Tanzanian side Yanga SC has held a guard of honor for Haruna Niyonzima as a ‘thank you’ gesture after eight years’ service that the midfielder had at the club.
Yanga played their last home game of the season against Ihefu FC on Thursday, July 15, as the club used the occasion to give the veteran midfielder a rousing send-off in front of the club supporters who gathered for the game at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The send-off served as a reflection to the midfielder’s remarkable service at the club with which he won 11 major trophies, including five league titles, one CECAFA Kagame Cup, three Charity Shields, one FA Cup and one Mapinduzi Cup.
Football supporters have always described Niyonzima’s service at Yanga as ‘phenomenal’ and the club’s hierarchy has not ignored his importance during his stay and organized an emotional send-off for the Rwandan international.
The Amavubi national team captain also played for Yanga SC’s arch-rivals Simba.
Niyonzima is now the longest-serving Rwandan in Tanzanian football. The other Rwandan players who have played in Tanzania are; Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Meddie Kagere and Ally Niyonzima, among others.
He has been plying his trade in the Tanzania Premier League since he left APR FC in 2011.
He played for the club for six years until the end of the 2016/17 season and made a shock move to archrivals Simba SC where he spent two seasons.
He returned to Rwanda in 2019 to play for AS Kigali where he penned a six-month deal to help the club in their campaign at the CAF Confederation Cup.
After his contract expired in December the same year, the veteran midfielder agreed to return to Yanga SC for a second spell. He leaves the club after playing for one year and a half and he is yet to announce his next move.
However, he wasn’t able to help the club to win a league title which they last won five years ago.
SC Simba has dominated the league for the past five seasons.
Niyonzima started his football career with Etincelles before he was signed by Rayon Sports in 2006. He joined archrivals APR the following year where he played for three-and-a-half years prior to his 2011 move to Yanga.