Thomas Ulimwengu

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Thomas Ulimwengu
Personal information
Full name Thomas Emmanuel Ulimwengu
Date of birth (1993-06-14) 14 June 1993 (age 26)
Place of birth Tanga, Tanzania
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
JS Saoura
Number 23
Youth career
2008– Tanzania Soccer Academy
2009–2010Moro United (loan)
2010–2011 Athletic FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2016 TP Mazembe 122 (33)
2017 AFC Eskilstuna 1 (0)
2017–2018 FK Sloboda Tuzla - (-)
2018 Al-Hilal Club - (-)
2019– JS Saoura 1 (0)
National team
2008–2009 Tanzania U17 5 (3)
2009–2013 Tanzania U20 11 (13)
2009–2016 Tanzania U23 5 (6)
2009– Tanzania 44 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 January 2017
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:49, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Thomas Emanuel Ulimwengu (born 14 June 1993) is a Tanzanian football striker who is currently playing as a striker for JS Saoura in the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1 and the Tanzania national football team.[1]


With: Al-Hilal Club
Champion: (1) 2018


Youth career[edit]

Ulimwengu grew up in Dodoma, the Tanzanian capital, where he played for local club team Area C. At the age of 14 he was selected for the Dodoma Region U-17 team. Soon after, he was selected through a nationwide talent search to join the first class of the Tanzania Soccer Academy, a joint project between the Tanzania Football Federation and British investors.

Ulimwengu impressed at the soccer academy and was soon called up to the Tanzania U-17 national team. He was joint top scorer in the 2009 CECAFA U-17 Championship, in which Tanzania finished 2nd. After his good performance in the competition, he was regularly called up by coach Marcio Maximo to practice with the senior national team, the Taifa Stars.

Senior club career[edit]

In the 2009/2010 Tanzania Premier League season Ulimwengu played on-loan for Moro United. The following summer, he represented Tanzania in the 2010 Copa Coca-Cola African Championship in South Africa,[2] where he scored nine goals in five matches.[3]

In July 2010 Thomas joined Swedish development outfit Athletic Football Club, with whom he competed in the Gothia Cup and Stockholm Cup.[4] He trained with the club for one year while waiting for eligibility to sign for a senior team.

After Ulimwengu's 18th birthday in the summer of 2011, there was much speculation as to where he would sign for the 2011–12 football season, and the striker was linked to a number of clubs including TP Mazembe in the DR Congo Premier League, AS Monaco in Ligue 1 and Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga.

On 31 August 2011 Ulimwengu joined 4-time African Champions League winners TP Mazembe Englebert of DR Congo. He scored one goal in his TP Mazembe debut, a 2–1 victory over Congolese side Don Bosco.[5]

International career[edit]

Having represented Tanzania many times at the U-17 and U-20 levels, Ulimwengu made his senior debut for Tanzania as a substitute in the opening match of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup against Zambia.[6] He made his first start for the national team in the following match against Burundi, but sustained an injury in that match and had to sit out the rest of the tournament. Tanzania went on to win the competition, and were 2011 CECAFA Champions.

In the spring of 2011, Ulimwengu returned from Sweden to join up with the Tanzanian Olympics team in their 2012 Olympic qualifiers. He scored crucial goals in both their 2–1 loss away against Cameroon, and their 2–1 victory against Cameroon in the return leg. Tanzania knocked Cameroon out on penalties and were drawn against Nigeria for their next qualifying match.[7] In June 2011 Ulimwengu played in the Olympic qualifier against 2008 Olympic silver medalists Nigeria. He scored in the 85th minute of the match to lead Tanzania to a 1–0 victory. But Tanzania lost to Nigeria in the return leg on 18 June 2011, and were knocked out of Olympic Qualifiers.[8]

Since 2011, Ulimwengu has been a key member of the Tanzanian National Team, playing in all important matches and tournaments.

Ulimwengu played a crucial role in Tanzania's promising but ultimately unsuccessful 2014 World Cup Qualification campaign. He scored critical goals against both Morocco and Ivory Coast. He went on to win the "Goal of the Year" award for his goal against Ivory Coast in the Tanzanian Football Awards.

Style of play[edit]

Thomas has been described as a quick, balanced, highly skilful and powerful striker. He possesses excellent ball control, and positioning, he is capable of beating defenders in one on one situations as well as creating space for teammates. He possesses a great shot from any distance, superb vision and fantastic passing and dribbling ability. Notably creating assists for a fellow player Mbwana Samatta. He threatened the defence of Morocco national team creating assists for a fellow striker Mbwana Samatta and successful beating Morocco 3–1 in 2014 world cup qualification campaigns in Dar es salaam Tanzania.

Personal life[edit]

He is currently residing in Sweden

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Tanzania's goal tally first.
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 November 2011 National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  Djibouti 1–0 3–0 2011 CECAFA Cup
2. 24 March 2013 National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  Morocco 1–0 3–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. 16 June 2013 National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  Ivory Coast 2–2 2–4 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 1 June 2014 National Sports Stadium, Harare, Zimbabwe  Zimbabwe 2–1 2–2 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
5. 12 October 2014 National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  Benin 3–0 4–1 Friendly
6. 16 November 2014 Somhlolo National Stadium, Lobamba, Swaziland  Swaziland 1–1 1–1 Friendly
7. 7 October 2015 National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  Malawi 2–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification


  1. ^ "Thomas Ulimwengu".
  2. ^ "Tanzania Daily News".
  3. ^ "Thomas Ulimwengu".
  4. ^ "Thomas Ulimwengu".
  5. ^ "Thomas Ulimwengu, buteur ambitieux".
  6. ^ "Mudenda Strike Wins it for Zambia".
  7. ^ "Excitement as U-23 Sail Through".
  8. ^ "Thomas Ulimwengu".

External links[edit]