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Musa Masika ready to step out of elder brother Ayub Timbe’s shadow

Last updated 4 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi

Wazito FC’s Musa Masika in action against Western Stima during a KPL match at Narok Stadium in February. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The brothers are part of a football family with the elder Shaban having played for Sofapaka before retiring.

Kenya’s teenage sensation Musa Masika is eager to step out of the shadow of his elder brother Reading FC midfielder Ayub Timbe Masika and build a name for himself far beyond Kenya.

Even though Timbe, 27, has had a roller-caster playing career both the with national team Harambee Stars and clubs starting from Anderlecht, Germinal Beerschot, Genk in Belgium to Beijing Renhe in China and English Championship side Reading (on loan), less has been talked about his 19-year-old brother.

Musa, who has gone through the ranks at the national juniors team before eventually making his Harambee Stars debut away to Tanzania in last year’s African Nations Championship (Chan), has without doubt been on a steady rise since helping Wazito gain promotion back to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) last year.

At just 11 years, Musa became the youngest player to participate in the 2012 Copa Coca Cola where he won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award despite his team-JMJ Academy-losing in the semifinals.

He then retained the best player award accolade in the following year’s competition as JMJ clinched the tournament.

And from JMJ Academy where his career was nurtured by his eldest sibling and former Sofapaka and Kangemi United striker Shaban Masika, to winning the MVP award after steering Laiser Hill to their maiden national secondary schools games title in 2016 and then training with a couple of clubs in Europe, Musa has now established himself as one of the most exciting young attackers in the country.

Having scored one goal and provided more than four assists on his full debut in KPL for Wazito, Musa feels he has what it takes to shoulder the weight of expectation and leave his own imprint on the Kenyan football as well as live up to his esteemed family’s footballing name.

“People will always talk about me and my brother Ayub, but they should know these are two different people with their own potential.  Ayub is in Europe and I’m in Kenya, contracted to Wazito and playing. So, I can’t be living under his shadow yet we are playing for two different clubs. Ayub’s achievements will forever remain his and my achievements are mine, we can’t share or interchange them,” Musa told Standard Sports.

“Of course as my elder brother (Ayub) I look up to him, but I believe in myself and that’s why I chose a different path for my own football career."

He added: “When I went for Gothia Cup in 2008 in Sweden, my wish was to stay in Europe, but right now I’ve known the dynamics of the game and what I want to achieve in life.”

However, even as Musa is indebted to Shaban for introducing him to the game, he is still challenged by what Ayub has achieved so far.

“Though I’m motivated with what he has achieved in his career so far, I feel challenged. I want to follow in his footsteps, achieve my dream and I build a name for myself. But I can’t wait for that day both of us will be playing for the national team at the same time,” he said.

“But I’m very grateful to our eldest brother Shaban for introducing me to the game at a very young age. I used to follow him to training grounds because I liked his playing style.”

Musa went on to reveal how his Harambee Stars debut is a major milestone in his career progress.

“It was a great feeling and a dream come true to make my debut for the senior national team last year. Getting that cap was very important to me in terms of career progress because it will make it easy for me to move to Europe,” he said.

Though Shaban is not surprised by Musa’s development and breakthrough, he has warned against comparing him to Ayub whom he manages.

“Musa has stood for himself from childhood up to where he is right now. We can’t start comparing him with Ayub because I believe everyone has his own destiny. As far as I’m concerned, Musa has his own path and his progress can attest to that,” said Shaban.

“Unlike Ayub who went to Europe aged 13, Musa was born and bred in Kenya thus faced a lot of challenges. So there is no need of comparing the two.”

He added: “But from how he is handling himself, I’m confident he will go far. You can’t imagine at just 19 years he’s already causing havoc in the Kenyan Premier League. Therefore, I don’t think if it’s too late or too early for him to live up to his potential.”

Recalling how he had to intervene for Musa to participate in the 2012 Copa Coca Cola tournament due to his young age, Shaban termed him as a ‘uniquely-gifted’ player.

“I’m really proud of Musa because I’ve seen him grow. I’ve been with him from when he first went to Sweden for Gothia Cup at the age of eight years until now, I know his potential. He’s an exceptional player with a uniquely-gifted talent,” said Shaban, who retired from playing active football in 2008.

“There is a time, he had been blocked from Copa Coca Cola tournament due to his young age, but interestingly he ended up winning the MVP award. As his elder brother, for now I’m not concerned about money but his career development.”

Shaban further explained how the duo’s involvement in football has changed the life of their family in Kawangware, Nairobi. The Masika’s lost their father to heart attack in 2012.

“The struggle was real during our childhood but I thank God football has now changed our family’s lifestyle. From Timbe, to Omar and now Musa, I will be lying if I tell you that we can’t afford to put food on our table. We are now even able to assist some vulnerable members in the community,” he said.

“Our late dad was a passionate hockey fan, but he started gaining interest when I began playing before Omar and Timbe’s involvement in the game made him to completely switch to football and become our number one fan.

“Initially mum didn’t love football, but right now she is always well-informed of Timbe and Masika’s progress as well as their next matches,” he added.

The brothers are part of a football family with the elder Shaban having played for Sofapaka before retiring.

Kenya’s teenage sensation Musa Masika is eager to step out of the shadow of his elder brother Reading FC midfielder Ayub Timbe Masika and build a name for himself far beyond Kenya.

Even though Timbe, 27, has had a roller-caster playing career both the with national team Harambee Stars and clubs starting from Anderlecht, Germinal Beerschot, Genk in Belgium to Beijing Renhe in China and English Championship side Reading (on loan), less has been talked about his 19-year-old brother.

Musa, who has gone through the ranks at the national juniors team before eventually making his Harambee Stars debut away to Tanzania in last year’s African Nations Championship (Chan), has without doubt been on a steady rise since helping Wazito gain promotion back to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) last year.

At just 11 years, Musa became the youngest player to participate in the 2012 Copa Coca Cola where he won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award despite his team-JMJ Academy-losing in the semifinals.

He then retained the best player award accolade in the following year’s competition as JMJ clinched the tournament.

And from JMJ Academy where his career was nurtured by his eldest sibling and former Sofapaka and Kangemi United striker Shaban Masika, to winning the MVP award after steering Laiser Hill to their maiden national secondary schools games title in 2016 and then training with a couple of clubs in Europe, Musa has now established himself as one of the most exciting young attackers in the country.

Having scored one goal and provided more than four assists on his full debut in KPL for Wazito, Musa feels he has what it takes to shoulder the weight of expectation and leave his own imprint on the Kenyan football as well as live up to his esteemed family’s footballing name.

“People will always talk about me and my brother Ayub, but they should know these are two different people with their own potential.  Ayub is in Europe and I’m in Kenya, contracted to Wazito and playing. So, I can’t be living under his shadow yet we are playing for two different clubs. Ayub’s achievements will forever remain his and my achievements are mine, we can’t share or interchange them,” Musa told Standard Sports.

“Of course as my elder brother (Ayub) I look up to him, but I believe in myself and that’s why I chose a different path for my own football career."

He added: “When I went for Gothia Cup in 2008 in Sweden, my wish was to stay in Europe, but right now I’ve known the dynamics of the game and what I want to achieve in life.”

However, even as Musa is indebted to Shaban for introducing him to the game, he is still challenged by what Ayub has achieved so far.

“Though I’m motivated with what he has achieved in his career so far, I feel challenged. I want to follow in his footsteps, achieve my dream and I build a name for myself. But I can’t wait for that day both of us will be playing for the national team at the same time,” he said.

“But I’m very grateful to our eldest brother Shaban for introducing me to the game at a very young age. I used to follow him to training grounds because I liked his playing style.”

Musa went on to reveal how his Harambee Stars debut is a major milestone in his career progress.

“It was a great feeling and a dream come true to make my debut for the senior national team last year. Getting that cap was very important to me in terms of career progress because it will make it easy for me to move to Europe,” he said.

Though Shaban is not surprised by Musa’s development and breakthrough, he has warned against comparing him to Ayub whom he manages.

“Musa has stood for himself from childhood up to where he is right now. We can’t start comparing him with Ayub because I believe everyone has his own destiny. As far as I’m concerned, Musa has his own path and his progress can attest to that,” said Shaban.

“Unlike Ayub who went to Europe aged 13, Musa was born and bred in Kenya thus faced a lot of challenges. So there is no need of comparing the two.”

He added: “But from how he is handling himself, I’m confident he will go far. You can’t imagine at just 19 years he’s already causing havoc in the Kenyan Premier League. Therefore, I don’t think if it’s too late or too early for him to live up to his potential.”

Recalling how he had to intervene for Musa to participate in the 2012 Copa Coca Cola tournament due to his young age, Shaban termed him as a ‘uniquely-gifted’ player.

“I’m really proud of Musa because I’ve seen him grow. I’ve been with him from when he first went to Sweden for Gothia Cup at the age of eight years until now, I know his potential. He’s an exceptional player with a uniquely-gifted talent,” said Shaban, who retired from playing active football in 2008.

“There is a time, he had been blocked from Copa Coca Cola tournament due to his young age, but interestingly he ended up winning the MVP award. As his elder brother, for now I’m not concerned about money but his career development.”

Shaban further explained how the duo’s involvement in football has changed the life of their family in Kawangware, Nairobi. The Masika’s lost their father to heart attack in 2012.

“The struggle was real during our childhood but I thank God football has now changed our family’s lifestyle. From Timbe, to Omar and now Musa, I will be lying if I tell you that we can’t afford to put food on our table. We are now even able to assist some vulnerable members in the community,” he said.

“Our late dad was a passionate hockey fan, but he started gaining interest when I began playing before Omar and Timbe’s involvement in the game made him to completely switch to football and become our number one fan.

“Initially mum didn’t love football, but right now she is always well-informed of Timbe and Masika’s progress as well as their next matches,” he added.

 

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