October 19th, 2015, remains etched in the hearts of rally enthusiasts across Uganda as they bid farewell to the charismatic Hajji Juma Nkambwe. For nearly two decades, Nkambwe stood as the face of Ugandan rallying, leaving an indelible mark on the motorsport community.

On that fateful Monday morning, after dropping his youngest daughter at school, Nkambwe succumbed to hypertension, leaving behind a legacy that extended far beyond the racetrack. Recognized for his robust presence as a master of ceremonies at numerous rally events, Nkambwe’s jovial spirit and unwavering dedication endeared him to fans, drivers, and officials alike.

Before becoming a prominent figure in rallying, Nkambwe had a brief stint as a driver in 1995, navigating the national competition circuit in a Toyota DX. Fondly nicknamed ‘Sexy Hajji,’ his amiable demeanor earned him respect and affection within the tight-knit community.

In the late 1990s, Nkambwe assumed the role of rally fraternity chairman, showcasing his ability to bridge the gap between fans and officials. His involvement deepened as he took on the position of public relations officer for the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) in 1999, a role he held until his untimely passing.

Simultaneously, Nkambwe served as the president of the United Motorsport Club (Umospoc) and contributed to Motorsport Africa (Mosac) and Southern Motor Club (SMC) in various public relations capacities. His multifaceted involvement highlighted his commitment to advancing motorsport both locally and internationally.

Beyond his rally persona, Nkambwe’s passion for sports extended to football, where he served as the fans coordinator for SC Villa, the national league record champions, from 1990 to 1992. His diverse interests and contributions reflected a man deeply invested in the spirit of competition and camaraderie.

Despite occasional controversies surrounding his role in rally logistics, Nkambwe’s easygoing nature and profound sportsmanship prevailed. His extensive knowledge of motorsport, coupled with his down-to-earth demeanor, made him a respected and beloved figure within the community.

As rally fans continue to reminisce about the days when “Sexy Hajji” commanded the stage, Nkambwe’s legacy endures, leaving an enduring impact on Ugandan rallying and the motorsport community as a whole.

By Mwambazi Lawrence

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