For the thousands of football fans across Uganda Sunday September 4 will be a day to remember; the Uganda national football team the Uganda Cranes qualified for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after a 39 year jinx.
However, the same day will always remain etched in the memory of events promoter, Balaam Barugahara, who lost his only son Jonathan Tumusiime Amooti, while the match his father had relentlessly promoted, was underway.
Balaam’s company was at the forefront of rallying Ugandans to attend the match between the Cranes and the Comoros national team played at Namboole in large numbers, which the fans did.
However, little did they know that the man behind the huge attendance was bereaved: four-year old Jonathan has been battling cancer and had been undergoing treatment in India.
However, it turned out his case was more complicated than the hospital in India could handle, and doctors there had referred young boy to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts, USA.
“We secured for him (a place for treatment) in America yesterday. He couldn’t reach here! After a long battle in India I believe it’s the Lord who gives and takes so let’s take heart and his soul rest in peace,” said Balaam as he announced the death of his son.
Meanwhile, burial arrangements are already underway. There will be a vigil tonight at Balaam’s home in Minister’s Village Ntinda, followed by a requiem mass tomorrow at St. Charles Lwanga Church, Ntinda at 11am. Burial will take place at Nakasajja on Gayaza Road at 2pm.
“Let’s celebrate his life together. I’m strong as always. Rest in peace master Jonathan Tumusiime Amooti. I will miss you forever; you are irreplaceable master. I will continue sharing your love with children in same cancer condition,” Balaam said.