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Pierre Ndaye Mulamba (4 November 1948 – 26 January 2019) was a football midfielder from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. He was nicknamed "Mutumbula" ("assassin") and "Volvo".[2][3]

Ndaye Mulamba
Personal information
Full name Pierre Ndaye Mulamba
Date of birth (1948-11-04)4 November 1948
Place of birth Luluabourg, Belgian Congo
Date of death 26 January 2019(2019-01-26) (aged 70)
Place of death Johannesburg, South Africa
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1962–1964 Renaissance du Kasaï
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1971 Renaissance du Kasaï
1971–1972 AS Bantous
1972–1988 AS Vita Club
National team
1967–1971 Congo-Kinshasa (–)
1973–1976 Zaire[1] 20 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Football careerEdit

Mulamba was born in Luluabourg (now Kananga) in 1948.[4] In 1973, he starred for AS Vita Club of Kinshasa, who won the African Cup of Champions Clubs.[3] He was a second-half substitute for the Zaire national team against Morocco in the decisive match in qualification for the 1974 World Cup.[5] In 1974 Mulamba played for Zaire in both the African Cup of Nations in Egypt[6] and the World Cup in West Germany. In Egypt he scored nine goals, still a record,[7] as Zaire won the tournament. Mulamba was named Player of the Tournament and was awarded the National Order of the Leopard by President Mobutu Sese Seko.[3] In Germany he captained the team,[7] and played in the 2–0 defeat by Scotland,[8] but was sent off after 22 minutes against Yugoslavia.[8] Zaire were already losing 4–0 by then, and finally lost 9–0.[8] Mulamba said later that the team had underperformed, either in protest or from loss of morale, after not receiving a promised $45,000 match bonus.[2][3]

Later lifeEdit

In 1994, Mulamba was honoured at the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia.[3] On returning to Zaire, he was shot in the leg by robbers who mistakenly assumed a former sports star would be a wealthy target.[9][2][3][7] He was sheltered by Emmanuel Paye-Paye for eight months' recuperation.[3] During the First Congo War, Mulamba's eldest son was killed and in 1996 he fled to South Africa as a refugee, alone and destitute.[2] He went to Johannesburg and then Cape Town, where he was taken in by a family in a township.[2] In 1998, a minute's silence was held at the African Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso after an erroneous report that Mulamba had died in a diamond mining accident in Angola.[3] By then Mulamba was unemployed and drinking heavily.[3]

By 2010 Mulamba was working as a coach of local amateur teams and had married a local woman.[2] Forgotten Gold, a documentary filmed in 2008–09, follows him in South Africa and on a visit back to Congo.[7][10] He also met with Danny Jordaan, head of the organising committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[7]

Mulamba suffered from heart, kidney and knee problems in later life and was a wheelchair user.[11][12] He lived in poverty and without recognition in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town.[11] He died in Johannesburg on 26 January 2019.[12][11][13]


  1. ^ Appearances for Congo-Kinshasa National Team
  2. ^ a b c d e f Harding, Andrew (5 June 2010). "Africa's abandoned football legend". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Maradas, Emmanuel (1998). "Interview with Ndaye Mulamba". African Soccer Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 September 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  4. ^ Ndaye MulambaFIFA competition record
  5. ^ "Leopards roar to Germany 1974". Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  6. ^ Maradas, Emmanuel (28 March 2006). "Qu'est devenu Ndaye Mulamba?" (in French). La Conscience. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e "From Cape to Congo". World Cup News. FIFA. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  8. ^ a b c "Match report: Zaire – Scotland". 1974 FIFA World Cup Germany. FIFA. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  9. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (18 February 2019). "The two halves of the late Zaire striker Pierre Ndaye Mulamba's life". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Forgotten Gold". Berlinale Talent Campus. Berlin Film Festival. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "Congolese legend Mulamba Ndaye dies in South Africa aged 70". BBC. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  12. ^ a b "RDC: Héros des Léopards, Pierre Ndaye Mulamba n'est plus!". (in French). 26 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  13. ^ Allie, Mohammed (26 January 2019). "African legend Mulamba Ndaye dies in South Africa aged 70". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

External linksEdit