Uganda: Remembering Majid Musisi, Nation’s First Professional Footballer

HIS first shot at football was during his teenage years, in a little known football team, Mulago FC. This team, nonetheless, pioneered Majid Musisi’s journey to being regarded by many as Uganda’s all-time best player and more, Uganda’s first professional footballer in Europe.

He soon left Mulago FC and moved to Pepsi-Cola FC. While there, his knack for scoring goals caught the eye of local club SC Villa and he was promptly taken on in 1985. Two years down the road, Musisi was Uganda’s most excellent football striker, topping the scoring charts in nearly all tournaments. Majid’s goal scoring ability earned him several nick-names, the prominent ones being ‘Tyson’ and ‘Magic.’

Magic, because of his miraculous skill to craft way for and score goals and Tyson in reference to his physique that looked like that of former boxer Mike Tyson.

In 1991, his skills led Villa to its first ever champions league finals. The following year, he made history by becoming the first Ugandan to sign a contract for professional football in Europe, with French second division club Stade De Rennes. He was then traded to Turkish Club Bursaspor in 1994. It was here that he played his greatest football, making him one of the greatest players in the Turkish league, where he won accolades for Player of the Month and Foreign Player of the Year. There, he also founded the now famous Bursaspor crocodile walk goal celebration.

In 1998, he was traded to Dardanelspor, another Turkish Club, at a record Ugandan fee of sh1.8bn. From there, Musisi returned home to SC Villa, as he pondered on retirement.

On December 13, 2005, the 38-year-old died at the gate of Nsambya Hospital, as they rushed him for medical attention after an illness.

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