Mkambi buried

Fans and relatives carry the stretcher containing the body of the late Yanga and Taifa Stars player Juma Mkambi who enroute to the Kisutu Cemetery in Dar es Salaam yesterday. (Photo Omar Fungo)

Former Young Africans and Taifa Stars midfielder Juma Mkambi, who died at the Muhimbili Hospital on Sunday morning, was buried at the Kisutu Cemetery in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Survived by three children and a wife, Mkambi, who retired from active soccer some 21 years ago, had his funeral attended by multitude of sympathisers.

It was not easy to touch is coffin and traffic came to standstill all the way from his family house in Kigogo to the Kisutu Cemetery.

The funeral attendance was in terms of thousands with almost everyone interested to touch his stretcher as a last respect to the fallen hero.

Mkambi, who was the pillar of Young Africans and Taifa Stars in midfield position, used to be a house hold name particularly for Yanga fans.

Of all the goals he scored for Yanga the most valid one was during the 1981 Mainland premiership match that shattered Simba’s five-year rollercoaster victories between the two rival sides in the country.

The goal polished his shining star further to don a Taifa Stars midfielder role despite stiff competition from other players in the likes of Mtemi Ramadhan, Hussein Ngulungu, Lucas Nkondola and Mohamed Rishard Adolf to mention only few.

Mkambi’s highest profile match with the Taifa Stars was a 1982 World Cup qualifier second leg tie against Nigeria (by then Green Eagles) at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam where Stars lost by 2-0 goals.

He was responsible to containing Nigerian striker Osegun Ogdebami who was constantly attempting to torment Stars midfield.

The late Mkambi joined Yanga in 1977 crossing from Mtwara’s Nyota Africa and never defected to rivals except Pan Africa.

Mkambi was nicknamed “The General” by Yanga fans due to his physical build up, intricate ball possession and power-packed shots.

The Guardian Sport pray for his body to rest in “Eternal Peace”, Amen.

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