Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Hamis Kiggundu’s new US$200 Million Hamz Stadium highlights his grit, ingenuity and patriotism

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It’s approximately 5 good years or so since Business Mogul Hamis Kiggundu took over one of the most prime locations in Kampala city that is the Hamz Stadium and it’s environs now called Nakivubo war memorial grounds.

Hamz Stadium Progress as of December 4, 2023

With a lot of resistance from the former inhabitants of the informal market that existed on the lower side of the stadium, many doubting voices in the sports fraternity and the general public that didn’t exactly anticipate the stadium would turn out looking this good, Kiggundu has silenced the doubters and naysayers with his results.

When the construction work began on the new stadium back in 2019 after the construction of what is Ham Shopping grounds that encompasses or encircles the stadium, the first images people saw out of the stadium got the negative voices screaming even louder, Ham has destroyed our stadium, that space is too small, a stadium can’t fit there and so on.

But one thing never changed and that is Hamis Kiggundu’s sheer determination and unwavering desire (quest) to put up a world class sports facility in a place where a very dilapidated and degenerated Nakivubo war memorial stadium stood for many years in absolute neglect some what symbolising the general state of what downtown Kampala was in spite of the huge fees management collected from there whenever sports and non sporting events took place.

Killing the Doubt

As the scare of Covid 19 and the subsequent lockdowns took their toll on very body else Hamis Kiggundu and his construction teams were not sleeping at all given he was juggling many huge projects including an estate off of Entebbe road in part of what made up Alright estates and all eyes were on him questioning more and more each day if hisbfancy architectural impressions of the stadium at the time would ever be a reality.

Work was on going slowly but steadily and once in a while we would see pictures of city leaders, Members of Parliament and Leaders of our football and sports sector at large visit and tour the facility to get real time on ground updates of what was actually going on slowly eating away the doubt that was in the minds of many every day people in our society.

The irony in all this though is the fact that while people saw the transformation Ham Shopping grounds brought to down town Kampala, they still couldn’t believe we shall have a new stadium there any time soon as well but alas Kiggundu shocked them not negatively as they expected but very positively in a way they never expected, it’s the end of 2023 today and the stadium is literally done with a few final touches left to add a touch of gloss and refinement to the master piece already in place.

Why is this so?

It seems to come back to what Uganda has become as a country over the last 30 years or so, a lot of what used to be our moral standards have gone down, a lot what used to be our values have been eroded. We seemed to have caught up on the culture of short cuts, lies and intrigue embracing it fully for some and bemoaning it even more for others only that those who bemoan impunity have taken a laid back stance and done nothing first for themselves and then for country to make things better.

For many even to date, they are yet to fully accept and appreciate the fact that Hamis Kiggundu has rebuilt a world class sporting facility for his country not because Kiggundu is a problem or they have a problem with him but because of the doubt resulting from the degeneration of the value system and moral standards this country has experienced over the years, a number of people just can’t believe one of them did such a project and pulled it off successfully for the country minus swindling any billions like has become the norm in every day Uganda.

What does Kiggundu have to say?

Speaking to the media recently, Hamis Kiggundu was upbeat. “ I am thankful for the political blessing and support I got from his Excellency the President of Uganda, the first Lady and Line Minister for Education and Sports, The Speaker of Parlaminent and the FUFA President for the support towards CAF approval and winning the bid for AFCON 27 which will see the newly built Ham Nakivubo stadium host some of the games” he said.

Kiggundu also thanked his technical team of Engineers, foremen, masons who have given their best to this project thus far plus fellow Ugandans for the support rendered towards him in this very demanding project financially and in all other aspects urging all those who have been negative towards it to change their attitude become positive about large developmental projects being undertaken by fellow Ugandans and also shift into the gear of positive reasoning and working towards achieving substantial milestones like he emphasized it in his first book, “Success based on Reason and Reality.”

Facilities and Costs

Everything a standard stadium should have is part and parcel of what Ham and his technical team have put into this stadium to date. “ We have ensured the pitch is up to international standard size thus it’s approval by AFCON, it boasts a basketball court, boxing ring, standard gym, indoor games like table tennis, darts and pool, standard locker rooms, emergency health facilities, offices for the stadium’s management, a VIP seating area, Executive sitting Boxes for VVIPs on top of the normal ordinary and VIP sitting areas plus a myriad of other outstanding facilities” Kiggundu said.

Going forward, the stadium which is very close to official completion and opening will have cost Business Mogul Hamis Kiggundu close to a whopping 200 million dollars by completion which comes to about US$200 Million. If this is not the true definition of grit, ingenuity and patriotism against all odds then I don’t know which other Ugandan youth embodies these traits like Kiggundu does and finally, it is my humble wish and prayer that many more Ugandans with such capabilities and even better can pick from his example step up and lead the transformation of this country into the modern first world state we dream of.

Email: michaelkanaabi@gmail.com

WhatsApp: +256701133509

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