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Rujumba 7s: Stanbic Black Pirates Ensure the Henry Rujumba Legacy Lives On

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Stanbic Black Pirates team

As I ruminate about life and the choices we all make, this drop of wisdom from Jim Rohn comes to mind, “All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.

1995 was the year of Jonah Lomu, the first true Rugby superstar playing for the New Zealand Team, the All Blacks. Blessed with immense size and blistering speed, Lomu inspired many kids around the world to dream big.

One year later, the Black Pirates Rugby Club was born, and down in Western Uganda, in Ntare School, a strapping young man set out to play the game, in true Lomu-esque style. Whereas many tried to emulate the great New Zealand wing, none was better suited than Henry. Before long, he was known as the Ugandan ‘Lomu’, down to the trademark Mohawk haircut.

Henry, like Lomu, was blindingly quick for a big guy. Over 6ft tall, and with a larger than life presence, he was part of a cohort from Ntare that included current URU president (Godwin Kayangwe), Ex-Uganda cranes Prop and current National Team Coach (Fred Mudoola) and the Director of Rugby at BPRFC and Backline National Team (Robert ‘Bobby’ Musinguzi). Henry joined Black Pirates RFC in 1998, his Senior vacation, and went on to feature for the national Rugby Cranes 15s and 7s sides a year later.

Renowned for his bone crushing hits, and deceptive pace, he loved to take on the biggest most threatening player of the opposite team. Henry transformed every team he played for, with his vibrant yet gentle personality, he led with his actions, on and off the pitch, and like his rugby icon, inspired many to dream big!

This year, the Stanbic Black Pirates will host the 6th edition of the Henry Rujumba Seven’s circuit at their home ground (King’s Park Arena in Bweyogerere) on the 3rd and 4th of September 2022 and with more partners and the home grounds looking better than they did 365 days ago, one can only expect this year’s tournament to be even better!

So what happened in the previous edition of 2021?

The organizers set out to host a different kind of tournament, one where the corporates big shots who’ve supported the game of rugby get toasted, where the youthful trendy followers of the sport get to enjoy 2 days of high intensity rugby, an event where people simply come to have a good time.

The event ticked all the boxes. Stanbic bank, sponsors of the host club The Stanbic Balck Pirates, pulled out all the stops, with an exclusive VIP experience graced by the boss lady herself CEO Anne Juuko!

Not to be outdone, the event’s sponsor flooded the expansive Kingspark Arena with branding and activation booths that catered to the patrons every need. The on pitch action kept the fans on the edge of their seats from day 1, and with the hosts playing the series leaders in the final on day 2, there could only be one outcome.

The Family of the late great, Henry Rujumba was in full attendance, for the first time in the history, as was another late great, Coach Robert Seguya, who’d pass away a few months afterwards.

So, what did we achieve with the last Rujumba 7s, one would ask? 2 days of quality rugby footie? Corporate day in the sun? a chance to say goodbye to Soggie, I’d say all those things and more. We got to live, and create larger than life memories, just the way Henry would have done. This September, we get the chance to do it all over again!

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Rashid is a Public Interest Journalist based in Kampala - Uganda. He has bias for Fashion, Entertainment and current affairs. Contact Rashid on: rkyonjo@thetowerpost.com