Kirinya Jinja SSS football club had the honour of having the player, who won the first ever Real Stars Sports Award on Thursday November 8. Joel Madondo, 20, was voted October’s Uganda Premier League Most Valuable Player, following his four goals in four games.
Madondo, who has so far scored 6 league goals, and leads the scorers' charts after seven games, could not hide his delight after he received his award (a customized plaque with his picture made by Jude Color Solutions) and Shs 500,000 ($133) cash prize from Mohammed Tarig, the chairman of Khalifa Executive Suites, the official sponsors of the awards.
The Kirinya forward said that it was really fulfilling to see his efforts in the league being recognized. However, he emphasized that he couldn't have won the award if it were not for the support he gets from his coaches, teammates and the club management. Surprisingly, Madondo decided to share the money with the entire team.
“I told the club boss, Diana Nyago after I was handed the prize that we should all feast on this money as a team. In my thinking, there is no way I could have scored those goals if I had no one supplying me with the passes,” Madondo said.
It is not so common that someone would win such a prize money and decide to share it out with his team. Such is how different Madondo is. Ordinarily, one would have expected, that Madondo would think of banking or spending away this money. Yet, Madondo said that he is going to sit with all his teammates, coaching staff and the non-footballing staff, like the people who prepare and clean the dressing room, and decide what to do.
That said, Madondo told The Observer, that winning this award is a huge boost to him psychologically. Meanwhile, Onduparaka coach Asaph Mwebaze beat his colleagues, Javier Martinez of Vipers SC and Mike Mutebi of KCCA FC, to the award of October’s best coach. He also went home with a plaque and Shs 500,000.
The best fan award went to KCCA fan Veronica Nambi. She earned herself a voucher for two, to spend a night at the luxurious Khalifa Executive Suites. Isac Mukasa, the executive director of Real Stars Sports Awards said at the conclusion of the first awards, “When we launched at the end of September, we did not know what to expect. But we are happy, that the competition in the league has been stiff, because every player wants to play well so that they win.”
The awards ceremony was graced by former Cranes stars, Jackson Mayanja and Andy Mwesigwa, who handed the winners with their prizes.