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Masaza Cup 2024 tourney kicks off

PM Charles Peter Mayiga the Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom addressing the media during the launch of the 2024 Masaza Cup at Bulange Mengo

The 20th edition of the Buganda Masaza Cup tournament was launched yesterday, June 19th, 2024, in a ceremony held at Bulange, Mengo. The event marks the continuation of a partnership between the Buganda Kingdom and Airtel Uganda, solidifying their commitment to youth development through sports.

The Masaza Cup, established in 2004, is a prestigious football tournament featuring teams from each of Buganda Kingdom's 18 counties (Masaza) and surrounding regions. It has become a cornerstone initiative for the Kingdom, promoting not only cultural heritage and sportsmanship but also contributing to the socio-economic well-being of communities.

"This tournament serves as a flagship initiative to promote unity, preserve cultural heritage, and foster sportsmanship in the country," remarked Ali Balunywa, Airtel Uganda's Sales & Distribution Director. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this significant event and highlighted the tournament's evolution beyond a simple football competition.

"Over the years, the Masaza Cup has grown to become more than just a football tournament," Balunywa continued. "It is a celebration of culture, a platform for young talent to shine, and a conducive ground for socio-economic networking."

He further emphasized the power of sports in transforming lives and reiterated the tournament's role in raising awareness about the fight against HIV/AIDS, aiming for its eradication by 2030.

Eighteen teams, representing each county, will compete in this year's edition. As in the past four years, the tournament will champion the fight against HIV/AIDS, encouraging participation from "the men of the kingdom and fellow Ugandans."

Oweek. Charles Peter Mayiga, the Katikkiro of Buganda, acknowledged Airtel Uganda's invaluable contribution to the Masaza Cup's growth. He emphasized the tournament's significance on Uganda's sporting calendar and its positive impact on participating communities.

"The support extended by partners like Airtel Uganda is very instrumental," Mayiga noted. He expressed his gratitude for their continued support and encouraged the Buganda people, along with the entire nation, to utilize Airtel's network for communication, strengthening both personal and business ties.

The Masaza Cup's impact over the past 19 years has been undeniable. The tournament has unearthed exceptional football talent, with players like Fahad Bayo (Ssingo), Abdu Azziizi, and Halid Lwaliwa (Mawokota) becoming prominent figures in the Ugandan national team, the Uganda Cranes. Furthermore, the tournament has fostered stronger bonds within communities and inspired countless young people to pursue their dreams.

The highly anticipated opening match of the 2024 Masaza Cup will take place on June 22nd, 2024, at Kasana grounds in Luweero District, featuring Bulemezi facing off against Buluuli.

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