Africa’s Greatest Football Clubs: Young Africans Sports Club

By Joburg Post

Young Africans Sports Club is Tanzanians most successful club in history. With the club currently showing the dominance and being consistent in the past 10 years of performances and winning titles, much can be said about this great Sporting Club. They’ve been successful in the early 70s with some spells of not winning anything. Also known as Yanga locally, no club has managed to compete with Yanga; with a total of 30 silverwares to their name. Their arch rivals Simba FC closely follow them winning 18 League titles.  

With a history spanning some 83 years, Yanga has produced some of the finest Tanzanian players, including the legendary Shabani Nonda.

Early Years
Founded in 1935 February 11, Young Africans Sports Club had a difficult start to life in the Tanzanian Premier League. It is one of the two biggest teams in Tanzanian Football, the other being their arch rivals Simba FC. Based in the city of Dar es Salaam – capital city of Tanzania along with their arch rivals, their colours are yellow, green and black. With the club going into a dark spell of 33 years without winning a title, they manage to be so consistent and they have never looked back ever since. 

30’S – 60’S
With no trophy in three decades, Yanga had a difficult time. The tide was to turn in the late 60’s, however, when they defied the odds by claiming their first League title in 1968. 

Rise to Prominence 
With Young Africans Sports Club taking 33 years to win their first silverware in 1968, the club did not look back. They eventually won the League in five consecutive occasions, the first team in Tanzanian football history to do so. The following year in February 1974 Young Africans played a friendly match in Espírito Santo, Brazil country football, the stadium Engineer Alencar Araripe against Sports Railway losing 3–0. It was a monumental occasion for them, but the result was not they expected. A dry spell followed with six years of not winning the League, however, Yanga broke the curse by claiming the Tanzanian Cup and winning the CENCAFA Club Cup. 

80’s – 00’s
Up to that stage, they had inconsistent performances domestic competitions in Tanzania, winning the league in 1981. They missed out the following season only to win it the next season. That inconsistent spell continued as they won the league five times between ‘87 til 2000. 

Showing their full Dominance in 2000’s til 2017
At the turn of the millennium, Young Africans Sports Club would show their class once again. In the last decade, they have dominated the League, even surpassing the archrivals Simba in terms of silverware. They have gone on to lifting the League title nine times – twice in three consecutive times from 2006-09 and 2014-17. With the new season already started, they sit in 1st position on the log and are unbeaten with six games played. Till today, the club has failed to impress in the CAF Competitions. They have been participating, but crash out early in the preliminary or second rounds. 

Famous Players They’ve Produced

Shabani Nonda 
Nonda is most notable player to play for the club. He had a stint with Yanga in the middle of the 1990s before heading to South Africa to play Vaal Professionals, FC Zurich, Rennes, AS Monaco, Roma, Blackburn Rovers (LOAN) and Galatasaray. He had a total of 361 games and scored a total of 161 goals. He had a tremendous career as a player playing for his home country DR Congo with 36 appearances and 20 goals. 

Maulid Dilunga
The latter was the most accomplished football player Tanzania has ever produced. He passed on the age of 62 after a battle of long illness. He played for the national country for more than a decade, stints with Young Africans and Simba FC. He earned the nickname “EUSEBIO” after the greatest Mozambique born Portuguese Football Player because of his dazzling football skills. 

Sunday Manara "Computer"
He is greatest winger that Yanga fans have seen. He went on to play for Young Africans Sport Clubs, Heracles Almelo in the Eredivisie and AL-Nasr in the UAE. He also went on to represent his nation Tanzania with 43 appearances. Bongo Habiri on his blog said that: "People called him a computer because he was doing things that people were hearing the same device handles. At that time there were few computers and people had never noticed but Sunday was given its name.”


  • Tanzanian Premier League

  • : 21
    1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17 

  • Tanzanian Cup: 41975, 1994, 1999, 2015–16 

  • CECAFA Club Cup/Kagame Interclub Cup: 51975, 1993, 1999, 2011, 2012 1976, 1986, 1992, Runner up CECAFA Club cup Performance in CAF competitions[edit] 

CAF Champions League: 11 appearances
 | 1997 – Preliminary Round 1998 – Group Stage 2001 – Second Round 2006 – Preliminary Round  | 2007 – Second Round 2009 – First Round 2010 – Preliminary Round 2012 – Preliminary Round  | 2014 – First Round 2016 – Second Round 2017 –

African Cup of Champions Clubs: 11 appearances
 | 1969 – Quarter-finals 1970 – Quarter-finals 1971 – withdrew in Second Round 1972 – First Round  | 1973 – First Round 1975 – Second Round 1982 – Second Round 1984 – First Round  | 1988 – First Round 1992 – First Round 1996 – Preliminary Round

CAF Confederation Cup: 4 appearances
 | 2007 – Intermediate Round 2008 – First Round CAF Cup: 2 appearances 1994 – First Round 1999 – First Round CAF Cup Winners' Cup: 2 appearances 1995 – Quarter-finals 2000 – First Round         | 2011 – Preliminary Round 2016 – Group Stage

Their Importance 
With the club having the sign "Daima Mbele Nyuma Mwiko" meaning {Ever Forward Backward Never), they have grown tremendously. They have an Estimated 20 million fan base all over the world. The club has over 20 branches in Tanzania.  Young Africans is arguably the oldest and greatest soccer team in East Africa with its Stadium called 

Benjamini Mkapa National Stadium
– with an enormous capacity of 60.000 seats. With winning the League over 20 times and remaining ever consistent, Young Africans Sports Club is among the best teams in Africa. 



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