Yasin Njinga Osman: 53 years in Malawi football and still going strong

yasin osman

Be Forward Wanderers Technical Director Yasin Osman could undisputedly claim the accolade for the oldest active football personality in Malawi football.

Osman has been active in Malawi football for 53 years since he joined Chichiri Athletics as a 15 year old student in 1965.

He followed in the footsteps of his elder brother Allaudin Osman, who is one of the only four players to have played for both Nyasaland and Malawi.

yasin osman
Osman(right): is the oldest active football personality in Malawi

The two brothers played together at both club and national team level. At Chichiri Yasin also played together with his other two brothers late Sattar and the youngest of them all, Nazar who tragically died in a car accident on his way to play football in Tete Mozambique for Chichiri.

Yasin appeared in two finals but ended on the losing side on both occasions as Chichiri lost to Zomba 4-0 in the Franklin Cup and 2-0 to Blantyre Sports Club in the Stanhope Cup. He scored 5 goals in 16 appearances in his first season.

After his only season with Chichiri Athletics, the team disbanded.

Yasin then joined Wanderers where he played for two seasons and won Blantyre and Districts Football League Championship. In his first season with Wanderers, he appeared in his second successive Stanhope Final and was loser again as Nomads lost 6-1 to Zomba Town.

He finally ended up on the winning side in a Cup final in the following season as Wanderers beat Zomba Town 3-1 in the Franklin Cup.

Yasin played 42 games and scored 48 goals that included 9 hat tricks and four hauls.

During the 1968/69 season, Yasin became the first player to be transferred for a record £100 fee when he moved to Bata Bullets. His move is credited to have triggered the rivalry between Wanderers and Bullets which turned the two teams into eternal rivals.

Yasin was an instant hit at Bullets where he scored 42 goals including 5 hat tricks in his first season. His individual brilliance was not enough to inspire Bullets to glory as they lost 3-2 to Wanderers in the Chibuku Cup final. He however managed to score his first final goal after five attempts.

His second season was a great success as Bullets achieved a treble after winning the BDFL League, the Chibuku Cup and Castles Cup. Yasin continued his goal scoring party as he scored 29 goals in 30 outings bringing his total to 119 goals, during that time, in just 101 matches.

Yasin OsmanJust like at Wanderers, Yasin lasted only 2 seasons with Bata Bullets. He moved to Michiru Blue Cross, one of the oldest clubs in Malawi, in February 1971 for a then record fee of K500. At his new club, he missed his 20 goals a season record by only scoring 13 goals and managed 17 the following season.

Despite his low scoring record, his team were runners up in both seasons. For the first time in his career, he stayed for more than two seasons with one club and was back to his scoring form with 32 goals.

Midway through his fourth season at Michiru , Yasin was once again on the move as he was transferred back to Wanderers for a K500 fee in August 1974. During his three and a half seasons with Michiru Blue Cross, he played in 89 games and scored 76 goals.

Back with Wanderers, Yasin scored 9 goals in 17 appearances that brought in two knockout trophies. He scored a goal in a 2-0 win against Oilcom Rovers in the BAT Cup Final and was on target again in the 2-0 win over Michiru Blue Cross in the Castle Cup.

Yasin ended his career with Wanderers in 1977 and started playing social football with Dodos, who apart from friendly fixtures against social clubs, played in the official knockout competitions. During one of the cup runs, Dodos, who had ex league players in their side like Basil Malila, Yasin Osman, Mustafa Munshi, Frank Wadabwa, Harold Chiwaya, Montford Pemba, Paul Morin, Albert Banda, nearly caused one of the biggest upsets when they held mighty Sucoma to a 1-1 draw at Escom ground.

The match was abandoned near the end of the game as fans protested a penalty awarded to Sucoma. In the replay, Sucoma showed Dodos no mercy when they clobbered them 5-1 with the three goals coming in the first five minutes.

On the international level, Yasin played his first Flames games against Zambia on 06 July 1966 at the age of 16 years 8 months. Malawi lost 6-0 with Jimmy Sewell, who played for Newcastle in the 1950’s FA Cup Final scored a hat trick in that game.

In an International career that lasted for 10 years between 1966 and 1975, Yasin played 68 games for Malawi, which included 3 as substitute and is in the top 27 on the most capped list.

He scored 22 goals and is joint fifth on the top scorers chart. His first goal for the Flames country came against Rhodesia in a 6-3 defeat against Rhodesia. He scored a hatrick as Malawi beat Botswana 8-1 in one of the two Flames all time record win. His last goal was a penalty in 4-1 defeat to Zambia in an Olympic Qualifier.

Yasin then ventured into coaching and achieved numerous coaching awards starting with a FAM class C license in March 1980 and a C.A.F. licence on 26 May 1985. He later attended the F.I.F.A/Coca Cola Youth Academy course. Further awards followed as he was rewarded with the Germany/Malawi Advances Diploma on 13 September 1991, and then the U.K. International Diploma Award on 12 September 1994. In 2016 he got a CAF A licence.

He coached a number of clubs including Michiru Blue Cross, Wanderers (on numerous separate occasions), Moneymen and Escom. In 2017 He led Wanderers to their first league title in 11 years before he was replaced by Bob Mpinganjira earlier this year.

In between, he also coached various national teams on several different occasions and was also General Secretary of the Football Association of Malawi.


*Football Association of Malawi*