Flashback: Jackson 'Mia Mia' Mayanja

Many regard him as the best player of his generation because of his skills and elegance on the ball. He may not be the best but he was up there with the best if we must confess. Born on 27th/July/1969 to Francis Ssekimpi and Nakato Joyce, Jackson Mayanja went to Police Children School and later Kololo Secondary school where he began his career and captained the school.


In 1985, Mayanja joined Police FC as a trainee and failed to break through to the first team due to his small physical stature. A year later, he was spotted by KCC FC officials who persuaded him to

join their side. AT KCC FC. He made his KCC FC debut in 1987 against Nsambya. In his second game, he scored a brace against Prisons side Maroons FC. The Yellow lads saw alot of potential in the boy and began grooming him as a replacement for the legendary Phillip Omondi. Mayanja took the mantle to fill the the boots of Godfrey Katerega who had moved to arch rivals SC.Villa that year. In that particular season, he scored eight goals and also helped KCC FC lift the Uganda Cup.


In 1988, he scored an acrobatic scissor overhead kick in the 3-0 win over KK Cosmos that left spectators awed by the magic of the midfielder. Hassan Badru Zziwa of The Observer laments that “The flow in his passing, game reading and ease at which he scored goals made him the ultimate pin up for the local press then”.

1989 was a bad year for the midfield maestro as he sustained a knee injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season in a game against Uganda Airlines. Despite the high level of treatment he recieved in Uganda, he failed to recover and club treasurer then, Mr. Adipondo Elvis financed his trip to Nairobi where he was successfully operated.

MAGICAL RETURN FROM INJURY: He made a return in February 1990 to help KCC FC win the Uganda Cup scoring five goals along the way including one of the three against rivals SC.Villa in the finals. In 1991, he scored 11 goals to help the Yellow boys win the league. Of the famous goals that season was the diving header against Nsambya FC in a league decider. In 1992, he netted 23 goals albeit not completing the season as he joined Egyptian giants El-Masry for a transfer rumoured to be $ 30,000.

AT EL-MASRY: In his debut season at the club, Mayanja scored eight goals helping the side finish forth in the league.


El-Masry fans nicknamed him Mia Mia due to his perfection on the pitch. Mia Mia was meant to mean 100% reffering to Mayanja’s 100% commitment on duty for the club. Even up to now, few Egyptians know him by his true names.

EL-MASRY FALL OUT: In 1995, Mayanja fell out with his employers at El Masry and made a brief return to KCC FC. Given that he had a contract with the Cairo based side, he opted to help his former club from the technical bench. However in August that particular year, Esperance of Tunisia came calling and paid El Masry $ 20,000 for the Ugandan’s signature.

PRE-MATURE STAY AT ESPEARANCE: With only months into his contract, Mayanja suffered a nasty knee injury prompting the Tunisian giants to terminate his contract. Mayanja agreed and the two parties parted ways. He returned home in 1996.

KCC F.C COME BACK: On his second debut for the club, Mia Mia scored a brace against Mbale Heroes and four in the return leg in the 5-0 in the league. He was appointed as the club captain and helped KCC FC finish second as Express FC won the league. In 1997, he skippered KCC FC to league Championship and finished joint top scorer with Umeme’s Ogwang Charles with 18 goals. He scored a memorable header in the 2-0 win over SC.Villa in a league decider that handed his side the trophy.


He made his debut in a friendly match against Zambia’s KK XI in a 1 all draw at Nakivubo in 1988. Later that year, he missed a penalty in a world Cup qualifier in the 1-0 win over Malawi. The Cranes lost the return leg in Blantyre 3-1 to bow out. In 1990, he scored a spectacular equaliser against Tanzania to push the semifinals into extra time and Uganda won the tie in the shoot out to reach the finals and won the trophy. He was also part of the Cranes team that won the CECAFA title in 1992. Mayanja scored six goals for the Cranes in the 1994 AFCON Qualifying campaign though we the team didn’t qualify. He was part of the Cranes Cecafa winning side in 1997 from Khartoum, Sudan. In 1999, he retired from international football after captaining Uganda against in the loss to Tunisia. He asked to be substituted midway in the second half and never featured for the Cranes again. He moved to Oman for semi proffesional football with Luwi FC but retired from football a year later. He was so temperamental and got silly bookings. The most notable ones include the red cards against Mbale Heroes for kicking the ball away after rèferee Ajab Wasswa had blown the whistle for a foul. He went on to miss the last game of the season due to suspension. In addition, he also got red for dissent in a game against AFC leopards in CAF.


He began his coaching career in 2002 with URA FC/Lyantonde and guided them to the super league. He also had coaching stints with Bunamwaya SC, KCC FC, Kagera FC in Tanzania and is the current assistant to National team Coach Bobby Williamson.


Won two league titles with KCC FC (1991 and 1997). Two Uganda Cup titles also with KCC FC (1987 and 1990). He won three Cecafa titles with The Cranes (1990, 1992 and 1996). Was Voted Footballer of the year twice by USPA (1993 and 1996). Played for only four clubs that is KCC FC, El Masry (Egypt), Esperance (Tunisia) and Lowi FC (Oman).

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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