Uganda Cranes longest-serving defender Godfrey Walusimbi known as ‘Jjaaja Walu’ retires from national duties
Uganda Cranes left back Jjaaja Walu real names Godfrey Walusimbi, 30 years has retired from the national team football after a decade of great service.
With only one hundred and five (105) caps to his name, Walusimbi, 30, has been one of the longest-serving defenders for Cranes.
In his letter addressed to Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) on 5th October 2019, he thanked the federation, fans, teammates and government for enabling him to serve the nation greatly over the years.
“It has been 10 years down the road having a great honour and so privileged to represent my country Uganda in international football tournament……” Walusimbi’s letter read.
Walusimbi’s peak moments with the Uganda Cranes witnessed him represent the country at the Africa Cup of Nations – twice in Gabon and Egypt in 2017 and 2019 respectively
His last show for the Cranes was in the just recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations Competition (AFCON) in Egypt. As the first starting left-back in the squad, Walusimbi helped Uganda to reach to exceed the group stages for the first time after 20 years.
Being a natural left-back, over the years, he has played in many positions by previous Cranes coaches notably Bobby Williamson and for some games, Micho also played him in different positions. He is the first Ugandan footballer to play more than 100 international matches.
On 4 September 2010, Walusimbi made his Uganda national team debut in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola as a replacement for the injured Nestory Kizito.
He helped the Uganda U23 Team to a 2–1 first-leg victory over Tanzania in the All Africa Games qualifier with excellent performance in which he created the first goal with some creative work on the left flank on 16 April 2011.
On 4 June 2011, he scored against Guinea-Bissau in a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game.
The goal was the first in a 2–0 win for the cranes which saw them top Group J in front of a packed Mandela National Stadium.
As a Ugandan professional footballer playing in Albanian league, Godfrey Walusimbi was born on 3rd July 1989. He recently played for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League.
In June 2011 Walusimbi went to Sweden for a two-week trial with Allsvenskan side BK Häcken.
In 2013 January, he left Bunamwaya for DR Congo side CS Don Bosco. Having spent a few months with the team, he cancelled his contract in response to the poor working conditions. He returned to his former team SC Villa.
In December 2013, Walusimbi joined Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia were coached by former Uganda national team coach.
Walusimbi then moved to South African Premier Division club Kaizer Chiefs in 2018, signing a three-year contract. The reported cost of the transfer was around 4.4 million.
He made his league debut for the club on 18 September 2018, playing all ninety minutes in a 2–0 away victory over Free State Stars.
In January 2019, Walusimbi left the club, electing to return home to his native Uganda.
By John Dalton Kigozi