By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Ugandans especially in the sports community are mourning the death of a renowned sports medicine pioneer, Dr. James Mary Sekajugo who was found dead on Friday last week in his home in Bugolobi, Kampala.
According to reports, Dr. Sekajugo passed away on December 21 at the age of 69 and his body was discovered later in a state of decomposition.
His death marks a significant loss for the Uganda sports fraternity as he was instrumental in the development and advancement of sports medicine in the country.
Dr. Sekajugo’s commitment to sports and medicine began in his youth and was further solidified during his time in the UK at Liverpool Sports and Exercise Medicine School.
His subsequent career was marked by his dedication to the field, starting from his medical school days at Makerere University. Dr. Sekajugo was inducted into sports medicine in 1978 by Dr. John Baptist Ntege, alongside his colleagues Dr. Timothy Mutesasira and Dr. Peter Kimbowa.
Dr. Sekajugo’s passion for sports medicine led to significant contributions to Ugandan sports. He opened the first sports clinic in Uganda in 1982, a milestone that greatly impacted the healthcare of athletes in the country. He served as the Uganda Cranes doctor, ensuring the health and performance of the team’s athletes. Dr. Sekajugo’s expertise was recognized internationally, and he participated in major international sports events for over 30 years.
In addition to his medical contributions, Dr. Sekajugo held numerous leadership roles within the sports community. He was the chairman of the Uganda Badminton Association and president of the Badminton Confederation of Africa. Further, he played a pivotal role as a Fifa sports medicine instructor and was instrumental in the normalization committee following the disbandment of the local football federation, Fufa, in 2005. His passing leaves a lasting legacy in the sports medicine field, and his life’s work was honored at a requiem mass at Christ the King Church in Kampala on Monday before being laid to rest in Kalisizo, Kyotera district.
Eulogy In Honour Of Dr. James Mary Sekajugo
James Mary Sekajugo, the 12th of 13 children of the now long departed Mr. Joseph Lule and Mrs. Magdalena Namaalwa Lule was born on the Thursday of 18th February 1954.
James Mary Sekajugo joined St. Peter’s Primary School Nsambya in 1960 where he left in 1966 – the pioneer year in which Primary 7 and Primary 8 got merged.
The bright, humorous and social James, thereafter joined Namilyango College School for his O level from 1967 to 1972 where he completed his 0’ and A level. While there, he played rugby, a bit of boxing and band music alongside guitarist Francis Xavier Kabanda Mbalire now famed for songs like Bamuleete, Sirikusuula, Ndikusanga among many others.
He joined Makerere University Kampala in 1973 to pursue a degree in medicine.
While at Makerere he played Lawn Tennis and continued playing band music- drums and the bass guitar with the then Makerere University Guild Band that went by the name of The University Set which at times had guest performers like the now late Dede Majoro (Solo guitar), alongside the likes of long time educationist George William Ssemivule (Bass guitar) once upon a time headmaster of King’s College Buddo, Charles Mukasa (Rhythm guitar), his then Northcote Hall roommate now Johannesburg based specialist surgeon-Dr Samuel Muwanga Kasumba, the now late Lenny Kabunga (Lead guitar) who later in his life conceived forming the Big Five Band, Lenny Muganwa (vocals) now of Ziwuna Seniors Club and Ziwuna Band just to mention a few.
In 1978 he completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree and was graduated in March of that year. His Classmates Association- Cohort 73/78 includes; Kanyesigye Edward, Kiyonga Crispus, Col. Ronald Batta, Prof. Harriet Mayanja, Prof. Stephen Kijjambu, Prof. Mwesigwa Kayongo, Nathan Kenya-Mugisha among many others.
He initially did his practice from the Uganda Cancer Institute under the stewardship of Prof. Charles Mark Lwanga Olweny which was so disrupted by the Uganda-Tanzania war of 1979 that saw the house that he was staying in with Cripus Kiyonga along Katonga Road get bomb shelled forcing him to painfully have to trek all the way from there to Nsambya!
In 1981, he travelled to the United Kingdom, and joined Liverpool Sports and Exercise Medicine School (LivSEMSoc). This is where he picked up interest in golf and played squash. He attained a Diploma in Sports Medicine being the very first African in that school’s history.
In 1982, he joined Ministry of Health Uganda where he worked with Dr Ntege Sengendo. He served under the Ministry of Health for over forty years.
Dr Sekajugo will mostly be remembered for his contribution to sports in Uganda.
He became the Uganda Cranes team doctor around 1982 whereupon he also opened up and run the Sports Clinic initially opposite City/Constitutional Square then later to along William Street.
He served several times as team doctor for Ugandan teams at the Commonwealth and Olympic games.
He was appointed as FIFA sports medicine instructor in 2021. In 2002, he completed an MBA in Turin Italy
He was appointed for FIFA as chairman of FUFA normalization committee 2005 where he oversaw the making of the new constitution and all governance issues thereafter.
In 2006, he was appointed by the international Olympic committee (IOC) to the medical team for the 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr Sekajugo served on the medical commission of two of the biggest football organizations in Africa; Confederation of African football (CAF) and the Council for East and central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA).
In 2012 he was appointed on the FIFA medical Committee and handled anti-doping at Africa Cup of Nations
He also served as president of Uganda and African Badminton federation and Vice president of the international Badminton Federation.
He also held multiple positions on the Supreme council of Sports medical Commission.
Dr Sekajugo was an avid golfer and renowned member of the Uganda golf club.
Dr. Sekajugo was the baby boy of his family, he was an ardent traveler, an intentional and a present Uncle, a loving and supportive friend, a principled man, a stickler for time.
He will be remembered for his beautiful smile, and he will always be loved and missed dearly.