By Ahmad Muto
Besides the much-anticipated pomp that is normally part and parcel of the FIFA World Cup, this particular tournament being played in the Gulf state of Qatar came with a little extra – commentary in Luganda, a local dialect.
The tournament has commentary in a host of other African languages that has left the continent teeming with pride. South Africa has commentary in Isizulu, Sesotho/ SeTswana; Ethiopia in Amharic; Nigeria in Pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo; then Swahili, Twi and Luganda for the rest of Africa.
In total, there are 13 language options being offered by MultiChoice to World Cup viewers.
This is the first time in the history of the World Cup that with the aid of the remote, one is able to switch to Luganda. Some of the city’s sports pundits and commentators picked for the job are Mike Kigozi, Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo, John Vianney Nsimbe, Reuben Ruyombo, Peace Diana Bagala, Henry Kyambadde and Stuart Kimera.
On social media, the excitement about this experience is hard to miss:
@GodwinTOKO: “Luganda is one of thirteen African language options SuperSport is offering viewers for the World Cup 2022 commentary. Dope Stuff!”
@Dartte_45: “Every single day, I am glad I dropped my stupidity and learnt Luganda, even if I still butcher the accent, top notch language, should be taught throughout the country. It gives me joy hearing anyone speak it, infact 90% of the time I pay more if a vendor speaks to me in Luganda.”
@Toothpaste_1: “I am not a Muganda, but Luganda should be a national language because almost everyone knows something in Luganda.”
@blazey_blaze: “Whoever came up with the idea of having Luganda commentary during the World Cup on DSTV, well done.”
Linguists at Makerere University indicated in 2021 that there were over 20 million people in and outside Uganda able to communicate in Luganda, a sharp rise from five million a few years earlier.