What you need to know:
- But it will remain just that—a dream—after his team decided to pull out of the final event, due to its unbefitting name and theme.
With 280 points, and 100 more to fight for, rally driver Hassan Alwi Junior had a realistic dream to win his first National Rally Championship (NRC).
But it will remain just that—a dream—after his team decided to pull out of the final event, due to its unbefitting name and theme.
The Jinja Rally due this weekend, was christened the “Sexy Speed” rally, to attract the youths, according to the organisers. The event organised by Mosac, has been popularised by images of young beautiful girls sporting naval-revealing tops and skimpy pants.
To Alwi’s team, the International University of East Africa (IUEA), which prides itself in respect for all persons and genders, that’s immoral and disrespectful to the women.
“I was so much geared up for the event but my team decided we won’t be part of it because it negates the values of our university,” Alwi told the press at IUEA this week.
“I feel disheartened that I won’t have the chance to win the title but I don’t override the decisions of my team.”
IUEA also sponsors professional boxer Shafik Kiwanuka, who is on a scholarship.
“As an institution, we cannot be part of any event that flaunts semi-naked girls. Otherwise, which message would we be sending to the world? That women are merchandise?” said Stella Otteskov, the IUEA human resource manager.
“As a university passionate about promoting sports it was a hard decision to take but that semi-nakedness was the main issue.”
With 280 points, 70 behind the leader Duncan Mubiru, aka Kikankane, Alwi, who won the Jinja Rally in 2019, stands second among the top four contenders for the 2020-2021 NRC trophy. Fred Kitaka has 270 points, Omar Mayanja 260.
“I have nothing against the event, but it’s not for us and I wish the other drivers the best.”
Asked whether he should have agreed with the decision if he was leading the standings, Alwi answered in the affirmative.
“The decision is not about me; it’s about what team’s values,” he said. “If I would weigh between the completion and what’s right for the institution, I would definitely follow the institution’s decision.”
IUEA said their efforts to convince the organisers to adopt a more inclusive theme were futile as the latter saw no harm in it.