Gone are days when school children occasionally stopped by, eager to play soccer with polythene wrapped balls or light brightly coloured balls, used to be called ‘super tele’. A memorable experience children of today must be missing.
In the late 1950’s Phillip Omondi, Abedi Pele’s idol and 1978 AFCON golden boot receipt with 4 goals moved with family to Naguru housing estates. His home of soccer was at the no more Lugogo playgrounds. It was there, that his football career was born.
One day in 1969, when he was hanging around Lugogo hostels, it happened that the Uganda Cranes had camped near, before the CECAFA Cup preparation. Cranes coach by then, Burkhard Pape noticed him with his ball juggling skills, making him a Cranes Ball Boy. He later joined the senior team and just as Abedi Pele, Ghana’s greatest stated it, Omondi’s soccer craft still remains a mystery.
Schools in Kololo have also been part of the story. Chunks of land have vanished in a move to create housing estates. Other schools like Buganda Road Primary School and Nakivubo Settlement Primary school have lost part of their football pitches.
Parts of Kitante Golf course are at stake as well as Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium, which is currently undergoing exterior encroachment. Apparently ,none of the fields has been relocated, a hole that may sink Kampala’s great sports’ ship of talent.
Therefore, in addition to the newly constructed Wandegeya Market and taxi park, Kampala governing authorities ought to also look at Kampala’s sports life too. Unless the lost is replaced and the current guarded, Ugandan sport will have to wait for another Phillip Omondi many more years in the future to make a continental impact.