June 23, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
The mortal remains of former Sierra Leone football legend, Kama Dumbuya aka King Kama the Hunter, would be laid to rest today in Freetown.
In a civic funeral, the former East End Lions, Mighty Blackpool and Barma FC striker, who passed away last Friday in Freetown, after a short illness, would be laid at the Siaka Steven Stadium with members of the football family expected to pay their last respect to the fallen hero.
The late Kama became a legendary striker ,who, during his playing days in the 1960s and 70s could be remembered for his goal scoring abilities. He did not only scored goals ; in some cases, he made goalkeepers look foolish .
According to Kabs Kanu, Ghana dominated soccer in the 1960s and 1970s .Their national team, the Black Stars and clubs Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, would win trophies now and again. In the early 1970s, they had the best goalkeeper in Africa, called Robert Mensah. He was a man mountain, also called the ROCK OF GIBRALTAR. Not many people scored against him. He was a super goalkeeper. His whole frame covered the goal like Peter Czech during his Chelsea days. Because of him Ghana beat teams for common.
“Ghana went to play Senegal in the Africa Nations Cup and won. Robert Mensah had gone throughout the season without conceding a goal. Nobody scored against him, during that period, to put it more bluntly.
They were invited to stop by in Freetown to play against the unknown and uncelebrated Leone Stars on their way back home. Ghana came with confidence and I am sure they were saying: “Who are these Leone Stars? We are going to beat them like babies. We have beaten the other tough African nations. Is it Sierra Leone we will not thrash? ”
But at Brookfields Stadium on January 31, 1971, 45 seconds was all it took for Kama to humiliate the unbeatable Ghanaian goalkeeper.
Sierra Leone kicked off. Kama himself kicked the ball to Christian Cole. Christian passed it to Manneh Peters. Peters back passed to Abu Syrian in defence. From the back line, Abu Syrian squared a long one to Vava George on the wing. Vava beat his man and saw King Kama lurking in the Ghanaian goalmouth .
The thoughtful Vava banged the ball straight on to Kama. The King trapped the pass with his chest, got it to his magical right foot and the stunner started. Kama dribbled past two defenders to face the goal. It was then that the goalkeeper decided to rush out of his goal to confront Kama. People saw it clearly. Kama cheerily beckoned to the Keeper to come. As the burly goalkeeper rushed at him, Kama just lifted the ball over his head and left him for dead. The thrilling part was that he did not kick the ball into the empty net at once. Rather, King Kama walked with the ball as the defenders gave chase until he crossed the goal line and just stabbed it into the net. The whole nation listening to commentaries by Willie Pratt shook. GOAL ! In 45 seconds. Robert Mensah had conceded at last in Freetown, of all places. And in very cheeky fashion. The angry goalkeeper grabbed some pebbles from the ground and threw them in frustration. He was like a man gone mad. Ghanaian players were lying on the ground in frustration too. In just 45 seconds.
Even Pele would have coveted such a dramatic goal. The King of Sierra Leone football did it. In just 45 seconds.
In the return match, Kama scored again but Ghana beat us 2-1 at the Accra Sports Stadium. Shortly after that, Goalkeeper Robert Mensah was stabbed to death in a bar room brawl in Accra.