Archive for August, 2010

Uganda’s Benchmark Performance at the 1973 All-Africa Games in Lagos, Nigeria

August 30, 2010

The second All Africa Games were held in Lagos in Nigeria in January 1973. The performance of Uganda still stands as overwhelmingly her best ever at these Africa Games. In the athletics realm, Uganda ended up with 6 gold medals, 2 bronze medals, and 4 bronze medals, placing Uganda fourth overall behind Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, respectively. The Uganda female athletes won four gold medals (Christine Anyakun [800 meters], Peace Kesiime [1500 meters], Constance Rwabiryagye [Javelin throw], and the 4 x 400 meters-relay) and two bronze medals (Budesia Nyakecho [100 meters-hurdles] and Christine Kabanda [long jump]. It was the women’s performance that elevated Uganda’s performance at the Games. The sole Uganda men’s gold medals were won by John Akii-Bua (400 meters-hurdles) and Yovan Ochola (hammer). During the 1960’s and 1970’s era, likely because of educational and employment access, Uganda women were ahead of their neighboring Kenya women in the realm of sports.

Men:

-400 Meters-Hurdles. John Akii-Bua-Uganda Gold medal (48.54 seconds); William Koskei-Kenya Silver medal (50.22 seconds); Silver Ayoo-Uganda Bronze medal (50.25 seconds).

-Triple Jump. Mansour Dia-Senegal Gold medal (16.53 meters); Abraham Munabi-Uganda Silver medal (16.26 meters); Moise Pomaney-Ghana Bronze medal (16.09 meters).

-Hammer Throw. Yovan Ochola-Uganda Gold medal (50.64 meters); Gabriel Luzira-Uganda Silver medal (49.86 meters); Nagmeddin Shaheen-Egypt Bronze medal (47.58 meters).

-4 x 400 Meters Relay. Kenya Gold medal (3 minute, 6.38 seconds); Nigeria Silver medal (3 minutes, 6.98 seconds); Uganda Bronze medal (3 minutes, 7.21 seconds).

Women:

-800 Meters. Christine Anyakun-Uganda Gold medal (2 minutes, 9.5 seconds); Rosalind Joshua-Nigeria silver medal (2 minutes, 10.7 seconds); Helena Opoku-Ghana Bronze medal (2 minutes, 11.7 seconds).

1500 Meters. Peace Kesiime-Uganda Gold medal (4 minutes, 38.7 seconds); Mary Wagaki-Kenya Silver medal (4 minutes, 38.8 seconds); Ruth Yeboah-Ghana Bronze medal (4 minutes, 42.3 seconds).

100 Meters-Hurdles. Modupe Oshikoya-Nigeria Gold medal (14.28 seconds); Emilia Edet-Nigeria Silver medal (14.48 seconds); Budesia Nyakecho-Uganda Bronze medal (15.29 seconds).

Long Jump. Modupe Oshikoya-Nigeria Gold medal (6.16 meters); Margaret Odafin-Nigeria Silver medal (6.07 meters); Christine Kabanda-Uganda Bronze medal (5.73 meters).

Javelin Throw. Constance Rwabiryagye-Uganda Gold medal (47.50 meters); Lillian Cherotich-Kenya Silver medal (41.94 meters); Angelina Chekpiyeng-Kenya Bronze medal (39.12 meters).

4 x 400 Meters-Relay. Uganda Gold medal (3 minutes, 45.42 seconds); Nigeria Silver medal (3 minutes, 45.69 seconds); Kenya Bronze medal (3 minutes, 46.06 seconds).

Additional Uganda gold medal wins were in boxing: James Odwori and Daniel Omolo. Uganda, with an overall medal tally of 8 gold, 6 silver, and 6 bronze medals emerged fifth overall on the continent behind Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, respectively. This was a milestone for Uganda. The nation has thereafter never got even remotely close to that performance at the All-Africa Games.

Jonathan Musere

The Role of Homosexuality and Other Vices and Sins in the Bible

August 29, 2010

If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense. Leviticus 20:13

The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching. 1 Timothy: 10

Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18: 22

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Revelation 22:15

…the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5.

…shameful acts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Romans 1:26-27.

Jonathan Musere

John “the Beast” Mugabi: The Outcome for Uganda in the Olympic Boxing Finals in 1980

August 1, 2010

Before he turned professional, famous Ugandan boxer John Paul “the Beast” Mugabi was simply John Mugabi–a young and hard-hitting, fast, promising boxer. After his silver medal win at the 1980 Olympics that were held in Moscow, 20 year-old Mugabi eyed the professional scene. Renowned British trainer and manager Mickey Duff noticed Mugabi and quickly enlisted him. Duff is one of many (including Ugandan Charles Lubulwa who participated in 3 Olympic tournaments) who opine that Mugabi was robbed of the Olympic gold medal. Into the professional ranks, Mugabi’s ferocity, strength, and speed in the ring would earn him the nickname, “the Beast,”–one that Mugabi has voiced as unflattering, but which the world became stuck on referring to him.

It was in the Parish of the Sacred Heart in Nogales in Arizona that Mugabi while training for what would become his most epic battle, that with world middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler on 10th March 1986, that Mugabi would acquire the name Paul after baptism into Catholicism (Clive Gammon, “This Beast Is a Beauty,” in ‘Sports Illustrated’; March 03, 1986).

Semi-arid Nogales ‘City of Walnut Trees’, stringing along the Mexican border, is Arizona’s biggest border town. Tiny Rio Rico is ten miles north of Nogales, and it is here at the Sheraton Hotel that a Mugabi training camp was set up in preparation for the Hagler encounter. Mugabi’s trainer, instrumental to his getting baptized, was the same Father Anthony Clark—the parish priest.

Back in 1976, 16 year-old Mugabi won a welterweight silver medal after losing to American Herol Graham in the Junior Amateur World Boxing Championships. Interestingly, only weeks before Mugabi’s battle with Hagler, Graham dethroned Ugandan Ayub Kalule of the European middleweight title after knocking him out in the tenth round. This fight would spell the end of Kalule’s illustrious boxing career. Many have wondered what would have been the outcome of a bout between Kalule and Mugabi. There is a 6-year age difference, and Kalule had been an idol and mentor of young Mugabi years back in Kampala.

The Olympic Games of 1976, held in Montreal were boycotted by many nations, including Uganda. Ayub Kalule had been scheduled to fight for Uganda. He became a professional boxer. And so did team-mate Cornelius Bbosa who was later to become widely known as Cornelius Bosa (Boza) Edwards, and become a world junior-lightweight champion.

The major highlight of the Games in Montreal were the finals of the welterweight boxing division, the date 31st July 1976. Young American “Sugar” Ray Leonard, who planned to stop boxing and continue with school at the University of Maryland was pitted against a stronger and taller Cuban with a stellar knock-out record. This Andres Aldama who had knocked out all five of his previous opponents, was expected to win. But Leonard, similar to Muhammad Ali in his earlier career adopted a “hit-and-run” strategy, and elusively frustrated and angered the Cuban. As the Cuban charged, Leonard would throw in a rapid combination of solid and accurate punches and then retreat. It was like a David-Goliath slaughtering, that even involved the Cuban getting knocked down, and also taking two mandatory counts.

The Moscow Olympic finals of the welterweight division in boxing, 2nd August 1980, involved a second coming of the experienced dreaded Andres Aldama. Among his recent accolades was a gold medal win at the Pan African Games held in Puerto Rico in the previous year. Aldama’s opponent John Mugabi at 20, was 4 years younger, far less experienced, and far less tested and known than himself. Each of the two boxers had knocked out four out of five of their previous Olympic boxing opponents. John Mugabi was Uganda’s remaining prospect for gold.

In the first round Mugabi proved to be the more active one. He threw many jabs, but the tall southpaw Aldama kept most of them at bay, most were not hitting their target. Aldama seemed to be studying his opponent, sizing him up. The judges probably gave this round to Mugabi, just for the effort.

The second round saw Aldama come off his stool fighting hard and determined. He gained confidence as the round progressed, unleashing hard head-shots on Mugabi several times. Toward the end of the round, he caused Mugabi to briefly stumble. But Mugabi courageously counter-attacked, obviously without intention to cave in. And just like most capable southpaws, Aldama would sporadically confuse Mugabi by his switching to the orthodox boxing stance.

The third round was a war. Mugabi was landing blows to the head in the brawl, but Aldama’s delivery was noticeably more significant. Aldama was also more accurate. Mugabi was tiring in the face of experience and stiff solid punches, and he briefly staggered from a hard punch. He did not yield to a knockdown, but a hypothetical fourth round would likely have resulted in Mugabi getting knocked out. Mugabi always had the strength and heart, but ineffectiveness at defending himself was his major career weakness.

The referee declared the fight a deserved 4-1 in favor of Aldama. The entirety of the fight is available on U-Tube. Thirty years later, legendary John Mugabi remains the last Ugandan to win an Olympic boxing medal.

Jonathan Musere