State minister of tourism Hon Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi (second left)

The Uganda Cranes fans that travelled to watch the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations are unique in a way or the other.

One thing leads to the other.

They are as patriotic as a drone bee is in a busy hive, loyal like the Buganda subjects are to His Majesty Kabaka Mutebi II and as passionate as the team they cheer for 90 or so minutes – Uganda Cranes.

These fans are also as diligent as a desert woodpecker, creative like the legendary ‘Song of Lawino’ author Okot p’Bitek and as colourful as a rainbow.

Uganda flag at AFCON 2019.

Truth be boldly told, the Uganda Cranes fans in Egypt have wooed many for various reasons.

Like an ostrich that buries its head in sand to shy away, leaving the rest of its body exposed, the Uganda Cranes fans circulated all over Cairo are spreading the gospel how Sebastien Desabre’s charges are the best among the 24 countries at the biennial championship.

Often, they loudly chorus “we are bringing it home” to mean the gigantic AFCON gold coated trophy after the finals on 19th July 2019 at Cairo International Stadium.

Whereas a fraction fully financed their own travel expenses to Egypt, others were bankrolled by the State, Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and the majority by corporate bodies as telecommunications giants Airtel, Centenary Bank, Nile Breweries and the like.

It has been a double-edged mission for many fans who have combined cheering the games in the various stadia as well as touring important historic sites in Egypt.

When the Uganda Cranes out-muscled the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0, the passion with which the fans expressed their love for the team was overwhelming.

Little surprise, therefore, many even called for an extension from the normal 90 minutes duration of the match to 150 minutes.

The request, though politely turned down owing to the known set football rules, fans in return, turned to the famous Euclidean factor in the application for the Pythagoras’ theorem.

Uganda Cranes cheer leader Abdallah Byaruhanga cheering the team in Cairo, Egypt

Fans celebrated widely in the aftermath of the victory at AFCON, coming at the continental championship after 41 years since the 2-1 semifinal victory over Nigeria in 1978.

It will call for rocket science to differentiate the class of these fans since high ranking government officials, Members of Parliament and yes, King Oyo Nyimba Rukidi IV all easily mingle with the ordinary people in society to blow a vuvuzela, clap and chorus songs of encouragement as one unit block.

This is the magnetic appeal and power of the beautiful game.

State minister of tourism Hon Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi (second left) with MP’s blowing the Vuvuzelas
King Oyo (5th from leg) is also in Egypt to cheer the Uganda Cranes

As the national emblem, the Crested Crane, many fans are gallant and express their tranquillity by the deeds prior to, during and after the games.

Now, on Wednesday, Uganda Cranes is playing the Zimbabwe Warriors in the second group A game at Cairo International Stadium.

My camera and pen will be in thy midst to capture what happens in the gallery.

A section of Uganda Cranes fans in the stands

For starters, maximum points for Uganda Cranes will confirm a slot to the round of 16.

With the 12 man in the stands, the Uganda Cranes players will double their efforts.

Looking forward to a great time in Cairo from the time of the players’ limbering session, national anthems and the action itself proper.

For God and My Country!

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

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