Kagere enjoys life in Simba's fast lane – PHOTOS




By VINCENT OPIYO
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He is the much sought-after signer in Tanzania's high level football league at this time and, even with his realistic personality, this is clear from the reaction of the people when we approached him at the five-star Seascope Hotel in Jangwani, Dar es Salaam.

He warns us to patiently wait for him while he leaves his room on the top floor and when the elevator reaches the ground floor, it takes a little more time to open, but when he does, the slim figure of the mayor soccer of Tanzania, Meddie Kagere.

When leaving the hotel, it is easily recognized by hotel staff and everyone steals a glance at the most expensive acquisition of Simba Sports Club.

Meanwhile, there is only one thing that goes through your mind: you have to prove your worth. He walks with confidence towards us, white headphones hanging from his ears.

Rwandans of Ugandan origin are in their usual simple self, dressed in a white T-shirt that exposes their well-constructed arms, and a Umbro black trousers.

And when he takes a seat in front of us, one thing is clear; Kagere has announced himself to fans of Simba, but there is still an air of expectation among fans of the Tanzanian club in the city.

He has developed a new way of dealing with distractions. Listen to your favorite RnB music from headphones hanging from your shoulders and try to focus on the work at hand. He takes off the headphones from his ears and, with a smile, shakes my hand as we prepare for our interview.

Kagere scored for Simba in his debut in a 2-1 victory over APR rugby champions in a Kacame Cecafa Cup match on July 2, just hours after signing a lucrative two-year contract with the 19-time champions Tanzania last month.

 Striker Simba Meddie Kagere celebrates his goal against Rwanda's APR during his Group C game of Cecafa Kagame Cup at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on July 2, 2018. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Striker Simba Meddie Kagere celebrates his goal against Rwanda's APR during his match Cecafa Kagame Cup Group C at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on July 2, 2018. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

"I'm grateful for the little time I've been here, it was not easy to get into a new team and face the players to the point of scoring goals from the start," says Kagere. And he is anticipating a successful season with Simba in Tanzania and many opportunities to show off his elegant goal celebration.

"Any player who wants a land that flows milk and honey should always be prepared to face new challenges." [19659004] Born in Entebbe, Uganda, 31 years ago, Kagere began his football career at Mbale Heroes before crossing to neighboring Rwanda for professional football at the late Atraco FC in 2006.

"I was studying electronics at the University Islamic in Uganda and at the same time playing for Mbale Heroes and a coach from Rwanda saw me and advised me to play professional soccer in Rwanda.As I had relatives there, I hurried my bags and, with the blessings of my mother, I left, "says Kagere , which is the penultimate born in a family of five children. He has three brothers and a sister.

"While I was playing for the Raid in Rwanda, I attracted the attention of the Mukura scouts who enrolled me and the rest is history," adds the five-foot, 11-inch player who later found himself on the Tunisian side Esperance from Police in 2012.

"My destination from Rwanda was to sign for BidVest Wits of South Africa, but while I was there, I was tested before my agent took me to Tunisia, signing for Esperance's side but after for a while, we spent months without paying, I had not even received my login fee, so I got mad.

"Every player works for money and if you do not get it, you will be demotivated. Unfortunately, I learned that my money had been shared by the agents, so after nine months broke, I packed and returned home. "

The father of twins rejoined the police in 2013 but after three months he moved to Rayon Sports and Six months into his two-year contract, he left for the Albanian giants KF Tirana in July 2014.

"While I was at Rayon Sports, I received a call to the national team, I remember scoring in the game and then an explorer approached me with a deal to Europe. We agreed to the terms of the transfer and went to Albania to join Tirana, "recalls Kagere, who lasted only six months in the most successful Albanian team before becoming a free agent for the second time in his career at the end of the 2014 season.

"All his promises did not come, I felt frustrated for months without pay. I came home tired of playing football for nothing, I wanted a change of career. "

" Immediately, Gor Mahia knocked on the door, but I was afraid I would not sign a longer contract because of my tribulations at other clubs. I opted for a one-year contract at Gor in 2015 and I remember that after signing with the club, team leader Jolawi (Obondo) was skeptical about my productivity, but I told him to be patient.

"I scored in my first game and the goals started from then on, then Jolawi came and told me that every time he played the ball, he remembered what he had said before about patience with me", Kagere, who in 2015 He finished third in the scoring chart of the Premier League of Kenya (KPL) with 13 goals.

 Gor Mahia forward Meddie Kagere celebrates his goal against Sofapaka during his Premier League SportPesa match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County on May 20, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Gor Mahia forward Meddie Kagere celebrates his goal against Sofapaka during his Premier League SportPesa match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County, on May 20, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

"After my contract ran out, Zamalek of Egypt came to call but a visa problem put an end to the deal Sometimes things do not work, not because you have bad luck, but because God He has not yet planned it and, since the window was closed, they forced me to sit for six months, less a club. "

The departure of Michael Olunga, from Gor Mahia, to the Swedish club Djurgardens, left Gor with the urgent need for a striking partner for Jacques Tuyisenge, whom Gor broke the bank to sign a record of Sh4 million of the police Rwanda in January 2016. That opened the door for Kagere to rejoin Gor.

"Gor heard that I was planning to join the AFC Leopards." In fact, the negotiations were at an advanced stage, Tusker also made contact, but the problem with them (Tusker) is that they wanted him to go to Nairobi by bus. from Kigali, their reasoning was that they could book me a plane ticket just for me to jump in and join Gor Mahia when I arrived, so I turned him down, by which time Gor had not communicated with me, through Musa (Mohammed), they found my contacts and quickly booked me a plane ticket, insisting that I could not join their rivals (AFC Leopards). "

His arrival caused a rift between Gor's Brazilian coach José Marcelo" Ze Maria "and the fans of the club. The Brazilian preferred his compatriot Thiago de Lima over Kagere and with hours to close the 30-day mid-season transfer window, "Ze Maria" was between a rock and a difficult place as to which player to select to fill a single remaining slot for a foreign player in the club.

"You know Kagere had a good history here in the club, but that was not necessarily going to be repeated." Brazilian Kaka did well at AC Milan, but when he returned for the second time, he did not repeat his previous shows, it's not It's easy for these things to be repeated in the world of football, "Marcelo said at the time. [19659004] Fast forward, Kagere became a pillar on the team, scoring vital goals he handed out K & # 39; Ogalo titles en route to being named the Association of Sports Journalists of Kenya's Most Valuable Player last year.

"I did not do it I do not want to be destabilized by Ze Maria's comments. Pretty funny, he became my friend after realizing he was writing down crucial goals that relieved him of the pressure," says Kagere.

"I know myself and I am proud of my problems".

His second season at the club, however, ended after playing a leading role against Simba. Gor Mahia beat Simba 2-0 in the final to retain the SportPesa Super Cup in Nakuru last month.

 Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere celebrates his goal during his SportPesa Super Cup match against JKU Afraha Stadium in Zanzibar, Nakuru on June 3, 2018. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO |

Gor Mahia forward Meddie Kagere celebrates his goal during his SportPesa Super Cup match against JKU Afraha Stadium in Zanzibar, Nakuru, on June 3, 2018. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kagere joined Simba in a Bosman rule, where he is destined to earn Sh550,000 and a start-up fee of Sh6 million.

The departure of the favorite crowd on Gor whom fans called fondly Luanda Magere & # 39; in reference to the revered Luo warrior of yesteryear, they shook the Green Army. The Gor officials were strongly criticized for letting the forward go.

"We gave him an offer of Sh3 million and an improved salary, but he wanted Sh5 million that we could not pay, Surprisingly, he showed up in Tanzania the next day dressed in the same clothes he had left with our negotiating table" said Gor's treasurer Sally Bolo to the media in Nairobi on July 17.

And Kagere's reaction to the accusations?

"He was a free player, they came when they heard that I was leaving that same night and no player will reveal his fate prematurely If someone offers less money for the renewal of a long-term contract when in the past he offered more for less, it means they do not want it, so I went for the biggest offer.

"Fans should understand that a football player's career is short and one needs to take advantage of opportunities that give them a lot of money. When you break, the same fans will ridicule you and accuse you of extravagance in your best times. "

" I do not think Gor has time for non-performing players, especially foreigners. If I was not doing well in the club, I would not have lasted two years on the team, even if the fans wanted me to stay. "

He is full of praise for the enthusiastic reception he received at Simba … Club fans applauded every touch of the ball and every tackle he made at Cecafa Kagame Cup, where his four goals led Simba to the final before losing 2-1 against Azam.

 Simba forward Meddie Kagere (right) winces as he vies for the ball with JKU defender Salum Saidi during his Cecafa Kagame Cup semifinal match at the Estadio National, Dar es Salaam on July 11, 2018. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO |

Simba striker Meddie Kagere (right) winces in pain as he competes for the ball with JKU defender Salum Saidi during his semifinal the Cecafa Kagame Cup at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on July 11, 2018. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rejected and reprimanded in equal measure at some point during his stay, Kagere, who recently acquired the Rwandan citizenship after almost four years in the dark, insists that hard work and patience are the solution for any fighter but ambitious player.

"Sometimes you do not need to give up, you can try the destinations and fail, but then find the right place." I faced this in my own way and ended up achieving something, even the former stars went through those times, but they had problems until Sometimes they got what they wanted.

Sometimes patience is worth it, but you have to work hard for God, it will always reward your effort, people should never give up until their efforts bear fruit. "

The player wishes Gor the best of luck in the future, but is willing to add that he will live to remember to score for K & # 39; Oga in three successive editions of the Mashemeji derby against AFC Leopards.

 Medhi Kagere from Gor Mahia celebrates his goal during his Premier League SportPesa match against AFC Leopards at Nyayo Stadium on August 27, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Meddie Kagere from Gor Mahia celebrates his goal during his Premier League SportPesa match against AFC Leopards at Nyayo Stadium on August 27, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The striker tipped Simba, who is currently in the preseason camp in Turkey, to retain the title of the Tanzanian league when the new season begins in August.

Outside of soccer, he loves milk, rice served with chicken and spends his free time sleeping or spending time with his family.

Former clubs: Police, Rayon Sports, Tirana, Gor Mahia

Current club: Simba SC (Tanzania)

Achievements: KPL title (2015, 2017), KPL Top 8 trophy (2015), two SportPesa Super Cup Golden Boot, SJAK Player of the Year (2017)

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