ANALYSIS: There is more than watching  Man City at Uhuru Stadium

ANALYSIS: There is more than watching  Man City at Uhuru Stadium

PEP Guardiola’s Manchester City, Aston Villa and Norwich City, all playing in the English Premier League; have blessed the pitch of the Uhuru Stadium, a decade after hosting the country's independence on December 9th, 1961.

The teams played against the country’s big guns Simba and Young Africans. Together with the English Premier League teams, Uhuru Stadium also hosted Brazilian teams like Galicia, Fluminense, ABC and Sao Paulo Youth team, all these were staged in the early 1970s.

But, qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 remains the most memorable event staged at the venue. Uhuru Stadium witnessed the country's envoys beating Zambia 2-1, before stamping a vital 1-1 away draw in Zambia.

The founding father of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere was then a pioneer of various sport games, and he used to entice people to embrace sports as one way of keeping themselves engaged and healthy. He is commonly remembered as a person who loved cycling for fun as well as playing board game (bao), which he used to do during his free time, and all these are examples of many sport disciplines available out there. Uhuru Stadium has been the main sports staging venue in the country with rich history as it played a very crucial role in terms of cementing Tanzania's independence, and putting that in mind, the venue is of great importance to the nation.

Despite being among the busy sport hosting arenas in the country, many people hardly know what happened for it to be branded the name of Uhuru Stadium, which means until this far, the name itself is also marking 60 years of existence.

Yes, there were many names of high profile people which could have been named after the stadium instead of calling it Uhuru, but that was never the case as the name (Uhuru) stood tall among the rest.

Recently, the Daily News had an exclusive interview with the incumbent Uhuru Stadium Manager Redempta Bakari, who opened up about this old sport hosting venue in the country and why it was called that name.

According to her, the name Uhuru Stadium was plastered due to the fact that the first independence celebrations in the country on December 9th, 1961 were held there, hence the birth of the classic name.

She added that apart from hosting Uhuru celebrations, the facility is also used to host a number of other high profile government activities, like bidding farewell to former presidents who passed away after playing their role in uplifting the country.

“Former presidents like Nyerere, Benjamin Mkapa and John Joseph Magufuli have all been fare welled at Uhuru Stadium following their deaths, as such, this venue is of great importance to the country,” Redempta said.

Elaborating on some im) provident which have been done at the venue, she disclosed that among the notable changes was the removal of the initial natural grass at the pitch and replacing it with artificial grass.

She also narrated that even the structure of the Uhuru Stadium has been upgraded, saying in the past, only VIP section had a covered stand while the entire surrounding area was uncovered without concrete sitting areas, which forced people to either stand up or sit on the floor when watching games or attending events.

“For now, the whole place is covered and people can comfortably sit to watch various activities happening at the venue, hence all these are improvements which we need to cheer up as we appreciate the 60 years of our independence in style,” she remarked.

Redempta then sounded the alarm that it would be better if the other parts of the stadium could be renovated to simply modernize it, saying it looks outdated. “The pitch is good and looks beautiful, but we want to upgrade other structures like the dressing rooms and drainage systems to go along with the current world. We want Uhuru Stadium to look beautiful like Benjamin Mkapa Stadium,” she said.

Furthermore, she pointed out that the available scoreboard is operated manually, as they use ordinary means to record goals during matches, a thing which she said is outdated and deserves to be replaced with modern recording system like the one at Benjamin Mkapa venue.

She also disclosed that Uhuru Stadium is a source of income generation for the government when it hosts a number of events, where a certain percentage is directed to the government and that this becomes possible due to the nature of artificial turf since it cannot be damaged easily unlike with the natural surface.

For now, Uhuru Stadium is used as the home ground of KMC in the NBC Premier League and DTB FC in the championship, which puts it among the busiest venues in the country, and even big teams Simba, Young Africans and Azam use the facility to fulfill their sporting requirements.

Missing AFCON finals turns a wake-up call

WATCHING the ongoing 2022 Africa Cup of ...


Post your comments



Recent Posts


more headlines in our related posts

latest # news