Ugandan table tennis seed Samuel Ankunda Mbabazi inspired by Mafabi


Legends in different spheres of life have always left their mark on younger generations.

From sports, music, arts and crafts to professional jobs as engineers, economists, businessmen, doctors, teachers, etc. the legends of a particular dossier leave wacky snail-like marks that the growing population would like to emulate.

The current Ugandan table tennis seed, Samuel Ankunda Mbabazi, is only 13 years old.

Mbabazi was inspired to play this game dubbed “Ping-Pong” by a longtime loyal and devoted servant, Kevin Mafabi.

From the way Mafabi behaved during training sessions and actual matches, Mbabazi nodded in the affirmative.

No wonder then that Mbabazi has taken the game seriously and is currently the highest ranked player in Uganda.

“I used to watch his (Kevin Mafabi) matches. I loved how he approached opponents with aggression and drive. He inspired me and I wanted to be like him, Mbabazi revealed at Kawowo Sports.

Early life:

As the last child born to Dennis and Jennifer Mbabazi’s family of four, Mbabazi Junior was born on the 25the April 2009 in Kabale.

He started his table tennis journey at a young age when he was in third grade at Nakasero Primary School Table Tennis Center.

“I started training with coach Mary Musoke. She has manipulated me since I was young, encouraged me and shaped me to become the player I am today” Mbabazi talks about another gaming legend.

Mbabazi was part of the Uganda squad at the recently concluded 2022 East Africa Table Tennis Championship in Ethiopia, where Uganda finished third to claim bronze.

As the country’s first seed, this gives Mbabazi the impetus and drive to work harder every day in an effort to maintain the status quo.

“I want to stay number one in Uganda and also challenge opponents on the continent (Africa) and beyond. That is by working hard every day,” adds Mbabazi, number three in East Africa, 21st in Africa and 256th in the world.

Globally, Chinese tennis ace Tale Ma-Long is his favorite player.

His strong hand is fair with the forehand as his favorite shot.

Ever since he was a young boy, Mbabazi has been exposed to internal and external competition.

He won the U-16 Hope and Cadet Table Tennis Championship in 2016 as well as the Kakamega Open 2021 (seniors) in Western Kenya.

Ethiopia’s recent bronze medal at the 2022 East Africa Table Tennis Championship is their latest collection.

Detailed profile:

  • Full names: Samuel Ankunda Mbabazi
  • Nickname: Sat
  • Date of Birth: 25e April 2009
  • Parents: Dennis Mbabazi & Jennifer Mbabazi
  • Place of birth: Kabale
  • Education: Nakasero Primary School (P1-P7), Kibuli SS (currently in S.1)
  • Current National Seed Status: No. 1
  • Status of seeds in East Africa: No. 3
  • Continental ranking: 21
  • World Seed Status: No. 256
  • Role models: Kevin Mafabi (Uganda) & Ma-Long (Chinese)
  • best move: Right hit
  • International tournaments played: 2022 East Africa Table Tennis Championship (Bronze), Hope & Cadet Table Tennis Championship 2016 (Gold), Kakamega Open Table Tennis Championship 2021 (Gold)
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