By Aloysius Byamukama
OTANDEKA ‘Oti’ Laki is a Ugandan footballer who turns out for Match Fit Chelsea United Academy in New Jersey in the US as a striker.
The 18 year old has come up to express her great desire to play for the Uganda junior women football team and given the chance, the senior She Cranes side.
“I would be ready to come to Uganda whenever it is necessary to keep the young interested in women’s football, and I think bringing in an international player like myself, will do good for promoting both the women's national team, as well as women's local club teams,” Otandeka said.
Adding, “I badly want to be identified as a Ugandan and donning that jersey would make my dream come true, I will even do interviews and TV commercials for these girls, whatever is necessary I'm willing to help in order to market our national team,”
When contacted, FUFA official in charge of women football Mariam Kaliga said it was great that there is a talented footballer who is willing to play for the national team.
“This is great news for the team and now that we are about to start preparing for the CAF qualifiers for 2015/2016, we would need her services as long as she would be available at any time of need,” Kaliga said.
Otandeka was born in Bronx, New York on January 24, 1996 and has been living with her parents Duncan and Catherine Muhumuza who were born in Uganda but later moved to the US for further studies and work.
Duncan works with the Ugandan embassy at the United Nations in New York, while his wife Catherine is a doctor at Atlanticare hospital in South Jersey.
Otandeka’s club helps players showcase their abilities in various national tournaments, and gets them exposed to college coaches right from the beginning.
She will be joining Florida Southern College next year after completing her course at Match Fit Chelsea United Academy.