Aged 107 years, Onduparaka’s oldest fan has never missed watching a single game of his favourite team at the Greenlight Stadium.
Committed Asumi Isaka Zua has followed Onduparaka for about four years according to fellow supporters who said they first saw the senior citizen at the stadium in 2016 and always looks energetic with his vuvuzela every time they play.
Although Asumi himself does not remember the exact year he first watched his beloved team play, he says what matters is; “I am in love with the team and I watch matches religiously, especially those at home.”
Asumi, who has three children, all girls and isn’t sure of the statistics of his grandchildren and great grandchildren gets news and information about upcoming fixtures from the club office in Arua at Cafteria Mall.
“I have never watched any away game but for homes games, I go to Cafteria in room 27 where they update me on away results, home fixtures and also offer me match day tickets,” he said.
Asumi’s favourite player used to be Onduparaka’s former sharp goal poacher Shaban Muhammad whose goals helped the club qualify to the top tier in 2016. He does not have a favourite in the current bracket of players.
“I loved Jagason (Shaban) but I am annoyed and have no favourite now because the players exit abruptly and leave me hurt,” Asumi lamented.
“Why would they allow to be sold? Why do they esteem money highly ahead of contributing to the development here?” he angrily questioned.
The former driver who didn’t have a stable marriage with either of his wives, today lives alone in Ombachi and is looked after by the Catholic Mission.
The closest person to Asumi is neighbour Matua Guerd, the latter told this website; “Mzee’s love for the game and the club is so extreme that the suspension of matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a torment to him.”
“He is madly in love with football, especially when Onduparaka plays, fellow fans, specifically boda boda men come for him and after the match he returns back to talk only football.”
“You see joy all over his face when the team registers victory and anger when they are beaten.”
“With the suspension of football due to this pandemic, he has been restless. The longing for the resumption of matches is written all over his face,” Matau added.
Post Asumi’s 107th birthday which falls on April 29th, Onduparaka’s head of communication and marketing Mercy Munduru spoke of Asumi’s loyalty and the club’s plans to bless him.
“I don’t think he can substitute us for any other, he has the opportunity to but the fact that he has stuck by us oozes loyalty that we don’t take for granted.”
“We are going to visit him and another older fan, not just for his birthday but to extend love and improve his life.”
“The football period is always busy so we never have the opportunity to visit one another so this time the club will go to him,” Munduru told Football256.
At his age, he is able to do home chores although admitted difficulties in doing so in some days.
He still has the energy to bathe himself and when asked how he managed to be alive all these years and have the stamina to do personal hygiene, Asumi mentioned mainly feeding lifestyle.
“I came to realize the kind of food we fed on those years isn’t what is eaten today,” he said before adding.
“I remember cassava was introduced when I was fully grown. The staple food then was sorghum flour and there were three types of oil we ate; organic Shea butter, Lodgbo and Anikani.”
Asumi also opened up on his love for European football, he supports Manchester United and is a Wayne Rooney fanatic.