May 23, 2022

Day

UCU Guild: A government with a big heart

Muduku Derrick Brian

I am sitting next to Yibanda Shafiq, 11, under a large mango tree with its huge trunks, sheltering us from the scorching sunlight. He is fixed firmly in his wheelchair, staring at one of the balloons that were hoisted up on the tree. Suddenly, a choking stench clouds my nostrils. I notice that something is wrong. Shafiq looks uncomfortable. When I ask him what was wrong, he admits that he had unconsciously passed out stool. 

Shafiq Yibanda in a wheelchair. Courtesy photo

I use the word unconscious because Shafiq has no control over his stool and urine excretion. Fortunately, he is dressed in his pumper, and I summon one of the teachers to assist in cleaning him up. Shafiq is struggling with an ailment called Spina bifida, which is a condition that damages the spinal cord and nerves of a person. It usually occurs apparently at birth. It occurs because of a lack of vitamin C in the mother during pregnancy. 

On returning, Shafiq is offered a sweet by an Uganda Christian University (UCU) Guild member, putting a smile on his face. The UCU Guild member, together with other Guild Government officials on Saturday, May 21, 2022, traveled to Good Samaritan Inclusive day and boarding primary school in Nasuuti, Mukono for a charity outreach program. 

Sserwadda Mirembe Racheal, the UCU Guild president, says that her government decided to support the needy in their community.

“We came up with this program to reach out to the struggling communities around us. “We feel the need to put a smile on the faces of those facing a lot of difficulties,” she said. 

Sserwadda says that they focused on Good Samaritan Inclusive Day and boarding Primary School because of the urgent need to support such a vulnerable group of people. “The majority of pupils here have physical disabilities and struggle to lead normal lives.” It is really emotional to realize how brave these people are. They needed help, “she said. 

She adds that essential products like clothes, sugar, sanitary towels, soap, food, and money have been offered to the school. Sserwadda says that the items are contributions from the UCU community. 

Fred Migadde, the Director of Good Samaritan Inclusive day and boarding primary school, says that the school has 133 pupils. “92 of them are disabled, 43 are normal, and we have about 15 still admitted in hospital,” he said. 

Migadde highlights that the main disorders the pupils at the school have are hydrocephalus, cerebral pulse, polio, spinal injury, and mental illness. He further notes that they face many challenges when dealing with disabled children. “Taking care of these kids requires a lot of money, yet the parents pay little.” Shafiq’s parents pay only Shs. 60,000 for the whole term, “he said. 

Migadde says that purchasing items like catheters, cone tubes, and pampers for kids who can control their excretory organs is a tall order for the school, hence the school’s reliance on donations from well-wishers. “I am humbled and thankful to the UCU Guild and the university at large for this support,” he said. 

Frank Mutebi, a pupil at the school, says he enjoyed the UCU Guild Government’s visit. “I have eaten a good meal with cake, and have played a lot today with friends and the people from UCU. I am so happy, “he said. 

Cardinals take control of Group A in UFL

By Ian Asabo

The UCU Cardinals consolidated their place in Group A of the University Football League by defeating Kumi University, at the UCU Main playground on Saturday, May 21, 2022. 

A second-half peach of a goal by Mbalaga David was the difference as the Cardinals had difficulties in breaking down their opponents from Eastern Uganda. It has been difficult to separate the two sides over the course of back-to-back games with the other result ending in a highly entertaining and controversial 2-2 draw in Kumi.  

Chances were scarce during the first half as Kumi sat deep with low blocks stifling out the possession-based game of the Cardinals that heavily relies on the creation of spaces.  

It was much different in the second half, with the Cardinals continuing to shift the ball from side to side as the Kumi team started to wear out creating better chances for Cardinals.

A quick one-two on the right-hand side led to Aaron Ofoyirwoth breaking free and crossing the ball to Mbalaga, who bicycle-kicked it onto the crossbar- well over the line; hence crediting a goal for UCU.  

However, Cardinals midfielder, Ivan Mutebi foresees a tough season for his team, yet with determination. “We have to be a patient team because the majority of the teams we are going to face will always try and deny us space in which to play on top of our game,” he said. 

Head coach, Jimmy Mwera praised the team’s resilience after getting a win in a hard-contested game. “We were slow out of the blocks today, but the team showed the winning mentality and culture to be resilient and patience in order to wait for the right time,” he said. 

The Cardinals have moved to the top of the table with seven points, having played three victorious games previously, and they will look to win the group and advance to the next round. 

They will face the International University of East Africa next in the University Football League in Group A.

German footballer joins UCU Lady Cardinals

By Michael Kisekka
On February 19, 2022, when the Uganda Christian University (UCU) women football team won a game by 5-0, it was not an ordinary victory for the squad.

That victory for the UCU Lady Cardinals was against the defending champions, the Lady Doves. That game also marked the debut of Sinah Rother, a 19-year-old German footballer who recently joined the UCU side.

“That victory was a statement and a warning to the other teams about what we are capable of doing,” Sinah, who plays on the right wing, said. The Lady Cardinals and the Lady Doves are among the teams in Uganda’s top flight women’s football league.

“When I completed school in Germany last year, I looked for an academic institution of higher learning in Africa with a good female football team and I was directed to Uganda Christian University,” she said.

Sinah Rother
Sinah Rother

Sinah said she was motivated to come to Uganda by her coaches in Germany, who told her that the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Women Super League was competitive and physical enough for her.

‘‘I wanted to play and compete in the best team in Uganda and that is how I ended up with the UCU Lady Cardinals,’’ she said.

When she arrived in January 2022, Sinah was told to register with FUFA, in order to be eligible to play football for the UCU Lady Cardinals.

“I had to get a football work permit and acquire a license to register as a female player with the FUFA Women’s Super League,” Sinah recalls.

Despite the hurdle, she is aware of how important the opportunity is. “Getting a chance to play for the UCU Lady Cardinals is a big opportunity for me and an experience of a lifetime life,” said Sinah, who wants to help the team win more trophies. Her coach, Simon Asiimwe said the team will benefit from her technical ability and game reading capability.

“I was overwhelmed by the support and the love the ladies showered me with. It made me feel at home and has enabled me to settle in fast,” she added.

Sinah’s biggest challenge, though, are the higher temperatures in Uganda, compared to the cold temperatures she is used to back in Germany, where she plans to return in two years.

“We were all excited when we got to know Sinah was joining the Lady Cardinals,” said Mercy Nabuloobi, the assistant team captain. “When we observed her train with us on the first day, we straight away knew that she was a great addition to the team.”

Hassifah Nassuna, the team’s captain, said Sinah’s exceptional talent will “help the team win the trophy this season.”

A second born of two children of Thomas Rother and Anke Rother, Sinah started playing football at the age of six with VFL Rheda. She then joined FSV Gütersloh and, later, DSC Arminia Bielefeld, where she has been for the past three years.