Jaberi Bidandi Ssali’s arrival at KCCA FC (KCC FC then) in the 1960s is regarded by many as the moment that changed the Lugogo based team.
Born in Butambala District on 17 July 1937 to Bumaali Kakonge Matembe and Nalongo Eriosi Bulyaba, Bidandi attended Kibuli Junior and Nyakasura before moving to Punjab University in Pakistan to further his studies.
During his days, he had a strong passion for football and used to play for the school and University teams.
He returned to Uganda in 1962 from Pakistan and resided in Naguru. During that spell, he used to train with KCCA at Lugogo.
“I was a deputy Mayor then and stayed at Naguru near where the team (KCC) trained from,” Bidandi narrated to KCCA FC TV show.
“I used to spend my evenings at the training grounds but because I was a bit older and experienced, I started training them, making them do physical exercises among others.”
Bidandi says that he is not the one who started the club, an honour that goes to Late Samuel Wamala who founded the club on April 12, 1963.
“Wamala was the head of the Council’s Sewage Works section, a department in KCCA engineering department,” Bidandi added.
Bidandi was later made a permanent coach of the club with Wamala as the Chairman. The team later gained promotion from third division in 1966.
Bidandi did the recruitment of a formidable playing squad to compete.
“I brought the best players at the club – I could go and talk to them personally or send someone. There was little money we gave to them to attract them to join of course,” Bidandi added.
Philip Omondi, Jimmy Kirunda, Tom Lwanga were some of the recruits and they went on to become club legends.
Bidandi adds: “I created a good friendship with my players, followed them from what they eat and what they do. And I was like a father figure to all of them.”
Fast forward, the team went on to earn promotion to the national league in 1974.
The side played attractive football, thanks to Bidandi who had changed the way the team trained.
KCCA went on to win the league back-to-back in 1976 and 1977, and won the 1978 Cecafa cup.
Bidandi, dad to renown Musician Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool, is popularly known as ‘Mister’ by the KCCA and football fraternity.