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Akii-Bua film captivates Kampala audience

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd June 2015 05:29 PM

Viewers clutched their seats and held their breath in excitement and shock as the life of athletics legend John Akii-Bua was replayed on screen.

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Viewers clutched their seats and held their breath in excitement and shock as the life of athletics legend John Akii-Bua was replayed on screen.


By James Bakama

Viewers clutched their seats and held their breath in excitement and shock as the life of athletics legend John Akii-Bua was replayed on screen.


The John Akii-Bua Story: The Story of an African Tragedy is a documentary that was part of the June 16 to 27 second Euro African Kampala Film Festival at Cineplex Oasis Mall.

The 90 minutes film, first shown on BBC in 2008, traces Akii-Bua’s rise from a remote village in Abako, Moroto County to a world record breaking gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

It is also a story of close shaves with death under then President Idi Amin who targeted Akii-Bua’s tribe-the Langi.

The documentary’s low points include Uganda’s withdrawal from the 1976 Olympics. Just when the world was looking to a showdown between Akii-Bua and Edwin Moses, Uganda and 24 other African countries withdrew from the games in protest of New Zealand’s sporting links with Apartheid South Africa.

The film highlights the fact that unlike other champions who profited from fame afterwards, Akii-Bua’s life was tragic as he died at a young of 47 in poverty.

Before being taken to scenes like Akii-Bua’s 1979 narrow escape to Kenya during the war that ousted Amin, viewers had some light moments in the cinema’s lounge.

UOC president William Blick used the occasion to launch the Olympians Association and also introduce UOC’s Chief Patron Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Kainergugaba thanked sports heroes like Akii-Bua and Stephen Kiprotich for lifting Uganda’s image.
 


UOC president William Blick (holding mic) used the occasion to launch the Olympians Association and also introduce UOC’s Chief Patron Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba (3rd-right). (Courtesy photo)





The day John Akii-Bua made Ugandan history in 1972


Kiprotich, who 40 years after Akii-Bua’s amazing run won Uganda’s next Olympic gold medal, could not attend Friday’s function as he was in Europe for competition.

But in a recorded message he highlighted numerous benefits resulting from his gold medal at the 2012 London games. Chief guest Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura noted that Akii-Bua put Uganda in good light at a time when the country’s image was battered.

European Union Ambassador Kristian Schmidt was full of praises for Kiprotich and Akii-Bua. He described them as having unique talent.

He noted that Africa has immense potential. Shmidt however noted that there is also need for African countries to also succeed in turning their resource into winning societies on the global arena.

Members of the Akii-Bua family, the British High Commissioner Allison Blackburne, German Deputy Amabassador Joachim Duxter, Alliance Francais Director Jose Maria Queiros and Uganda’s Olympians were some of the viewers of the film.



Also related to this story


The man who discovered John Akii-Bua

Akii-Bua, Uganda’s legendary athlete

Hurdler Akii Bua lifts Uganda on world stage
 

Akii-Bua film captivates Kampala audience

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