IN GULU, UGANDA
Opening ceremonies form a very important programme at any major championship.
They have slowly become part of the fabric that forms the conversation during and after any competition.
Do you all remember the “Queen of England” “jumping” out of a helicopter at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London? Gulu, the host district of the 16th Brookside East Africa Secondary School Games, didn’t match that “royal plunge.”
However, the organisers here delivered a commendable opening ceremony, especially with the traditional dances performed by Sacred Heart Secondary School and a local troupe that got guests clapping.
It was worth it as Gulu worked tooth and nail to ensure the Peace War Memorial Stadium was ready. The piles of mud seen last Friday were gone and the ground had been levelled while the running murram track was crisp and relishing spikes to pound it later.
Besides the dancing and speeches, Team Kenya stole the show.
First Rwanda and South Sudan marched passed the pavilion to take their section at the centre of the pitch. Then came Kenya. The East African sports giants handed almost all the 717 students the famous red, green, white and black tracksuits and it was magnificent to see all their flags wave back and forth.
The mammoth crowd was in awe.
Burundi followed but the pomp had died, almost.
By the time the hosts Uganda, with 1,080 students, crowned the introductions, Kenya has usurped the energy. Only a handful carried the black, yellow and red flag. Kenya had stolen the moment.
Mwinamo warned that his side is yet to hit top gear as they chase a maiden title.