Memories of “Akadodi ka Kakungulu 1999” as Mbale Heroes qualifies for round of 16

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By Alex Bossa

It’s unusual to hear the sound of Kadodi in the Bugisu region if it is not an even year. Every even year boys are paraded and turned into men. It wasn’t the case this time around when drums were brought to the streets in 1999. Bugisu was United and the Eastern region spoke one language “ Akadodi ka Kakungulu”.

Then there was no television coverage of Ugandan football and short-wave radio streaming was the order of the day. Those who didn’t make their way to the stadiums had to rely on the mercy of Radio Uganda and its sister channels.

Butebo channel being the main server to the eastern region, Sam Simbwa made a trip across the Nile knowing that back home in the slopes of Elgon they were being monitored. New battery cells were bought and by 4 pm all radios were tuned on Radio Uganda.

Playing as a coach, Sam Simbwa had earlier performed a master class after guiding Mbale Heroes to a 3-1 win against giants Villa on August 26th 1999. It was Villa’s first loss after a 30-match unbeaten run.

The Mbale Heroes’ squad which consisted of big names such as Eugen Ssepuya, Sam Simbwa and Ibrahim Maruti were hopeful of victory against a Lyantonde team which was in the middle of changing the name to Lyantonde – URA.

The game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and in came the spot kicks. By the time the third kick went in, Nakivubo was full of the sound of Kadodi. The cup had returned to Masaba land.

With Kataka fc already out of the competition, Mbale Heroes again remain the only hope for Bugisu to rule the country again. The 4-2 spot kick against Gaddafi FC in the round of 32 brought sweet memories of 1999.

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