Senzo Mbatha picked a fine time to leave Tanzania  

A day after Yanga had confirmed his exit, Mbatha bid farewell to Tanzanian football through a released statement on his social media accounts.

“I want to thank the Tanzania football family for allowing me an opportunity to be part of this industry. Thank you to the government for approving my legal stay in Tanzania, and thank you to the football federation for the opportunity to be part of your football.” 

“To all the colleagues and stakeholders, thank you. Thank you to the football sponsors and donors. Without you, football would not have moved this far.” 

”To all my bosses, from Simba and Yanga, thank you once again for the opportunity to manage your beloved clubs. Boss MO (Mohamed Dewji) and Boss Ghalib, thank you!” 

“To Kaduguda and Doctor Msolla, thank you for the opportunity to be part of your leadership. To my colleagues and friends in football, thank you! To the fans and football lovers in Tanzania, you will remain special in my life. To the media members, continue to promote Tanzania football. I also thank you for your cooperation.” 

“Your praise and condemnation have assisted me in becoming a better administrator. Thank you for your love, my friends, and random people I have met. Wananchi wenzangu asanteni #DaimaMbeleNyumaMwiko.”

The former Orlando Pirates administrator arrived in Tanzania in 2019, joining the then Mainland Tanzania Premier League champions Simba as the club’s CEO.

He won the Premier League title and Federation Cup with the Msimbazi Reds before sensationally switching to cross-city rivals Yanga.

Many thought he was out of his mind, abandoning a club that was rubbing shoulders with continental giants like TP Mazembe, Al Ahly and AS Vita in the CAF Champions League Group Stage for one that had won nothing since 2017.

At the time of joining Yanga, the club was in a rebuilding process under the influence of GSM Group. There was a gulf between Simba and Yanga both on and off the pitch. 

It came as no surprise when at the end of his first season with Yanga, they finished second in the league, lost in a Federation Cup final, and won the Mapinduzi Cup.

While that was not a successful campaign compared to Simba who swept every domestic title on offer and made it to the CAF Champions League quarterfinals, it showed clear indications that Yanga under Senzo was on the right track to reclaiming their glory.

By the end of the second season, Yanga had transformed into a formidable unit.

The club began its campaign by snatching the Community Shield from age-old rivals Simba, won a record-extending 28th Premier League title unbeaten, and completed its hat-trick with the Federation Cup. 

Yanga was back on top, and the much-ridiculed ‘The Return of Champions’ slogan was real.

Perhaps Mbatha knew only a formidable run in the CAF Champions League could top what Yanga achieved last season otherwise it is downhill.

Leave the stage while people are still clapping, there is a time for everything and a season for every activity here on earth.

There is a right time to leave, there is a time to come but there is also time to go.

For leadership positions, especially one where someone is under public scrutiny from a very demanding fan base and endless political maneuvers, there is a time to be appointed and a time to step away because the particular person’s time to leave has come.

There is wisdom in knowing when to ascend to a position but perhaps more so in knowing when to leave.

Mbatha picked the right time to leave the stage. In early July, he celebrated the treble with Yanga, bringing the number of trophies he has won in Tanzania to seven.

The first three silverware were won with Simba – the Community Shield, Premier League, and Federation Cup.

On July 31, he exited the stage, he knew when to leave, he knew when to say ‘enough’.

He provides one of the most interesting examples of being ready to go and leaving the stage while people are still clapping.

Yanga fans and Tanzanian football stakeholders will miss him because he picked a perfect time.

When it became a matter of not if but when Yanga would be crowned Premier League champions, Mbatha indicated he was eager to return home. This is a man who knew how to discern the time to leave.

His exit came as a result of an expired contract, which came to an end on July 31.

He did not seek to get an extension, he did not want to overstay when the signs were clear that it was time to go, to leave room for another CEO to take charge of the club.

Ahead of the new season, if Yanga manages to have another good campaign it would be attributed to Mbatha having laid down the foundation for success, if they fail, it would be said it is due to the vacuum left behind by his exit.

There are many examples of football administrators and coaches in Tanzania who have overstayed and hurt themselves in the end, ruining relationships. Mbatha chose otherwise.




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Publish date : 2022-08-06 08:18:25

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