Meet African Leaders Who Love Sports

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Several African leaders have found a political use for sports while others are genuinely obsessed with their pet sports

Robert Mugabe


Who would have thought the all powerful leader of Zimbabwe would have a soft spot for sports? Well recalibrate because it turns out dear old Uncle Bob is a super fan of reigning European Champions FC Barcelona and English champions Chelsea.

According to him such is his love for the sport of football and these two teams even his family stay out of his way when it is time to watch football.

“When I watch soccer, I do not want anyone to disturb me. Even my wife knows where to sit because while they are scoring in the field I will also be scoring at home, kicking everything in front of me.

“I have scored a lot of goals at my home, but I can only remember scoring once during the days we played a lot of football as I grew up.

Paul Kagame

The often admired president of Rwanda is a dyed in the wool Gooner. Kagame is known to sneak a peek at the Emirates every once in a while and recently even took to Twitter to complain about his dear team’s lack of trophies and Arsene Wenger.

“I very much support Arsenal – but to be honest Wenger needs to coach another team now and Arsenal needs another coach,”

“When a good team (players) and a good coach fail for long to deliver, one of them has to change, or even both!!

“The real/main danger is for anyone to get used to mediocre/lacklustre performance and/or results and accepts to live with it … or keeps finding excuses for it!!!”

Ouch! Not a nice thing to say about the man who sent you a letter on your birthday.

Pierre Nkurinziza

The president of Burundi is a qualified coach and runs his own football team named Hallelujah FC. It is not surprising to see the president and his friends on a pitch having a kick about even in the midst of political turmoil. Nkurunziza actually rates himself quite highly as a striker too;just read his biography in which he claims to have scored many goals.

As if anybody would prevent him from scoring.

Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s president could have been a World Cup referee perhaps if he had built on his time as one of the best prison referees at Robben Island. Whilst serving time on the island prison along with Nelson Mandela and other apartheid leaders, Zuma was busy brandishing his yellow card in hot inter block games.

Moise Katumbi

The millionaire politician cum owner of the champions of Africa needs little introduction. TP Mazembe’s patron has turned Lubumbashi into a football Mecca,recruiting the best players on the continent to play for his pet club and has constructed a modern stadium along with two private jets for the club.

Raila Odinga

Kenya’s former Prime Minister used to be a prime midfielder too for legendary Kenyan club Gor Mahia. Of course that was before the glory days and his career really was a short one but it did not diminish his love for football .

Jakaya Kikwete

Step out of the way Obama. The NBA has a bigger superfan and he is in Tanzania. Jakaya Kikwete just loves basketball and played the sport at university. He is also a known patron of his country’s basketball federation.

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