Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Mamale passes away aged 42

Goal.com

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars striker Emeka Mamale has passed away. 

According to a statement released by Caf, Mamale lost his life at a local hospital in Kinshasa on Thursday but the cause of his death is still unknown at this stage.    

Mamale was a full international with the Democratic Republic of Congo and he represented them in two separate Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). 

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The 1996 edition which was held in South Africa was his first and his second appearances at the games four years later.  

"Former DR Congo forward Emeka Essanga passed away on Thursday (25 June 2020) at a local hospital in Kinshasa, his family has announced. He was 42," read the statement.  

Nicknamed “Mamale”, he was an integral part of the Leopards squad that won bronze at the 1998 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso. He also participated in the 1996 and 2000 editions of the continental showpiece event. 

A journeyman, Esanga won the DR Congo domestic cup in 1996 with Daring Club Motema Pembe. He also had stints in Angola, Belgium, Israel, South Africa and South Korea," added the statement. 

Mamale began his football career in Kinshasa in 1995 playing for DC Motema Pembe. 

He then moved to South Africa in 1996 to sign for Free State Stars then known as Qwaqwa Stars for the 1996/97 season. 

In 2000, Mamale joined Kaizer Chiefs and his biggest breakthrough arrived while he was still on the books of the Soweto giants as he signed for Lokeren in Belgium. 

He would return to Africa in 2002 to play for Angolan club 1º de Agosto among other teams. 

His return to South Africa in the mid-2000s saw the now-defunct Platinum Stars, then known as Silver Stars, offer him a second chance to play in the PSL. 

Mamale went on to play in Israel in the latter stages of his football career, signing for Hapoel Acre. 

He retired in 2011 whilst on the books of Motema Pembe. 

Goal sends its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mamale as well as his former teammates.   

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