Bashir Mutanda: leaving Vipers, Villa and praying for a chance at KCCA or URA

Bashir Mutanda - Leaving Vipers SC, SC Villa and praying for a chance at KCCA FC or URA FC plus Kirinya Jinja SS

Striker Bashir Mutanda has so far spent two seasons spent at sixteen-time Uganda Premier League champions Sports Club Villa. He is now a free agent having run down his contract at the Jogoos and failed to negotiate for renewal.

Mutanda, 21 years of age, was born in Buikwe district on 1st January 1998 to Mr. Musa Mukiibi and Ms. Namaganda Hellen. He is the last born in the family of ten, six of whom are boys. He believes he was born a footballer and started playing and enjoying the game at a very tender stage while starting school.

He started school at Buikwe Moslems Primary School (from primary one to Primary five). He then joined Buikwe Junior School for Primary six and Primary Seven.

In 2010, he joined Buikwe Secondary School where he studied for only one year before moving on to Real College, Busunju for his senior two till senior five. He completed secondary school Education at St. Mary’s Kitende in 2015.

Mutanda’s serious football journey started at the Buikwe Red stars, a first division team in 2010 while he was at Real College school, coached by Simon Mugerwa then.

In 2014, Mutanda’s journey to Vipers started when the Uganda Premier League side visited Buikwe Red Stars for a friendly match. The match ended 4-2 with Vipers beating the hosts. Mutanda scored one of the two goals for Buikwe based side while Joseph Mpande netted a hat trick for the venoms on the day.

It was after that match that the visitors showed interest in the senior five student, Mutanda, alongside his Real College School class-mate Geofrey Wasswa.

While at St. Mary’s Kitende, Mutanda was part of the 2015 Copa Cocacola post primaries competition winning team which was held in Hoima.

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Bashir Mutanda - St. Mary's Kitende

Bashir Mutanda while at ST. Mary’s SS Kitende in 2015 | Courtesy photo

That team comprised of James Aheebwa (currently in France with FC Vaulx-en-Velin), Ashraf Mandela (currently at URA FC), Mubiru Issa (Tooro United), Benjamin Nyakoojo(URA FC), Geoffrey Wasswa, Atuhwere Fred (UCU), Noordin Bunjo (Proline FC), Jjungu Methodius (Bright Stars), Mohammed Shaban, Pius Wangi (Sunrise FC, Rwanda).

While featuring for St. Mary’s Kitende, Bashir Mutanda also played in the  FUFA Junior League with the Vipers Junior team, winning the 2015/16 campaign, the second edition of the development league.

Bashir Mutanda - Vipers Junior Team - SC Villa

Bashir Mutanda extreme right joins teammates to celebrate after winning the 2015/16 FUFA Juniors League with Vipers Junior team | Courtesy photo

The following year, 2016/17, Bashir Mutanda alongside Ashraf Mandela, and Geoffrey Waswa were promoted to the Vipers Senior team.

At first, Mutanda thought he would easily get integrated into the Vipers SC starting lineup. However, it was not the case. A then an Abdallah Mubiru and a George “best” Nsimbe coached side was not the team for Mutanda to find regular football. There was a lot of competition from more experienced players including; Erisa Ssekisambu, William Wadri, and Brian Kakaire.

In his first season at Vipers, Mutanda played only four games, starting only one game against SC Villa at Nakivubo. He came off the bench against Kirinya Jinja SS (currently Busoga United), Sadolin FC (currently Kansai Plascon in the FUFA Big League), and Soana (Currently Tooro United who were demoted from the SUPL). After only a half a season at Kitende Mutanda was loaned out to Kirinya Jinja SS for the rest of the season (2016-2017).

Mutanda - Kirinya Jinja SS

Bashir Mutanda found life at Kirinya Jinja SS better than what he got at Kitende. He asked for more time with Charles Ayiekoh at the Jinja based side | Courtesy photo

He says the decision to send him away to the then Ayiekoh Charles coached team was a blow to his career.

“I felt bad not playing for my dream club yet I believed I had all the abilities. That moment when I was told that I was going to another team on loan felt like a blow to my career. I even developed a fever.”

However, at the end of the season (and consequently his loan spell) he requested more time (still on loan) with the Jinja based club, where he had at least found some playing time. He had become a star in Jinja and did not wish to return to his parent club, Vipers SC.

When his loan spell at Kirinya Jinja SS ended, at the end of the 2017/18 season, Mutanda approached Dr. Lawrence Mulindwa and requested to be released. Mulindwa did not hesitate. He released the forward immediately and that’s how he joined SC Villa at the start of the season 2018-2019.

Mutanda had a wonderful first season with Villa, scoring thirteen league goals in 27 games. He also scored two goals in the Uganda cup against Lugazi Municipal in Namboole.

“I chose Villa at that moment because of its history and of course, it is a big football club and has helped raise a number of big players. I thought it would be a mark for my time to play for the national team,” he says.

 ST. Mary's atdium - SC Villa

Mutanda returned to haunt Vipers at the St. Mary’s Stadium during the 2019/20 StarTimes UPL season. Villa beat Vipers at their home handing them the second defeat of the season which got head coach Edward Golola sacked | Courtesy photo

Last season (2019-2020) Mutanda was plagued by a left-ankle injury that restricted him to only five league games (against Mbarara City, Kyetume, Vipers SC, Police FC, and Express FC). He also scored one goal in the Uganda Cup. He says he did not have a good season.

He says he would wish to play for Mike Mutebi or Sam Ssimbwa next.

“After that, my contract got done at Villa and I am looking for other teams. But I will be happy if I can play for either KCCA FC or URA FC locally. But I have other offers on the table. I will sit down and decide where to go,” he says.

The forward says he is inspired by former Cranes Captain and current assistant to McKinstry Geofrey Massa, and Cranes winger Emmanuel Okwi locally, but he admires Ronald and Eden Hazard on the international scene.

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Tom Matovu

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