Unless you’ve been living Rais John Magufuli’s Pombe, you must know the world’s best ever footballer called Messiveni. He is a Barcelona and Ugandan international sensation, a winger wearing the famous shirt seven whose step-overs and dribbling skills is second to none.
However, I must admit that not many of you know Nou-Covid stadium. Relax. This is the world’s biggest political stadium in Kampala, with a capacity of 44 million spectators, the majority of them bazukulu. Yes, spectators, they can only watch. And cheer.
Yes, cheer things like superstar Messiveni winning his sixth Politico-d’Or (once every five years since 1996), the most prestigious individual award in the game. Messiveni’s nearest challengers in the Politico-d’Or awards are the likes of TeoDiego Nguemadona, a curated specimen in Equatorial Guinea; Pale, a Cameroonian living artefact; and Denis-Sassouiano Nguessonaldo, a Congo-Brazzaville mural who has undergone more ecdysis than any snake can brag about skin shedding.
On Tuesday, Messiveni walked into the Nou-Covid turf. Alone. Alone because some peculiar sneezing-in and sneezing-out something that he calls Okwetsyamura has given him a rare manna to turn the entire soccer pitch for himself.
Of course, Nou-Covid always fills to capacity. Forty-four million spectators. Messiveni is happy to have them in their place – the stands. He says it’s safe for them there as his shots are too powerful they could cripple anyone on the loose.
In fact, he warned that his ball boys will arrest anyone seen leaving the stands. He won’t take chances, not when the next Politico-d’Or awards are just seven months away.
Allowing the opponents to line up against him on the pitch at this time would be footlical amateurism. A godsend Okwetsyamura-something has presented itself for Messiveni to exploit and be the only relevant player on the pitch.
Credit to him, guy has skills from heaven. He dribbles while smiling and chuckles as he crosses the ball to no one but himself. Playing on the right wing, his footwork is deft, runs sublime and dribbles meticulous.
Messiveni turns his marker left, right and left again, then executes a dummy that leaves the assumed opponent sprawled on the turf as he waltzes into the box to execute a perfect delivery. Of course, he is already there to meet his own cross with a perfectly timed bicycle kick.
“Ride that bicycle!” commentator Peter Otai shouts as he imitates Peter Drury, but apparently, using words he picked from Messiveni himself during the latter’s 13th pre-match news briefing.
The ball is in the back of the net. Messiveni wheels to the technical area to comically slurp tea, a celebration he has perfected like his footlical dribbles on the pitch. He then turns to the spectators and implores them to donate to the cause. Like a child imitating a driving motion, he wheels around and raises his thumb up: four-wheel drive.
With that choreographed victory, it will be another 14 days before another match. The stadium is dead silent. Only a few of the forty-four million fans packed inside the Nou-Covid can utter a word or two. These are mainly fans whose goods Tanzanian drivers will be bringing into the arena.
As a man who can’t do without footlics, I’ve watched each of the games Messiveni has played against himself over the last 40-plus days. I must admit he doesn’t need a referee as annoying as Kiggundu to execute the kiss of death. It’s all done.
By the time any opponents are allowed a kick-about on this great Nou-Covid pitch, the match will be irrelevant.
The only downside are the sulking fans. Come on, guys, you don’t exist in the stadium to wear long faces. Let’s cheer Messiveni. Shout and unfurl huge banners immortalising him. Blow up the vuvuzelas.
The noise will give him some satiated footlical relief and, who knows, he might conclude that we’re all going to cast our national team votes for him come the next Politico-d’Or voting process.
Who knows, he might read our cheers for approval rating and allow others on the turf.
Empty tins make a lot of noise which will very often make you laugh. Visit this page every Sunday to encounter Empty Tin and his warped ideas.