Meet the man who introduced blind football to Uganda
Shaba Sango was born in Buganda, in the southern part of Uganda. His parents, Joseph and Auma Sango, belonged to an Ashanti people from western Ghana.
He was an all-rounder, but football first attracted him. Shaba was the first person in his family to acquire a disability. His younger brothers and sisters, who were all normal in appearance, had a tendency to shy away from the light outside and played football outside. When he was old enough to take part, his family took him to a local football tournament, where he was encouraged by all the spectators to take part in the competition. This is when he saw a blind man with an injured knee who was receiving treatment from medical staff and doctors. In an instant he fell in love with the blind man.
Shaba’s first sighted person friends were the men he met during the tournament and his love for football was born. He was introduced to the disabled community in his village. He was a regular member of the football team and participated in tournaments and matches. But the people who introduced him to football did not stop with the sports scene. They helped him to get to the district capital and made contact with the disability rights activists in his village who inspired him towards a career in activism. The activists gave him a list of clubs that were looking for a football player with disability and he found a job at one of these clubs.
Shaba began his football journey by playing for the club, but found that he had to leave within two years when the club moved. He joined Kachikungugu FC, the football club in Mukono District, where he played for two years before he was eventually recruited by the national club, Arua United FC.
The club was founded in 2005 and started as a local club. Three years later, the club joined the Ugandan Premier League and won the first season of the competition. Arua United also won the Ugandan Super Cup and the First Division League Cup in 2012. The club also won the Third Division League Cup in 2014.