The annual Nile Special 5-aside football tournament made a grand return for the second successive year following a very successful inaugural campaign at the end of last year’s edition where the Ugandan ladies emerged the African champions. This all went down at the official launch of season two of the Nile Special sponsored tournament launch event at Fast Fusion Sports in Industrial Area yesterday 13th March. The event was graced by people from all walks of life; from sports enthusiasts, journalists, Ugandan football lovers, as well as fans.
Just a little detail about the Africa Fives: Well, it is a social football league where football and friends come together over a beer. The tournament was launched in the year 2018 with only six countries taking part; and were mainly comprised of those from the Southern parts of Africa, that is: South Africa, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and the only East African country then; which was Tanzania. However, last year, the tournament saw a major step-up with the addition of more countries; that is; Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burkina Faso joining in. Having widened the leagues footprint into other countries, this made it a total of 16 countries that are expected to participate in the biggest brand activated football tourney on the African continent.
Upon its inauguration in Ugandan last year, a ladies’ league team too was introduced. The team that is comprised of Vanessa Karungi, Brenda Nabisaalu, Wilmer Nantumbwe, Sarah Namulindwa, Memory Nampijja and Brenda Makanga went ahead to beat Tanzania 1-0 last year in the finals in the very year. Therefore, Uganda will be seeking to defend its title in the Women’s division in this year’s edition. What is more to it is that, this time round; the tournament will be opened to both amateur and professional players.
The Nile Breweries organized national premier social football league is said to officially kick off on Monday, 6th April in Arua and Kabale at Police Grounds and Main Stadium respectively as revealed by Francis Nyende; the brand manager during the launch event of the Nile Special 5s yesterday at Fast Fusion Sports in Industrial Area.
“The first edition of the Nile Special 5s was a great one for us as a country. Our girls set the bar quite high and it’s up to the teams to rise to the occasion this year. The feat will certainly be harder to replicate because Uganda is no longer a little-known entity in this tournament. We are giants.”, added Mr. Nyende.
The move to extend the social league to other regions and make it more inclusive is in a bid to extend the tournament’s reach to various new regions in an effort to cultivate friendship bonds beyond one’s geographical borders.
“But the journey starts here at home,” added Nyende. “Teams have to first be national champions before they can conquer Africa. All one has to do is participate in the Samuel Eto consumer promotion and the mechanic is:
Simply buy five (5) Nile Special beers for yourself and your mates at a participating outlet, form and register your team which you’ll play with in the tournament and be able to compete at the preliminary level, then the regionals and eventually the grand finale. It’s the winner that this stage that gets the opportunity to represent the county at the continental tournament that will be in South Africa between the 16th and 20th of July 2020. What makes the tournament of this year unique is that unlike the previous tournament, the national representatives; (one male and female) will be escorted by 10 super fans to the continental finals which are to be held in South Africa between 16th and the 20th of July 2020 with two teams representing each country.
The two overall two Continental finalists of the tournament (final winning teams of the grand finale in South Africa will each bag and enjoy an all-expenses paid to watch the Italian Serie A classic derby between Inter Milan and AC Milan later this year, that’ll hosted by the renowned legend and Africa 5s ambassador Samuel Eto’o.
The Nile Special 5s launch event was hosted by KFM’s Patriq Kanyomozi and NTV’s Joel Khamadi well as the music mixing background entertainment to keep the mood going was well served by Moustey DJ. It was there that it was revealed that “It was our turn. It was us the people, the citizens’ opportunity to represent Uganda in the continental 5A-side tournament.” Joel Musomesa; like you and I had a dream to join the national football team, to represent our country. He also showed off some of his football skills and cracked the ribs of the revellers with his jokes. Like him, we were encouraged to take on the Samuel Eto’o consumer challenge; (which I have earlier described above) because “It is your turn, you and I, to score for Uganda.” There was thereafter an opening football match between the hosts (Fast Fusion Sports versus Capital Pub which ended in a 6goals to 4 goals on the side of the players of Capital Pub). Could have been because of home advantage maybe?
Well, the night event was crowned by an electrifying performance from the Wuuyo hitmaker and singing sensation A Pass as he treated the revellers in attendance to some of his many infectious songs such as Chupa Ku Chupa, Didadada, Mummy, Guli Wano, his 2019 release- Nkwagala (which he did actually sing live) and finally his “Turn Up the Vibe” collaboration on which he was featured on by Ykee Benda. This was followed by a photograph taking session with fans and officials. Being my favorite artist, I had earlier taken one for the road. As of the closing of yesterday’s event, Ajar Nalwadda had been selected as the very first winner of the fully paid trip to South Africa to watch the Africa 5s grand finale. It was also revealed that the rest of the other 9 top fans and winners shall be selected as time goes on.
With the Nile Special 5s launch yesterday being over with; we can only keep our eyes on the tournament and campaign by following @NileSpecial or the #NileSpecial5s hashtag for updates till the grand finale day. Remember to buy you and your squad five Nile Special bottles, form a team, register, play and you never know you could win big.
Best of luck to all the participating teams.