An update from Uganda Premier League Giants Vipers SC regarding an award the Kitende based side gave their player of the month Mzee Sserunkuma has stirred a section of big headed social media fanatics.
So, Vipers SC gives Sserunkuma 10 bags of cement courtesy of their allegedly multibillion partner Hima Cement, and then social media goes wild; that is shaming, those are so few bags, don’t even brag about it bla bla bla
I so much believe whoever wants to criticise the move by Vipers not only has so much time for doing less serious things but also has so little time to do the opposite.
For a player to walk home after the month with 10 bags of cement is a huge leap. Let us try the math.
Building a standard single bedroom self contained house requires about Shs4m, or about Shs 5m factoring in the changes in prices now and let us assume the nature of the land is quite good and wont need grading.
In one of their issues in 2013, New Vision quoted a construction engineer, Herbert Kibumba who said that a simple single self-contained house can go for approximately sh2.5m to sh3m.
He said one needs about 25 bags of cement for such a house if you lay a slab and about 20 bags without a slab to make it up to the ring beam. Now you can factor in the prices if you want, but remember Mzee Sserunkuma has 10 bags already courtesy of his running around the pitch chasing a tiny piece of rubber for 90 mins (Of course if he was never substituted throughout the games)
Accordingly, for the same room, one needs approximately 3000 bricks (about Shs 650,000). Now one social media fella by the name Henry H Ssali said the bags of cement given to Sserunkuma for his efforts on pitch can go for about Shs350k, let us imagine the man needs sand and sells 20 bags (yes he is capable of being player of the month twice)- problem solved.
On the higher end, let us imagine, Sserunkuma wants a two bedroomed house, according to Daily Monitor issued September 2015, an expert Julius Eryenyu is quoted saying a two bedroomed house would cost one approximately 12,000 bricks.
If we say that with 3000 bricks one needs 25 bags of cement to make magic, that means that with 12,000 bricks one needs about 100 bags of cement. If Mzee Sserunkuma came with one season form, he could scoop the award at least 5 times, making him 50bags short of a two-bedroom house which he can complete next season.
Away from the math, it is simply a good gesture from a club in Uganda where football is arguably least appreciated and building selectively applied.
Giving 100 bags at once to every player of the month vulgarises the competition, the award should be allowed to look small in the eyes of certain ingrates but meaningful to those that get it, it is simply a form of motivation to a player who is supposed to leave his body on the pitch in respect to his mutual understanding or contractual obligation to the club.