Muwonge’s elegant smile matched her winner’s trophy and fashion. PHOTO by Ismail Kezaala

Female rally ace Susan Muwonge became only the sixth woman in over four decades to win the Nile Special-Uspa Sports Personality of the Year award.

The national champion beat athletes Annet Negesa and Moses Kipsiro, and badminton star Edwin Ekiring to the prestigious award for 2011 handed out at a glitzy awards ceremony at Golf Course Hotel on Friday night.

Moments after Vice President Edward Ssekandi announced the results of the decision made by sports scribes earlier this month, she could hardly speak.
Muwonge, 36, in a long gold dress with an open back and matching jewellery, had a deep breath followed by silence as the co-emcee Ben Mwiine sought the first reaction. “I am overwhelmed,” the first female national rally champion who cruises a Subaru N10 said, a wide smile painting her glittering face.

Runner up
Negesa, an 800m gold medal winner at the All Africa Games, was first runner-up whereas Kipsiro, double long distance gold medalist at the same event, came third. The ‘Super Lady’, as she is known, had her rally crew, led by co-driver Edmond Kyeyune, screaming at their dinner table before they walked to the podium for the camera opportunity.

The teacher, part-time musician and mother of two had her grandmother by her side. Since the awards inception in 1974, women had won it on five occasions with former 3000m steeplechase world champion Dorcus Inzikuru contributing three of those – 2005, 2002 and 2000. She Cranes (Netball) won it in 1988, Rosette Musoke (table tennis) took the top diadem in 1993 and athlete Catherine Webombesa beat all in 1997.

The trophy was biggest of the over 50 plaques handed out on the glamorous night as press recognised the best sportsmen and women from 2010 and 2011 across the individual disciplines. Professor Era N. Mugisa was presented with the legendary award by Nile Breweries boss Mike Benjamin.

By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo, Daily Monitor

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