Wakiso’s Mugabi Don: Redefining The Role Of An Official Club Photographer

Wakiso Giants official photographer – Mugabi Don

In the 2018/19 season, Wakiso Giants FC enjoyed more media space while still in FUFA Big League than most of the top flight clubs. The stylish club was the trend on social media as well.

Part of that was because of their marquee signings. the impressive photos of the club, did magic as well.

The photos of players (and fans inclusive) were everywhere on social media even on a non match-day, untypical of a country that has embraced the foreign leagues more than her own.

Mugabi Don, as known by many, is the Wakiso Giants chief photographer – The man behind the lens for the stylish Purple Sharks!

“Yes, I am the official photographer for Wakiso Giants, I support the media department headed by Ismael Kiyonga,” Mugabi replies with a smile.

His photos are used on Wakiso Giants official website, Facebook Twitter and other club’s social media platforms.

Slideshow – My top 10 photos of Wakiso Giants games 2019/20

Mugabi explains that his matchday preparations start even day before where he has to sort out everything like the equipment he has to use for the game.

“Then on the actual day, I have to join the team very early, I am with them everywhere they go; lunch, team bus everywhere. I have to set myself in a good and matchday mood.”

Mugabi, when in Big League, established a good relationship with the players and they will always look for him to get the best shots during goal celebrations and fulltime.

He reveals: “I briefed them at the start of the season and they mastered it.”

His highs and lows are mostly linked with the club’s success on the pitch:

“The day we got promoted in the Uganda Premier League is my best ever; anyone who was on that bus as we moved back from Jinja will always tell you that excitement. It was a blast.

“Then my worst has to be the day we lost to Kyetume in the semis of the Uganda cup in Mukono. Since then, I hate Kyetume for real.”

“May be my other bad days were at the beginning when I somehow struggled with the equipment I had. I was not well conversant with it, but its a learning experience.”

Also Read – An Interview With Retiring Fred Musisi Kiyingi

Photo by Don Mugabi

When asked for advice to anyone who wants to pursue a career in Sports photography, he warns:

“They have to love sports first. It doesn’t pay much like lifestyle for example.”

“It may not be about the gadget you have because I have given many people mine and they fail to deliver. It’s about the skill.”

His gadgets are Canon 5D mark IV, Nikon D7100 and Nikon D7500 among others.

The Don: John Philip Mugabi at Wakisha Resource centre.

The Journey:

Real names John Philip Mugabi, he attended Kitante Primary School, Buddo SS and Uganda Christian University.

“I never got a formal education about photography,” Mugabi reveals.

He was inspired by Morgan Mbabazi who works with The Observer. “He was raised by grandparents so I used to watch him closely and that is how I picked interest.”

“I actually started my photography journey in 2012 when I joined a photo studio during my senior six vacation.”

The studio was just a three-minute walk away from home, it was called Muciibi. He says: “I went to the owner and told him that I needed to work for him. I never wanted to stay at home.”

On joining Wakiso Giants, he says that he shot Musa Atagenda’s (Wakiso Giants president) birthday party and the boss was impressed. “He invited me the next day for a Villa-Wakiso friendly, and the rest as they say, is history.”



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