Uganda, January 31, 2003
Uganda Express owns Nakivubo Stadium!
|As the cool breeze attempted to defuse the afternoon heat, giant ibis rode the currents to new heights while down below a pitched battle between Uganda and Somalia raged. To the beat of sticks and fists against drums and metal signs, we sang and cheered for the home team, hoping that our chants could cast a spell over the invaders.
Even with the setting sun blinding us and the hard concrete bleachers numbing our asses, we dared not shrink from our duty, for the soccer game was scoreless and the clock was ticking. Down to the last quarter, we all sat on the edge of our seats, as much from excitement as from numbness, riveted to the play at Nakivubo Stadium.
The Ugandan team controlled the entire game, maintaining possession of the ball virtually non-stop, though it took a penalty kick for them to find the goal. Still, this did not diminish our love for the home team, nor did it cause us to wan in our dancing and cheering. In fact, it made us more energized, if only in good humored heckling.
And the love of soccer doesn't end at the stadium either, for even as I sit here typing this in the dark, the power having gone out in this section of Kampala for the third time today, I can hear a Premier League (UK) match broadcast from countless little radios all along the street. Moreover, from the cheers, I gather that Arsenal just scored.
Such is the love for soccer in Uganda.