By Alex Balimwikungu
They are pretty much in the same age bracket. Former World Champion Kassim ‘The Dream’ Ouma turns 44 this year. Singer Juliana Kanyomozi is two years shy.
They had a chance meeting 15 years ago in 2007. She had gone for a Uganda Convention in the US and at the same time, Ouma was slated to fight American Jermaine Taylor. The attraction was instant.
A mellifluously voiced Ugandan beauty in Kanyomozi and a successful pugilist Ouma, who had the big boys like Floyd Mayweather on speed dial.
Juliana accepted to sing the Ugandan anthem at the fight and the rest was history. A relationship blossomed. She, at one time, converted to Islam, taking on the name Jalia, for the sake of Ouma.
Fifteen years later, their lives have taken completely different paths. One has moved on to another relationship, bore a child and is a picture of bliss. The other appears like he oozes alcohol and cigarettes from every pore and has taken a battering. He is disheveled and is dwelling in the past.
In a TV interview, Ouma, devoid of the pomp of yester-years, talks of the longing. He wants to meet Juliana. Something about his demeanour suggests that meeting is not about to happen. It is more like wishful thinking.
“We had a relationship. I first met her when she came to the US for the Uganda convention. It is 14 years since I last met her face to face. I have nothing against her and hope she has nothing against me,” he says.
Ouma insists that even though they have taken many years without talking, Juliana is “his gal”.
He is aware she had a child (baby Taj) recently and asks that she brings him along with her when they come to check him.
After the statement, he pauses, wears a quizzical face and laughs out loud – something that suggests the chance of the meeting happening is slim.
“Say hello to Juliana when you see her. She is a musician and a good lady, but I moved on. I even got more children since we parted,” Ouma says.
He still refers to Juliana as the “number one diva in the whole of Uganda.”