Resilient: While the Uganda Cranes have failed to make it to the Africa Cup Of Nations in more than three decades, the She Cranes went a step higher, qualified for the World Cup and came out eighth. Ian Ford Nkera guides on how to be like these ladies who had to sit for 2,500km on a bus trip to Malawi to qualify.
Trust Ugandans to “tie” on anyone in the limelight. They did it with Golola Moses who thrust the previously not-so known kickboxing sport into the spotlight and now they are doing it with our netball queens, The She Cranes. I don’t blame them though because The She Cranes were simply outstanding at the recently concluded Netball World Cup held in Sydney Australia as they finished eighth overall and won over many adoring fans. Their scintillating display has got the whole country talking netball and the likes of captain Peace Proscovia will go down in sports folklore as legends for steering the country to its first World Cup in over 36 years. Simply remarkable if you ask me. In case the netballer in you resurrected and you feel you want to be like our heroines The She Cranes, here is your guide.
A lot of sacrifice
I can imagine it must be tough playing netball in this country because let’s be honest, no one gave a hoot about it until now. Imagine, The She Cranes went to Malawi by bus for the World Cup qualifiers. That’s really something. The chances of making it as a professional are so remote and even if people such as Peace Proscovia made it to the UK, no one really cared. That alone should tell you that the life of a netballer is anything but enviable and it takes a lot of passion and sacrifice to keep playing this game. If you want to be a netballer, I encourage you to please keep your day job, at least for now. Sports in this country is plain kavuyo and grassing is a huge possibility. Let no one lie to you. Learn to sacrifice for the things you love doing to work out.
Love your country
Chicks think that netball is for the Nansana crowd and are not about to be seen playing the game for leisure let alone play it to represent their country. It isn’t even about netball but people simply don’t love their country enough to represent it at any level. People will blame their country for all their woes. Are we also going to blame the country for the weave that has lasted a year on your head and has started changing colour? The She Cranes surely represented the country with pride. If you are going to be like The She Cranes, love your country or at least pretend to. It has always been about what the country has done for you but what have you done for it? Instead, you are a grown man expecting the state to look after the countless children you have sired from all over. Style up.
Who honestly gave these girls a chance when they faced netball powerhouses such as Fiji and Zambia? I didn’t. It all seemed like an accident waiting to happen. You had all these girls from other countries built so powerfully and ours looking like hobbits(No pun intended). They simply didn’t look like world beaters. To my surprise, the She Cranes didn’t fear anyone. They put up one commanding performance after another, easily dispatching some teams to make it to quarter finals. If you want to be like the She Cranes, fear no one. Everyone loves the underdog. Face your problems with the stare of an assassin. Go home and face your landlord. Maybe it’s time to face your girlfriend and explain why you have chickened out time and again from giving her the wedding she has always dreamed of.
Believe in miracles
Sport in Uganda is just chaos and netball is no exception. While The She Cranes put in the work on the court, their preparations for the World Cup were nothing short of drama. It was actually a miracle that they reached so far considering that the politicians who shouted praises for the girls after the feats in Australia ignored their calls for help. If you want to be like The She Cranes, believe in the works of a higher power because that it is all you can rely on in this country. Things are really messed up. Pray until God has no choice but to give you that promotion.
There you have it. Go ahead and be like The She Cranes.
This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not neccesarily be an objective assessment of the individual.