Home Rugby National 7s Kyabazinga 7s: The Black Pirates, The Black Pearls & The Black Charger

Kyabazinga 7s: The Black Pirates, The Black Pearls & The Black Charger

by James Kavuma
3 minutes read

The Kyabazinga 7s were the last stop of the National 7s calendar, and we have our champions; the Stanbic Black Pirates are the men’s champions and their sister club, Black Pearls, are the women’s champions. It is a Black affair.

The Black Pirates

At long last, the Stanbic Black Pirates have another Sevens crown to add to the one they won in 2018.

As was the case in 2018, they won the Premiership title in that year too. One good turn indeed deserves another.

Coach Marvin Odongo’s lads were the most consistent side, featuring in five of seven finals, and winning three.

The other time they didn’t reach the finals, they made the semis (Rujumba 7s) where they lost to the KOBs, and the quarterfinals (Tooro 7s) where they lost to the KOBs again.

Their battles with the KOBs were memorable and they won a number themselves; winning 19-07 in the final of Stone City 7s, winning 12-07 at the Kyadondo 7s in the semifinals, and an emphatic 21-00 win in the quarterfinals of the Mileke Border 7s.

Like all top teams, the Pirates lost a host of mainstay stars when Coach Tolbert Onyango drew his wishlist for the national team but the depth of the Bweyogerere side saw them remain competitive and eventually see out the tournament.

They played in three finals and won one after the ejection of Tolbert’s Angels.

Sydney Gongodyo

In the absence of Alex Aturinda, Isaac Massa, William Nkore, Mubarak Wandera and injuries to Desire Ayera and Arnold Atukunda, the Pirates sought and found guidance in the mould of Timothy Kisiga, forward punch and movement in barbershop darling Sydney Gongodyo and fulcrum stability in the pint-sized Conrad Wanyama and Alul “Buju” Stephen.

The Black Pearls

For the third year, the Black Pearls are the top jewel in the land in the women’s National 7s. The Pearls defended their crown but the journey was not without a fight.

Only founded six years ago, this “bunch of villagers” has managed to win a double in the same year i.e. the women’s Premiership and the national 7s.


The first outing, Stone City 7s, was a dark one that saw the team miss out on the final four. This got many people talking with the hope that maybe, the Pearls wouldn’t be able to make it three in a row.

They, since, rectified this glitch, and went to 6 finals, winning four outings, with the Avengers snatching two wins in there.

Helen Buteme Koyokoyo

Coach Helen Buteme Koyokoyo, the biggest name in women’s rugby in Uganda, through her work with Rugby Tackling Life, assembled this team appropriately and their alignment to the Pirates has seen the hunger, desire and assimilation to success sip into their cups too.

After all, Pirates love Pearls. Or so we’ve been told.

It is criminal to talk about the Pearls and not talk about the smoothest criminal of them all, Emilly Lekuru.

Emilly Lekuru

Emilly is a cheat code of rugby, and we could wager you’d offer coach Helen and the Pearls organization the world for Emilly and they would still rubbish your offer.

Biushira Namutebi has been a revelation this year with the young creative engine looking to take the reigns from the evergreen Charlotte Mudoola.

The Black Charger

Ladies and gentlemen, we can confirm that the charger is black and there were two people (one was wearing blue and the other yellow) who tried to unplug it from power but they have since been put in their place.

Rujumba 7s, Tooro 7s and by small extension, Kyadondo 7s, gave Ugandan rugby revellers a glimmer of hope that maybe the Pirates would be toppled (and they were for a bit – by KOBs after Tooro 7s) but normalcy returned after they made the Kyadondo 7s.

“We’re in charge,” coach Marvin Odongo roared. The club, and by extension the fans bought into this philosophy and it has been a black theme on the Ugandan rugby scene for the better part of 2023.

While the players ruffle in the trenches, the fans are lifting them up in the stands – and proclaiming their name on the internet – infecting whoever cares to listen that they must subscribe to the black charger if they want to associate with winners.

Rugby is a festival – and she loves her party. With that said, we can only imagine the extent and amount of celebration that the Black Pirates and Black Pearls are going to throw for their organization as a result of winning the National 7s.

We have glimpses of memories of the Premiership celebrations, and can be sure this time around, that level of celebration will be surpassed.

Courtesy Photos

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