Former SC Villa and Onduparaka player Iddi Babu has talked to The-SportsNation about his witchcraft in Rwanda and what attracted him to join Futsal.
The former Buddo SS Captain was born on November 30, November 1991 in Naguru to the late Iddi Owuki and Mrs. Kalsum Ibrahim.
He went to Bombo Umea Primary School from Primary one to Primary two in 1998 to 1999, he then joined Naguru Katali Primary School from P3 to P7 between 2000 to 2004.
He later attended City High School Kampala for S1 in 2005 before moving to Buddo secondary School from S2 to S6 between 2006 to 2010.
Babu enrolled to Ndejje University, Mengo campus, pursuing a Bachelors in Procurement and Logistics in 2011.
He fell in love with football in 2000 in Naguru.
“I started playing football as early as 2000 in Naguru Youth Soccer academy, by then I was in P.3. Later, I joined Naguru soccer club in 2006 till 2010,” Babu passionately talks about his journey.
He played for a number of clubs in his career including Ndejje University in the FUFA Big League in 2011-2012, SC Villa Jogoo 2012-2014, Water FC 2014-2016, Cote ‘D’ FC in Seychelles 2016-2017, Onduparaka in 2017 and Musanze (2017-2019) and Heagan FC in Somalia.
Last year, Babu had stints with Park Futsal Club in the Futsal League.
“When I left Musanze FC in Rwanda, I came back home to Uganda, by the time I reached home, the transfer window was already closed, and besides I left Rwanda with an injury, so in the process, I couldn’t just sit without playing it could be a set back to me”, Babu explains.
“So I decided to to play those small sided game. It was a friend who introduced me to the game – One day I was home so a friend of mine had Futsal tournament in Kyebando. They didn’t have enough players, and he called me asking whether I can get a boda boda to Kyebando which I did.
“When I reached, I think I found them already playing semi final, so they gave me a jersey and immediately played that game. I played very well and we qualified to the final which was played the next day or two, but unfortunately we lost the final.”
“But there and then my employers now (Park FC) called me, one of them was Kalisa he told me I impressed them and they would like me to play for them in the Futsal league every Thursday in Mengo”.
“I agreed, by then I didn’t have any club and I was recovering from my injury and the transfer window was closed, I didn’t want to be dormant so I just gave them a great night, I was like it’s ok, I can join you guys”.
“They asked me whether I have a national ID or anything related, so I gave them my passport. It was Wednesday and they said tomorrow at 7pm we have a game, they did the paperwork from there and then.
“The following day on Thursday, I made my debut, I remember we drew 5-5 and I scored three goals and that’s how I started playing Futsal”.
“I got attracted because I didn’t want to be dormant, I wanted to keep myself fit and active as I was waiting for the transfer window to open, besides, when I got to Futsal I got it so attractive, the speed of the game, the awareness in the game so it really made me want it so much and why am now playing Futsal and I like it so much.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to play football, I can still play it but for now I can see that there is a future in Futsal.”
Babu also laments on the difference between Futsal and football.
“In Futsal, you need to be intelligent, quick thinking, you need to be fully fit and have the ability to play in a crowded and very small area, but in football you have a lot of time to think, the pitch is bigger.”
On his best memories, he revealed: “My best memories in football is when I was in Buddo secondary School. By then, I was the school team captain and we won the Copa coca-cola school championship in 2009 that was in Fort Portal when we beat Old Kampala SS 2-1”.
He named KCCA, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund as his favourite teams in mainstream football.
He added: “My dream is I still want to get back in shape bcause I still have like 2-3 seasons to play then I quit football. I want to sign for a very good team and get somewhere.”
“I want to be in position to help and groom the youth to be better footballers, to be their mentor.”
“I want to become a football administrator and I want to own a club but I just want to help the youth to develop in a very good way.”
He highlighted non payments as a common challenge that most footballers face, saying that they went over a season long without receiving salaries while at SC Villa and Water.
On his spell abroad, he said: “In Cote D Seychelles, I faced a challenge of language barrier, the communication was not okay there but eventually we got a new coach who spoke English.
“And the challenges I faced when I was in Rwanda was witchcraftm I couldn’t really cope up with them because am a staunch Muslim, I really pray and I couldn’t believe in that.
“I was one of their best players and a starter and they had there norms that everyone who starts their game have to do witchcraft.
“The only challenge I faced was I couldn’t do the witchcraft, sometimes I was not selected for the game and I got frustrated. I wanted to play, but I could not use witchcraft, but if I don’t play I don’t get match bonus and allowance”.