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The family of the late Abbas Khamis Magongo on Tuesday held prayers at the Kariokor Muslim Cemetery in Nairobi.

The prayers, which began at 10 am and lasted for about 30 minutes, were conducted by Sheikh Abdul Aziz in remembrance of the Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars legend who passed away 18 years ago after succumbing to bronchial pneumonia.

In attendance were his eight children led by firstborn Elizabeth Mulisya and their aunt Hadija Swaleh. Others were Pillie Abbas Magongo, Dhahabu Swaleh, Rukia Ali, Mercedez Munyiva Malive, Swaleh Abbas Magongo and Abbas Ramadhan.

Veteran football administrator Noordinne Koor Taib and former Gor Mahia player Mike Otieno joined the family in commemorating the midfield maestro who played a key role in Gor Mahia’s only continental triumph – the 1987 Mandela Cup.

“I knew Abbas since his days at Kenatco in Mombasa under coach (Mohammed) Kheri. He was a disciplined player who was always jovial on the pitch. He was also not selfish and fed all the strikers equally.


“He was a crowd mover and was always consistent when playing. There is no match I can remember where he played poorly. He was very creative, it’s rare to find such a player who is comfortable with the ball on both feet and makes others tick,” said Noordinne, who at one time served as the treasurer of the Kenya Football Federation.

Otieno, who joined Gor Mahia in 1987, remembered Magongo as his mentor.

“When I joined Gor I was only 19 years old and Babla(Abbas) was one of the senior players who held my hand. Whenever we were on the pitch he would encourage me and that built my confidence,” said Otieno who later played alongside Magongo in the national team.

Prayers were also conducted at the grave side of his late wife Amina Ndindi Magongo and their daughter Zuena Abbas Magongo who died at the tender age of two.