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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ssali, Ssekamate and Kabuleta are spot on


Tonight is the night the Uganda Cranes must break the 34-year barrier and whup the Harambee Stars to qualify for the African Cup of Nations next year! This was the preeminent subject of discussion on WBS’s Sport On programme last Sunday.

Show host Mark Ssali and his team of analysts Joseph Kabuleta and Allan Sekamate, have earned their plaudits as Uganda’s best sports pundits, with Ssali sometimes hired by the BBC. Forget the misleading paroxysms of most Luganda sports commentators that shout “goal” when there is no goal!

Ssali, Kabuleta and Ssekamate know their game inside out and have actually transformed sports journalism in Uganda into a fun thing with their upbeat commentary and articulate on-field experiences.

And during their Sunday show, they advised our players not to panic when they, God forbid, concede an early goal, but to attack more and strive for victory no matter what. They also have to aim for an early lead, and do their best to protect it to the last whistle.

Ugandan soccer maniacs are known to be overtly critical, but Kabuleta said we must for once forget all that tonight because tonight is the night that Uganda Cranes need us like never before. We must yell, scream, ululate, dance and blow all the trumpets we can in support of our players. As Ssekamate avidly put it, “The adrenalin of the crowds has been known to inspire players to play their best game and deliver goals.”

Good thing nothing jazzes the Ugandan like soccer, and so far so good. Everywhere you turn: on the radio, on TV, in a taxi, and even on the streets, you hear the deafening chorus of “We go we go! Uganda Cranes we go! We’ve to win we go!” with many already clad in yellow jerseys written on Uganda in the most visible show of patriotism to be witnessed in the recent past.

More good news, UBC has mounted its cameras and will be bringing the game live to the viewer that will not be at Nambole. The overall anticipation fits Grantland Rice’s observation that “the drama of sport is a big part of the drama of life, and the scope of this drama is endless.” Be sure to catch the best after-match review and analysis on WBS’s Sport-On tomorrow night after the 9pm news.

--Saturday Monitor, October 8, 2011