With the heart of informing the Ugandans Once again Weinformers got in touch with the football historical who appeared in the first All African games in Brazzaville .George Bukenya and had varied issues to express as Antonio Kisembo reports.- George Bukenya(GB) and Weinformers Website(WW)
WW. Who is George Bukenya and how did you approach foot ball
GB.Dear people am George Bukenya, ex-international goal keeper from 1963-1988.
I left active football and started football coaching. But a long with my interviewer I will have to give you some of my interests and the way, approached foot ball. First of all I was on the village level we were about 3 boys I could only metion a few that is Kiberu Solomon and Agga Ssekatala you know him very well, this man who is a Ugachick breeder and me George Bukenya. We formed Makindye sports, club in this year I was a little bit Impressive and interested in the game. It happened that I was called in Mengo Heroes, Buganda football side, which was the second eleven of Buganda team by then. In the same year we used the ground which was not very good and we had to change an formed Lukuli football club which was also impressive, again the impression we gave Buganda football side took me to be the goalkeeper of Mengo Heroes and Buganda football side which participated in ASPRO CUP a regional tournament.
It seems when I played the first game I cannot say I was a stat but it seems I impressed many people as a goalkeeper and I was called in the youth international which was played only may be one year we were starting the East and Central international tournament but I don’t know where it ended, but we played Kenya here and they picked two players namely Edrisa Nyombi and George Bukenya, we played for youth international which was played at Nakivubo and we beat Kenya 2-1, the winning goal was scored by Nyombi, he is still around if anybody can meet him, could meet him and I ask him more if at all you want to know.
Then after this I was called to play as a third goalkeeper of the qualifying rounds of all African games which was held in Brazzaville but the qualifiers were in Uganda and it was at Nakivubo.
Nakivubo tournament, contained, Uganda , Kenya , Egypt and Sudan . At the end of this tournament, I wouldn’t like to go in details too much because it’s too long. But then our coach was Yiga, we played the qualifiers and we happened to be the second behind Kenya . We had one game to go, Kenya was beating us with one goal in goal average, infact they were going through but through our determination, everybody, spectators even the officials had given up because we were going to play the last game against Egypt, and Egypt was a very strong team and experienced, there you are, it was raining, I was not supposed to be in the goal, but then, before the last match which we were going to play, our goalkeeper Noah Mbowa was given a red card and of course a young man in Lubiri school, I was going to be in a goal.
Everybody was saying with that kid we do not know, then as soon as I entered on the ground (Goal) I did not look shake but then Egypt got the first goal about five minutes and everybody was shaken, but I comforted that I only slipped because of rain but let as continues. And there you are with a very great equalizer by Ali Kitonsa, then another goal came in from by Jimmy Omulogo who is very well known by the football fraternity, Ali Kitonsa continued to score a third goal, people were excited and then in the end we ended up with five goals to one (5-1) and we qualified to go to the first All Africa games which was (were) held in Brazzaville.
In 1965, we had to go to Brazzaville but I had to maintain my performance by joining a super Division team in Nsambya I played there to give impression with other team members.
WW.What is your view of today’s football Vis avis the football during your time.
GB. Today’s Football I would say there is “Lack ness”, I shouldn’t say its lacking but we give up too quickly, we are not patient, not patient, when you look at a player he might be good, but when spoils the game once he is forgotten, secondary we have a tendency of results other than building.
Ex- international goal keeper, George Bukenya what do you mean then by building, does it require one to have gone through a technical school to understand building?
Laughs…….. No! we build then get results, but straight away when a player comes introduced in a game, you think he is going to give you the best.
Then the coaching, it isn’t bad but the players are reluctant, much as they have a lot of enthusiasm which one can see and as a coach help him achieve want they want. Secondly, these players unlike our days they are too materialists, ( Money ) when a player gives a magnificent performance, he goes to Abudurby, Mexico, Scotland for example a player like Kyambadde, I no longer hear him. Look at Egypt , all the players I know there they are playing at home and have got a good professional league, so their national coach sees then all the time.
WW. Yes George, what do you like in today’s football and also what you do not like?
GB. What I like in today’s football, we have got a lot of talented footballers who needs only brushing off like a shoe which has dust, we need to give them courage and what I do not like is to praise the player, all the time he will feel okay and satisfied with that.
I had a coach, a home coach, Joseph Kiwanuka, when you would score a goal he says that was not good but when he goes some where in the corners (Corridors) “he says Aah… the man has scored a goal really”, it was a good goal, it was marvelous”, but when you are there he says “You have got to improve”, the way you approach that goal, I will show you.
WW.Talk about your relationship with the late Denis Obua, as a player, a coach and an administrator.
GB. I saw Obua in the last Aspro tournament (Regional) in Mbale, he came in as a substitute we were playing Northern the boy scored me a goal it was fantastic. But he was just a funny boy, and that is when he was called even in the squard, ( Cranes ) Many people are saying he came from Lira Spinning mill but me as I know he came from that tournament, it was the last of the Aspro.
We became good friends and played together in Coffee F.C. He was a well determined fellow.
WW.Talking about his administrative ability.
GB.Obua was an administrator, though some other people were seeing something else, not everyone is appreciated and that is why chameleon sung “Basiima Ogenze”, but if we are to give thanks, we would have said it in his presence otherwise he has been a good friend.
WW.What do you remember about Obua?
GB. Now we went to play in challenge cup in Kenya I wondered what happened to Denis. He was facing Nive number 2 of Kenya , whenever Obua, would pass him he hit his leg, another time he dribbled passed him, the man hit his leg, and then there you are, he gave him a blow and the match was spoilt, we had horses chasing us. Laughs….. When the thing cooled we continued to play and beat Kenya by 1:0
Then the most important thing on the pitch I remember was a goal, he scored we played Guinea in club championship (a club coming from Guinea ) he played for Simba, he was borrowed since out side they didn’t know. He scored the goal, the goal keeper was the near post but could not get the ball, the referee went to make sure whether it was a goal, and he lifted the net, laughs……again, wondering. When Obua scored he never celebrated too much.
WW. How about David Otti?
GB. Ooh…, this is a great friend of mine, he was playing for Bitmastic road constructors with their headquarters at Mengo but Otti earlier on he was working for Marcos survey, and me with UEB, we used to meet, he became a good friend, I played with him in Coffee and all through the years I was on the national team until when he went to Germany for a coaching course, when he came back, he became my coach also, he was a good linkman, a man who would not give up.
WW. Anything for our readers.
GB. Perhaps I would give you the list of coaches I have been under Burkard Pepu (German), Allan Rogers (Leicester City, London) Marosik (Swaziland) and the local ones I had David Otti, Robert Kiberu ( Late ) Bill Kirkam ( prison’s officer ) George sterosta ( Serbia ), Crama, ( Britain ) and Jose Daker ( Brazil ).
A coach like Jose Daker, I think he was, laughs…. He had a photograph with Pele and he was given a job here, we later found out that he never knew English For example he used only to tell us there three football factors (tries to mimic him) speaking in a funny football, the foot ball is three factories, man, man making and shoot a goal, that’s the football. Then he says eleven a side, eleven against eleven without the goal keeper, then he takes out the goal keeper punish him with a lot of balls. Then he comes to tell the players that “The foot ball is a goalkeeper, no goalkeeper no football.
WW.Who do you consider be the great captain in the history of Ugandan football?
John Kaddu, Sebowa, Francis Atema Joggo, Abu Dafala, poly Ouma and Jimmy Kirunda
WW. A ward for the coaches, footballers and the fans.
The fans ! Should always support Ugandan football.
Players. Not to be proud, let people praise you and you play football.
Coaches. Insist on a player, don’t discourage him, put him in motion.