According to a former Dutch priest Henri Nouwen, “each day holds a surprise” and whoever attended the Fortbet Real Star Awarding ceremony on Tuesday, April 4 at Route256 restaurant in Lugogo could not agree more.
Unlike previously, this time around there was a surprise award category – The Real Star Lifetime Achievement Award- the first of its kind which was awarded to former FUFA president Hajji Twaha Kakaire.
“This is a huge surprise for me because I was not expecting to receive anything on this occasion I appreciate it because it means I am still remembered in the football clan,” Kakaire said at the ceremony before adding.
“The Lifetime Achievement Award, is a great initiative, and I, therefore credit the organizers (Real Star Sports Agency) for its introduction and other recognitions they are making in sports,” he added.
In different disciplines, Lifetime Achievement Awards are meant to honour those who during their lifetime have made creative contributions of significance to their field of participation.
And Kakaire who was the head of the biggest football office in Uganda for two years between 1995 – 1997 lives up that level according to what he did during his reign.
Kakaire engineered the introduction of women’s football in Uganda which has stayed alive to date with this year’s FUFA Women Super League at the final stage where Lady Doves defeated UCU Lady Cardinals on Wednesday, April 5.
It’s during his tenure that the Uganda Premier League got its first sponsorship deal with Nile Breweries in 1997. Uganda also were CECAFA winners, a tournament hosted by Sudan in 1996.
He was also behind the start of the U-12 football league which doesn’t exist anymore something that unpleased him.
On several occasions, he lobbied for monetary support for the federation from the government something that he’s very well proud of.
“I’m pleased that women’s football is still being played in Uganda because it was my initiative but I’m not happy for the fact that the U-12 football league is now defunct.”
“During my time I lobbied a lot for football from the government and it leaves me a proud man that I paved the way and bridged that gap between FUFA and government,” he noted.
To ascend to office, the 76-year-old succeed General Moses Ali who’s currently the first deputy Prime Minister of Uganda. Kakaire was replaced by the late Denis Obua in 1997.
At the ceremony, Bright Stars’ Samuel Ssekamatte, Betway Kobs’ James Ijongat, and Jas Mangat were also awarded as the best performers for April in football, rugby, and motorsport categories respectively.