By Shafik Ssenoga
At the Uganda Sports Press Association awards events, guests who do not follow the dress code face it rough with events manager and security expert Dixon ‘Bond’ Okello. In 2018, the ‘No Fitina’ Okello engaged in a running battle with guests at the awards gala night at Imperial Royale Hotel over underdressing. Many guests were sent back home. For the Airtel FUFA Awards on Saturday, no one bothered the other over dressing.
The dress code for the sixth edition of the awards held at Speke Resort Resort, Munyonyo was black tie. However, many of the guests dressed the way they wanted. For instance, Female Footballer of the Year nominees (Fauzia Najjemba, Fazila Ikwaput and Daisy Nakaziro), who looked like matrons at a village wedding. Netizens bashed their choice of outfits and makeup, blaming FUFA for failing to ‘design’ them.
“The ladies were not dressed well. Their makeup was not the best. There is makeup for different events; weddings, presenting on TV and makeup that can be worn for events like awards shows. You can’t wear makeup you would have worn while on TV for a wedding. Their attires were more for a wedding than an awards event. The person who dressed them didn’t take his or her time on them. The only person who ‘tried’ among the female nominees was Najjemba because her attire fitted her unlike her fellow nominees,” noted a source who preferred anonymity.
On the other hand, the Male Footballer of the Year nominees (Bobosi Byaruhanga, Eric Kambale and Azizi Kayondo) dressed the part.
The female nominees were advised on the colour and type of clothes to wear, but they were resistant and they decided to go with whatever they wanted. The male nominees were very smart
A source close to the nominees revealed that both male and female nominees’ attires were made by one person although each of them had the choice to decide which attire he or she would wear.
“The ladies were advised on the colour and type of clothes to wear, but they were resistant and they decided to go with whatever they wanted. The male nominees were very smart.”
The source lamented about the makeup of the ladies, saying it was done in the morning yet the awarding event was in the evening.
“By the time the event started, the makeup had started running.”
At the glamorous event, midfielder Byaruhanga and forward Najjemba were crowned the Male and Female Player of Year respectively.
Although Byaruhanga walked away with the accolade, there were murmurs that Express forward Kambale, who scored 20 goals last season and guided Express to their first CECAFA Kagame Cup and league, deserved it.
The awards, organised under the theme Celebrating Uganda’s Finest Football Personalities, saw Byaruhanga and Najjemba each walk away with a brand new car plus a cash prize of sh1m each.
In other categories, Express and Lady Doves coaches Wasswa Bbosa and Fred Musiime were named the best men and women football coaches of the year respectively, while St Lawrence’s Emmanuel Wasswa was the Best Beach Soccer Player of the Year.
The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Jacob Oulanyah, was the chief guest. The awards are aimed at honouring excellence of Ugandan footballers annually in bid to raise the level of competition among players.