The redundancy brought about by the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic last year led Sheila Nantale, 12, and her brother Innocent Sseguya, 8, to Godfather Boxing Academy in Nabweru, Kawempe division.
The experience at the boxing academy has enlivened them; it has brought joy in their young lives. Not only do the siblings enjoy boxing for the thrill of it, something a new sport brings to an innocent soul, but they have friends there.
On top of that, they usually receive their daily three-course meal while there; in this case, breakfast, lunch and dinner. They look healthy and happy. However, this all is good look by the siblings is a mere facade, when the sun is still up.
Their family house located in the slums of nearby Bwaise, where they stay with their grandmother Safina Namusoke, is on the brink of collapse. And because of that, the academy is racing against time to save them from this looming danger.
Godfather Academy was founded by former national boxing team captain and 2002 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Muhammed Kayongo, who is now based in the United States of America.
And the Academy has set out to nurture more talent into boxing while imparting other life skills that could come in handy for the pugilists once they retire from the ring. Yet, at the same time, the academy does not stay away from corporate social responsibility (CSR), to help deprived people.
Perhaps very few are as deprived as 65-year-old Namusoke. She sells charcoal for a daily income of a paltry Shs 2,000, which is less than a dollar. And being a widow, she struggles to feed and provide other necessities for her grandchildren from that paltry income.
Her misery was recently compounded when the family house, built 20 years ago with mud and bamboo, started falling off in parts.
“During this rainy season, we rarely sleep, because the rain just comes down on us like we are outside. The rain passes through the already rusted iron sheets,” Namusoke said.
On learning about the family’s miserable living condition, Kayongo and the other Godfather Academy directors launched a fundraiser to build a modest house for Namusoke.
“Our kids are living in very poor conditions with their grandmother; I, therefore, call upon all Godfather family, friends and well-wishers to give us money or materials so that we build a decent house for this poor family,” Kayongo appealed.
According to Abdallah Matovu, one of the boxing coaches at Godfather Academy, they want to raise at least Shs 5.6 million to build a better house for Namusoke and her grandchildren.
For the well-wishers, contributions can be sent on Mobile Money to 0772456005 (Abdallah Matovu) or Stanbic bank account: Godfather Boxing Academy, A/C no. 9030017587659.