Will Haji Manara win Yanga fans' hearts?

03Sep 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Will Haji Manara win Yanga fans' hearts?

HAJI Manara has widely been the center of the talk in Tanzania after his move from Simba SC to the club's age-old rivals, Yanga.

New Yanga spokesman, Haji Manara.PHOTO: COURTESY OF YANGA

He enters a record of its kind in the country and sets a record when it comes to switching from one of the two rivals to the other.

He becomes the first indigenous leader to cut between rival teams between the two biggest clubs in the country, Simba SC and Yanga.

Many players who have played football in the past have been cross from one side to the other in these clubs.

Several well-known players have moved from Simba SC to Yanga and vice versa. They are, among others, Omary Hussein 'Keegan', Mohamed Hussein, alias 'Mmachinga', Juma Kaseja, Hamis Gaga, Zamoyoni Mogella, Athuman Idd 'Chuji', Said Mwamba 'Kizota', Edibily Lunyamila, Athuman China, Godwin Aswile, Willy Martin, Nico Bambaga, Selemani Mathew, Ally Yusuf 'Tigana'

Never before has a leader left Simba SC and move to Yanga and vice versa, be it an elected leader or a hired leader.

Here I am talking about the natives. Haji becomes the first. For foreigners, Senzo Masingiza Mbatha shocked soccer lovers last year, moving from Simba SC to Yanga.

First of all, these clubs have their own cultures. For instance, if an individual is a Yanga bus driver, he should be a Yanga fan.

If an individual is a Simba SC cleaner, the particular individual should be the club's fan. And now the fanaticism has shifted to stock sales.

If an individual wants to buy Simba SC shares, one must be the outfit's fan. The same could be said of Yanga.

Simba SC and Yanga fanaticism garner priority in various fields. It is the first criterion as well.

A person is not trustworthy until the individual is known to be either  Yanga or Simba SC  fan. After that, the rest will follow.

Haji has made it difficult for the country's sports followers to conclude the way the fanatics should judge him.

One can look at the issue of Haji in three chapters. The first chapter is that Haji is at the moment an angry citizen, showcasing his grudges against his former employers.

He did not leave Simba SC peacefully. He had been pushed out of the club and anger and grudge have filled him to the brim.

He may have done what he did in retaliation. He is currently all over the internet in yellow and green jerseys.

His sarcastic content against Yanga and their fans in the past is what Simba SC fans will be facing now that the charismatic official has moved to Yanga.

He can now do twice as much to show his new employers that he is a true professional and that he has left Simba SC and he has no plans to turn back on Yanga.

I think for now he will be an ardent Yanga fanatic way better than true Yanga followers.

Apart from that, it is also possible that Yanga also benefited from Manara as the official adds a taste to their club.

He will adorn Yanga kits the same way he used to adorn Simba SC kits and Yanga will create an attraction even for youngsters.

But this will further be contributed by the quality of the team.

Simba SC clashed with Manara. Simba SC's fans were fond of Manara because his words were being supported by Simba's success and the outfit's fans' enthusiasm.

Manara could not have been so close to Simba if the outfit's strikers had been the likes of Michael Sarpong who turned out for Yanga in the 2020/21 season.

The third thing that is important to investigate and know is that Yanga's move to appoint Manara as the outfit's spokesman may also help other people, who will cross over to the outfit in the future, for employment and their professionalism, no matter where their will is.

For example, once all that happened, Manara is still doing a clean job at Yanga so much that the team can continue to shine without any problem.

Is it true that even a Yanga team doctor should be a Yanga fan?

What would Yanga do if there is a good professional doctor they can have, but he is a Simba fan?

Will the club opt-out of taking him? I think the biggest fear is sabotage against them.

This fear has swallowed up the fact that there are things that have to be done professionally regardless of the will.

After some years Manara may have opened the doors of a professional approach to hiring administrators regardless of the fanaticism.

Yanga has taken this 'risk', and Manara has as well taken this 'risk' because if he does well in the outfit he may have uprooted the root of the controversy.

Most of the players, who have moved from Simba to Yanga and vice versa, did a good job.

Said Mwamba was mainly a Yanga player and was raised by the outfit since he left Tabora, but, when it came to his job, he did well when he moved to Simba. He used to score goals as well for the outfit.

Mogella and Gaga did a good job when they went to Yanga even though they were previously accomplished players at Simba.

Mogella won the East and Central African Club Championship in Uganda with Yanga, putting a scintillating showing for the club on the pitch.

This is what Manara is facing now. If he does his job well at Yanga then he may open the doors for other people to work hard in these clubs regardless of their fanaticism.

Initially, it seemed so impossible that other important professions such as coaching also lacked people of this type.

The late Joel Bendera and Syllersaid Mziray remain the only indigenous coaches to have coached Simba and Yanga at different periods.

After that, so far no native coach has ever set that record although we are aware that the profession often carries professional people who do not like to betray their teams.

Players can betray a team but it is rare for coaches to do so, but still, so far the coaches are not trustworthy.

Manara sometimes will not have a very hard time working with Yanga officials because he was raised by the outfit.

His father, Sunday Manara, was a popular Yanga player. Haji was playing with his fellow children, whose fathers were either playing for or leading Yanga, at Kaunda Stadium before his father started training with his fellow players.

Will Haji be an ‘angel’ or a ‘devil’ at Yanga? While at Simba, he looked like an angel but now he will look like a devil.

With the official working for Yanga he, to Simba followers, also looks like the devil.