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‘Painful chapter ends’

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‘Painful chapter ends’


Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi celebrate Ugandas win” width=”800″ height=”407″ /> (L-R) Minister Betty Kamya, Karoro Okurut, First Lady Janet Museveni and Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi celebrate Ugandas win

It is what we go through that makes us say openly that perhaps the richest country would be our country. It all started like any other struggle. Ugandans are used to failure and had perhaps waited for another dismal campaign. When we sent representatives to the recently concluded Olympics, we were disappointed.

It is not uncommon for us here to disappoint those with hope in us. The match with Comoros had been publicised so much.  Money was pumped into the campaign and indeed the expectations were high. We have gone through a lot. Since 1978 the Cranes have been trying in vain.

Someone ready, and determined, always does it. In the music industry, Jose Chameleone and his colleagues sang and people appreciated, but these awards that the boys today win were not delivered to us, to make us proud. They too wanted good things but they didn’t know how they could grab them from the selfish hands of the world.

The new generation is doing wonders. Eddy Kenzo earned a right to brag because he thought better than his siblings.

Farouk Miya and the rest of the young squad finally managed to do what others never managed. Walking dictionaries and encyclopedias are looking at me, here, and seeing whatever might go wrong as I preach. But now, they cannot organize the vast knowledge that they have so that the world can be enabled to wake up.

People who the world never expected to rise to the top do it and then a lot is spoken. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks as I gathered myself, to raise myself from the chair I was sitting in, to hug those that were around me. People showed, even before the match, that they had confidence in our young team.

Farouk Miya edges through to score the lone goal tha saw Cranes qualify

Farouk Miya edges through to score the lone goal tha saw Cranes qualify

They waited patiently and queued for hours, to enter the stadium and   see with their own eyes history that would be made.  We sweated before seeing the back of the Comoros’ net. In the 35th minute Farouk Miya almost single handedly did what the mammoth crowd at Namboole and all of us wanted him to do.

I myself was tired of living in a country full of talented players but with no huge success in football, in 38years. We had sobbed for years and were tired.

We saw great football in the 90s. In the early 21st century, the likes of Mubiru and Magumba played scintillating football. Andrew Mukasa broke and made records here. We didn’t qualify.  Denis Obua undoubtedly knew more about football than what engineer Moses Magogo does. Obua died with his dreams still deep inside him, not translated into action.

We had a lot of hope in Lawrence Mulindwa. He had money.  God gave him a generous heart. He could give away money. Viper players openly say. Mulindwa has the game at heart.  Mulindwa is the reason we see Miya today. This boy played for St Mary’s boarding secondary school, Kitende. Farouk Miya played for Vipers.

Though he was overwhelmed by opposition and stepped down, we shall have respect for Mulindwa forever. He gave us, and Magogo, chance to know that a national team player must be given enough money to make him and his family happy.

Mulindwa opened someone’s eyes. This attracted men and women and companies with money to come and make our work easy. We didn’t qualify.

Thank God. `I see huge happiness ahead. Pastors must now open the holy book to see the true meaning of the scriptures involving the man who spent 38 years at the pool, crippled. But won’t they be paid?

We are going to be so busy from now, into the coming months. These sponsors are going to make huge sales.  Do not push me around or torture me. As I do this, I might be opening a certain door for someone. Adversaries thought the other one, not Magogo, had to do it.  Look, he deserves the honour.  He laid the right strategies.

Manna, from heaven, is here. Sports writers must improve their lives. Everyone, including headline writers, will make some money from what happened. We shall have a lot of friendly matches. Our country is going to grow rich.  Musicians, Tubonge type, will make huge sums of money composing songs praising Miya and the rest of the squad.

I am happy. Would I have written this if the cranes had not qualified? It would be a different story. Police, am telling you, the weapons you stocked are enough and you might not go back to the manufacturer, to buy more.

Ugandans have got what they wanted for years. They are going to be peaceful. They will not riot. We are solidly together. We want to go to Gabon next year to humble giants there.

Humble yourselves opposition politicians. Same song might be heard again, and again. Museveni, Museveni…! These are the successes that a man or woman in the current government has been waiting for. Let it be but, I totally believe, we are all going to be happier than ever before.

Magogo! Engineer; humble yourself that God, the almighty, might grant us more wisdom. Together we can achieve more. The painful chapter ends, after almost 40 years of trying. We suffered, but kept fighting.  Never lose hope.

Sekka Bagenda is a writer, An inspirational public speaker and a sports scientist

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