The Commemoration Cup is a special annual competition played in remembrance of our fallen colleagues in KAVC, celebrating their lives to inspire the rest of us to pursue the great virtues that these folks often represented.
Following the passing of Men’s head coach Geoffrey Ssembiro in 1999, members agreed to set aside a moment to celebrate his life having had a unique mark on the men’s team. This moment commenced with the first ever Geoffrey Sembiro Memorial Cup on Sunday the 17th of December 2000. In 2005 the fifth edition was renamed Commemoration Cup in similar consideration to all fallen comrades of KAVC and has since taken on this stance. This year’s edition that was slated to be held on the 17th of December 2016 at the Lugogo Sports Complex has been postponed to Saturday the 14th of January 2017. This was due to other competing events that were unforeseen.
The 17th edition theme is “how your good works remain an inspiration for the rest of the world even while you are gone”
Matches commence 9:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. Detailed fixture to be published morning of 14th January 2017
Check the evening of 14th January 2017
Acclaimed to have been one of the best setters this country has seen, a complete player in technic, tact and psychology. Her warm temperate won her lots of admiration from her fellow players. She led KAVC to great wins inspired by the likes of Christine Achieng, Goreti Balyama, sibling Florence Wamboga besides the likes of Safina Nagayi and fellow setter Cathy Adipo. Often she set for the men’s team that regularly lacked setters. She seemed to have been an incarnation or replica of the then men’s senior setter and coach Hakim Sembuya, their skills almost caused them to resemble physically like blood relatives.
Dr. George Edward Aporu Okol 
Joined KAVC in the mid-70s going ahead to captain the first ever Ugandan National Team in 1975 during a Zone Six (now zone five) Championship together with Old Coach Neko Muduse, Dr. Wilson Ojikan Odeke among others. He is father to George Aporu of NEMO Stars and at the time of his passing he was the Patron of Uganda Volleyball Association.
Dr. Wilson Ojikan Odeke 
Wilson is among the four founder members of KAVC in 1970 while studying at Makerere University. He started strongly in basketball at Nabumali High School but was to later be influenced into volleyball by Old Coach Neko Muduse Ojala eventually meeting again at Makerere University where he became University captain in 1970 before joining Old Coach to form KONDOS (KAVC). Wilson was on Uganda’s first National Team in 1975 during the Zone Six Championship. He was good at recruiting potential into the club including the late George Aporu from St. Mary’s Kisubi and the late John Akii-bua from the police force. He became the External Wing of KAVC in 1974 introducing volleyball to the communities he worked in including Moroto, Mbarara, Soroti & Kumi. He is the one who proposed Silver Jubilee tournament in 1995 that bore the roots for the KAVC FOUNDERS MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT “NSSF KAVC INTERNATIONAL”
What a powerful left hand swing Charles had! Gita going by his nickname “Soo” was full of life and zeal always approaching his volleyball maneuvers with plenty of energy and had lots of endurance. The cause of his death may never have been resolved as it happened suddenly in a special hire taxi as he was being chauffeured in town on normal business. It may remain a mystery.
Some Quotes about Charles from colleagues:
“I remember Charlie’s outrageous sense of humor! Hilarious! The way he’d describe himself – Tall, dark, broad shoulders, distinctive jaws, narrow waist and on he would go – he never understood why chics would hanker over such guys in books when he – such a paragon – was around!! “
“I remember once in India, a guy spat on Charlie – well he spat out the bus window and it landed on Charlie – we were on a bike – Charlie chased the guy a distance equivalent to coming from Kampala to mukono until we caught up with the bus and Charlie unleashed a torrent of Luganda words which the guy certainly didn’t understand in the least! We run out of fuel on our way back from that adventure” “Yah the narrow west! I remember that .. aha…”
John Akii-Bua 
John joined KAVC in 1971 while working in the police force alongside superiors SSP Stephen Kyefulumya, SSP Mark Okello wange. These officers were among the reason the name KAVC was coined changing from the previous name ‘KONDOS’ which translates to robbers, all in respect of the police profession. While playing volleyball John was busy training hard for the Olympics going ahead to set a new world record in the 400 meters hurdles in 1972 Munich games.
Lipoto’s family may never forget the day he passed on; right in front of their eyes. He was killed by a hit & run car as he crossed from where he had left the wife and kids in their car at Wandegeya. Lipoto started his volleyball in Namasagali where he was a very versatile sportsman an all-rounder as such. Later in University Hall he helped win over 3 back-to-back titles as setter alongside Robert Mwesigwa, Frank Othembi, Masaba Robert, Geoffrey Kamuntu and Eyatu Joseph before joining KAVC after a brief stint with Dairy Volley Club. He was also part of the university team that threatened top teams in the late 80’s. At the time of his passing he was working with Alliance Airlines as a senior executive
Geoffrey Sembiro 
Sembiro never gave up. He persisted and insisted. Having shown up for Mitchel hall as a key player and under the stewardship of Old Coach he boldly took on the role of coaching the lady’s team alongside him (old coach). With the experience he garnered and the level one course he undertook in 1994, Sembiro gunned for the men’s vacant coaching slot where he displayed rare instincts of influencing success even when most men felt his playing skill levels were low for their case. He inspired and prepared the men’s team to sweep national accolades from the then top teams including the famous regionals such as BONITE, Rwanda Genocide Memorial, Nzoia Open, Nasilu Cup, etc. He had a very annoyingly sly left swing and often beat our best blockers at the middle attack. His cool, patient and distinct temperament won confidence from his players even though they often depicted lots of superiority complexes over him He was known for quelling even the most of apparently choleric lads such as Eyatu, Mutebi and Mutegyeki (chuchu). At his passing he was still the head coach for men and it took a good while to have a stable replacement in the men’s camp.
In December 2000 KAVC organized a Geoffrey Sembiro Memorial Cup in his remembrance. This would after numerous editions evolve into “The Commemoration Cup” that seeks to celebrate the lives of fallen comrades by reliving some attributes while they were still with us.
Gladys Nyabongo 
Many of the current crop did not see Gladys on court, but she started her trade way back in the late 80s showing up for UCB ladies alongside Echoku Catherine, Lamunu Jackie among others. When the UCB sports detail wound up she kept a low profile until finding her solace as a staunch fan in KAVC (2002), a stance she practiced with utmost passion including travelling with the team to Kigali, attending almost all local events with great morale boosting stints. She was keenly supportive of management processes and contributed plentiful financially whenever sought. She was reckoned to have called a quick fundraising during a KAVC Annual General Meeting to clear an outstanding club debt. In no time she had mobilized fivefold what was due. At her passing she was a Senior Accountant in the President’s Office.
Olive Esther Mukite 
Olive was resilient, determined and persistent to become the star of the club. She never tired easily and took to drills as if nothing else existed during training. She influenced her game after joining Islamic University in Uganda in Mbale alongside Sharifah Biramahire. They both joined KAVC around the times of our junior ladies team formulation that Old Coach trained on the upper court. They however thought they were a little superior for this category and insisted doing it with the seniors. They both quickly fitted the times with the senior team. Mukite passed on very painfully in a Mbale hospital negligence perhaps having been mistaken for an Ebola case and probably abandoned in fear by the hospital staff to bleed to death. At her passing she was the district information officer for Sironko District. She served as Director Public Relations for KAVC in 2003-2004 term.
Rhode Murungi 
Rhode was a senior player with KAVC and part of the winning formula in the Mid-90s till late 90s. He started his volleyball in Jinja City plying the trade with veteran Mofaht Masaba in Jinja volleyball club, and then later joined Dairy Volleyball Club before finding the right home in KAVC where he was among the highest jumpers in the country and hardest hitters. He later had a professional stint in Dara salaam with Simba Volleyball Club. At the time of his passing he had been working as a professional Sailor with Cruise Ships between America and the Far East. He was married with two Kids.
Michael Otukol 
One of the most ardent fans KAVC had ever had, always vibrant in supporting the club and sometimes standing out alone even in hard times when everyone else is weeping in painful silence. He joined together with veteran Richard Okwii and folks will recall their reckoning in Kigali when our men lifted back-to-back titles as the two led in silencing the Rwanda crowds. In the 2008 MEM Michael inconspicuously cheered our teams and no one ever thought that would be his last MEM. Folks often looked forward to this spirited encouragement whenever they headed for the famous Kigali tournament. Otukol died from a blood clot that stemmed from a fracture he had earlier sustained.
Richard Basiima 
Richard was a very energetic heavily built player who got into volleyball at the University largely because of his height and resilience. He was otherwise a rugby star for Livingstone hall and on the University team. Teaming up with the likes of Eyatu, Masaba, Lipoto, Othembi and Meya on the MUK team it didn’t take long for him to follow down to KAVC at about 1990. Richard then steadily became part of that special endearing formula for the club traversing the East African Region and probably last played actively in 1998. His specialty was middle block which he did ruthlessly earning envy from his opponents. He later on became an ardent fan of beach volleyball always sparing some time to watch a good number of games at Lido Beach. At his passing he was a senior officer in Uganda Revenue Authority based at Entebbe International Airport. Richard was married with children.
Geoffrey Kintu 
Geoffrey was another Jinja product starting his volleyball almost as a ball boy at YMCA Jinja and at St Jude social center in the times when Masaba was about to join Makerere from YMCA volleyball club associated with Jinja Volleyball club. He played with Rhode Murungi among the later crop of the Jinja teams similarly having a great jump and could play most attack positions. Later when he settled in Kampala he chose to join KAVC and at the time of his passing he had been working with Phenix Logistics. He was Alex Nduhukire’s workmate when Alex had a stint at Phenix.
Charles Opio Akome 
Charles was among the first batch of recruits after the formation of KAVC in 1970 alongside Suleman Kakooza, Dr. James Lukwago, Mike Smith and Richard Ssendi. He served as a classroom teacher in the 70s in Lango College before heading Ngai SSS and Aduku SSS. He also served as RDC in both Kapchorwa & Apac districts. At his passing he was serving as chairman District Service Commission of Dokolo District.
Moses Galya 
Moses joined KAVC after 2006 bringing a peculiar flavor with him in regard to traditional entertainment. He was always a jovial lad showing up for the CUBS team until he was enrolled in the veteran’s camp. He was a professional Music, Dance and Drama trainer and also coached volleyball in a couple of schools.
Grace Asiimwe 
Grace joined KAVC either late 2014 or early 2015 as a student player but was not as regular most of the year. She lost her life in a fatal motor accident.