It was just Ugshs 500 to support a local team on a friendly match. And I, didn’t pay. I didn’t know we had to pay. So I felt equally as guilty as one who had selfishly refused to pay.
It is about passion that keeps drawing me to watch them play, practice, looking good in their dark blue jerseys. Local youth who love the sport and choose to following their heart’s longing. So I promised to write about them as a way of showing them respect.
It is not like any football academy as we would know it to be. Good coach, balls, socks, medical, mental and other services. God knows I don’t understand football so well, but do realise the risk one to take to participate in such a sport. More in a country like mine.
While attending school, I loved the game and looked towards the fourth minutes or less, we played, before attending evening prayers at the chapel. We run about chasing the ball and should say that the thrill of it still bubbles inside me thinking I could return to the field someday. I do dream of it actually.
Anyway, not me, but them. The me was to point out that I understood the passion. No matter how many wounds and scars, sprains or broken bones. Yes! Broken bones! As long as it healed, one returned to the field.
You would say of course they would return. But not with the lack of medication they face. The fact that almost no one cares but yourself, to get healed, your financing, and return to play, is remarkable.
The fields are like you see, bare ground, with tiny rocks if not broken glass, to tear your skin, soak the earth with your blood.
I have watched countless times some play barefooted against an opponent with shoes on. With that sole, sharp, whatever they are called, striking hard in it, and watching him scream, leap, like he has lost a toe. At least that’s what it looks like and could be worse. But still play. Again, and again. And that’s passion
At times, before they are levelled, new fields are shrubs that are slashed and obviously not suitable for play. But do they wait for the bulldozer? What if never comes? (Which sometimes happens to). So they in it. Think of running on thorns. Screaming and celebrating, crying and joyous.
One time, at school, this guy scores, but instead of running to the corner and celebrating as we know it, just sits right then and tries getting a thorn that had pierced deep into his foot. And when he was done, he played on. That is passion.
There is always more to tell. But this is how it is in most developing countries. Where many talented individuals fade in the shadows and never come to be their dreams. Running on an English field, in a shirt labelled with their names, but play, a shirtless team against one with uninformed shirts, (in their actual clothes, shirts, sweaters, vests, shorts or trousers) for the love of it.
This is not a sports problem alone, but in other fields as well, music, drawing, writing, poetry, coding, comics and others. But for the love of it, we do what we want. Not for money or fame, but for passion.
I write for the love of it. Like for the love of it