Social media spike, street parties, over Uganda’s Olympics gold
By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda
Ugandans flocked to social networks to share their joy over Stephen Kiprotich ’s gold in the London Olympics marathon.
The news of Kiprotich clinching the gold medal was greeted with a lot of applause and jubilation and apart from the street and club parties, social networks were not spared as Twitter and Facebook updates poured in uncontrollably to celebrate the long awaited gold.
Ugandans were taken by surprise and no one had expected a medal as Kiprotich was an underdog not only in the Team Uganda but also in the marathon race being dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians. Uganda’s medal hopefuls of Moses Kipsiro and and Dorcus Inzikuru performed dismally and Ugandans had lost hope of any medal let alone Gold!
One Gerald Bareebe boasted on Facebook: “Let me put Uganda's Olympic Gold medal in context: 80 Million Ethiopians got 3 Olympic Gold, 40 Million Kenyans 2 Gold, 34 Million Ugandans 1 Gold. 150 Million Nigerians 0 Gold- Please note that Uganda's 1 Gold was the epitome of the event so it is bigger than all those other golds combined...the guy ran for more than two hours, not Hussain Bolt's 9 seconds.....I feel like we ruled the world today with our National Anthem at the closing ceremony. Long live Uganda!!!....u can't accuse me of too much nationalism...lol”, (in terms of population)
He also added, “What a Fantastic moment for Uganda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. The first Gold medal in 40 years and to get the Country's National Anthem played at the closing ceremony.........basically the whole world watching!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like I said IN UGANDA, WE SAVE THE BEST FOR THE LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One Joseph Basoga joked about the reward the president might give Kiprotich: “By virtue of Authority entrusted to me... Kip.R0tich I confer upon Kip-rotich an oil field, a district and what else do you think?” “Well done Uganda's kiprotich ..finally you have won us an Olympic gold medal for the first time since 1972.. congs. It’s a moment to celebrate.” Exclaimed Katussime Anna on her Facebook page.
Nina Mbabazi also noted: “Nice to see that everyone on FB today is proud of Uganda. With all the challenges in all the areas, of course it is only an ordinary citizen that has the capacity to inspire everyone.”
The last gold winner for Uganda was the late John Akibua in 1972. His daughter Denise Akibua is now a resident of London and this year was part of a documentary about the senior Akibua’s efforts 40 years ago. It must be quite an occasion to be Akibua’s family at the London Olympics and witness an occasion such as this one. “My father can finally rest in peace. Uganda has a new hero to focus on and to appreciate better, hopefully we shall appreciate his sacrifices and share his glory!” she wrote on her FaceBook page.
The celebration for the victory was even termed as the best gift for Uganda’s 50 years independence celebrations slotted for October this year. Patience Atuhaire noted on her facebook page, “Kiprotich just delivered for #Uganda the best #Independence Jubilee present ever! I hope he is honored with as much seriousness”
The champion and hero himself could not believe his accomplishment "I really didn't think I could win it, but when it came to three miles to go, I decided to go for it.” “I can say I am very happy to win a medal for my country. I love my people. Ugandans are very happy because we haven't won a medal in marathon races (before).”