One of Africa’s greatest footballers of his time–The legendary Sierra Leone Centre Forward of the 1960s and 70s, King Kama Dumbuya–died in Freetown yesterday after a short illness.
KING KAMA DUMBUYA WITH HIS Lifetime achievement award from Sierra Leone Football.com in 2015. CREDIT : MOHAMED FAJAH BARRIE
ONLY LAST MONTH WHILE IN FREETOWN ON A PRIVATE VISIT, FORMER SOCCER ADMINISTRATOR, MR . CHRISPIN WEBBER ( RIGHT ) HUNG OUT WITH KING KAMA DUMBUYA AND POSTED THIS PHOTO ON FACEBOOK. LITTLE DID HE KNOW THAT HE WAS HOBNOBBING WITH THE KING FOR THE LAST TIME.
If Kama Dumbuya had been young in this age when European and American soccer thrive on the back of excellent contribution from African players, there is no reason why he would not have become a milionaire because leading clubs abroad would have splashed the cash to utilize his goal-scoring knack. He was a goal merchant, whose ability to mesmerize defences and score was phenomenal. He scored against most of the African teams that played against Sierra Leone.
He had many nicknames because of his scoring prowess. He was called “King Kama”, “Kama the Hunter “and “Kama, the Hammer “.
The story of Kama Dumbuya cannot be written in one article. Shortly after news broke about his death, the Publisher and Editor of COCORIOKO, Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu wrote a series of short articles eulogising the man and also recalling some of his soccer exploits.
WEST AFRICANS FEARED KING KAMA DUMBUYA
Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and the Gambia said in the 1970s that if they had Le grande Kargbo in goal, Kama Dumbuya, Christian Cole, Bai Kabia , Manneh Peters and Kawuta Dumbuya ( Stopper back ), they would have won the Africa Nations Cup each time. That was how much we had assets we could not utilize well..
Kama used to cause the downfall of West African nations at the old Kingdom Association Grounds and the then Recreation Grounds, Brookfields . He scored memorable goals against all of them.
READ MY TRIBUTE TO KAMA DUMBUYA COMING SOON.
By your soccer historian, KABS Kanu.
KING KAMA, THE MAN WHO MADE A WHOLE PAVILION TO “LEAN ” AT BROOKFIELDS
If you listened to excited Sierra Leoneans who watched the Leone Stars beat Liberia’s Lone Stars 2-0 in Freetown in 1971, you would have heard. BORBOR, KAMA MAKE THE PAVILION LING TIDAY.
It is one of the legends of Sierra Leone soccer, like the story of Balogun Thunder and Goaler Queen.
They said that when Kama trapped the ball with his feet, maneuvered, started beating the Liberians one by one , dribbling in on the goal on the FSSG end of the stadium, the pavilion on the Congo Cross bridge end leaned to the left with thrilled spectators. Some people said they actually saw the pavilion leaning. But it was all legend. The physical structure did not lean. But the kolay man dem actually leaned to the left and if you were at the Ascension Town cemetery end pavilion, it looked to you in your mind’s eyes like the pavilion actually leaned. That was how King Kama captivated the crowd.
I watched the match but I was in the grand pavilion , which was next to the pavilion that reportedly leaned and given the tracljectory of my line of vision I could not have seen it happen.
Some people however said it was not a one day event. They said whenever Kama played 7 and dribbled from that wing , the pavilion would appear to lean when the crowd surged forward .
I did not see the stadium lean but one thing I saw that day was remarkable goals by King Kama that I will never forget.
Kama scored the first goal while sitting on the ground, having lost his balance during a goal mouth scramble . The crowd was yelling for a goal. They wanted us to beat Liberia because the Lone Stars had defeated us 3-1 in the first leg in Monrovia and our players complained that angry Liberian spectators had manhandled them. Everybody wanted victory so when Kama lost his balance after being put through , the crowd yelled , thinking it was a missed chance.
But in the scramble that followed , with desperate Liberian defenders fighting to clear the ball, Kama, sitting on the ground, swiveled and skilfully hooked the ball past Christopher Nippay, the goalkeeper. The whole stadium erupted.
He scored another cheeky goal to make it 2-0.
Kama was not only good with his feet. His chest was part of his arsenal. He had that uncanny ability to use his chest to trap or pass the ball. And when Kama had trapped that ball with his chest and switched the ball to his feet, what followed next was trouble. He was typical Rudd Van Nistelrooy or Ibrahimovich once he got into that goalmouth. Famous African goalkeepers like Karamokoh Janneh of Senegal, Christopher Nippay of Liberia, Camara Morlaye of Guinea, Rigogo of Nigeria, Robert Mensah of Ghana shook his hands after Kama scored against them.
He was also called Kama The Hammer because typically he hammered home shots.
The Kama Dumbuya story cannot be told in one article.