Gadaffi Wahab scored one of the goals as Onduparaka FC beat Sporting 3-0 in May 2016 for the Carterpillars, formed in 2011, secured a place in top flight.
The wild celebrations continued all night long in Arua town after a big achievement for Onduparaka and what later turned out to be a strong mark in Uganda football at large.
The story of Onduparaka, first club from West Nile in recent memory to storm UPL, has been told on various occasions. And how they have managed to draw crowds better than the likes of Ediofe Hills, will be told on another day.
It was a dream come true for Wahab who joined Onduparaka FC in 2014 when the team was still in regional league – He had played for Doves United, now Doves All Stars FC, since his days as a pupil.
Many players, notably the core that lifted the team from the lower divisions, had left the Arua-based team but Wahab had earlier vowed to remain behind to keep the green flag flying high.
He weathered the storm until January 2020 when he decided to join an emerging force in Wakiso Giants, leaving behind Adriko Alex Gasper and Andama Denis Koko as still the long serving players for Onduparaka.
Read – Wahab Bids Farewell
His move to join the Purple Sharks capped a great trek of players from Onduparaka in the January window like Fazil Ibrahim and Faisal Anini (Wakiso), Dudu Ramathan and Vitalis Tabu who joined BUL FC.
Wahab, a captain of Onduparaka when the 2019/20 season kicked off, never envisioned a move away from Onduparaka FC, a club that had moulded him. And it came as a no surprise when a section of Onduparaka fans criticised his decision.
“It was a very hard decision for me at that time but I had mixed feelings about it; both good and bad,” Wahab told The-SportsNation in an exclusive interview.
“At one point I never felt like leaving because of the love I have for the team and my people at home and on the other hand I saw it as an opportunity to develop my career and expose myself more to the outside world.
“Of course, majority of the fans took it as if I betrayed them because they felt they still needed me and expected at least I would have finished the season before leaving but other fans understood it.”
Wahab’s move to Wakiso, which many believe was spearheaded by his former coach Livingston Mbabazi then at the Purple Sharks, came amidst financial struggles at Onduparaka.
The central midfielder, one of the best free-kick takers in the league, has scored four goals this season.
The Quick Fire:
Did your parents want you to become a football player?
GW – No, my parents didn’t want me to play football but I had the love for the game and when I reached S.2 I was open to them and told them no one will stop me from playing football that’s when they gave up.
One day as FUFA president, what do you change first?
GW – Change the system of developing grassroot football
Who is your best friend among players?
GW – Toha Rashid, he is my cousin brother and that makes him my best friend because we grow up together.
What is your best sports moment?
GW – When onduparaka got promoted to UPL
Who do you consider to be the hardest opponent ever faced?
GW – Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA FC)
Who is the best player you have ever seen, both local and international?
GW – Mohammed Shaban (Local) and Christiano Ronaldo (international)
What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for you?
GW – The fan insulted my mother in front of me. He said that I should f** her. I really felt bad.
Who was your childhood superhero that inspired you to play football
GW – Samson Caesar Okhuti
When your name is brought up in the next 30 or 50 years, what do you want people to remember about you?
GW – I want people to remember that I was a disciplined and hard working footballer.
What is your childhood nickname and why
GW – Adjuman because that’s where I came from before coming to Arua. And now my friends call me Thiago Alcantara (former Barcelona footballer).
What is your favourite movie and song
GW – No retreat no surrender (song), Baba Lao by Diamond Platinumz
Best place ever been to
GW – Lido Beach
Dream place you want to go?
GW – Mecca
Are you seeing someone?
GW – No
Which celebrity do you have a crush on
GW – Zari Hassan
When was your first kiss
GW – November 16, 2019.
What is your favorite hobby
GW – Listening to music
Three things you would want with you on a desert island
GW – A praying mat, water and essentials.
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