With Uganda on the verge of reaching the knockout stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, impactful Hassan Wasswa Mawanda wishes his father was still available to witness the country write it’s own history.
According to him, it is a time to be alive by many Ugandans who on continuous occasions have only read and heard stories about 1978 when the Cranes lost 2-0 to host Ghana in a Nations Cup final.
At this time, Uganda will be looking to get at least a point in their final group game against Egypt on 30th June for them to book their place in the next round.
Wasswa who could not hold back his tears when the final whistle was blown after Uganda’s one all draw with Zimbabwe said that he misses his parents because they always encouraged him.
“This was a time I was thinking of my parents, they always wanted to see us get out of the group stages, my father loved watching me play and mother too so I thought about them and I wished they were here to see me do what I do best for the country,” Wasswa told the media.
“This is something that always drives me, they always encouraged to give my best and never give up and that’s what we thrive on as a team,” Wasswa added.
Wasswa’s father Hassan Biruma Mawanda, a former Ugandan international passed away on December 10th, 2017 after a long illness.
The ‘Super-sub’ like he was known in his days never had a chance to play at the Nations Cup but his son has been to two already, and going to the next stage is 90 minutes away.
“We have 80% chance to qualify out of the group, we are focussed and I know we shall qualify,” Wasswa said.
“We need maximum points against Egypt although they are at home and have quality players, if we maintain those top players, we shall get what we need.”
Wasswa might put Uganda’s chances of advancing at 80% especially since they will play against an Egyptian side that has already advanced, but it’s far from being over as Zimbabwe also needs only three points to go level with the Cranes.
By John Dalton Kigozi