What a week to be Ugandan! I never thought this moment would ever come. We are in Gabon, ladies and gentlemen for the Africa Cup of Nations 2017. It feels great. There is a genuine sense of happiness everywhere you turn. People look happy, it’s infectious. You would be stupid to be the only one pulling mood swings or beefing around.The boys bought us time to forget whatever could be wrong with our country, atleast for a week. You can proudly say you are Ugandan now. Our football team redeemed us from so many years of anguish. Once a powerhouse but now almost forgotten? Well, not just yet. We are back, and in full gear.
When the final whistle was blown, it was official that history had been re-written. Uganda Cranes were going back to eat with Africa’s football giants once again. Obviously, they will wonder where we have been all along. Well, we have been on our way. The journey was long and emotionally draining but here we are. We made it. I was particularly amazed by the spirit of Ugandan fans this time round. Not that it had ever gone down, this time, it was more than alive. You could feel the power of the Ugandan fan. Comoros had to go down by hook or crook. The fans and players were more than inspired this time. It was refreshing to know that deep down, people loved their country and wanted to see it perform well. The chants, the crazy stunts by boda bodas, the face painting and all. The atmosphere was just insane. Sometimes you just want to see people coming together, in buoyant mood and basically rooting for the same thing. It is something you do not see often. Most cases, you want to relive such moments.
People from all walks of life turned up to show their support for the Uganda Cranes. Everyone was there. The singles, the couples, the young and the elderly. Everyone wanted to witness history. I also noticed that Ugandans can be a happy lot if they want to. They are willing to look beyond their problems and come together for a good cause. They are not just a bunch of cons and chaotic people. It is just that they have not been given enough reasons to taste happiness. Give them reasons to rejoice and you will be amazed at how passionate they are. The Uganda Cranes gave them something to cherish forever. Congratulations to the Uganda Cranes and all Ugandan people.