By Fred Kiva, Masindi
Residents in Bunyoro have launched a fundraising drive to build a house for Ex-Uganda Cranes player, Baker Kasigwa.
Samuel Baker Kasigwa, 84, is probably the only surviving member of the historical bare-footed Uganda Cranes team that beat the UK Olympic football team on their home turf in 1956. He was also part of the national team that represented Uganda in the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament played in Ghana.
Despite of being an outstanding Winger, Kasigwa says football only gave him a name but not prosperity in life. The legendary footballer lives in an incomplete single room house in Kisalizi village, Bwijanga Sub county, Masindi District.
Kasigwa was among the three Ex-Uganda Cranes Footballers from Bunyoro who were honoured during the August 5, 2017 Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) General Assembly that took place in Masindi town.
Others awarded were Jimmy Muguwa and Francis Kulabigwo. The ageing footballers were given medals and a one million shillings cash prize.
However, Kasigwa has since maintained that mere recognition is not enough when he is sleeping in a miserable house. He says all he needs is completion of his house.
“What I did for Uganda, I don’t deserve to be in such a situation and I can’t tell why this is happening to me. I have for the last one decade been writing letters to government about my situation to no response,” said Kasigwa.
Kasigwa’s plight has now caught attention of residents under a social media group, Bunyoro Hard talk. The group is now spearheading a fundraising drive to build Kasigwa a 50 iron sheet house on his 4-acre piece of land in Kisalizi village.
A veteran journalist and an administrator of Bunyoro Hard talk, Jonathan Akwetereiho is the one coordinating the fundraising drive. He said he has already visited the veteran footballer’s home to ascertain whether he owns the land on which the house is going to be built.
Akwetereiho said he has established that Kasigwa owns 4 acres of land on which the house will be built soon.
“There’s already land and some construction materials on the site and we are going to start from there. I so much believe we shall build a standard house since people are pledging and some have paid already,” said Akwetereiho on Moday, although he did not reveal how much have so far been collected.
He added that ”Kasigwa deserves more because of what he did for this country and the time is now, why do we wait to heap praises for such people when they are no more in this world.”