By Vision reporters
Every four years the whole world goes crazy when it is time for the soccer World Cup. Life literally changes and for a whole month people’s lifestyle is dependent on what is happening in whatever country the tournament is taking place.
Many people see it as an opportunity to make money, and pubs across the country invest a lot in trying to attract customers to their places.
At times re-painting takes place, and bigger, more efficient fridges are put in place.
More and larger screens are bought, and in 2010 there was a sell out of high definition decoders from Multichoice (many were sold off as soon as the World Cup ended).
Social life is also affected, for better or worse depending on which side you are on. Men will generally disappear for long periods on end, with the excuse that they were watching World Cup with the boys.
Women will try to keep up with them, for a while, but eventually they get tired of the whole pub atmosphere, and the men will use the chance all kinds of nasty things.
Bu this World Cup will be different, because it is happening in Brazil, literally the other side of the world. Which means many of the games will be very late, Ugandan time.
Some of the really big games, and most of the games featuring African teams, will start at 1am. While some games will be at 7pm, the average kick-off time is 11pm.
How is this going to affect everybody? Will pubs still invest in upgrading their facilities, hoping many Ugandans will be willing to stay the whole night while working soccer?
How will men justify their staying out the whole night? Or going out at midnight to catch the big games?
After the 2010 Kyadondo bombings it took Ugandans a long time to go back to crowded, public places.
In spite of security measures and assurances from the police, will the fear of terror attacks keep soccer lovers away from pubs and public places?
Will this World Cup be the usual killing? Or will it turn out to be the ‘Lost World Cup’?
A team from The Beat went around to find out how Kampalans are planning for the period June 13th to July 13th.
Nightclubs, bars and kafundas
Job Katuramu, Route 256
We shall be showing all games on screens full with commentary. Even the late night games will be shown except on Fridays and Saturday when we have video mixing. On those nights, some screens will show the games but not with sounds, because those are nights we do video mixing and people would love to dance.
Tendo Kagwa, Zone 7, Bugolobi
We have prepared for this World Cup and got in partnership with Multichoice to serve as one of the world cup homes. We will be showing all games including the late ones. We have decided to introduce breakfast menu that will be served to those watching the games in the wee hours. While we don’t really expect packed up audiences we know there will be those who understand the feeling of watching games in a bar, and maybe wouldn’t want to disturb the peace at home in the mornings.
Steven Kavuma, Club Silk, 1st street, Industrial Area
We will show the games on muted screens. Our business is different from bars. Nightclubs attract a mixture of audiences and one would not wish to leave out the other audience. We really expect people to enjoy the world cup experience in the nightclub.
Tshaka Mayanja, Guvnor, 1st street, Industrial Area
We have not really worked out something special for the World Cup. Maybe we will come up with something towards the last matches, after studying well the screening time. The showing times this time are precarious so we will know how to go about it by that time. But the games will be screened on muted sounds, as well when the club is open on Friday and Saturday.
Steven Mugabe, Ovacado Close,
We haven’t really organized much for the World Cup but we will be showing all games on a projector and two big screens. The exception is, the opening world cup night will have football watchers pay for at least 3 beers, and the price will be the same for the semi-final and final nights
Reno Kabachelor, Gabiro, Bugolobi
We had not really planned for the World Cup because most patrons who come to watch football do not really spend. So, our boss was somewhat discouraged from doing anything unless there is a promo or activation from clients. But the matches will be shown on the big screens we have at the bar.
Roderick Kakuba, Triple R, Ntinda
We are not sure what the response will be during the world cup because one local television is to show these games. That means most patrons might decide to watch the games at their homes. We had not worked out a plan but maybe we will do something on the bigger football nights like semi-final and final. Our security will remain tight because we are close to a police station that always gives us a policeman.
Milton Ombudi –Open House, Opp Watoto Church, central
We will not have any celebrations for the world cup. We had not really worked out something special. Our patrons are mostly those that just want to sit down and watch while they drink. So, we hadn’t planned for anything really except, all those who will come to watch the games will beer at a discount. Beer will be sold sh4,000 from the usual sh5000.
Laura Ayinebyona, Banana Republic, Bugolobi
We have actually set a world cup setting at the bar and we will be doing some sort of World Cup opening celebration on the opening night. We will have promos during the world cup where patrons will be winning prizes on some nights. Our security detail is set and we are ready for the world cup.
Wives, homes and family time
Women are likely to be left disgruntled for the next one month, mostly because of the times when the games will be played. And it will greatly affect family time.
According to the fixture chat, the first game starts at 7.00 pm and last one kicks off at 1.00 am lasting close to two hours and ending to 3.00 am. With such a schedule, it is likely that some men will have to leave home as early as 6.00pm to be in time for the seven o’clock match, and come back around 4am.
Former Brazilian international player, Kaka poses with a fan prior to Brazil's Group A football match against Croatia at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 12, 2014. AFP /PHOTO
Evening is the time a majority of families get to see each other after a long day’s work. But for the next one month it is certain that men and the big boys in the home will spend their evenings, nights and part of the wee hours in video halls and sports bars cheering teams.
So how does this affect the family? It implies the children will not get a chance to see their fathers and neither will they be helped to do homework. Dr Sabrina Kitaka who has been married for 24 years and a mother of five says women are likely to suffer too and to the worst scenario become irritable because their husbands will not have dinner at home.
“If they happen to be at home, family routine will be interfered with because the men and big boys have to sit up to late watching football,” she cautions.
That aside, the romantic dates and quality time will be missed out for the next 30 days. Beat Bisangwa, a married woman and a mother of six, says World Cup season brings loneliness leaving the women with a feeling of rejection.
“The drift of events negatively impacts on women because they have been used to their husband’s company and suddenly their men shift their attention to football,” Bisangwa said. “To bridge the gap the women also find a way of occupying themselves by going out with fellow women friends and others travel.”
With the men keeping away from their spouses for long hours in the name of watching World Cup soccer games, accusations of couples cheating on each other are likely to come up.
“Which woman would stomach a husband returning home past mid night claiming they have been watching world Cup in bars. The mere thought of my husband away from me in the night makes me ask questions; whom could he be watching the watch with or I pray the match is not abandoned along the way for other weird activities,” says Ritah Nabossa another married woman and a resident of Kasubi
The battle for the remote
Even families with DSTV may not survive. Because the first match kicks off at seven o’clock, some men may prefer to return home early in time for the match. Though the woman and children may be happy to have daddy back home early, issues of who uses the television may come up. Remember it is about 7 .00 pm to 8.00 pm when popular soaps; the women’s favourite start. It is also around the same time that children enjoy their cartoon series.
Annet Kirungi, a counselling psychologist, thinks such arguments on who uses the television set may create some disagreement. In most scenarios the man may dictate using the television set to watch the match.
“It is such clashes that force women to join the band wagon of the football fun for the sake of having peace in the home,” Karungi says.
To avoid disagreements, she advises the man to have arrangements made which may include buying another television set for the family.
Vox pop: What women say about security of their men?
Lilian Kamanzi; executive secretary for AMREF- Health Africa.
There is a spirit of fear hanging around especially with Uganda soldiers still in Somalia. Government needs to sensitize people to be extra careful and the only safe place to watch football is their homes.
Margret Akello, breast cancer survivor and counselor
Watching soccer in the night may present issues of insecurity especially for people who go out of home. Government needs to tighten security; put police patrols in areas that are insecure and ensure the places where people watch soccer from are safe.
Ruth Musisi, mother and wife
For the security bit, it becomes risky for the men who go out to watch soccer and return late in the night. Besides, you may not know what they do once they are out for long time.
Brazilian fans smile as they attend the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo prior to the start of the Group A opening football match between Brazil and Croatia during the 2014 World Cup on June 12, 2014. PHOTO / AFP
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The lost World Cup? 2014 will be different