By Steven Nuwagira
2 Years ago

PROFILE: Abraham Mpumwire, Hall of Fame Inductee

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Abraham Dalton Mpumwire joined Ntare School in 1996 where he studied from senior one to senior six (1996-2001). He was a resident of Aggrey House for all of his six years. He slept in room 4 (O’level) and later room 5 during his A’level. While in Ntare, he was not so much into politics but was an active sportsman. Mpumwire is among the people who initiated baseball at the school and indeed, saw it grow.

Speaking the Ntare Lions League (NLL) football language, he belongs to Bonshe FC, two time champions of the League (3rd & 5th editions) and currently serves as the league committee’s Vice President.

As an OB of Ntare School, Mpumwire narrates that he has so many memories created by the games they played as well as some of the indiscipline activities they were punished for while studying at the School.

“I must say Ntare School was very resourceful and it shaped our future. Personally it shaped my future and I believe it shaped most of our futures because we are what we are because of Ntare School. It guided us in not only reading books but also, how to live life.“ Mpumwire says.

On Bonshe FC

Being the Vice President of the Ntare Lions League committee, Mpumwire admits that he was not so much involved in playing during the 9th & 10th editions but he thinks it was generally amazing.

 “The last editions I must say I was not so involved much as I am the Vice President but it is more of a ceremonial role. I appreciate the fact that at least it increased the number of attendees because I got to see more people coming in.” Mpumwire acknowledges.

According to Mpumwire, Bonshe FC players lack consistency given the fact that the whole team consists of old players. He adds that the ‘on and off’ nature of players makes it hard for him to name the most consistent player before admitting that the team Captain Aaron Aikiriza tried to be consistent during the previous edition at the same time making sure that the team stays together.

“I must say Bonshe has quite old players, so the consistency is a challenge because today so and so is there and on other days he is not. But I think in the last edition we had Captain Aaron Aikiriza and I think he tried his best to be consistent. He tried to keep us together much as we were not always there.” Mpumwire said.

He also gave credit to the players who travel from Mbarara every weekend to play because some fail to make it even when they are in Kampala. The Bonshe FC diehard also revealed that Victor Guma and Kataama are among the consistent players in his team, adding that they also bring life to the games every time they grace the pitch.

How he got to know about the Ntare Lions League

Mpumwire had no knowledge about the Ntare Lions League until 2012. While speaking about his initiation into the league, the Bonshe FC player noted that he joined his OBs when they were still playing from Nakawa Communications Institute (1st – 3rd Editions). According to him, the league had only four teams by then.

“I was shocked to see people I last saw in Ntare School on the pitch. It was shocking but it caught my attention.“ Mpumwire narrates.

After noticing how interesting the league was, Mpumwire made an effort to show up for the next games but he was just a fan by then.

“So from there somehow I kept coming every Sunday and I think they were only a few matches to the finals, then I attended the finals. I saw the happiness the league was bringing to the OBs, it was amazing. People were happy, they were jolly taking photos, running around with their trophy.” Mpumwire recalls.

Mpumwire recalls that in 2012, there was no glucose for the players but at least people would show up with some drinks like soda. While narrating more about his early days in the league, Mpumwire added that some people who had bad nights would still show up for the games just to have fun and to awaken their memories with Ntare OBs.

After the finals of the 1st season, Mpumwire reached out to some of his colleagues that started the league to see how they can work together and make it more organised. He narrates that convincing the lions (players) to show up every Sunday was quite challenging in the early years of the league (around season 3).

Ten editions down the road, Mpumwire says that the Lions League has presented a platform for players to show their talents and he believes Ntare is more qualified than other schools to form a team that would compete in the Uganda’s National League.

“Actually there was a time I was telling Herbert (Bashasha - fellow Hall of Famer) that; why don’t we have a club? What do these people who have KCCA, who have Vipers…Vipers is a school! What do they have that Ntare doesn’t have? When you see this league, you see potential football players.  The Lions League has presented a platform where you can show your talent, even some of us who used to only play football behind the dormitory…” Mpumwire ends in chuckles.

In his understanding, Mpumwire believes that the Ntare Lions League has not only improved their talents but their health as well. Apparently, some people have lost excessive weight of over 30 KGs and they attribute it to the games played at the prestigious league.

From a mere meeting point to a professional league, Mpumwire playfully recalls that they would amend the rules on the pitch but now it is not possible because the Ntare Lions League has grown to something bigger than it used to be.

“I think the league came just from a group of people meeting who wanted to play football for fun, have a beer, have fun, now it has grown into a league that has rules and discipline. By then I can tell you the rules were easy to amend on the pitch but it has grown.” He explained. 

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