Nshera FC, a football initiative by the Old Boys (OBs) of Ntare School, who completed their ordinary and advanced levels in 2008 and 2010 respectively recently debuted a new football kit creatively named ‘le magnifique’.
Since their Ntare Lions League (NLL) debut in 2015, Nshera FC have created a liking for debonair and panache - and dominance - both on and off the pitch. Nshera have always been ahead of the pride (of lions). The team has set milestones that leave other teams both in awe and envy.
However like all teams in the league, they've not had an entirely bespoke football jersey/kit. Teams often buy already made Adidas or Nike kits or tragically spurious knockoffs (like “Abibas”) which are then branded with team logos, names and numbers.
Nshera felt they needed to break the norm and be different, as always. They needed a completely unique and classic kit that tells their story, and teases their future. Something magnificent enough that they’d even need a French word for it: Le Magnifique! Indeed, Nshera partnered with AVARC an innovative and creative apparel designer and maker, to create the latest design under their sleeve.
“We [AVARC] sat down with the [Nshera] team committee to come up with ideas that would propel this mighty team into the future. After a series of brainstorming sessions and several cups of coffee, we came up with an idea which was lurking right under our noses the whole time,” said CEO Amara Bill Kevin. When anyone thinks of Nshera, they probably think of a sparkling white t-shirt but with a killer crown to it, something like Real Madrid. Well, something like plain white porridge that burns when eaten with such gusto.
Over time, Nshera have always wanted to make the Ntare O-Level uniform concept for a jersey. So for NLL Season XI, Nshera zeroed on the Ntare O'Level uniform concept. This concept celebrates the team's Ntare School heritage. This concept was also cemented by the fact that the team was finally able to win its first silverware at the sacred Ntare School field having lost the first two successive finals in Kampala.
So Why the Ntare School Uniform? According to Elijah Wanman the most capped Nshera player and record goal scorer, most of the team players harnessed their football skills while playing ‘kalele’ - a cheap rubber football common amongst students and pupils. Many players right after their classes ended continued to the football field to maximize their playing time without necessarily changing from their school uniforms. Given there was a short break of about 1 hour between end of class and supper, students had little time to waste changing into their casual wear. The most time saving thing to do was to play in their school uniform.
“The goalkeepers had to wear sweaters to protect their elbows and arms from injury against the rough playing field surface,” Wanman said. “Most importantly after we noticed the number of current students who were interested in our kit after the finals last season, we wanted to create a kit that evokes nostalgia, one that would always remind [them] of our rich Ntare School heritage. One that would also inspire the current students of the importance of unity and fraternity because that's where our story started,” former Ntare School football team captain Baino stated.
“With this information, we came up with a concept that would honour that legacy." Baino added. The jersey has a strict sense of detail with every mark on it resembling a particular significance in the journey as Nshera FC. From the date when they clinched their first ever League title at Kakyeka in Mbarara to the colour of their stockings, the jersey particularly plays with nostalgia among Nshera fans, players and the Ntare League fraternity at large.