The clock’s ticking, fans check their tickets one last time before setting off for the stadium and the players are going through their paces after an empowering breakfast, on their backs they carry the fate and hope of a nation 40 million strong. All to be decided within 90 minutes.
Today is the day of reckoning, the massive advertising campaign has come to an end, all tickets sold, and fans from all over Uganda ready to witness as the nation quench the 38-year old thirst of not qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Now to demonstrate the length of this thirst in simple terms, one would say, the last time Uganda played in AFCON, Iddi Amin was still president. And we’ve had over 5 presidents ever since.
And as a country, as a team, we’ve been in this position before, having one foot into AFCON and the being dragged out at the last moment. It happened Against Kenya when we drew 1-1 and against Zambia when we lost on penalties.
However it is the attitude of some fans after these disappointments that raises questions about whether we are in this (Uganda Cranes) relationship for love or for the fame and glory?
On one of our previous disappointments, angry fans went ahead to attack the home of the then Uganda Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa for what they (angry fans) called treason but was in fact a tackle in the box that led to a penalty.
Other fans take on to social media to express how filthy and inexperienced the national team is and how they will never watch any Uganda Cranes game ever again. But today, they are back out there, doning the nations colours and chanting #MujjeTulumbe. And trust me, deep inside their hearts they have set aside which statements to make just in case we don’t make it.
But as Ugandans, when did we become so opportunistic that we can’t hold a permanent stance on our own national team. If you’re a no, be a no. If you’re a yes be a yes. There’s no “in between” in this.
So no matter what the outcome of the game today is, let our support for the team remain unwavering as it is prior the game. And trust me, our team will remain strong and motivated to continue their quest for inspiring and making us proud as a nation.
Thank you for reading, and please don’t forget, Uganda vs Comoros is at 5:00 pm today, and will be broadcast live on various TV stations. For those heading to Namboole, roar so hard in support that screens of our TVs break out. #MujjeTulumbeeeeeee