emmanuel Balyejusa, Stephen Nsereko, Joseph Kabagambe, Nathan Mutenza, Augustine Nsumba, Morley Byekwaso Ochama and Dan Obote.

SC Villa players celebrate

Lastly we look at which forwards they had on their books, Kenyan Bernard Mwalala (Instrumental in the CECAFA cup win the previous year), Alex Isabirye, Ismail Kigozi and Aloysius Lubega.

The SC Villa situation this season for a long time was likened to the Arsenal FC situation in the English Premier League with both clubs being referred to as Elephants on top of a tree.

Like we all now know, the Arsenal elephant came down crushing leaving the SC Villa elephant on its own in the branches, will it go the distance? Only time will tell.

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