Benon Ntambi, Board Chairperson of Buganda Heritage Tourism Board

The newly appointed board chairman of the Buganda Heritage Tourism Board (BHTB) Benon Ntambi has in a special way commended the exceptional organization of the Masaza Cup football tournament.

Ntambi has also hinted on the potentiality of this annual championship boosting the tourism sector particularly within Buganda Kingdom and Uganda in general.

The Masaza Cup football tournament is a great event that has not only helped to forge unity among the subjects of the Kabaka, but also enabled to enhance a sense of belonging among the different people living within Buganda Kingdom. The tournament has boosted the awareness of these counties and what belongs in there hence streamlining the development of domestic and foreign tourism.

Benon Ntambi, Board Chairman Buganda Heritage Tourism Board (BHTB)
Benon Ntambi is also the director of Royal Giant High School – Mityana and Munta Royal College, Bombo

Ntambi leads a 9 man board executive that was appointed by the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II and commissioned by the Prime minister Katikiro Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga.

This board has sub-committees as financial and administration, Research, Product development and marketing committee as well as the Restoration, Conservation and Development committee.

The board was inaugurated on 5th January 2021 with the vice chairperson as Victoria Kiggundu Kayagga.

On the sub-committees; Victoria Kiggundu Kayagga, John Kitenda and Anna Nakawunde sit on the financial and administration committee.

The Research, Product development and marketing committee has Dr.Patrick Sserunjogi, Benon Mugumbya, Paul Marvin Ssebugwawo, Richard Mujjuzi and Joseph Ssemuwemba as chairperson.

Meanwhile, the Restoration, Conservation and Development has the trio of Farouk Busulwa, Paul Marvin Ssebugwawo and Dr. Patrick Sserunjogi.

Buganda Kingdom has 18 counties (Masaza’s) that compete in various sporting events such as football, netball, canoeing, cycling, athletics and the like.

The football championship was revived in 2004 after a long lay off and has since built momentum luring as many partners, corporate companies and other passionate associates to develop and grow the brand.

In particular, the different counties are engaged in football matches played on a home and away basis  unlike the on-going 2020 edition where all the 18 teams played at one central venue (FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru) as a regulation to mitigate the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

The tournament grew in status and stature as many passionate fans (both Baganda and non-Baganda) picked keen interest to follow and support their respective teams in action home or away.

To Ntambi, this alone is a big boost to developing tourism sector within Buganda Kingdom.

“The popularity of the Masaza Cup tournament has enabled many people to love the game of football, support their teams and visit new places. Take an example, the different people can visit tourist sites in those Masaza’s as cultural and heritage sites, high and low lands, water bodies, flora and fauna, extra.”

In Buganda Kingdom, some of the treasured tourism sites include Royal Palaces (Kyadondo, Bulemeezi, Busiro, Busujju), Water bodies and swamps; Lake Victoria (Busiiro, Ssese, Buvuma, Kyadondo), Lake Wamala (Buwekula, Ssingo, Busujju and Gomba), Kijjanabanora (Kooki), the Kasubi Tombs (Kyadondo), Ntebe Zamugula (Busiro), Botanical Gardens (Busiro), Naggalabi Coronation Site (Busiro), Walumbe Tanda pits in Mityana (Ssingo), Thick tropical forests in Buvuma, Busiro, Ssingo, Buwekula (Nakayima tree in Mubende) and Buvuma as well as many other places.

Pit in Tanda found in Mityana, home for god of death in Buganda
Buddu’s Titus Ssematimba is closed down by Bulemeezi’s Douglas Kizza Lule

The 2020 edition has only the final to play with the record champions Gomba (4 time winners) set to play the 2016 winners Buddu on a date and venue yet to be confirmed.

Gomba ejected 2019 losing finalists Busiro 5-4 in post match penalties after normal time had ended goal-less during the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Buddu eliminated the defending champions Bulemeezi 1-0 with Titus “Tito” Ssematimba on target as early as the 6th minute.

The final that will be graced by His Majesty the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda II had been scheduled for Saturday, 23rd January 2021 but was pushed forward.

Sulaiman Ssejjengo is the chairperson of the Masaza Cup local organizing committee, appointed by the Buganda Kingdom minister of sports, leisure and recreation.

The same committee has the newly elected Ntenjeru South Member of Parliament Hon. Patrick Nsanja who is the general secretary.

The Masaza cup tournament is played by both Baganda and non Baganda tribes.

Buganda Heritage Tourism Board:

  • Minister: Owek. Kiwalabye Male
  • Chairperson: Omuk. Benon Ntambi
  • Vice Chairperson: Omuk. Victoria Kiggundu Kayagga
  • Finance and Administration Committee: Omuk. Victoria Kiggundu Kayagga (Chairperson), Omuk. John Kitenda and Omuk. Anna Nakawunde
  • Research, Product Development and Marketing committee:  Omuk. Dr. Patrick Sserunjogi, Omuk. Benon Mugumbya, Omuk. Paul Marvin Ssebugwawo, Omuk. Richard Mujjuzi and Omuk. Joseph Ssemuwemba (Chairperson).
  • Restoration, Conservation and Development Committee: Omuk. Farouk Busulwa (Chairperson), Omuk. Paul Marvin Ssebugwawo and Omuk. Dr. Patrick Sserunjogi

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

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