Abdallah Byaruhanga (holding the Uganda flag) during a Uganda Cranes match (Photo: Aisha Nakato) Credit: Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

Mere talk of addictions and sworn addicts rushes minds of many to substances like heroin, nutt, cocaine, nicotine, street methadone, barbiturates and the like.

Along the same wavelength, there are quite a number of healthy and unhealthy behavioral addictions as sex, pornography, tattoo, gambling, internet usage, love, shopping, video games and play stations, food, exercise, work and cheering sporting events.

Abdallah Byaruhanga is a passionate football supporter that proudly lies among the immediate aforementioned cluster.

Abdallah Byaruhanga donning a traditional gomesi in national flag colours (Photo: David Isabirye)

This jovial football fan is a true football addict who will cheer a football game from start to finish and by the close of business, he will struggle to notify one of the final scores lest the scorers.

He will easily skip a meal in the name of football cheering.

On countless fronts, he has sacrificed his family and a full-time job as the hefty opportunity cost to partake football chores in the stadium stands at free will.

Virtually, Byaruhanga thinks, lives, breathes, smiles, and loves football to the brim.

Often, he turns up in a painted attire, decorating his body with several colours and sometimes, he dons rare outfits that range from the shirts, kanzus to the traditional busuuti (gomesi).

The 40-year-old father of four has virtually supported football with one heart since childhood and has no regrets whatsoever.

“Since I was a child, I used to love playing and supporting football. It is a hobby that started when I was a young boy,” Byaruhanga who runs a herbal retail shop in the heart of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, recounts.

Abdallah Byaruhanga walked from Kibuye to Kitende on the day SC Villa humbled Vipers 3-1 (Photo: David Isabirye)

Born to Swalik Kabananuki and Edinasi Jowani Nakanjjanko at Mulago Hospital on 21st January 1979, Byaruhanga has lived to inspire and lift the spirits of many, especially football fans with high blood pressure.

During his primary school times at Kakukulu in Bugerere, Byaruhanga used be a goalkeeper.

A goalkeeper who was not in between the goal posts just to make numbers, but rather one who dared to accumulate “clean sheets” just like his former Manchester United hero Peter Bolesław Schmeichel.

Byaruhanga boldly attests that whereas he kept goal during the primary school days, he felt he could be among those fans behind his goal to cheer the goal.

“I had a divided mind. Sometimes, I was in goal and my heart was with those people behind my goal. I always wanted to be among the fans. Nevertheless, I served my duties well in the goal and my school won as many trophies,” Byaruhanga confesses.

Byaruhanga makes a call to a client at his work place in Kampala (Photo: David Isabirye)

After Kakukulu Primary School, he was poached by Nakivubo Settlement Primary School in the heart of Kampala City before he completed his lower school education levels to elevate to Nagalama Islamic.

Locally, his undying love for Sports Club Villa dates as far back as the days of the legendary administrator Patrick Kawooya (RIP).

I started supporting Sports Club Villa way back as I studied at Nakivubo Settlement since we would pass by Villa Park. Up to now, It is my club in good and bad times and I will die as a Villa fan.

Abdallah Byaruhanga, SC Villa and Uganda Cranes fan
Abdallah Byaruhanga on duty during an SC Villa game at Mandela National Stadium (Photo: John Batanudde) Credit: © JOHN BATANUDDE

Byaruhanga has no regrets for what he is today.

I have made so many friends through supporting football. If I was any other ordinary person, I would not have made these many friends. I feel loved and myself I am always happy because of football. I have traveled to very many places within and outside the country.

Abdallah Byaruhanga, Football Fan
Abdallah Byaruhanga blowing the Vuvuzela (Photo: John Batanudde)
Abdallah Byaruhange deals in herbal medicine and he balances his work tasks with the hobby of supporting football (Photo: David Isabirye)

He acknowledges that that balancing his business with football cheering has been a challenge but he remains contented about life.

With the domestic season in Uganda done and dusted, Byaruhanga has now set his eyes on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt.

Byaruhanga during the 2019 Stanbic Uganda Cup final at Masaka Recreational Stadium between Bright Stars and Proline (Photo: David Isabirye)

I have traveled to many countries to support my country. I am now looking forward to supporting Uganda Cranes in Egypt during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Abdallah Byaruhanga, football fan

To ensure continuity, he has already encouraged all her four daughters to support football the way he does.

Sahari Tumwine (12), Sariya Atwine (11), Samiya Mbabazi (8) and Fatuma Katushabe (6) are the proud daughters for this football addict.

But the billion dollar question stands, will be daughters follow the father’s passion?

You guess is as good as mine!

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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