By Ronaldo Nahabwe
Ugandans and indeed the whole world, especially lovers of body building sport woke up to sad news of the passing on of former Mr. Uganda Ivan Byekwaso who died in Munich Germany on the wee hours of Wednesday night at the age of 41, a close family source has said.
Bon van Deer, a close friend, took to social media to pay tribute to the fallen muscleman.
“Farewell thee Ivan Byekwaso. U have fought your fight, let’s carry on. Till we meet again,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Byekwaso sought refuge in Germany immediately after competing in the world championships in Hungary in June 2016.
After impressing and finishing fourth in the IFBB International Bayerische Meisterschaft Class 2 men’s bodybuilding championship, Byekwaso decided to settle in Germany and compete for them instead of struggling in Uganda.
“It was stressful competing for Uganda with no food, supplements, school fees for my kids, house rent and transport to the gym,” he said in a previous interview with journalists.
“I can now see a big improvement on my body. I had to compete in this championship to prove to the Germans that I’m good enough to represent them next year in many competitions, and to show them that bodybuilding is my sport and that I can market them more than I marketed Uganda on the international scene,” Byekwaso said soon after he secured his stay in Germany.
“I was facing many challenges in Uganda and my fans around the world would just see me winning medals, but they didn’t know what I was going through. I worked hard for my country but all I was getting were praises, with my family struggling to make ends meet. But I would like to thank the new management at National Council of Sports for offering me the opportunity to leave Uganda and come here to fulfill my dreams,” he said.
Byekwaso was born in Jinja to the late William Byekwaso and Florence Nabukalu.
Encouraged by his friend Martin, he started training in bodybuilding in 2005.
“A friend of mine, Martin, encouraged me to start training after I had been employed at Al’s Bar, and when I went to Nakivubo gym, a one Ssalongo Ssali admired my legs and said if I could work on my upper body I could become Mr. Uganda. So they trained me and I hit the stage in 2005,” Byekwaso said previously.
Byekwaso won several body building competitions in Uganda East African and Africa to finally become a world champion.
He started training in bodybuilding in 2005 at Nakivubo gym. More details of his burial arrangements will be communicated later by family members. Stay glued on TheSpy Uganda. RIP Byekwaso.