Gor Mahia parts ways with Nizigiyimana

Karim Nizigiyimana is the latest player to leave Gor Mahia. The Burundian right back had expressed an interest in leaving after he found the club’s latest contract offer unacceptable and was certain that he could find a better deal elsewhere.

“It was not our problem but the players’. We wanted to keep him at Gor Mahia but he says the deal is not good enough. We have agreed as both parties to part ways and now that the contract is ending in January, we have allowed him to get another team.” said Omondi Aduda the club CEO.

The 29 year old whose full name is Abdul Karim Nizigiyimana Makenzi, joined Kogalo in 2015 and immediately impressed with his tireless runs down the right flank which resulted in numerous goals. He played so well that he was voted KPL defender of the year in 2015 and finished second in player of the year voting behind Michael Olunga.

The club stood by him even after he picked up an injury that sidelined him for most of 2018, right. Karim thanked the club and its fans for standing by him.
“This is a club that has put me where l am today, the much l have achieved will no doubt light up moments of my life forever – winning three titles in four years is a big achievement in football career – THANK YOU GOR MAHIA… l wish the club all the best. I can’t go without saying special thanks to Chairman Ambrose Rachier… he embraced me, he was a father to me, he treated me like his own son and stood by me when l was injured and out of active football for many months. I have a house he bought for me (through the club) in Burundi and every time l will be seeing that house, l will be seeing Chairman Rachier. The respect and good relationship that existed between us will last forever – THANK YOU Chairman,” he said according to Citizen sports.

He says the 4 years he spent at Kogalo were the best of his career.

“It’s been great playing Gor Mahia for the last four years… I truly and fully understand the situation the club is in on matters foreign players. We had a fruitful meeting with the chairman and had a lengthy discussion… I will forever appreciate and remember every moment l had in this great club. My sincere word of THANK YOU to the club’s management for giving me the chance to offer my services in those years. The club showed me love and l loved every moment.” he said according to Citizen sports.

Prior to playing for Kogalo, he had played for Rayon Sports in Rwanda, Vita club in Congo, APR, Kiyovu (Rwanda) and Vital O of Burundi. He was also a mainstay for the Burundi national team.

Team visits Nizigiyimana to present medal and trophy

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier on Tuesday led members of his technical staff to defender Karim Nizigiyimana’s house to present him with the 2017 SportPesa Premier League trophy and his personal medal.

The Burundian right back was at his Nairobi West home recuperating from an ankle injury.

“As a result of the deplorable state of Thika Stadium, our player was very badly injured two minutes into the match. We’ve through our own efforts taken him for surgery and he is in the process of recovery.

“It’s because of the injury that he missed the coronation. He remains our player no matter how long he will take to recover. We shall be paying his full salary and also make sure he is well maintained,” Mr Rachier said.

The player had missed the last five games of the season.

Karim and family Image courtesy of Tony Anelka


Kerr was visited by two friends from the UK


Kerr at Safari club

Nizigiyimana discusses the difficulty of retaining the title

Unlike last year when Gor Mahia had virtually won the league at the halfway mark, this season they are locked in an extremely tight with none of the top sides able to gain a measure of consistency. For Kogalo fans who are used to winning, the past few weeks have been particularly difficult.

Burundian left back Karim Nizigiyimana told the official KPL portal that even discussing the results is too difficult and uncomfortable.

“I don’t like to talk about our games anymore because it hurts. It is painful because we are not getting wins as much as we would like, or as much as we had been used to last year, and truly it is disappointing for everybody in the team.” he said to kpl.co.ke

Nizigyimana had a sensational season in 2016 where he was voted defender of the year and almost grabbed KPL player of the year. He was in superb form all season long, running tirelessly up and down the right flank sending in accurate cross after accurate cross until he ended up leading the league in assists. This season however he and others have been unable to replicate this form and the fan reaction has started to affect the players.

“It is even more painful because we have very supportive fans and seeing them disappointed every weekend feels bad,” said Nizigiyimana.

He asked for patience from fans given that the gap between Gor Mahia and Tusker is only four points with several matches to go.

“Gor Mahia has very competitive fans. They like to see the team win and they want to see that every day. Last year we gave them a lot of that so I would just like to ask them to continue believing in us because we plan to win this title for them. It will be hard but we will fight till the end. And we will win,” he concluded.

Indeed the team will need the 12th man to throw their support behind the team. And most of all the fans will need to behave themselves to avoid another three point deduction. But the players will need to do their part. A listless performance such as the one where the team went 60 minutes without a shot on goal is likely to elicit a negative fan reaction.

Coaches laud Gor Mahia’s stellar display

Nizigiyimana congratulates Walusimbi
Image: sportpicha.com

Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi has admitted that Gor Mahia fully deserved their 2-0 victory on Sunday. This is a rare moment of humility for a KPL coach. Most KPL coaches who lose to Gor Mahia typically blame external forces like the referees, bad luck or the inability of their players to follow instructions.

Geoffrey Walusimbi who is now in his third season with Kogalo was in fine form. Kimanzi was impressed by Walusimbi’s all round performance.

“I think what won it for them was the individual brilliance from their players. Walusimbi for example got a great goal for them and though I think our defenders should have done better, I have to admit it was brilliant.” said Kimanzi to supersport.

Walusimbi’s goal is an early candidate for goal of the year. He deftly lost his marker with a nifty move reminiscent of Ben Oloo “Breakdance”. Then he curved the ball to the far right corner of the goal beyond the reach of the Mathare goalkeeper. It was a goal that combined individual skill, accuracy and technical savvy.

Burundian fullback Karim Nizigiyimana who started the season poorly, is rounding back into the form that almost saw him win the KPL player of the year award in 2015. Eric “Marcelo” Ouma continues to rise in stature with each game.

“The two fullbacks (Eric Ouma and Karim Nizigiyimana) were also outstanding and I think they are the ones who won the match for them. They were good at their positioning and crosses too,”  Kimanzi said.

Six yard box poacher Jacque Tuyisenge continued his sharp displays with another well taken goal. He is now third in the scoring charts with six goals behind Ochomo of Muhoroni and Makwatta of Ulinzi. This despite missing the first few games of the season through injury.

George Odhiambo “Blackberry” who has four goals is regaining some of the confidence that saw him single handedly shred defences in 2010. It is the first time in over 5 years that his name is appearing among the leading scorers.

Gor Mahia’s Brazilian tactician Ze Maria was satisfied with the display on Sunday.  After a slow start, the team is adapting to his philosophy and the performances are improving with each game.

“It was our second match away, against a good team but we managed to get maximum points, and we are slowly getting back to where I feel we should be. The first leg is almost concluding and I am happy we have managed to at least make up for a poor start in the beginning of the season. ” said Ze Maria to goal.com.

Some said that the “samba touch”  could be applied only on good surfaces such as the artificial turf in Kisumu and Camp Toyoyo where Gor Mahia trains,  but never at Nyayo. Those concerns have now been assuaged as Gor Mahia put on their best display yet.

Ze maria is now keen to wrap up the first leg on a positive note as they take on bottom club Sofapaka.

“Well, we want to give our best in the final match against Sofapaka and hope we can get maximum three points.” continued Ze Maria.

Though at the bottom, Sofapaka has enough quality in their line-up and Ze Maria will have been advised by Ottamax about the dangers they pose.

Gor Mahia transfer news December 28

Some good news for Gor Mahia is the fact that Burundian right full back Karim Nizigiyimana has extended his stay at Gor Mahia by one and a half years.

“He has extended his stay by another one and a half years after agreeing terms with the management,” said a source to goal.com

The extension will see him stay at the club until mid 2018. Nizigiyimana has been one of the best players not just at Gor Mahia but in the country. He led the league in assists with his ability to make well timed surges upfront and send inch perfect crosses.

He was the runner up in the player of the year vote behind team-mate Michael Olunga. His performances have seen him receive a call up to the Burundi national team for which he is appreciative.

“Gor Mahia has helped him a lot especially with his intentional career and was delighted to extend his stay especially after he was called to the Burundi national team.” continued the source.

One player who is likely to leave is Meddie Kagere who has demanded a Ksh 6 million sign on fee before he can extend his stay at the club.

“I can confirm that he asked for Sh6million but we don’t have the money. Gor Mahia has no sponsor and there is no way we can pay this,” said a source to goal.com

With Kagere and Olunga departing as expected, the club will need to find a reliable striker to replace them. Some reports suggest that Gor Mahia coould be pursuing Jacque Tuyisenge, the Rwandese striker who excelled at the 2015 CECAFA senior challenge cup.

Either way, Gor Mahia will need to rush their player signings as the deadline for the 2016 Africa champions league player registrations is fast approaching. In 2015, CAF extended the deadline to January 2016.

Gor Mahia transfer news December 2

While neighbours Tusker have been busy in the transfer market, Gor Mahia have been silent. A number of Gor Mahia players have expiring contracts and not much is known about the club’s plans. One such player is Karim Nizigiyimana. The Burundian cross-master has been instrumental in Gor Mahia’s success this season.

“I am comfortable with the Sportpesa Premier League (SPL) champions. We have won virtually all the trophies and ditching the club will water down all my successes. I want to remain part of that success by sticking with the club.” he said according to supersport.

Nizigiyimana understands that the club has financial challenges but yet has done a decent job of taking care of players

“Despite the many financial challenges that faced the club, which is normal, I can say I’m happy at Gor Mahia and I don’t intend to leave the club. I’m ready to put pen to paper and extend my contract even if the papers are brought today.”

“At the moment, I feel that extending my contract with Gor Mahia next month is the best thing to do. I am at one of the biggest clubs in the region, where I feel loved by the fans. The future look bright and I want to be part of that future.” he continued.

Meanwhile the reputation of the club is fast rising all over East Africa and is attracting interest from players from across the region. Rwandan forward Jacques Tuyisenge who recently played a key role in steering Rwanda to the semi-finals of the CECAFA senior challenge cup, has made it clear that he would love to join Kenyan Premier champions Gor Mahia.

Speaking to “Mchakamchaka”, a local magazine show which airs on pay television station Supersport, the Police FC striker said he has heard a lot about ‘K’Ogalo” from his fellow countrymen who turn out for the most decorated Kenyan club and he wouldn’t have a second thought if a chance to join them presents itself.

“Yes, I would be very happy to play along side Meddie Kagere at Gor Mahia. Kagere is a good player, we played together at Police and he scores a lot of goals,” elated Tuyisenge said.

Gor is home to two Rwandans, left full back Abouba Sibomana and striker Meddie Kagere.

“They tell me a lot about Gor – it is a good team which I would love to join so that I can play in the Kenyan Premier League.”

Meanwhile other reports indicate that Gor Mahia will play arch rivals AFC Leopards in a season ender on Jamhuri day. The match is being sponsored by the Ministry of sports.

Congratulations Karim Nigiziyimana (player of the month)

Gor Mahia right full back Karim Nigiziyimana, has been named the KPL player of the month for the month of June by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) .

Nigiziyimana has been a key pillar of Gor Mahia’s unbeaten run thus far in the KPL. He is solid on defence, often shutting off attacks on his wing. But he is also a key cog in Gor Mahia’s offence and has registered the most assists in the team thus far.

His crosses and passes are inch perfect in precision. When Gor Mahia beat Chemelil 4-1, Michael Olunga got all the headlines but the player of the match may well have been Nigiziyimana. It is good to see journalists analyze a team and go beyond the basics like “who scored?”.

The Burundian who joineed Kogalo in January from Rayon sport of Rwanda did not anticipate the award.

“I did not expect this at all. This is the first time in my career that I have received an individual award and I have always thought that individual awards are a preserve of strikers.

“This will now motivate me to work even harder so that I can also get recognised during the end of year awards,” a happy Nizigiyimana said.

He was awarded Kshs 50,000, a personalized trophy and a 42 inch Smart TV.

Other candidates for the award were Michael Olunga, Mathare United’s fast-rising midfielder Eric Johanna, Ulinzi Stars forward Kevin Amwayi and Allan Katerrega from Ushuru.

Previous winners of the award were Ali Hassan Abondo (Gor Mahia), John Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars) and goalkeeper Gabriel Andika (Western Stima) won the March, April and May awards respectively.

Injuries a worry ahead of CECAFA

The Gor Mahia technical bench and medical staff will be closely watching defender Karim Nigiziyimana and midfielder Collins Okoth, both of whom picked up injuries during the tense match against Mathare United on Sunday.

Okoth pulled a thigh muscle and had to be substituted with 30 minutes of play remaining. Nzigiyimana limped off minutes later with a swollen knee. Gor Mahia returns to training on Tuesday, focusing their energies on the forth-coming regional competition which starts on Saturday.

Coach Frank Nuttall expressed hope that the duo only suffered slight injuries.

“I hope they only suffered knocks and not serious injuries. Karim  and Collins are very important in the team, they play big roles and it will be a big loss if their injuries are serious,” said Nuttall to supersport.com

Nizigiyimana has not only been solid defensively but has been a key pillar of the Gor Mahia attack with his inch perfect crosses. He currently leads the team in assists. The relentless Gattusso has been solid for the club, patrolling the defensive midfield area and covering efficiently for overlapping full backs.

Okoth probably just needs some rest since has played in numerous games since last year for both club and national team.

Mulee talks up Gor Mahia’s chances

Former Harambee Stars coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee is convinced that Gor Mahia will perform much better at this year’s CECAFA cup.

“This time round I am convinced Gor Mahia will play better and perform well than last time out in Kigali, Rwanda, when they left tourney without winning a single match. They have a good side, and their run in the league is not a fluke, it is a quality side which I believe will cause anxiety in the tournament. I think they will go all the way to the semis, and then from there u know it is anyone’s game. They can even bring us the title, because they are equally competitive with full of experience.” said Mulee to goal.com

Mulee however expressed concern about Gor Mahia’s defense which of late has appeared porous after going 10 matches without conceding a goal.

“Despite having good strikers, midfielders and defenders, my worry though is in their central defense. It is weak, truth be told. Musa Mohammed and Shakava are good, but at this stage, experience is vital. I hope Dikir Glay will be available for them; they need him in the team. For example, the goal Mathare United scored against them over the weekend, with better central defenders that cannot happen.” he continued.

Whereas Gor Mahia assistant coach Bobby Ogolla has insisted that a strong attack is Gor Mahia’s best defense, Mulee thinks such an attacking formation can be exploited by good teams.

“Their high line is also risky; we saw that against Mathare United having four offensive players against two defenders, they will need to work on that. It will take a single match for the opponents to know your weaknesses and capitalize on them. Nevertheless, I think the team will perform better this time round and I am confident last edition’s incident will not happen again.” continued Mulee.

Even Somalia paid for their representatives

Gor Mahia appears to be the only CECAFA cup side whose federation declined to facilitate air tickets. Sam Nyamweya flatly refused while suggesting that no  agreement was ever reached that made it a requirement for national FAs to facilitate air travel for the representative teams.  Nyamweya claimed his federation was too broke to pay for tickets. However war torn Somalia FA chairman Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar insisted that the agreement was valid and that each FA was indeed required to facilitate air tickets.

“We facilitated everything for the team to ensure their participation of the competition, because Somalia had never missed a single CECAFA competition and we want to keep that record alive, he said according to futaa.com.




Welcome to Karim Nizigiyimana & Sibomana

The Gor Mahia defence should be solid this season following the signing of the Rayon sports duo of Karim Nizigiyimana and Abouba Sibomana.

Rayon sports official, Aimee Emmanuel Ndayisabye said that Gor Mahia paid $8000 for the duo.

“It is true that they have gone to Gor Mahia and we have given them everything they needed to go, we wish them all the best,” Ndayisabye said to the Rwandese daily New Times.

Karim Nizigiyimana impressed when he played against Bidco United on Saturday. Abouba Sibomana has represented Rwanda since 2010. He thus brings a wealth of experience.  With the duo available, there will be competition for positions in defence with Musa Mohamed, Simon Pierre and Godfrey Walusimbi also able to play at left back.

However it is worth noting that the CAF deadline for registering players for the 2015 Africa champions league was on January 15 which means Gor Mahia most likely missed the window to register the two players.

The defence now looks okay with the addition of Dirkir Glay and Bernard Odhiambo in central defence. But whereas the defence looks ready, there is plenty of work that needs to be done on the attack.