Majid Musisi

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Majid Musisi
Personal information
Full name Majid Musisi Mukiibi
Date of birth (1967-09-15)September 15, 1967
Place of birth Kampala, Uganda
Date of death December 13, 2005(2005-12-13) (aged 38)
Place of death Uganda
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 Mulago
1983–1984 Pepsi
1985–1992 SC Villa (138)
1992–1994 Stade Rennes 51 (12)
1994–1997 Bursaspor 77 (31)
1997–1999 Çanakkale Dardanelspor 79 (29)
1999–2001 SC Villa
2002–2004 SHB Đà Nẵng
2004-2005 Ggaba United
National team
1985-2002 Uganda
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 September 2007.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 September 2007

Majid Musisi Mukiibi (September 15, 1967 – December 13, 2005) was a Ugandan footballer.

Career[edit]

Musisi, like several other football stars from the eighties, nurtured his football career at the renowned Mulago playground, popularly known as ‘Maracana’ in reference to the famous Brazilian stadium. Alongside the likes of Adam Semugabi and Rajab Sekalye, he was one of the top prospects at New Mulago Primary School.

Stocky, powerful and endowed with speed, Musisi rapidly outgrew his age and stood out among his peers so much so that in 1983 – at just 16 years – second-tier side Pepsi FC snapped him up. In the process, Musisi abandoned studies at Bashir High School in Wandegeya. After an impressive season, SC Villa’s tactician David Otti noticed the youngster and quickly enrolled him into the Villa squad that was preparing for the Cecafa Club Championship in January 1985.

However, Musisi missed the trip when his passport was delayed but made the Villa squad that travelled to Sudan to face El-Hilal in the Africa Club Championship three weeks later. At the time, SC Villa was an emerging force with two league titles already under their belt. Rogers Nsubuga was the club’s leading marksman with Ronald Vubya and Shaban Mwinda not far off.

The club also had promising strikers like Issa Kawooya and George Muwanguzi to beef up the attack. Did SC Villa really need Musisi? Many fans wondered at the time. Otti knew better and was instantly vindicated even though he resigned shortly after due to poor results. Under new coach Timothy Ayiekoh, Musisi would make his long-awaited debut against Maroons, scoring twice and followed it up with one goal against Heroes.

For some reason, however, Ayiekoh preferred tested strikers in big matches. In the few matches he played, Ayiekoh deployed him on the right wing, a position that didn’t suit him well. So in August 1985, his career took a huge turn that would eke his name into Ugandan football echelons. Villa versus Express…the whole Kampala would come to a standstill. With thousands of fans still forcing their way to enter Nakivubo stadium, Musisi, given a rare start, fired in two quick goals in the first four minutes to give SC Villa a sweet 2-0 win over Express.

[Family man: Musisi (R) with his mum and son Magid Mukiibi Jr]

Family man: Musisi (R) with his mum and son Magid Mukiibi Jr

Musisi’s mother recalls the moment vividly; “He was a keen supporter of KCC during his childhood—so, when he scored those two goals against my Express, he came and teased me…mummy tubakubye [we’ve beaten you],”

The story at the end of the match wasn’t the result, but a ‘mysterious’ Villa player that had scored even before many entered. Despite the fact that Villa didn’t win any silverware that season, the writing was on the wall that they were headed for bigger things. Indeed, things turned for the better when in 1986 season, Polly Ouma took over as Villa coach. On his part, he improved his 1985 tally of six goals to eight. SC Villa won its first league and Cup double.

Then the goals started flowing in 1987; He scored three goals as SC Villa won the Cecafa Club Championship and when Nsubuga got sidelined by injury, Ouma played Musisi in his favoured central role, scoring eight goals in the first six league games. His sharpness was so irresistible that Cranes coach Barnabas Mwesiga handed the 20-year-old his debut in July 1987. It was a 1988 Olympic qualifier against Mozambique.

With Musisi partnering the great Phillip Omondi on the frontline, the combo was a joy to watch as they tore apart the Mozambique side with each picking up a brace in the 4-1 win. In the return leg, the duo scored a goal each in the 2-0 win to make sure of Uganda’s progress to the next stage. At Villa, Vubya was the perfect foil for Musisi, occupying opponents and picking out Musisi’s intelligent runs with inch-perfect passes. At the end of the season, Musisi was crowned top scorer with 28 goals.

Later that year, the pair defied a Fufa directive and appeared for their Lugave clan in the Bika by’Abaganda football championship just days before the crucial Olympic qualifier against Zambia. So, when the federation suspended them, there was public outcry. Fufa had no option but to recall the two players and ironically, it was Musisi and Vubya who made the difference as Uganda won the home leg 2-1.

However, the Zambians would go on to eliminate Uganda but when the two teams met in the Cecafa Cup later that year, Musisi ran rings around the Zambians, scoring a hat-trick and at the end of the event, he emerged the top scorer. Fittingly, he was voted the 1987 Footballer of the Year. Patrick Kawooya, the filthy rich SC Villa boss, was one of Musisi’s biggest admirers. He rented him a plush house at Najjanankumbi, a Kampala suburb, fully furnished with a refrigerator, cooker, video system, standby generator and other luxuries.

“I remember one time Musisi came to me with a bag full of money and we went to Kyebando where we purchased a plot of land, it was a lot of money,” Musisi’s mother Namutebi recollects. She says the entire family depended on Musisi. “When he hit headlines, he took over the responsibility of the entire family and started paying school fees for about 12 of his siblings,” she adds.

Musisi and Kawooya were so close that in many ways, he [Musisi] was the go-between for other players.

“At the time, many of the upcoming Villa players like me used to channel our problems through Musisi and the following day, you would get it,” says Charles Sebugwawo former SC Villa player. Goals, goals, goals

Because of his well-built frame and fearless approach no defender could go with him toe to toe. Fans nicknamed him ‘Tyson,’ which was a direct comparison to the then young boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who also left destruction in his wake. ‘Magic’ is another popular tag they called him because of his style of play. In the 1988 season, however, Musisi endured a dip in form and his self-belief took a hit.

Drama unfolded in the decisive league game against KCC, when Musisi missed a couple of sitters and even failed to convert from the spot when the Jogoos were trailing 1-2. But when Vubya equalised with a few minutes left, Kawooya went on the touchline and usurped the powers of Geoff Hudson, Villa coach. He asked John Kaweesi to warm up in place of the misfiring Musisi.

But just as they waited for a dead ball situation, Musisi scored the winner in stoppage time and, ironically, Kawooya raced the full length of the pitch to carry Musisi shoulder high. At the end of the season, Musisi scored a respectable 13 league goals. But that, by Musisi’s standards, was a step down despite missing a number of games due to an ankle injury.

Musisi would later score a brace to eject KCC from the Uganda Cup before netting a spectacular goal against Express in the Uganda Cup final as Villa won the league and Cup double. A week later, he extended his act in the Bika by’Abaganda, leading the Lugave clan to a 5-0 demolition of Ngabi in the final. The story was different in 1989; Musisi not only helped Villa to a third ‘double’ but also recaptured the top scorer’s crown with 15 goals.

To cap a successful season, Musisi topscored the Cecafa Cup with four goals – also converted in the final shootout as Uganda beat Malawi to win the event after 12 years. In 1990, SC Villa and Musisi remained dominant on the local scene, with the Jogoos retaining the league as Musisi’s 28 goals equaled Isa Sekatawa’s three top-scoring awards. Earlier in September, he was a thorn in the DR Congo defence when he scored a late winner in the 2-1 triumph in a Nations Cup qualifier.

He was not done yet; in December, he put the icing on the cake as Uganda beat Sudan 2-0 to retain the Cecafa title. Unsurprisingly, he picked up a second ‘Footballer of the Year’ award. In 1991, he scored 17 league goals to become the first player to reach 100 league goals but Villa ended the season empty-handed.

However, they had every reason to celebrate after finishing runners-up in the Africa Club Championship. Musisi scored a couple of goals in that fairytale campaign but what stood out was his diving header against Nigeria’s Iwuanyanwu Nationale in the semifinal.

In 1992, Musisi was on track to make light work of Jimmy Kirunda’s record of 32 goals a season when he netted a mindboggling 29 goals in the league’s first round. In his final league appearance, he tormented KCC goalie Sadiq Wassa to the extent that when he scored his fourth in the 5-0 win, he simply walked off the field as if to suggest that domestic opposition no longer matched his ambitions. Nevertheless, he extended his league tally to 144 goals.

It was a blessing in disguise when French side Stade Rennes signed the player for a whopping $180,000. Villa used part of that money to buy the Makindye-Luwafu club house. Simply unstoppable

Musisi can best be described as an orthodox forward, one who makes scoring look easy. He was a natural finisher who got the best out of his physical presence. He was also a deadball specialist. On the other hand, he was a tireless workhorse with exceptional firepower; added to pace, good dribbling skills and a great aerial presence, he was the most difficult striker to mark.

While many of today’s strikers avoid tackles, Musisi was a nightmare for man-markers. Yet despite his fearsome frame, Musisi was always composed and never lost his temper or retaliated yet many teams purposely set out to eliminate him. Professional football

At Rennes, Musisi was a regular presence and scored a number of crucial goals, which prompted Turkish side Bursaspor to sign him in 1997 for a reported $1m. He later moved to Dardanelspor, another Turkish club before he brought the curtain down on his professional career in 2001. “Dardanelspor still owes him money,” says Nantongo, without disclosing the amount.

[Musisi (front row second right) at Dardanelspor]

Musisi (front row second right) at Dardanelspor

Musisi returned to Uganda in 2001 and rejoined SC Villa. However, it was clear he was over the hill and failed to show the predatory skills of the past. He remained a key player for Uganda, captaining the side on several occasions and the highlight was a hat-trick in 1998 in the 5-0 win over Rwanda. However, he unceremoniously ended his Cranes career when Harrison Okagbue, the then coach threw him out of camp for breaching the team’s code of conduct in 2000.

In 2002, he joined Vietnamese side Da Nang but returned in 2004 and joined Ggaba United. There, he failed to get off the mark and called it a day. For all the great goals he scored, Uganda’s failure to qualify for the Nations Cup somehow dented his overall greatness. In 1991, Musisi and his Villa teammates turned down a national call-up before a crucial Nations Cup qualifier against DR Congo.

For one, Musisi is best remembered for his ‘Mugende Mukafiiremu’ remark and Uganda eventually lost 0-1. The move was in protest to Fufa’s suspension of Villa skipper Paul Hasule over indiscipline. And when Uganda won a penalty against Nigeria in the penultimate qualifier for the 1994 Nations Cup, the usually bold Musisi shied away from taking it and in the end, Adam Semugabi shot wide as Uganda was held to a goalless draw, which in many ways put paid The Cranes’ chances of qualification. Last days

Off the pitch, Musisi had a topsy-turvy lifestyle. Twice, he was briefly arrested for defilement and at one time, he knocked dead a boda boda motorcyclist. Police later said he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fatality. In mid-2005, all was fine before Musisi, together with former Cranes teammate George Ssimwogerere, travelled to Mwanza in Tanzania to play in an exhibition tournament for former Cecafa stars.

On the way back, however, he was struck by malaria, which drastically weakened him.

“We endured a torrid journey, particularly from Nairobi where we travelled by a cargo bus,” recalls Ssimwogerere.

His last public appearance was on September 23, 2005, when his SC Villa squared off against Police in the Super League decider at Namboole stadium. He clearly looked frail but told me he couldn’t resist watching his Villa in action. When his health deteriorated later on, he refused to be admitted to hospital and instead shifted to Makerere in order to be close to his mother.

“It wasn’t because he had nowhere to stay like some quarters of the media claimed,” says Masitula Katende, one of his sisters.

“On that fateful day [December 13, 2005], he woke up too weak and asked to be taken to Nsambya hospital but unfortunately he died on the way,” says Kinene.

Nevertheless, Musisi, named after the 1967 earthquake that shook Uganda, lived up to the name on the field and will always have a special place in the hearts of the football fraternity. Musisi fact file

   He was born on September 15, 1967 to Siraje Katende and Deborah Namutebi
   He won six League titles, one Cecafa club title & three Uganda Cups
   He is a 4-time league top-scorer and two-time Footballer of the Year award winner.
   He won two Cecafa titles with The Cranes (1989 & 1990), was twice Cecafa  Cup top-scorer (1987 and 1989)
   He grabbed three national hat-tricks; against Zambia in 1987, Tanzania 1991 and Rwanda 1998.
   Locally he played for Pepsi, SC Villa and Ggaba United.
   He left behind seven children; Hanifa Nankinga, Farida Namakula, Madinah Nabatanzi, Abdul Mutyaba, Magid Mukiibi (Jnr), Shifra Namusisi  and Hakim Mukiibi.

After spending two seasons with the Rennes in France where he played a total of 64 matches scoring 18 goals (League 2 and Coupe de France), he was sold to the Turkish top-flight club Bursaspor and later to Çanakkale Dardanelspor[1] for 1.8 billion Ugandan shillings transfer fee ($1 million), making a record in the transfer market for the most expensive Uganda import. In the 1996 season, he was voted Best Foreign Player of the Year in the Turkish league. After playing in Turkey he had a spell playing for Đà Nẵng in Vietnam. He founded the now famous Bursaspor crocodile walk goal celebration in 1995.[2]

He also played for the Ugandan national team.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MAJIA MUKIIBI MUSISI". TFF. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  2. ^ http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=1521538.html
  3. ^ Majid Musisi at National-Football-Teams.com

External links[edit]