There are many wise sayings and quotable quotes in all forms of literature about the good things in life. One thing, though, is that many of them are mere words used by inspirational talkers for the sole purpose to sound intellectual as they go on with their lip-service duties to fully parked ‘elite’ congregations.
But one quote, in particular, from Hugo award-winning author Dan Simmons in his 2002 horror novel – A Winter Haunting easily drives the point home for many of the underprivileged peoples of Uganda.
“… all good things beyond sleep come precisely because we defy gravity while we live,” wrote the American in the masterful and captivating volume that was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Fantasy novel in 2003.
And for the journey traversed by the Aliguma Foundation, it has always been about making an impact and giving a new lease of life to the disadvantaged people especially the slum dwellers.
Just last week the buzz has been about Scottish Premier League side Dundee United signing Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC forward Sadat Anaku, who truly is a prodigy of Acholi Quarters – the place of birth of Aliguma Foundation’s works.
And for Anaku, who captained Tigers to victory in the sixth Slums Soccer Tournament after the Covid-19 pandemic this January, his has been a story of defying gravity in excessive nature.
First to emerge from the slums, earn a piece of education, get signed by KCCA FC Junior Team – Cubs, earning promotion to the senior team and now to Dundee United with jaw-breaking records.
From 2016-2019, Anaku scripted history as the league all-time top scorer of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Juniors League with 83 goals in 52 games. On earning promotion to the topflight side, he netted six times in 17 matches in senior season debut. This makes 105 goals in 119 games for both the junior and senior sides of KCCA FC.
The 21-year-old continued to repay the faith with nine goals in 20 games in the 2020/21 season and managed seven goals last season.
Anaku literally sealed his deal with a workman striker’s hattrick while he featured for Dundee United B in their 6-2 victory over Queens Park FC midweek to earn the nod from coach Jack Ross in a deal that will run until the summer of 2024.
ANAKU AT A GLANCE
Full Name: Sadat Happy ANAKU
Date of Birth: December 9, 2000
Current Team: Dundee United FC – Scotland
Past Teams: KCCA FC SA, KCCA FC
Jersey Number: 20
*Excitement back home
“Banda B1 Zone and the whole of Acholi Quarters is well represented in the United Kingdom,” Ismail Mukoiko, the area’s L.C III Councilor exclaimed.
“We are excited and all the youth he has played with in our Slums Soccer Tournament are full of belief they will make it to Europe one day. His friends and young kids around call him Ada and it’s the name he had emblazoned on his jersey during our activities.
“He scored the winning goal at the Slum Soccer Finals for his team Tigers FC of Acholi Quarters this January. He is going to be an idol for many more youngsters in the slums. Everyone cannot stop talking about him. Let’s keep our prayers high.”
The good news also tickled Aliguma Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Ritah Aliguma who believes God continues to be behind the works of the foundation.
“This is a miracle,” said Ritah Aliguma, whose foundation is behind the much-coveted Annual Slums Soccer Tournament that attracted a record 46 teams including six Women, 14 Under-16 Boys and 26 Men’s sides in the last edition that climaxed on January 15th, 2022.
“Anaku is representing not only himself and Ugandan soccer. He is a symbol of success in the slums and proof that anyone can make it big. He is representing slums and the never-give-up style and flair of slums soccer. God Bless him.”
*Coach’s early praise
Dundee United coach Ross deployed Anaku as a number 9, in friendlies with Leicester U21s, Arsenal U21s and Newcastle before the former recapped that ‘he’s a really good finisher’ in his assessment of the youngster.
“You have to have a certain mental toughness to come in from overseas and settle,” Ross is quoted by the Dundee United club website – www.dundeeunitedfc.co.uk
“Sadat has done that by leaving a really good impression on the players and staff at United. He has a real hunger and drive to try and succeed in European football and sees this as a real opportunity to do that.
“He’s a really good finisher and will offer something different to the attacking options we already have at the club. That gives the squad a good balance. There’s an element of the unknown about him but we can see he has real potential.
“That element of the unknown can help us. Defenders won’t know what he’s about and he’s not easy to play against from what I’ve seen in training. Hopefully he can capitalise on that element of surprise and get off to a good start. If he can hit the ground running and score quickly then things can fly from there,” concluded Ross.
Domestically, Dundee United has won the Scottish Premier Division once in 1982/83, the Scottish Cup twice in 1994 and 2010, and the Scottish League Cup twice in 1979 and 1980.
United reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1983/84 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987.
After missing out on the recent match against Celtic, Anaku will be hoping he makes his Scottish League Cup debut on Wednesday night (August 31) against Livingston and Scottish Premiership bow on Saturday September 3 away from home at Bevis Mugabi’s Motherwell.
ANNUAL SLUMS SOCCEER TOURNAMENT
2022: Tigers FC (Acholi Quarters)
2021: Tigers FC (Acholi Quarters)
2020: Luigi Slum
2019: Luigi Slum
2018: Kiganda Slum
2017: Kawenja Slum
*Credit: Aliguma Foundation media.