Ugandan golfer Deo Akope has expressed readiness for the upcoming Safari Tours after a timely intervention from ATX Technology, the leading telecom and power infrastructure construction company.
Akope received Sh35m sponsorship package from ATX Technology and has vowed to bring honour home.
He is set to fly out to Nairobi for the last three golf legs of the Safari Tour Series – The events will be hosted at Limuru Golf Club (January 22-26), Karen Country Club (February 5-9) and Muthaiga Golf Club (February 12-16).
These are build-ups to the Magical Kenya Open due March 3-6 at Muthaiga.
Akope, who is also a Civil Engineer, thanked ATX technologies for having accepted his sponsorship proposal for the remaining legs of the Safari Tour.
He added: “I am hopefully that I will qualify for the Kenya Open. I am third and I still have to put my head down in the remaining three games to get there.
“ATX started from a humble background that resonates with my story. I started playing golf in Entebbe and as a little boy we could sneak out of school to go to Entebbe and we saw players hit a small ball which we didn’t understand so we started shaping cassava sticks to make clubs because we didn’t have the actual clubs.
“Slowly by slowly we started picking clubs, tie them on sticks and eventually we got access to the club and from there the club took up on us and around 1999 is when I played my first open. I was third and no body knew who Deo Akope was, when I was drawn in the pressure group on the second day I was so confused on the golf course because there were too many people following what I was doing and I could not play. But I bounced back in 2001 and have never looked back since then.”
Akope revealed that he wants to have a long time plan with ATX, that include setting up a Deo Akope Golf Foundation to tap talent from the less privileged kids who are able play but they cannot access the sport.
“We want to also hold the Deo akope Challenge, a fundraising event and most of the proceedings will go to the foundation.”
In October last year, Akope became the first Ugandan to win a Safari Tour leg after his success at the fourth leg at Nyali Golf & Country Club in Kenya.
Ahead of the remaining legs, he added: “I know the Zambians, Zimbabweans and basically all Africa are coming, it’s going to be very competitive and am going to give it my all to make sure that I keep the Ugandan flag high as usual and make it to the Kenyan Open. It’s my dream, no Ugandan has made the Kenyan Open yet I feel from last year, I feel it’s a record we can bring back home.”
ATX Technologies formed in 2003, provide infrastructure construction services.
ATX Technology Sales and Marketing manager Rita Kuteesa briefly commented: “We take pride in talent and that is why we are offering Deo (Akope) something big to grow his career. We have offered him a full sponsorship package for the Kenya Safari tour and Kenya Magical Open. We wish him success as he sets off.”
ATX Managing Director Patrice Aliakai said that they share the same values of hard work, striving for Excellence, humility and passion with Akope.
He stated: “The fundamental reason is that we want to support role models who can inspire young people.”