Ahead of the Kampala derby between Express and SC Villa tomorrow (Tuesday), we bring you how the rivalry came about and how it all started.In the early 1960’s, a group of youth under the umbrella called MUZANGANDA, which included the Nakivubo settlement Primary school. There, they would participate in a wide range of handwork, including art and crafts. However, when not shoveling or crafting, they would indulge in various sporting activities like football, boxing and athletics.
Sadly, the group didn’t last long, although not every facet folded. Its football wing, Nakivubo Boys FC, made up of young talented boys from Kampala backwaters like Kisenyi, Katwe and Ndeeba remained intact.
The group was managed voluntarily by a few businessmen but even with their financial muscle, the club wouldn’t secure any inroads. So instead of playing competitive football, they opted for friendly games.
Despite its lack of competitive activity, the club produced a number of talented players who were spotted and then lured to better organized and well established Kampala clubs.
Quick to take advantage of the situation was Express founder, Joseph Kiwanuka Aliddeki. Jolly Joe Kiwanuka as he was known took over the Nakivubo Boys and duly transformed it into Express’ junior side.
This was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between Express and Nakivubo Boys. For years this junior side flourished feeding the senior team with young stars like Wilson Nsobya, Sam “Kapeera” Tamale, Bumbakali Kasule, Badru Kakembo, Godfrey Kisitu, Kabona, Mwone, George Mukasa, Moses Matovu(of Afrigo Band),Fred Lukwago, Fred Sekasi and Timothy Ayieko among others.
In 1969, being afflicted with a series of defections, Express’ soaring average age forced Jolly Joe to recruit almost all the Nakivubo Boys’ players. Needless to say, Nakivubo Boys ceased to exist. Kiwanuka apparently neglected the remaining players who quickly formed Bats FC.
Bats FC was a brainchild of Edward Luyimbazi Mugalu, an employee of Bata Shoe Company and an erstwhile defender of Nakivubo Boys donning both coach/player hats, Luyimbazi lured the majority of his colleagues and those who failed to make the grade in Express like Joseph Kabundi, Chris Musoke, Fred Sekasi, Musazi, Kayiira and Joseph Ssejjemba.
Luyimbazi nurtured these players into the playing staff of his own team although some still resisted the move and instead formed another club, The Chicago lads. These included Kitatta, Semakula, Enos Agogo,Chris Alembe and John Mapera.
How the Nakivubo boys bounced back, Express is banned
At Bata FC, with a management failure to fund the club as expected, Luyimbazi and his colleagues approached Express FC executive for the rebirth of Nakivubo boys and Red Eagles accepted in 1975.
However the funding was still not forthcoming and yet the club remained Express’ prime source of talent. It was around thus time that Nakivubo boys appointed its first executive officials. These included Kezekiah Ssegwanga Musisi(patron), Daniel Musoke Kiwalabye (chairman), Magid Bbosa ( vice Chairman), Edward Luyimbazi (secretary), Edward Kaweesa(Treasurer),Eriab Kamya(team manager), Ahmed Seguya (former NRA army commander assistant manager) plus Fred Kawuma, Dan Lule and Mzee George Ssebuliba as committee members and Joseph Kabundi (coach-player).
The club was again built on youngsters who were supported by the old guards who had been members of the same team before the 1969 crisis. These were Moses Kaggwa, Kitatta Ssemakula, Taib Ssentongo, Abbey Setubba, Abdul Kamya, George Kasozi, Joseph Kabundi, Mutyaba and Bumbakali.
They were joined by Shaban Mwinda, Sula Sentamu, Vincent Lubega, Hajji Kalema and several others.
In 1977, Nakivubo boys gained promotion to the second division and the club also received a shot in the arm when businessman George Ddamulira was appointed club patron. It was in the February of 1977 that the infamous governor Lt. Col Nasur Abdallah, a self-appointed “_Disciplinary officer” for sports, announced a ban on Express.
This decree forced six former Nakivubo boys to return home. These included Badru Kakembo, Fred Sekasi (assistant coach), Fred Lukwago, Ismael Kirungi and Kennedy Mutunda plus tactician Charles Jaggwe. They helped propel Nakivubo boys into first division at the end of 1978 but the efforts of the executive were critical.
The club whose venue had been Nakivubo settlement, then Nakivubo Blue and later Cricket Ground (clock tower) had now moved to Nsambya Railways ground. It is perhaps important to note that after Express’ ban in 1977, the majority of its supporters became Nakivubo boys’ fans.
SC Villa is born
In 1979, Patrick Kawooya became Nakivubo boys chairman and in the same year, the club entered the first division of the National Football League. Kawooya who at the time of Express’ ban in 1977 was the treasurer, had misunderstandings with his colleagues regarding the merger of Express with Nakivubo boys decided to resign and immediately joined the Nakivubo boys camp where he was gladly welcomed and instantly elected chairman.
A joint meeting of Express-Nakivubo boys was held and the Kawooya group rejected the merger. This left the Express fans divided as some remained connected with the Nakivubo boys while others returned to Express. The relationship between the two clubs somewhat deteriorated as a result of the circumstances.
Kawooya’s first strategy was to build an outfit that would measure up to the challenges of the super division.
First he named the new playground at Nsambya “VILLA PARK” and also changed the club’s named to Nakivubo Villa. His argument was that the name “Boys” might be misinterpreted as a team of un serious youth. He declared that the team would be called “Jogoo” because it was independent and no longer under another club.
This is where the rivalry stems from, and from then up to now fans of either side have kept the rivalry for eternity.
Story by Hassan Badru Zziwa – The Observer Media Ltd