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Ssekitoleko: A weightlifter in search of greener pasture

Julius Ssekitoleko bent on working for japan


Out of the abundant of the heart according to the scriptures, the mouth speaks.  Perhaps it may be necessary to opine that out of the abundance of frustration the legs move.

It is barely five days to the Tokyo Olympics and the Ugandan weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko who disappeared from a hotel in Izumisano, Osaka while staying at the pre-camp is still being searched for.

The language is that he disappeared but it may be better to say he walked away in  search of ‘better life’ hopefully after the Olympics if he is not fished out and probably deported.

It has emerged that he left a note in the hotel room telling whoever cares to listen “I want to work in Japan without returning to a difficult country.” Simple statement that is easy for all to comprehend that back home he has been struggling and not happy with the scenerio and has been seeking opportunity to leave the country for good.

Also, at the JR train station in Kumatori-cho, Osaka, which is adjacent to Izumisano City, sightings of a person similar to a player were sent on the night of the 16th, and when the city investigated, the player had reportedly bought a Shinkansen ticket to Nagoya.

According to Izumisano City, Ssekitoleko failed to qualify for the Olympics during the training camp, and both he and his Coach were scheduled to return to Uganda on the 20th of this month.

The Ugandan team was quarantined when they arrived in Japan on the 19th of last month, and a total of two people were confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus.

In the note, Ssekitoleko said he did not want to return to Uganda and asked the members of his delegation to send his belongings back to his wife, the Izumisano official added.

Julius Ssekitoleko  eager to work  in japan.

City officials first feared he was missing around midday on Friday, when they noticed that a Covid-19 test sample had not been submitted by Ssekitoleko, city official Osamu Mizoguchi said .Local police have been looking for him without success, Mizoguchi added.

Ssekitoleko competed in the Men’s 56kg weightlifting final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, aged just 17. He finished 10th in that contest.

The Ugandan delegation was among the first teams to arrive in Japan for the delayed Tokyo Olympics. The team started training in the western Japanese city on July 7 after completing a mandatory quarantine.

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After the opening ceremony on Friday, attention will shift to the games proper, will the search for better life seeking Ssekitoleko be put on hold or will Global Positioning System (GPS) which organisers say will be deployed to monitor all and sundry to the Games takeover from local police? When and if located will he be deported or given a job so that he can realise his dream of ‘working in Japan’?

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