Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Les Journaux Africains: Kigezi High School, Kabale, Uganda - 18:00 09/04/2010

Friday fever has kicked in well and truly at Kigezi High School. With it being our last full day at the school, it has been a time of tying up loose ends - capped off with the euphoria of the 'Jimmy Cup' five-a-side football tournament. 

At around 2pm I handed out the prizes for the best poems in the creative writing contest - I'm not sure what happened to Stefan who was meant to be doing likewise for the short story contest. Sebi had promised a large number of entries and a hard-fought competition and he wasn't wrong. After a good deal of time judging them the night before, the eventual winner was Martha Mpambara who basically scored full-marks for her poem.

A little while later a small pitch was marked out where the netball court usually is on a grass quadrant in the school grounds and the Jimmy Cup was off to quite an innocuous start. Yusuf Jimacale, the eponymous organiser, seemed to relish taking charge of things and everything seemed quite calm in the compound - that was until the classes finished and a curious crowd began to form around the perimeter of the pitch.

Photo © 2010 Matt Jenkins
Before long there was a complete line of Kigezi students circling the pitch chanting and singing support for their friends as music boomed out of the School Council's PA system. A true carnival atmosphere was building to something of the level that organisers of this summer's World Cup in South Africa will be hoping for.

After the group stages were played, the volume seemed to raise a few notches further, spurred on by the entirety of Senior 3 whose team, the 'Senior 3 Boyz', had navigated their way past the majority of the older teams and into the final of the competition.

The final was a no holds barred affair. Tackles flew in. Tempers flared momentarily. Open goal-scoring opportunities were missed to the bemusement of the crowd. Amazingly, after an afternoon of non-stop football, the Senior 3 Boyz managed to defeat a team made up of Senior 6 students who form the school football team.

Cue the trophy being raised aloft, a pitch invasion by the whole of Senior 3 and much chanting and ululating.

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