Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Onduparaka, which started as a village team in Arua has marked 10 years of its existence and consistency in the Uganda Premier League.
Its rise to one of the top-flight teams over the years has not only opened up the region to the sports world but also enhanced the rise of dozens of young boys from West Nile to football prominence in Uganda and Africa. To many fans and the general public, Onduparaka FC is God sent.
Yusuf Andabati, one of the managers of Haraka FC in Yumbe district from where Onduparaka FC has picked 10 first squad players since its inception says that Onduparaka’s unique playing-style which made it defeat most of the local clubs in the region has not only inspired many youths, but also given back in kind to various categories of needy communities in Yumbe.
He says that the teams rise to prominence rides more on players from Yumbe district, a development that will forever make them proud.
In Koboko district and the Municipality the fan base of Onduparaka and its impact on the Kakwa people cannot be underestimated according to one of the first fans in the area. According to him, the Club has made a tremendous achievement of keeping many youths out of idle life as they are engaged in sporting activities with Onduparaka FC.
Koboko district has so far sent two players to Onduparaka FC, Ezra Bida and Geriga Atendele.
Omar Risasi, commonly known in West Nile as Muzee Onduparaka from Maracha district, has been part of each and every match the team played, over the last 10 years. The 70-year old says he has devoted his life to support the team as an inspiration to generations to come.
In greater Nebbi district and among the Alur people, Onduparaka has continued to inspire and enjoy unlimited support from the fans and sports lovers and more importantly contributing to the rise of Paidha Black Angels, which has lately suffered relegation from the Premier League.
Onduparaka’s home ground Greenlight Stadium was home to Paidha Black Angels for two seasons prior to Paidha’s elevation to the league.
Innocent Opargiue, the chairperson of Onduparaka Fans in greater Nebbi says the love for Onduparaka has been deep-rooted in the Alur people basing on the club’s triumphant record over the years. He says apart from inspiring many youth and football lovers in Alur land, many businessmen and women have become agents and dealers in Onduparaka Jersey’s which has enjoyed record sales in the greater Nebbi.
As the club prepares to celebrate its ten years in the UPL, it has been challenged by the departure of its key players. It, however, hopes that some of its problems will be resolved when they eventually establish a football academy for the U17 team and find a sponsor.
According to Benjamin Nyakuni the CEO Onduparaka FC, there is need for all the people of West Nile to forget their differences and unite to make the club achieve more in the years ahead and promote football talent in West Nile.