Up Close with Michael Makiadi East Africa’s Most Revered Basketball Player

Michael Makiadi is a household name among the Basketball fans allover East Africa.

In Uganda, he currently stands at the summit of the log for most Rebounds collected this season, with 92.

Makiadi was days back the leading scorer in points converted this season at 143, before being overtaken by Henry Okoth of UPDF Tomahawks.

He plies his trade with 5-time champions Betway Power, but may fans will forever remember him for his cheecky free-throw he scored while facing the opposite direction in 2015.

Before Makiadi graced the Ugandan league, he had won the Kenyan league three times in a row.

He may not be powerful like Warrior’s Buzangu or experienced like Oilers’ Stephen Omony, but stats do not lie; Makiadi is currently the best player in the Uganda National Basketball League.

ChimpReports’ Brian Kawalya met up with the tall player, and here is what transpired in their conversation.

Yes Makiadi, Tell us about your background briefly


I’m a Kenyan, 27 years old and I studied a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology at Kampala International University.

I now play at Betway Power and this is my third year at the team. And, of course, I am still single.

Why did you choose Basketball of all the sports and where would you be if it was not for Basketball?

Aahh … well, it brings me closer to my friends and it’s of course a fun sport.

If it was not for Basketball, I think I would be somewhere employed as an I.T guy because I just love technology.

What has been your top achievement in your career so far?

That has to be winning the Zone V back to back for Co-op Bank team and also winning the Kenyan League 3 times in a row.

Makiadi (right) trapping down a Falcons player at YMCA court recently
Makiadi (right) trapping down a Falcons player at YMCA court recently

Who do you look up to?

That’s Kevin Durant, considering his height and the position he plays. I want to be close to where he is.

What is your Basketball Dream?

I have not won a Championship here, so, winning the league this year is my top priority. I also dread winning the Zone V and go for Club Championships.

How do you basically prepare yourself before the game?

I simply listen to Old School music, try to relax, have a good meal and loosen up, basically.

Whats this craziest thing you have ever done on court?

Shooting the free-throw with my back facing the hoop.

How do you compare Ugandan Basketball league with that of Kenya?

Uganda’s basketball has picked up in general, there are basically some clubs with good sponsors and of course there are many foreigners playing in the league, which I think is good for the game.

City Oilers have won the Ugandan League championship 4 years in the row, are you the best team to dethrone them?

I would not say we are, but I think the more you prepare, the better you improve, because Basketball is all about hard work and preparedness.

Who do you take as the toughest opponent you have ever faced?

I would say champions City Oilers have been my biggest challenge, and individually, these UPDF big guys especially Dalton is a hard guy to go through.

Choose your best starting five in the league

Point guard, I go with Fahmy Ssebatindira; position two, I go for Brian Namake, Joseph Ikong or Stephen Omony in position three;  I then put Chuma Fadhil in position 4, then Ameny in position 5.

Makiadi in relaxed moods
Makiadi in relaxed moods

Quick Fire

Favourite food – Posho and roasted meat with kachumbari.

Best gadget – iMac graphix computer

Best friend – All my teammates are my buddies.

NBA team – San Antonio Spurs

Brief Profile

Full name: Michael Makiadi ONGESA

Nationality: Kenyan

Date of Birth: April 15, 1989

Place of birth: Gucha, Kenya

Current club: Betway Power, Uganda

Previous clubs: Co-op Bank (Kenya) and KIU Titans (Uganda)

Makiadi with a big love for Children
Makiadi with a big love for Children
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